Vatican official to address ‘Nostra Aetate’ conference

BOSTON — Boston College in Newton and Brandeis University in Waltham are sponsoring a two-day conference, “In Our Time: Inter-religious Relations in a Divided World,” from March 16-17 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Nostra Aetate” and explore the nature of inter-religious dialogue. Conference events will be held at both the Catholic and Jewish schools.

“Nostra Aetate,” (Latin for “In Our Time”) is the title for the Second Vatican Council’s “Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions,” published in 1965. The document, signed by Pope Paul VI, changed the relationship between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religious faiths. It calls for Catholics to reach out to other religions and seek the union of all people.

The keynote speaker for the symposium will be Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

Archbishop Fitzgerald will speak about what the Catholic Church has learned from inter-religious dialogue at Brandeis University on March 16 at 9:30 a.m. Later in the afternoon there will be a panel discussion on “Issues and Challenges in the Inter-religious Encounter.”

That evening, the symposium will move to Boston College where Cardinal-designate Seán P. O’Malley will deliver an introduction at 7:30 p.m. Archbishop Fitzgerald will then speak on the topic of “The Promise of Inter-religious Dialogue for a World in Conflict.”

The events on March 17 at Boston College will focus on the theological and pastoral issues of inter-religious relations. There will be a discussion on “Questions Inter-religious Dialogue Poses for Catholic Theology” followed by a panel discussion on “Pastoral Implications of Inter-religious Dialogue for Parish Life.”

Back in February, Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Fitzgerald as the new ambassador to Egypt and the Arab League.

For more information or to register, visit