"I am Joseph, Your Brother"

Genesis 45:4

In Genesis 45, Joseph is reunited with his brothers after a tumultuous past. It is a moment of reconciliation as Joseph "kissed all his brothers and wept over them" (45:15). In October 1960, Pope Saint John XXIII greeted a Jewish audience with these words, signaling the start of the new journey the Church would undertake over the following decades. This image, repeated by Pope Francis, speaks to both the recognition of past faults, as Joseph's brothers mistreated him, as well as looks to the hope of reconciliation, found in Joseph's embrace with his brothers. As Pope Francis says, "It is fundamental that we encounter each other as brothers and sisters before our Creator and that we praise him." (Address to Synagogue of Rome, January 17, 2016)

U.S. Bishops Call for Confronting Antisemitism

Recognizing our bond with the Jewish people as brothers and sisters, the Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has instituted an initiative called "Embracing Our Siblings: Confronting Antisemitism". An initial plan for the initiative was accepted in March 2021 and finalized in March 2022. In October 2022, the BCEIA approved a set of projects and formally launched the initiative with the release of their statement in November 2022: U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Emphasizes Recommitment to Relationship with Jewish Community. Over the next few years, we will be promoting Church teaching on Jews and Judaism and equipping the faithful to confront antisemitism.

Check back for updates as Embracing Our Siblings: Confronting Antisemitism continues!

Where We Are Working

  • Bible & Liturgy
  • Catechetics & Education
  • Clergy & Ministry
  • Laity & Youth
  • Truth & Justice
Bible & Liturgy

You may recognize a new addition to your 2024 Missal. In 2022, the Committees on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and Divine Worship approved a note to appear in all worship aids in conjunction with the reading of the Johannine Passion Narrative reminding the faithful of the meaning of this passage: Jesus' love for each and every person.

We are also working with the Office for the Biblical Apostolate and the Subcommittee on Translation of Scripture text to facilitate sensitivity readings of notes in the new translation of the New American Bible and new Biblia in America.

Catechetics & Education

In the next few years, the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs will be collaborating with the Committees on Catholic Education and Catechesis and Evangelization to help the faithful more fully understand Church teaching regarding Jews and Judaism, as well as the call to confront antisemitism as part of our discipleship.

Clergy & Ministry

Between now and the end of 2025, the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs will be collaborating with the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations and the Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service to better assist our clergy and ministers in forming Catholics as spiritual brothers and sisters to the Jewish people and allies in the fight against antisemitism.

Laity & Youth

Antisemitism remains an issue in all aspects of life for our Jewish brothers and sisters. The Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs will be working with the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth to explore ways in which we can assist the faithful in being good neighbors and friends.

Truth & Justice

In all its work, the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs will be in consultation with the Committee on Doctrine and the Committee on International Justice and Peace, ensuring a comprehensive and thoroughly Catholic answer to the scourge of antisemitism.