Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs


Documents for Preaching and Teaching the Passion of the Lord

Resources for Preaching and Teaching the Passion of the Lord
In the Christian world …erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament relative to the Jewish people and their presumed guilt [for the crucifixion] have circulated for too long, engendering sentiments of hostility toward this people.
- Pope John Paul II

The Jews are “the people of God of the Old Covenant, never revoked by God.”
- Pope John Paul II

The overall aim of any depiction of the passion should be the unambiguous presentation of the doctrinal understanding of the event in the light of faith, that is, of the Church’s traditional interpretation of the meaning of Christ’s death for all humanity. Nostra Aetate states this central gospel truth quite clearly: “Christ in his boundless love freely underwent his passion and death because of the sins of all, so that all might attain salvation.”
- “Criteria for the Evaluation of Dramatizations of the Passion” USCCB 

The Bible, the Jews, and the Death of Jesus:
A Collection of Catholic Documents
Introduction by Bishop Stephen Blaire, Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
Available from the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing Office

Official documents

Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate , #4, (Vatican Council II, 1965)

Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Catholic Church (1985)

Criteria for the Evaluation of Dramatizations of the Passion (1988)

God's Mercy Endures Forever: Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic Preaching (1988)

Other resources 

“How to Read the Passion Narratives” by Raymond Brown, S.S.
The Archdiocese of Boston’s Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has a limited number of the above article available at a nominal fee to the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston:

“The Passion of Jesus” by Ronald Witherup, S.S.
online by clicking here.

 “Who Killed Jesus?” by Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.
online by clicking here. 

"The Death of Jesus and Anti-Semitism: Seeking Interfaith Understanding" by Raymond E. Brown, S.S.
online by clicking here. 

"The Romans in Israel" by Elizabeth McNamer
online by clicking here.