Jean-François Bensahel, Pierre d'Ornellas

Brothers, Apparently A serene and pacifist dialogue, at a time of great religious conflict Publication date : December 4, 2015

Mgr Pierre d’Ornellas has been Archbishop of the Diocese of Rennes since 2007, and is President of the Episcopal Commission for Catechesis and the Catechumenate. From 1997 to 2006 he was also the Auxiliary Bishop of Paris.
• Jean-François Bensahel, Professeur Agrégé (tenured professor) of mathematics and a high-ranking civil servant, is also president of the Union libérale israélite de France (Jewish Liberal Union of France). His writings include, notably, La France ou la souveraineté menacée (France: Sovereignty Under Threat) published by Odile Jacob, 1991. Both authors are well known in Paris and Rennes.
• In October 1965, the Catholic Church made the Nostra Aetate (In Our Time) Declaration, decreed by Pope Paul VI, who in doing so shook up two thousand years of Judeo-Christian relations. Affirming the continuity between the Christian and the Jewish people, it allowed the two communities to progress from distrust to friendship and mutual esteem. Since then Catholics constantly lay claim to their Jewish heritage.
• Together, Pierre d'Ornellas and Jean-François Bensahel examine the significance of this unprecedented declaration, without seeking to minimize the differences that separate the two religions: the recognition of the Messiah in the person of Jesus, but also the concept of tradition, the relationship between the letter and the spirit, the importance of practice and piety…
• Beyond the message of each religion, both authors question the common promises, not only of the priesthood but also of secular thinkers, as is upheld in France. In doing so they reveal the treasures of the Nostra Aetate declaration and sketch out possible ways forward.
• At a time when the clash of civilizations is often seen as a clash of religions, and when belief always seems to be reduced to fundamentalism, this encounter is of crucial importance: it highlights another present, a present that is the guarantee of a better future for people of good will, believers, atheists, Jews and Christians.