Cushing, Spellman, O'Connor: The Surprising Story of How Three American Cardinals Transformed Catholic-Jewish Relations

Cushing, Spellman, O'Connor: The Surprising Story of How Three American Cardinals Transformed Catholic-Jewish Relations

Cushing, Spellman, O'Connor: The Surprising Story of How Three American Cardinals Transformed Catholic-Jewish Relations

Cushing, Spellman, O'Connor: The Surprising Story of How Three American Cardinals Transformed Catholic-Jewish Relations

Synopsis

Highlights the legacy of three amazing, influential Roman Catholic cardinals

In this highly recommended book, Rabbi James Rudin describes how the vision and commitment of Cardinals Richard Cushing, Francis Spellman, and John O'Connor helped to transform Jewish-Catholic relations in the second half of the twentieth century. Two introductory chapters contextualize their actions and reveal the extraordinary nature of these cardinals' actions.

Pithy and accessible, this book will spark lively discussion among church and synagogue study groups. It will also add compelling case studies to seminary courses on ecumenism and interfaith dialogue -- regardless of any given group's position on the ideological spectrum.

Excerpt

This is the remarkable story of how and why an unlikely trio of American-born Roman Catholic cardinals — Richard James Cushing (1895-1970), Francis Joseph Spellman (1889-1967), and John Joseph O’Connor (1920-2000) — unexpectedly used the power of their high ecclesiastical positions and their personal charisma during the second half of the twentieth century to permanently transform Christian-Jewish relations and thereby change both Christianity and world history. That transformation remains the three cardinals’ lasting historic legacy.

These events began with the efforts of Cushing, the archbishop of Boston, and Spellman, the archbishop of New York, during the Second Vatican Council in Rome, which took place between 1962 and 1965. They culminated a generation later with O’Connor, when he served as New York’s archbishop. Even now, years after the deaths of the three cardinals, their extraordinary success continues to astonish many people, just as it did when they were alive.

Despite a shared commitment to build a new, constructive relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, the cardinals differed from one another in many ways, especially in their personalities and individual leadership styles. But, taken . . .

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