STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — Clarity in a time of spiritual chaos.

That’s what Franciscan University’s Catholic-Jewish conference this week aimed to provide, which was planned even before Hamas’s October 7th attack on Israel.

The ‘Nostra Aetate’ seminar explored the two faiths and their often bitter past relationship.

The name refers to a 1960s declaration from Pope Paul VI, urging Catholics to remember that their religion grew out of Judaism.

It helped develop the closer cooperation the religions share today after a history of mistrust. 

One speaker says Christian support of antisemitism helped lead to the Holocaust.

“It’s very painful to look at one’s church history and to recognize it and where we have fallen short as Christians. But I think the first thing we have to do, which really John Paul II is our huge advocate example, is to apologize. But before we can apologize, we also have to know where we really failed.”

Simone Rizkallah, Special Advisor to President, Philos Project

The series wrapped Thursday after three days of both Jewish and Catholic leaders taking the podium.

They appealed to the faithful with the message that to be antisemitic is to be anti-Catholic.

The conference ended with a statement remembering the Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooting, which happened five years ago Friday.