Nostra Aetate means “In Our Time.” On December 8, 1965, the Catholic Church no longer held Jews collectively responsible for the death of Jesus. Did this really accomplish anything? It is still in the bible and still read that as a whole the Jews killed Christ.
Let’s look at the facts as we know it. Pontius Pilate was a Roman General in command of a Roman Outpost. Security was beefed up during the Jewish festival of Passover. Crucifixion was a Roman form of execution, sometimes 5.000 people a year were killed by this method. We all know the history of Roman ruthlessness and love for blood and violence. Just look at the Coliseum. Citizens of Rome packed this theatre of violence for years and years. Trying to take scripture at its word one has to question Pilate offering to trade a convicted murderer for Christ’s life. Why would this murderer still be alive? Roman punishment was quick. Why would a Roman General trying to keep an outpost crowded with celebrating Jews without incident release a murderer. It doesn’t make sense.
In order for Nostra Aetate to actually do anything other than look good on paper the bible would have to be ‘updated’. That is never going to happen. This is just another PR stunt to pass the buck from the Catholic Church to anybody else.