Roman Catholic scholar and priest, Peter Hocken, a long-time friend and advocate of the Messianic Jewish community, passed away in his sleep during the night of June 9-10.
Fr. Peter was one of the pillars of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He served for many years on the International Leadership Council of Toward Jerusalem Council II, “an initiative of repentance and reconciliation between the Jewish and Gentile segments of the Church” (TJCII.org). UMJC Rabbi Mark Kinzer notes, “In my view, Fr. Peter was the key person who made possible the relationship between Messianic Jews and leaders in the Catholic Church that exists today. He was a prophetic theologian — truly a great man in every respect. I will miss him dearly.”
In 2013, Fr. Peter participated in a conference in Brazil hosted by UMJC-affiliated congregation Har Tzion. Rabbi Russ Resnik comments, “I was familiar with Father Peter through his writing and work with TJCII, but didn’t have the opportunity to meet him until 2013, at a conference in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I was taken by his humility, approachability, and steady reflection of the presence of the Ruach, and felt that I had a new friend.” At this conference, Fr. Peter brought a message of repentance and reconciliation between the Catholic church and the anusim, the hidden Jewish community in Brazil, that was striking in its boldness and humility. It had a powerful effect.
In 2015, Fr. Peter spoke at the UMJC conference on the ongoing work of reconciling the relationship between the Messianic Jewish community and the church. His talk was well received and had a tremendous impact on attendees. Earlier this month, Fr. Peter attended the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Jubilee at the Vatican. It was a celebration of the past 50 years of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal at which the Messianic Jewish believers were recognized and participated. This was the culmination of his dedicated life’s work.