There is an interesting piece by Robert Mickens in the lefty The Tablet about the controversial Good Friday prayer for the Jews in its older form before the phrase pro perfideis Judaeis was removed.
Some of the points made here are old chestnuts, but others are interesting.
Vatican blocked reform of anti-Semitic prayer
AN ITALIAN historian has raised new questions over the Vatican’s culpability in fomenting an anti-Semitic mentality in Catholic Europe that may have helped pave the way for the Holocaust. Emma Fattorini, a university professor and author of several books on nineteenth- and twentieth- century history, recently said German studies showed that in 1928 the Vatican emphatically blocked efforts to removed references to the “perfidious Jews” that were for centuries part of the Good Friday liturgy.
In an article late last month in the newspaper Il Sole-24 Ore, Professor Fattorini cited a work by the historian Hubert Wolf (in Historische Zeitschrift in 2004) showing that the future Cardinal Idelfonso Schuster OSB was sharply reprimanded by the Holy Office in January 1928 for requesting the change. The Benedictine, who became Archbishop of Milan a year after the incident and was beatified in 1996, made the request on behalf of a shortlived Catholic association called “Amici di Israele” (Friends of Israel). The group was founded in 1926 to combat theological anti-Semitism and included some 19 cardinals (including the Vatican Secretary of State), 279 bishops and 3,000 priests. To underline Vatican opposition to the proposed change in the Good Friday prayer, the Secretary of the Holy Office – Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val – ordered “Amici di Israele” to be disbanded in March 1928, saying it promoted “interconfessionalism” and “religious indifferentism”.
An article last Sunday in Il Corriere della Sera cited other recent historical studies showing that Pope Pius VII blocked efforts to eliminate liturgical references to the “perfidious Jews” in 1808. The article cited an essay by Msgr Giuseppe Croce, an archivist in the Vatican Archives, which chronicled the little-known episode. After conquering Tuscany in the spring of 1808, Napoleon ordered all the churches in the region to make two changes in the Good Friday prayers: to substitute the “prayer for the emperor” with a prayer for Napoleon; and, because he believed it “injurious”, to substitute the prayer for the “perfidious Jews” with one for the “blinded Jews”. Pius VII allowed the first change, but strongly refused the second. “If we were to change [the prayer] it would appear that the Church had erred up to now,” the Pope said.
Whatever else this might be, this is really interesting!