A curious point in a USCCB press release on Catholic-Jewish relations

UPDATE: 7 Jan 2007 – 16:47 GMT

USCCB CHANGES COMMENTS ON CATHOLIC JEWISH RELATIONS

Father McManus compared the teaching style of Pope Benedict XVI with that of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, particularly in regard to the organic development of the liturgy. He then commented upon the July 7, 2007 Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI that widened permission for the use of the Latin Missal of 1962, which includes a Good Friday Prayer for the conversion of Jews. Father McManus reported that at the close of summer, Cardinal Bertone had suggested that active consideration was being given to the idea of substituting the prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the 1962 Missal with the prayer for the Jews found in the 1970 Missal. While other possibilities had also been considered by the Holy See, Cardinal Bertone’s suggestion seemed so far to have been found most practical.

END UPDATE

_________

There is a new press release from the USCCB which contains an odd point.  The press release concerns Catholic-Jewish relations.

There was, apparently a consultation between Catholic Bishops and the National Council Of Synagogues.  to looka to how the worship texts of one group treat religious beliefs of others.  The discussion took place during the annual fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the National Council of Synagogues on 19 November at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.

Take a look at this excerpt from the release.  It concerns Summorum Pontificum:

My emphases.

Father Dennis McManus, consultant to the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, addressed the problem from the Catholic standpoint. He referred to the July 7, 2007 Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI that widened the use of the Latin Missal of 1962, and to the Good Friday Prayer for the conversion of Jews. The Motu Proprio was issued in part to meet the needs of Catholics attached to the old Missal, but also to bridge the gap between the Catholic Church and the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who led some Catholics into schism in 1988, Father McManus said.

Father McManus compared the teaching styles of Pope Benedict XVI with his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict’s concern with organic development in the Church’s liturgy. Father McManus suggested that for the few communities that use the 1962 Missal on Good Friday a substitute prayer might be inserted. In particular, he thought that the 1970 prayer of the Missal of Pope John Paul II, used by the vast majority of Catholics, might be translated into Latin and read back into the earlier liturgy. Other possibilities include using a more ancient prayer or the creation of a new one that better reflects the teaching of Nostra aetate, the historic Decree on Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council, which put Catholic-Jewish relations on a new course.

 

1) I know Fr. McManus. He is a pretty sharp guy.  He understands that Pope Benedict has for years been very concerned with that "organic" development of liturgy.  To my mind, this is one of the purposes of Summorum Pontificum.  It seems Fr. McManus thinks so too.

2) What would this mean: "the 1970 prayer of the Missal of Pope John Paul II".  Remember that there was the first edition of the Novus Ordo Missale Romanum issued in 1969/70 under Paul VI, and then the 1975 edition, also under Pope Paul.  Under Pope John Paul II we got the 2002 edition.   So, it could be that what was meant is the 1970 Missale in its third edition of 2002. But that does not need to be translation into Latin, because it is in Latin already. 

Does anyone have an idea what this means?

 

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103 Responses to A curious point in a USCCB press release on Catholic-Jewish relations

  1. Maybe the press release was written by someone in the audience at this meeting who took notes, and filled in stuff from memory?

    Or maybe the first draft said “the 2002 missal of John Paul II,” and then a later editor read it and said “Oops, the new Mass was in 1970, not 2002,” and changed the date without seeing the larger context?

    Or — worst case scenario — Someone at the bishops’ conference has a secret plan to revise the Latin Novus Ordo Mass by literally translating the ICEL English Mass into Latin!

  2. Matt says:

    I personally think that this is really sad. There is nothing derogatory in the prayer itself. The prayer shows Christian Charity to the Jewish people for praying for their salvation. Why not educate the Jewish people about why we say this prayer and how it should not be offensive? The USCCB needs to realize that Eccleisa Dei won’t allow this and to stop trying to remove things because they might offend someone. This prayer will always be here no matter what, I think that if dialogue is going to take place, we need to educate them not remove things to dumb down a rite so it will be “all inclusive”.

  3. John F. says:

    A competency test for all priests wishing to use the 1970 Missale (2002 edition) should solve these problems just as the competency test the liberals to avoid problems with priest using the 1962 Missale. If they were able to read and follow the directives of the Holy Father we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  4. Jordan Potter says:

    This is troubling on many levels, not least that Fr. McManus, or somebody at the USCCB, forgot (or never knew) that the post-Vatican II Mass was composed in Latin and then translated into English. Wow.

    My own view is that the old prayer for the conversion of the Jews needs some slight editing to seem less harsh, and that the new prayer needs to be edited to include an explicit prayer for their conversion. If Orthodox Jews can pray maledictions upon us Minim, there’s no reason we can’t pray benedictions of conversion to Catholicism upon the people of the Old Covenant.

  5. Alter Tomassus says:

    Some Fundamentalist Protestants think that the Authorized (or King James) Version of the Bible came down from heaven in its final form. Possibly Fr. McManus thinks the same of the ICEL version of the Novus Ordo Missal.

  6. Masone says:

    This story of the prayer for the conversion of Jews would be really boring, if it weren’t irritating!

    Let us pray for the Jews, and for their conversion.

  7. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Give me “perfidious” any day!

    Of course, the Jews had the same faith in looking forward to Christ’s coming, but now they just don’t want to see that faith (if they know anything about Christ), which is why St Paul speaks of a veil being over their hearts (see 2 Cor 3,14-16).

    The 1962 prayer does not even include the word perfidious, which is what all the fuss was about, wrongly: perfidious merely speaks to the Jews having been given a faith they don’t want to see. The prayer is that the veil will be lifted so that they can see what they have already been given, as St Paul says: “the Sonship, the Glory, the Covenants, the Law, the Worship, the Promises, the Patriarchs and, according to the flesh, the very Christ of God”.

    But this is, perhaps, the real point. St Paul and the word perfidious claim the same faith for Jews and Catholics, the one unwilling, the other willing. It is more politically correct these days just to say that Jews and Catholics have two completely different and contradictory religions (though insisting that we are all ‘nice’ together in our separate ways).

    Traditional Catholicism, which is the only kind of Catholicism there is, is never anti-Semitic, especially in charitable prayers for veils to be lifted.

    The American bishops slander the Council Fathers in promoting their own erroneous interpretation of Nostra Aetate. This is what causes misunderstanding and division in the Church. A recommendation to those bishops who want to read the few pages of Nostra Aetate: know that if you don’t read it in Latin, you’re not reading it. Many of the present translations seem to be written by those wanting to obfuscate the truth.

    Let’s love one another, meaning: let’s pray and act to lift the veil on the hearts of the perfidious Jews.

  8. Little Gal says:

    “The American bishops slander the Council Fathers in promoting their own erroneous interpretation of Nostra Aetate. This is what causes misunderstanding and division in the Church.”

    Fr Renzo di Lorenzo
    I think you may need to consider the word slander yourself.
    Here’s a Hebrew proverb for you to consider Fr Lorenzo. “Slander slays three persons: the speaker, the spoken to, and the spoken of.”

  9. Hugh Berengar says:

    I agree with the comments here. The members of the USCCB have a lot to answer for, and they truly are giving scandal to a lot of good servants of our Savior by their sinful actions.

    It would solve a lot of problems if certain members of the USCCB would simply apostacize and join the Jewish faith (which, incidentally, is no longer pleasing in the sight of almighty God).

  10. Fr. Renzo: Traditional Catholicism, which is the only kind of Catholicism there is, is never anti-Semitic, especially in charitable prayers for veils to be lifted.

    This is it in a nutshell.

  11. Dove says:

    As Fr Lorenzo says, the word “perfidious” is not in it, but we in our parish have been treated to a Good Friday Mass for the past two years in which our priest from the Institute of Christ the King has inserted it back in. We spoke to him about it since we remembered very clearly when John XXIII took it out but he said he was following the orders of his superiors.
    Let’s hope the veil will be lifted from THEIR hearts this year.

  12. Deborah says:

    Honestly, I can barely take how the \”ecumenical dialogue\” is handled these days. We don\’t need to stop praying for the conversion of non-Catholocs in order to get along and get together.

    For heavens sake, I live true ecumenism everyday by trying to convert especially through prayer everyone who is non-Catholic in my family. In my own family we have pagans, protestants of all denominations, Jewish, and I have heard even some in our family have gotten into wicca.

    They all know that I pray for them all to be Catholic, yet we all get together as a family peacefully and have fun together. When they are at my home we pray Catholic prayers before meals make the sign of the cross, etc. When we are at their homes I still pray before meals making the sign of the cross and pray quietly.

    In no way would we ever give into someone in our family insisting on us changing anything about how we practice our Catholic faith. This whole Catholic-Jewish relations thing in my opinion is entirely fake.

    Why can\’t people of different faiths simply get together peacefully even knowing that each may be praying for the other\’s conversion? This is apart of my everyday life and seems very simple to me.

  13. damien says:

    what is wrong with the word ‘perfidious’—faithless is what they were that did not believe–they had GOD right in front of them–they put him to death —they still do not believe–we need to pray for their conversion—who removed a reference to followers of ISLAM in the prayer to consecrate mankind to CHRIST THE KING—

  14. Paul says:

    I refrain from joining the fracas about ecumenicism or the Good Friday liturgy — not my department. The confusing verbiage in the article, however, simply looks like someone who doesn’t have a clue listened to Fr. McManus and then turned his statement into gibberish. Surely Fr. McManus said something along the lines of “the prayer could be read in Latin,” and and the screwball in the USCCB press office just mucked it up out of sheer ignorance.

  15. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    Damien: In some dictionaries perfidious doesn’t simply mean faithless; there is a connotation of treachery and deceit.

  16. Doug says:

    Umm….the Messiah came…..the Jews missed it….we have prayers that ask God to help them un-miss it. I’m missing the problem here. Are we supposed to NOT evangelize the Jews because we’re afraid of offending them? If we choose to be politically correct instead of aggressively evangelizing them as Jesus did, will they thank us in the afterlife?

    Do we really believe that Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice is the price of human sin or not? Is He the Messiah or not? If He is, does it not behoove us to point that minor fact out to the chosen of – all people? After all God’s work to guide them throughout history, would He not look on us as derelict in our duty if we finally, at the end of the road, allowed them to wander off in the wrong direction when it was a Jew who paid for our sins and theirs in the first place???

  17. Gleb says:

    Maybe Fr. Z can give us a run down of a translation of the pre-1962 prayer containing “perfidious”? How should we understand the whole prayer in the mind of the Church?

  18. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Comments insisting on treachery and deceit are precisely why the word perfidus was removed from the prayer, i.e., there was, in 1962, and there still is now, a wrong emphasis being placed on the word. People take it out of context. This is wrong. In context, and philologically, it refers to a lack of assent to the faith which they have already been given but do not see. We are simply praying, in charity, that the veil be lifted.

    Our prayers are worthless, however, if it is not seen that we are all responsible, by way of our sin, for the crucifixion of Christ. If we are self-righteous, then the veil is over our hearts, and we are no longer Catholic.

    If the bishops don’t think that the faith changes, and insist that there is continuity of faith in the documents of the Council, especially, in this case, Nostra Aetate, let them reissue a statement. They pulled a recent film review. They can do the same in their press office. For anyone stuck on discontinuity (the reason to imagine that one must now come up with a prayer to create continuity), it bears repeating that:

    Traditional Catholicism, which is the only kind of Catholicism there is, is never anti-Semitic, especially in charitable prayers for veils to be lifted.

    Such prayers are perfectly consonant with Nostra Aetate.

  19. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Here are some serious possibilities:

    1) Just as editors at GIA and the other “Catholic” music publishers translate English into ICELese by removing he, him, ye, holy, and similar terms, whatever Msgr. McManus said, someone in the press office had to make him say something else.

    2) Msgr. McManus genuinely doesn’t have a clue.

    3) As with the documents of Vatican II, the seemingly orthodox is mixed with an apparent contradiction.

  20. Malta says:

    Some Jews pray in thanksgiving that they are not gentiles:

    http://www.newoxfordreview.org/note.jsp?did=1207-notes-gentile

    I pray for my Deist father and protestant family all the time. As long as prayer is done without the least bit of hatred, but in a true spirit of love, it is not wrong to pray that any group or person becomes Catholic, because the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth; Christ and His Holy Sacrifice do not form a religion, but Truth itself. Men in their fallen state create different faiths, but there is only one Truth: Christ.

  21. peretti says:

    Pius XII, pray for us.

  22. Richard says:

    Here’s a guess as to what that means. The person writing the press release apparently knows enough about the liturgy to competently report what was discussed at the consultation in regards to how to address the prayer for the conversion for the Jews. They apparently do not, however, know enough about the liturgy to know that the 3rd edition of the 1970 Missale Romanum is already in Latin. To give the author a break, this could either be due to the incompetence of the author or his or her source.

  23. Andrew says:

    Here is the translation of the prayer for the Jews from the GIRM.

    I believe this point about translating it back into Latin, is a silly thing to say, BUT what was meant was that this prayer will be used in the Good Friday liturgy in both the ordinary and extraordinary form of the Roman Missal.

    Aside from the elimination of the word perfidious by Bl John XXIII in 1959, those concerned with Christian Jewish dialogue, feel the tone of the old prayer is hardly in keeping with the conciliar document Nostrae Aetate.

    I don’t go to a Latin Mass to hear this old prayer, so I would no have problem with the one used in the New Rite, and actually see this as a beneficial reciprocity, which I believe is one of Pope Benedict’s intentions in restoring the two forms to equality, ie that both forms of the Roman Missal will enrich each other.

    “Let us pray for the Jews, to whom our Lord God was first made known,
    he may grant to them to grow in the love of his name and in
    faithfulness to his covenant. (Prayer in silence. Then the priest
    says:) Almighty and eternal God, you who long ago gave your promises
    to Abraham and his seed, listen graciously to the prayers of your
    church, that the people you first made your own may deserve to come
    to the fullness of redemption. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen”

  24. Joshua says:

    As Fr Lorenzo says, the word “perfidious” is not in it, but we in our parish have been treated to a Good Friday Mass for the past two years in which our priest from the Institute of Christ the King has inserted it back in. We spoke to him about it since we remembered very clearly when John XXIII took it out but he said he was following the orders of his superiors.Let’s hope the veil will be lifted from THEIR hearts this year.
    Comment by Dove

    The Institute does not use the 1962 Holy Week. They have permission from Rome to use a modified form of the pre-1955, and I believe they even once just used the pre-1955. They don’t do all 12 reading, but I think they do something like 7 for the Easter Vigil, for instance.

    The word perfidious was taken out in 1958/9 by John XXIII. Here is a question, does the priest do the “Flectamus genua/ Levate” for the prayer for the Jews?. Before 1955 that was NOT done.

  25. Joshua says:

    I would be hotly opposed to inserting the 1970 prayer, because I think it is clear that there was an agenda there. One could easily pray it and think that it meant praying that Jews stay faithful Jews. Or you could pray it intending it that they come to know Christ. It just leaves too much open. What makes it clear to me that there was an agenda is the often, way too often, neglect of the “1965”version. Holy Week underwent a revision prior to 1970 and after 1962. I have a book, Latin and English of for Holy Week during this time (sadly you can see that insane strong push to vernacular in that the music for the prayers was only with the English)

    Pro Iudaeis.

    Oremus et pro Iudaeis: ut Deus et Dominus noster faciem suam super eos illuminare dignetur; ut et ipsi agnoscant omnium Redemptorem, Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.

    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui promissiones tuas Abrahae et semini eius contulisti: Ecclesiae tuae preces clementer exaudi; ut populus acquisitionis antiquae ad Redemptionis mereatur plenitudinem pervenire.

    For the Jews

    Let us pray also for the Jews: that our God and Lord deign to shine His face upon them; that they also may acknowledge the Redeemer of all, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Almighty sempiternal God, who founded Thy promises on Abraham and his seed: mercifully hear the prayers of Thy Church; that the people of Thy ancient possession {I have no idea how to render acquisitionis otherwise} may merit to come to the fullness of Redemption.

    Really only the first part was change and why? The only change was to remove reference to Christ. I am all in favour of keeping the 1962 prayer as is, though I would not fuss too much if the ’65 prayer was adopted. I think perfidious is too misunderstood to be reintroduced, but it was no blight on the Church. If understood rightly, the word perfidia present no problems.

  26. danphunter1 says:

    The Good Friday prayers for the conversion of the Jews are not going anywhere.
    As long as the veil remains, the Church will pray, publically for the Jews, as we do privately in our hearts.
    God bless you.

  27. Joshua says:

    Sorry for posting thrice in a row, but Dove I have something more:
    I just checked with a friend who attends a ICKSP parish. They use the pre 1955 Holy Week with only two modifications the time change and a reduction of Vigil readings to 7 (well technically the Vigil etc were moved to their proper times in 1953 I think …)

    They have permission from Rome for this.

  28. Aussie Paul says:

    While we are looking at things ecumenical and the efforts by some in the Church to tread softly, softly and be “nice”, it is timely to remember that this Sunday, 6 January, the Feast of the Epiphany, is the 80th anniversary of Pope Pius XI’s encyclical, Mortalium Animos, released in 1928 to curb the errors of a false ecumenism.

    His Holiness had this to say: “… the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. … For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19280106_mortalium-animos_en.html

    On 19 August, 2005, on the occasion of the XX World Youth Day in Cologne, Benedict XVI addressed the Ecumenical Meeting in this way: “Among Christians, fraternity is not just a vague sentiment, nor is it a sign of indifference to truth. As you just said, Bishop, it is grounded in the supernatural reality of the one Baptism which makes us all members of the one Body of Christ. … Together we confess that Jesus Christ is God and Lord … and we emphasize that together we are members of his Body. … May I make a small comment: now, it is said that … the elaboration of ecclesiological issues and the questions concerning ministry are the main obstacles still to be overcome. In short, this is true, but I must also say that I dislike this terminology, which from a certain point of view delimits the problem since it seems that we must now debate about institutions instead of the Word of God, as though we had to place our institutions in the centre and fight for them. I think that in this way the ecclesiological issue as well as that of the “Ministerium” are not dealt with correctly. The real question is the presence of the Word in the world. … We all know there are numerous models of unity and you know that the Catholic Church also has as her goal the full visible unity of the disciples of Christ, as defined by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. … This unity, we are convinced, indeed subsists in the Catholic Church, without the possibility of ever being lost; the Church in fact has not totally disappeared from the world. On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history. Absolutely not!” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2005/august/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20050819_ecumenical-meeting_en.html

    But to return to Mortalium Animos, Pope Pius XI straightaway reminds us: “Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.”

    An interesting conundrum? Perhaps Fr Z can unravel it for us.

  29. David says:

    It means that the USCCB and those who work there don’t have a clue, as usual.

  30. Jordan Potter says:

    Okay, if I understand it correctly, Joshua has translated for us the 1965 version of the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews:

    Let us pray also for the Jews: that our God and Lord deign to shine His face upon them; that they also may acknowledge the Redeemer of all, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Almighty sempiternal God, who founded Thy promises on Abraham and his seed: mercifully hear the prayers of Thy Church; that the people of Thy ancient possession {I have no idea how to render acquisitionis otherwise} may merit to come to the fullness of Redemption.

    How come we can’t pray that prayer in the post-Vatican II liturgy? That’s a marvelous and beautiful prayer, explicitly asking God to send the Jews grace so they can accept Jesus as their Messiah. It doesn’t suffer from the ambiguity of the current prayer, which can be read as meaning, “God, help the Jews be good Jews without ever accepting the only Name by which they can be saved,” as Eugene Fisher and others believe. And it also doesn’t have any hint that the salvation of the “perfidious” Jews is virtually impossible, as the old prayer can easily suggest.

    By the way, I think it has been determined that the primary meaning of “perfidus” is not merely “unfaithful” or “faithless,” but treacherous or double-crossing or betraying. There was Jewish perfidy 2,000 years ago, but it is unacceptable to believe that Jews are, simply because they are Jews, prone to being perfidious. So, while the old prayer is not wrong, when properly understood, it is too easily misinterpreted today, so I am glad Blessed John XXIII had “perfidus” removed.

  31. Jordan Potter says:

    P.S. Just how bad is the current ICEL translation of the new Prayer for the Jews? If someone has the idea that the currect ICEL English version of the prayer ought to be translated into Latin, is the suggestion that the current Latin prayer should be replaced with a free and lazy Latin paraphrase of the free and lazy English paraphrases found throughout the current ICEL English Missal?

  32. John Collorafi says:

    In Patristic Latin, such as the epistles of St. Cyprian or the works of Ambrosiaster, perfidia refers to faithlessness or unbelief.

  33. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Superb, John Collorafi.

    =========

    Aussie Paul… not to prejudice any response of Fr Z, but…

    In regard to non-Catholic Christians, they are to “return” with a profession of faith, etc., but they are not to deny that their baptism is false if it was, in fact, valid. They do have a faith history, starting with baptism.

    One can make an analogy with the Jews. They are to let the veil be lifted, but they are not for a second to deny that to them has already been granted “the Sonship, the Glory, the Covenants, the Law, the Worship, the Promises, the Patriarchs and, according to the flesh, the very Christ of God”.

    ===========

    Jordan Potter…

    Of course, we’re all perfidious even in the worst of the derived (and, I agree, more commonly understood) senses if we are without the grace given to us by the Messiah.

    The liturgical prayer does not refer to derived crimes of treachery, double-crossing or betraying. For these past centuries, we prayed and do pray for those who are alive. The liturgical prayer is clearly aimed at THE crime of not assenting to the great faith that had been given to the Jews. When we pray (even with the dreaded word), we pray for a lifting of the veil, not just that they be nice people. Context is important to understand the particular usage of words. If anyone is going to be especially charitable, it will be because they know the fullness of the Redemption in the fullness of the faith, that is, by way of the lifting of the veil.

    It would be incorrect to say that perfidious was, in its liturgical context, wrong. It would be just as incorrect for anyone to insist that it is too much to pray outright for the lifting of the veil.

    The word perfideous can be and was taken out, not for specious reasons, but for the sake of prudence, for the sake of pedagogy, for the sake of so many of those who do not look intensely at the liturgical context. Nothing wrong with that. But that changed absolutely nothing in the intent of the prayer in which the word was originally found.

  34. Proud Tridentine Catholic says:

    Are the Jews going to change the Talmud to be sensitive to Christians? Or are they going to treat the Christians better in Isræl? Why do we always have to submit to the tyranny of the minority and apologize for who we are and what we believe and compromise those beliefs to appease a few on the altar of liberal political correctness? Pope Saint Pius X pray for us!

  35. This is all so ridiculous … that people are getting mad that we pray for their conversion.

  36. Dove says:

    Joshua,
    They do actually say the old Mass for Good Friday with the “Oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis”, so they go beyond the 2 changes you refer to. Or maybe that’s an aberration in our parish in Oakland, CA. The first change was made by John XXIII who simply removed the word “perfidis” from the liturtgy and after that the prayer was further changed. But John XXIII stopped decades of argument about it by simply removing the “perfidis” and everyone cheered.

  37. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    …though the intent of the prayer remained absolutely the same. [Not Mass, but prayers on Good Friday]

  38. Franzjosf says:

    Everyone, relax. That prayer is not going to be changed.

  39. James says:

    As Jesus said “Salvation is from the Jews” (Jn 4:22);

    and as some of the greatest of the Church’s treasures are converts from Judaism or from Jewish stock (e.g. St Paul in the Apostolic Age; St Theresa of Avila before Trent; Fr Diego Lainez SJ at Trent; Roy Shoeman today);

    to the point I sometimes wonder if the drip-feed of Jews converting to the Church is her earthly lifeblood, for what people can understand and express the mysteries of Revelation as lucidly and lovingly as Jews who have entered the Church?;

    then surely the Good Friday prayer for the “lifting of the veil” and that the Jews might know Jesus Christ as Redeemer of all is one of the finest prayers Catholics can make for the Jews, for the Church and for all humanity.

    http://www.salvationisfromthejews.com/index.shtml

    [If saying “earthly lifeblood” is over the top, at least Jewish converts seem to bring inestimable riches with them.]

  40. Andrew says:

    Thanks Joshua for that translation of the prayer for the Jews used in the 1965 Missal.

    Like yourself, I would have no objection to this either, and I also think it is not out of harmony with Nostrae Aetate.

    It is up to Holy Mother Church to decide which version of this prayer will go into the extraordinary form of the Roman Missal, on Good Friday, if there is to be a change.

    However, based on this cryptic USCCB commentary, and the comments of Cardinal Bertone, it is quite obvious that something is indeed coming, and when it does, following Fr Z’s advice, it should be received with the gratitude, gratitude, gratitude any pronouncement of the Church should give us.

    Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Religious Relations With the Jews, has had some correspondence with Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos on the matter.

    Remember that Pope Benedict does not want these two ways of offering the Mass to be in opposition to each other, but wants both forms to enrich each other.

    Fr Trigilio said on the EWTN Summorum Pontificum special that there should be a gravitational pull between both versions of the Missal.

    Sometimes people on our side forget, that also means that we are to be nourished by the newer form as well!

    I am not entirely sure what this will entail, but it may apply to the feria, prefaces, as well as prayers in the Mass, like this one, which after all is only used on one day of the year.

    I don’t think the reason any person decides to attend the Old Mass is to hear on Good Friday a prayer to take the Jewish people out of their darkness, those reasons concern liturgy, reverence, devotion, gravitas and use of the ignored Latin language in divine worship, the heritage of Holy Mother Church.

    It isn’t wrong to pray that they come to Christ (in fact that is right), but perhaps that can be phrased in a more gentle manner.

  41. Fr. A says:

    “My own view is that the old prayer for the conversion of the Jews needs some slight editing to seem less harsh…”

    Jordan, this is exactly the type of thinking that gave us the _Novus Ordo_. One man must have said, “This is too harsh; it must be changed,” and it was. The next might have said, “This is too offensive’ it must be changed,” and it was. Perhaps one said, “Let’s take out so many references to ‘Sacrifice,'” and they were taken out. Since I wasn’t there, this is only something as I imagine it might have happened. In any event, these changes were made for whatever reason.

    My point is that we can’t go tampering with the extraordinary form of the Roman rite at this point in time. There are too many people who are saying, “I want this or that changed.” There is still the mentality that the Mass can be changed at will, simply because there is something that someone might find offensive.

  42. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    As an analogy of why the Church (and I with her) was and is willing to forego the use of perfidious (not because it is wrong):

    RSV 1 Corinthians 8:10-13

    10 For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.

    As long as we don’t forego praying that they come to know Christ.

    This is why John XXIII is Blessed John XXIII.

  43. Berolinensis says:

    It is not as if in the novus ordo we wouldn’t pray for the conversion of the Jews. E.g. preces for Lauds of December 31st: “Christus, Deus et homo, qui Dominus es David et filius ejus, prophetias adimplens, te rogamus, ut Israel te Messiam agnoscat.” (Christ, God and man, who art the Lord of David and his son and fulfillest the prophecies, we beg thee, that Israel accept thee as the Messiah.) Or for II Vespers of Christmas: “Qui, a saeculis exspectatus, in plenitudine temporis venisti, manifesta praesentiam tuam iis, qui adhuc te exspectant.” (Thou, who hast been expected through the ages, and hast come in the fulness of time, manifest thy presence to those, who still look out for thee.) Or for Lauds on January 2nd: “Christe, quem ab angelis glorificatum et a pastoribus annuntiatum, Simeon et Anna confessi sunt et praedicaverunt, te rogamus, ut Evangelium tuum a populo promissionis recipiatur.” (Christ, whom the Angels glorified and the shepherds announced, and Simeon and Hannah professed and proclaimed, we beg thee, that thy Gospel be accepted by the people of thy promise.)

  44. Henry Edwards says:

    I wonder why — both here and in the press — mention is continually made of the English phrase \”perfidious Jew\” which does NOT appear in any 1962 or pre-1962 missal I have seen. Here\’s how it reads, in Latin and in a common pre-1962 hand missal:

    Oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis: ut Deus et Domius noster auferat velamen de cordibus eorum….
    Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that our God and Lord would withdraw the veil from their hearts …

    Some Latin-English missals say \”unfaithful\” instead of \”faithless\” for perfidis (per \”un\”, fidis \”faithful\”); I know of none that says \”perfidious\”. So where does this stuff keep coming from?

    In any event, the prayer in the 1962 missal differs only in the word perfidis has been deleted. So, even moreso, what is all this prattle about?

    Maybe it\’s to deflect discussion from the prayer that really pertinent to the current era in the Church, the prayer for heretics and schismatics that precedes the prayer for Jews in the 1962 Good Friday liturgy; in English translation:

    Let us pray also for heretics and schismatics, that our God and Lord would deliver them from all their errors; and vouchsafe to recall them to our holy mother the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    Of course in charity we should continue to pray for the conversion of the Jews, but surely the present discussion should remind of the heretics and schismatics who are a much greater problem (for the Church and for themselves) today.

  45. Deborah says:

    Another piece of the article from the USCCB website:

    “She[*Rabbi* Ruth Langer] noted how various *contemporary* Jewish religious movements handle prayer texts, such as the morning blessings, and said there is a tendency today for Jews to promote prayers that are more universalistic in orientation and that treat other faith groups more abstractly.”

    I could have guessed that requests to change our Catholic prayers are coming from liberal modern Jewish communities and many of them are *feminist women rabbis* and their supporters. No surprise here!

    It’s almost certain that the traditional orthodox Jewish communities wouldn’t request such a change since they pray for our conversion as well. However, we as Catholics needn’t be threatened by that since we can be confident that Christ has given us the fullness of Truth and salvation through His Catholic Church.

    Anyway, I find it interesting when reading about who is requesting these “sensitivity” changes within our Faith. When the curtain is lifted the liberal feminist agenda is usually hiding there in the darkness.

    The part we should be worried about is the way that these things are presented to the Holy See. They are usually presented in a way that would give the inaccurate impression that *many* Jewish people are offended when it is only a handful of liberal, feminist supporting (questionably) Jewish communities.

    It would be similar to other religions going to Catholic dissenters and asking them their opinion which is then presented to the world as an authentically Catholic view – which of course it is not.

  46. Frederick Jones says:

    I can’t see what the fuss is about. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England has a Good Friday Prayer for all “Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks”. The various catholic prayers seem rather mild compared to it. It speaks of “ignorance”, “hardness of heart”, and “contempt of thy word”. Nobody kicks up a fuss about that.

    None of my Jewish friends or relatives has as far as I know complained about being prayed for by either Catholics or Anglicans. I remember being in hospital and being very grateful to be prayed for by a Catholic parish, a Catholic Benedictine community, two Anglican parishes, and two Orthodox synagogues. Why should anyone complain about others seeking to include them in what they believe to be good?

  47. Habemus Papam says:

    This isn’t really about Jewish sensibilities. Its A) a Big Stick to hit the Holy Father with and B) an excuse to start interfering with the Tridentine Rite.

  48. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    I am still waiting for one of these alleged liturgical experts to note, hmm, something like tomorrow’s lessons in the 1962 Breviary for the Epiphany…there are plenty of passages from the Fathers that have interesting things to say about the Jewish people that might cause an uproar in some circles.

  49. moretben says:

    The old prayer is impeccably scriptural, in intent and language. The new prayer is not scriptural at all. It, together with the other Good Friday intercessions, is among the most fatuous and banal in the entire Novus Ordo liturgy.

    But worse – and this is the real story, the real scandal – is the extent to which Catholics have been led into near- (and frequently all-out)dispensationalism (a whopping great heresy) by praying it year after year on the very day on which the Church stands solemnly at the foot of the Cross and the veil of the temple is rent.

    It is the new prayer which must be brought back into line with Scripture and Tradition, as a matter of urgency. I believe it has done untold damage.

  50. Henry Edwards says:

    “….. something like tomorrow’s lessons in the 1962 Breviary for the Epiphany…there are plenty of passages from the Fathers that have interesting things to say about the Jewish people that might cause an uproar in some circles.”

    About all I noticed along these lines when I anticipated Matins for the Epiphany very early this morning:

    From a sermon by Pope Leo (2nd nocturne, lesson vi):
    Since that joyful day the Scriptures which testify of Christ have lain open for us as well as for the Jews. Whose blindness rejected that Truth which, since that day, hath shed his bright beams upon all nations.

    From a sermon by Pope Gregory (3rd nocturne, lesson viii):
    But whether we consider the signs which accompanied his birth or his death, this thing is wonderful, namely, the hardness of heart of Jewry, which would not believe in him, either for prophesying or for miracles.

    From the same sermon (3rd nocturne, lesson ix):
    And yet up to this very hour the hearts of unbelieving Jewry will not acknowledge that he, to whom all nature hath testified, is their God. Yea, it is as though they are more hardened than the rocks, and refuse to be rent by repentance.

    Pretty innocuous stuff? Anybody see anything particularly perfidious here?

  51. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    To some, this whole mess is like a riddle. But it shouldn’t be.

    All this does seem like a RIDDLE inasmuch as its unraveling With Patent Absurdity is thought to go together with a tiny church in Rome sporting an incredulous populous.

    Who can solve this riddle? Two super strong historical hints are given in bold. You can only solve the riddle by keeping the two hints separate one from the other.

  52. Alexander says:

    It is ridiculous to suggest the ancient Roman Rite prayer for the conversion of the Jews should be done away with. This is an offense of Catholic feelings, and the Jews also cannot be saved if not by Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. Those are both dogmas. The ancient prayer, including the perfidis (which does not mean “perfidious” Jordan Pootter, but “faithless”), is perfect. I am not interfering with the Talmudists’ own prayers either. But I think it is rather the modernists and pan-religionists own problem with the orthodoxy of the Roman Rite’s original prayer (which is from the 4th century directly!). If the Vatican were to replace the old prayer in the 1962 Missal with the ambiguous and confusing one from the 1970 Missal, this will be a sign of a changed doctrine of faith, of heresy indeed. The 1965 provisional prayer is still orthodox (as Nostra Aetate does nót state the Jews can be saved by the Old Law and without Christ too), but also a “more polite” version. The liturgy is not for diplomacy. It is a locus fidei, a site where the Faith should be found, not confused.

    How come, Rev. Fr. Z., that you have not criticized this tendency and the ambiguity of the 1970 prayer for the “Jewish people”? The ‘perfidis’ already adds, that not all Jews are faithless, as there were many Messianic Jews, converts to the holy Catholic Church, in the past. Recently dear Fr. Harry Marchosky passed away, a Jewish traditional Roman Catholic Priest. We do not pray for peoples or races, but for groups of people. When we pray for the heathen, we do not pray for “the Papuans” or the “Amazonas Indians” either, because many are converted already. The 1962 and 1970 prayers are etnocentric, and therefore reflections of the race-thinking of the 19th and 20th centuries. They are illegitimate therefore, the ancient Roman Rite prayer is not.

    I would appreciate if you, dear Fr. Z., would write something about this change.

    I do know that the post-1970 Liturgy of the Hours yet retained a prayer to the Jews may come to the fullness of redemption in Christ, but that is not the 1970-2002 Missal.

  53. Jordan Potter says:

    Alexander said: perfidis (which does not mean “perfidious” Jordan Pootter, but “faithless”)

    Yes, that is often said, and it’s true that “faithless” is one of the meanings of “perfidis.” However, as has been shown here before, it is not the only meaning, nor necessarily the primary one — and it is well known that the old prayer was generally understood (very wrongly) as a blanket reference to Jews being faithless and deceitful by nature, so I agree with the Church’s decision to remove that word. The comment “even to the Jews” is also problematic, as it can easily be taken as a belief that Jewish salvation is extraordinary and almost beyond the reach of God’s power. The Church must pray for the conversion of the Jews, but it shouldn’t take that kind of a tone (and even refuse to kneel, as for the former practice) when praying for them.

  54. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    For the riddle I mentioned above, let me put the two hints in bold into Latin. That should make it easy:

    All this does seem like a RIDDLE inasmuch as its unraveling Cum nimis absurdum (With Patent Absurdity) is thought to go together with a tiny church in Rome sporting a populus incredulus (incredulous populous).

    Who can solve this riddle? The two hints have super strong historical references. You can only solve the riddle by keeping the two hints separate one from the other.

  55. Alexander says:

    Dear Jordan,

    The word ‘perfidis’ was authoritatively translated as ‘faithless’ (without Faith [in the Messiah]) by Pope Pius XII’s very own direct intervention. I refer to the book (German) “Ist die traditionelle lateinische Messe antisemitisch?” from Dr. Heinz-Lothar Barth, a German linguisticist and Classical languages professor of Bonn University (West Germany). It is from 2007. In it, you find the A.A.S. reference to the fact that not “treulos” (“perfidious”) but “ungläubig” (“without faith”, “faithless”, “unbelieving”) is meant. Dr. Barth defends the TLM from “liberal Catholic” lay committees who called the ancient Roman Missal “antisemitic” (amongst other false accusations against the Roman Liturgy).

    The “etiam” (“even”) is a clear reference to me that even those who mistakenly do not know Jesus Christ, or even those who do know Him but continue to reject Him consciously (like some rabbis), might nevertheless be converted by the grace of God to the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church (cfr. Humani generis, 1950, par. 27). The “etiam” could also be inserted in a prayer for fallen away ex-Catholics, who know truth, but reject it. “Etiam” from the 4th century and Roman Church liturgy may never be translated as an “even” as if from nationalist, antisemitic 19th century motivations. Keep things in context.

    The removal of “perfidis” makes the conversion prayer into a prayer accusing all “Jews”, which creates more confusion, as there have been and are many Jewish converts to Catholicism. Among them also notable “traditionalists”, both in the past and recently (I believe the Institute of Christ the King in Rome baptized two Jewish converts, one journalist, in 2005, if I remember correctly.)

    The Society of St. Pius X will néver accept the 1970 prayer for the Jews, that is a thing which is very sure. Already, most of its priories maintain the 1958 ‘perfidis’ (in its ‘without faith’ translation) still, including the ethnic Jewish converts among the SSPX’s priests.

  56. dad29 says:

    Institute of Christ the King has inserted it back in.

    Dove, the ICK also insists on using the pre-Communion Confiteor/Absolution while celebrating the “1962” Rite.

    But those are not IN the 1962 Rite.

    Odd bunch, in some ways…

  57. Ken says:

    Why would they want to write a prayer in the spirit of a document that was written under pressure from B’nai B’rith???????

  58. Papabile says:

    I know Father McManus well. Heck, I knew him before he was even ordained a Priest.

    I think it is safe to say that he was representing not necessarily his own opinions.

    He is a professional and was most likely representing the opinions of those he was speaking for.

  59. Alexander wrote:

    The word ‘perfidis’ was authoritatively translated as ‘faithless’ (without Faith [in the Messiah]) by Pope Pius XII’s very own direct intervention.

    No one, not even the Holy Father, can retroactively cause a word to have meant something other than what it meant. If Pius XII really did issue an authoritative English translation of this word (which you appear to be asserting; I’d be curious what sources you have for this) that doesn’t change the meaning of the word.

    However, that being said, I do think that the best English translation of perfidius is “faithless”. Here is why:

    According to Lewis & Short (the only unabridged Latin dictionary that includes ecclesiastical Latin), the definition of perfidius is as follows: “I (lit.): that breaks his promise, faithless, false, dishonest, treacherous, perfidious. II (transf.): treacherous, unsafe, dangerous.”

    According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of faithless is as follows: “1: Not true to allegiance or duty; treacherous, disloyal. 2. Not to be relied on; untrustworthy.”

    In other words, both of these words can refer to a simple lack of faith or to treachery and betrayal. When translating a word from one language to another, if it has two meanings, but the other language has a word with these same two meanings, that is the best choice.

    Whereas “perfidious” in English only has the negative meaning today.

  60. Emilio says:

    There were a couple of changes in the Good Friday prayer for the Jews between the time my mother’s missal was printed in 1952 and mine in 1958: the rubrics were changed to add the same direction to kneel for the second part of the prayer; and the Spanish translation used “infieles” instead of “perfidos” to clarify the meaning.

    I thought that the omission in the rubrics of the instruction to kneel in the earlier version of that prayer only was because the additional comment (something like) “Do not say Amen, go directly to the following” was misunderstood to replace the instruction to kneel rather than be placed in front of it. The reason for “do not say Amen” seems to be because it is the only prayer which ends in “Our Lord Jesus Christ”. Most of the time when you hear that at the end of a prayer you expect to reply with “Amen”, which does not belong there. This prompted the additional instruction, which replaced rather than preceded the instruction to kneel. It made no sense to me not to kneel when praying for the Jews as for other people, but that was corrected in my 1958 missal.

  61. Chironomo says:

    Was this perhaps the reason for Benedict’s recent statements concerning Evangelization? They are centered around the concept that it is not derogatory to pray for the conversion of those who adhere to other faiths, and that we cannot be fearful of bringing the light of the Gospel to those of other faiths simply to avoid “offending” them. What is at stake is more important than the “feelings” (usually felt by those who are more interested in politics than religion) of a handful of representatives of the other faiths.

  62. Jordan Potter says:

    Fr. A said: Jordan, this is exactly the type of thinking that gave us the Novus Ordo.

    No, not exactly, but if so it was the type of thinking that was prevalent in the Vatican in the century prior to Vatican II, in which the need was seen to do something about the traditional prayer for the Jews.

    My point is that we can’t go tampering with the extraordinary form of the Roman rite at this point in time.

    The extraordinary form was already “tampered with” when the Church removed “perfidis” from the prayer in the 1962 Missal. Some have an indult to prayer the pre-1962 version, but the official extraordinary form does not have that word in it.

    I do think, as others have said, that the current prayer for the Jews needs desperately to be “tampered with,” to make it an explicit prayer for their conversion. As it now stands, it can be understood in an orthodox sense, but it is ambiguous enough that it is readily capable of being twisted to support the heresy that Jews can be saved by observing the Law of Moses, apart from faith in Christ.

    Alexander said: The word ‘perfidis’ was authoritatively translated as ‘faithless’ (without Faith [in the Messiah]) by Pope Pius XII’s very own direct intervention.

    Indeed — and that shows that “perfidis” does not mean only, or even primarily, “faithless,” or else the Pope would not have had to order it to be translated and understood in that way. It isn’t just the absence of faith in the Messiah that “perfidis” has traditionally been understood to refer to in the old Good Friday prayer for the Jews.

    The “etiam” (“even”) is a clear reference to me that even those who mistakenly do not know Jesus Christ, or even those who do know Him but continue to reject Him consciously (like some rabbis), might nevertheless be converted by the grace of God to the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church (cfr. Humani generis, 1950, par. 27).

    I have said before that the old prayer can, and should, be understood in a way that is not anti-Semitic. But there is no denying that the prayer is readily given to misinterpretation (as is the new prayer given to misinterpretation of a very different sort). In the progression of intercessions on Good Friday, only the prayer for the Jews has such language as to seem to suggest that Jews attaining to faith is somehow more remarkable than any other “faithless” sort of person.

    The “etiam” could also be inserted in a prayer for fallen away ex-Catholics, who know truth, but reject it.

    And yet it isn’t included in that Good Friday prayer, only in the prayer for the Jews.

    “Etiam” from the 4th century and Roman Church liturgy may never be translated as an “even” as if from nationalist, antisemitic 19th century motivations. Keep things in context.

    The historical sins that Catholics have committed against Jews arose long before the development of 19th century racist and nationalist culture.

    The removal of “perfidis” makes the conversion prayer into a prayer accusing all “Jews”, which creates more confusion, as there have been and are many Jewish converts to Catholicism.

    It has long been understood that, in common language, “Jews” are not Christians, and Jews even insist that a Jew who becomes a Christian is no longer Jewish. Now, I disagree with that, but the fact remains that no one could ever misinterpret a prayer that “the Jews” be converted to Catholicism as a claim that there are no Jewish converts in the Church. So your objection is invalid — there can be no confusion regarding the meaning of a simple, uneditorialised prayer for conversion of the Jews, whereas the confusion, misunderstanding, and offense that attaches to the old prayer is well known and well documented. It’s the old prayer that has to be explained and surrounded by caveats to guard against anti-Semitism, not a plain petition that God bring the Jewish people to faith in Jesus their Lord. Granted, any prayer for Jewish conversion would be offensive to the Jews, but that can’t be helped. What can be helped is misleading Catholics about God’s and the Church’s attitude towards the Jewish people.

    I look at this from the perspective of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. In praying for sinners and unbelievers, there’s no need to pepper the prayer with references to how rotten they are — we should just pray that God have mercy on them, especially when we recall that when a faithful Catholic sins, his guilt is worse than the sin the Jews committed 2,000 years ago when they reject their Savior and crucified Him. If we want to pray for “the faithless Jews,” then let us also pray for “the treacherous Catholics,” because our sins violate the New Covenant in Christ’s Blood as the sins of the Jewish people violated the Sinaitic Covenant.

  63. Alexander says:

    The historical sins that Catholics have committed against Jews arose long before the development of 19th century racist and nationalist culture.

    So that is your agenda. Criminalizing “Catholics” (just “Catholics”) of the past. As if they as an organized religious group committed “sins” against the Jewish people. This is not the case.

    No more can the Catholics be blamed for Polish pogroms (of course social event caused not by prayers but by the usury methods of the mostly Jewish medieval bankers).

    So should I be accusing “the Jews” of historical crimes against Catholics, because Marx, Engels, and especially Trotsky and many of the anti-Christian Tsheka agents of the early Soviet Union were “Jews” (ethnically) and because even religious Jews cheered at the Russian Revolution?

    It is grotesque nonsense to accuse the Catholics as persons of religion of sins against Jews. Some Catholics have committed sins, others did not. The saintly Prof. Dr. Fr. Titus Brandsma O.Carm. said the old Good Friday Prayers devotedly, without any qualm or political correctness Philosemite illness in his mind. And he was a hero against the Nazi persecution of Jews. An ordinary Catholic priest.

    And what am I to say about the Jews who in the Holy Land disposessed our Melkite Byzantine Catholic brethren of Arab descent in 1948 and 1967, then? Can I blame the Jewry as a religious entity for such behaviour (which is also remotedly religiously and ethnically legitimated with the claims of modern Talmudic Judaism)? Of course not.

    Neither can the pogroms be explained in a purely religious way, as marxist and liberal and zionist ‘historians’ try to do. In fact the Roman Church actively protected Jews by the bulls “Et si Iudaeis”. The peoples were antisemitic due to social catastrophes and their knowledge of usury and sad Jewish attitudes in social behaviour (superiorism towards goyim, which existed among Christians of course also).

  64. Alexander says:

    It’s the old prayer that has to be explained and surrounded by caveats to guard against anti-Semitism, not a plain petition that God bring the Jewish people to faith in Jesus their Lord. Granted, any prayer for Jewish conversion would be offensive to the Jews, but that can’t be helped. What can be helped is misleading Catholics about God’s and the Church’s attitude towards the Jewish people.

    Nonsense. Such ‘caveats’ are only necessary for people who – with evil intentions – continue to interpret the prayer in your way, namely as an antisemitic utterance, which is plainly untrue.

    The ‘perfidis’ is the same as ‘infidelis’, but the ‘infidelis’ was not used, because the Jews do believe in one part of Divine Revelation, and do have “some faith” therefore. But because they have not been faithful to the promises (and obligations and prophecies) of the Old Covenant, they are faithful, not true to the allegiance asked from them by Our Lord.

    I trust Pope Pius XII’s translation more than yours. The entire ‘perfidis’ question was stirred up due to the foolish modern-English translations since the 18th century, which by Irish connections, made German hand missals feature the “treulos” (which is in fact correct, the Jews are not true to their Covenant with God, which was fulfilled but which they refuse to recognize).

    I look at this from the perspective of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. In praying for sinners and unbelievers, there’s no need to pepper the prayer with references to how rotten they are—we should just pray that God have mercy on them, especially when we recall that when a faithful Catholic sins, his guilt is worse than the sin the Jews committed 2,000 years ago when they reject their Savior and crucified Him.

    It is your problem if you continue to consider ‘perfidis’ as an extremely unsubstantiated accusations. It is just a fact, that the Jews are not true to God’s promises from a Catholic viewpoint. Nobody is calling the Jews “rotten”, certainly not the Good Friday prayer. Their Talmudic religion is of course, but nevertheless.

    I agree with you, but again you fail to state that you wish Holy Mother Church to pray for the conversion of the Jews to Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of Whom there is no salvation at all, and through Whom all who are saved will be and are saved.

    Anyone denying this is effectively betraying the Roman Catholic Faith.

  65. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I have two comments to make (although I enter awfully late).

    First, St. Paul wrote to this in Romans 11:28: “As regards the gospel they [the Jews] are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.” Scripture (specifically the letter to the Hebrews) makes it clear that there is a new covenant which supplants the old one (cf. Hebrews 8).

    Second, in 1992, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith presented a document, Communionis Notio (on some aspects of the Church understood as Communion). Paragraph 18 reads as follows (bold is mine, italics are retained):

    ============================================================
    This situation seriously calls for ecumenical commitment on the part of everyone, with a view to achieving full communion in the unity of the Church; that unity “which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 4c). In this ecumenical commitment, important priorities are prayer, penance, study, dialogue and collaboration, so that, through a new conversion to the Lord, all may be enabled to recognise the continuity of the Primacy of Peter in his successors, the Bishops of Rome, and to see the Petrine ministry fulfilled, in the manner intended by the Lord, as a worldwide apostolic service, which is present in all the Churches from within, and which, while preserving its substance as a divine institution, can find expression in various ways according to the different circumstances of time and place, as history has shown.
    ============================================================

    I think this makes it quite clear: true Catholic ecumenical dialogue is not content with recognizing our differences and moving on. True Catholic ecumenical dialogue isn’t just dialogue! It’s action that seeks to re-unite our separated brothers and sisters in Christ with the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ: the Roman Catholic Church.

  66. Jordan Potter says:

    Alexander said: So that is your agenda. Criminalizing “Catholics” (just “Catholics”) of the past. As if they as an organized religious group committed “sins” against the Jewish people. This is not the case.

    I have no such agenda, and nothing I have said can justify such a wild and lurid accusation. Please retract it. (Really, why would I, a Catholic, have an agenda of criminalising Catholics of the past? There would hardly be any sense in remaining in the Catholic Church if the Catholic Church is institutionally and unabsolvably guilty of the many sins that Catholics have committed against Jews.)

    No more can the Catholics be blamed for Polish pogroms (of course social event caused not by prayers but by the usury methods of the mostly Jewish medieval bankers).

    The Polish pogroms were organised by and committed by baptised Catholics. That’s a simple fact. There’s no denying that Catholics have persecuted Jews, and have regarded them collectively and individually as “Christ killers,” and even seen them as somehow predisposed to avarice and treachery. Some Catholics have even claimed that Jews are demon possessed and sorcerors. No, not all Catholics, and there have always been a lot of notable and honorable persons in the Church who didn’t entertain such twisted ideas, but we can’t whitewash what Catholics have done.

    So should I be accusing “the Jews” of historical crimes against Catholics, because Marx, Engels, and especially Trotsky and many of the anti-Christian Tsheka agents of the early Soviet Union were “Jews” (ethnically) and because even religious Jews cheered at the Russian Revolution?

    No, you shouldn’t, just as the Jews should not accuse us generally of historical crimes against them. In both cases, there must be honesty and scholarly care in exploring why Catholics did what they did to Jews and why Jews did what they did to Catholics.

    It is grotesque nonsense to accuse the Catholics as persons of religion of sins against Jews. Some Catholics have committed sins, others did not.

    I never said or implied otherwise. But as you admit, some (actually quite a lot) committed those sins.

    The saintly Prof. Dr. Fr. Titus Brandsma O.Carm. said the old Good Friday Prayers devotedly, without any qualm or political correctness Philosemite illness in his mind. And he was a hero against the Nazi persecution of Jews. An ordinary Catholic priest.

    As I have said in this thread and on many, many occasions, the old Good Friday prayer is capable of being understood in a way that doesn’t support anti-Semitism. But in this time and place, and after the long history of Catholic persecution of Jews, you have to do a lot of explaining and clarifying. Small wonder that so many think it’s not worth the bother and is easier to just take out the one or two parts that are the most prone to giving offense and misunderstandings.

    Such ‘caveats’ are only necessary for people who – with evil intentions – continue to interpret the prayer in your way, namely as an antisemitic utterance, which is plainly untrue.

    I don’t judge their intentions, but there are a LOT of people (non-Catholics, and probably Catholics too) who continue to misinterpret the prayer. But I have explicitly said that I do not regard the old prayer as an anti-Semitic utterance. If you did not know that, then please re-read what I said. If you have read what I said, then you have no excuse for leveling such an accusation.

    The word ‘perfidis’ is the same as ‘infidelis’, but the ‘infidelis’ was not used, because the Jews do believe in one part of Divine Revelation, and do have “some faith” therefore. But because they have not been faithful to the promises (and obligations and prophecies) of the Old Covenant, they are faithful, not true to the allegiance asked from them by Our Lord.

    First of all, “perfidis” is not the same as “infidelis,” or else they would not be two different words, and anyway it has been explained here that “perfidis” means more than just “infidelis” or “unfaithful” or “faithless.” Secondly, the fact that you had to explain what “perfidis” means underscores what I have been saying, that the word has been prone to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Small wonder that Blessed John XXIII decided to just take the word out and be done with it.

    I agree with you, but again you fail to state that you wish Holy Mother Church to pray for the conversion of the Jews to Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of Whom there is no salvation at all, and through Whom all who are saved will be and are saved.

    ????

    I can’t see how anyone could read my posts in this thread and then say that I have failed to state that I wish Holy Mother Church to pray for the conversion of the Jews to Our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m having great difficulty believing that you’ve actually read all, or even most, of what I’ve said here.

  67. Richard says:

    This is all very interesting and enlightening but I agree with those who say, “Relax. Nothing’s going to change.” The USCCB has proven itself to be so incompetent over the past few decades, I can’t understand why anyone pays attention to what they say. Most good, conservative bishops have little knowledge or control over press releases busybodies in the bureaucracy release from time to time. They’re too busy ministering to their flocks to worry about such things.

    To Dad29: the ICK parish I attend uses the 1945 Missal which, for laymen, is the same as the St. Andrew Daily Missal.

  68. Malta says:

    Alexander said: “Recently dear Fr. Harry Marchosky passed away, a Jewish traditional Roman Catholic Priest.”

    Regarding Fr. Marchosky, a very holy priest, I offer the following:

    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-2007-december-fr-marchosky.htm

  69. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    So, my summary of a great conversation:

    Blessed John XXIII removed the removed terminology for the sake of prudence (see 1 Cor 8,10-13), but without changing the sense of the prayer in the least.

    The removed terminology was good in and of itself in its liturgical context (despite sometimes deliberate misrepresentations of the terminology). We pray, with or without the removed terminology, that the Jews, who have their faith veiled, will no longer have their faith veiled, and will see what they have already been given: “the Sonship, the Glory, the Covenants, the Law, the Worship, the Promises, the Patriarchs and, according to the flesh, the very Christ of God”.

    The removed terminology did not refer to the Jews whose faith was covered with a veil as having a mistaken faith, simply to the fact that their faith was covered with a veil. The remarks of Pius XII can, in fact, be read in this light. The unveiling, the salvation, is, of course, from Christ.

    Saint Paul, Saint John and this prayer speak of only those Jews, who, as that group, have their faith covered as with a veil, not to those who have their faith unveiled.

    moretben had a superb point about the veil of the temple being rent, to which I add that at the same time, the heart of Christ was peirced open. The veil, in the Greek terminology of Saint Paul, is over the hearts. The risk of dispensationalism “a whopping great heresy” as moretben says, is great today. For the sake of prudence, this risk must be avoided.

    The reason for the concern here is that we want to evangelize anyone who thinks that, for instance, Nostra Aetate represents a break with the past, as if traditional Catholicism, which is the only true Catholicism, is somehow anti-Semitic. This “spirit” of Vatican II rubbish helps no one. Yes, Nostra Aetate can tend to be ambiguous. If anything, this points us to the miracle that, while Christ respects the freedom of individuals, He will not permit His Church, as such, to lose the faith. The traditional prayer, with or without the removed terminology, is entirely consonant with a traditional reading of Nostra Aetate.

    Pointing out that misinterpretation of the facts is not good is not slander, but an aid to the faith. The USCCB removed a film review. They can change their notification, if they want.

    ============================

    Regarding the riddle:

    All this does seem like a RIDDLE inasmuch as its unraveling Cum nimis absurdum (With Patent Absurdity) is thought to go together with a tiny church in Rome sporting a populus incredulus (incredulous populous).

    The riddle, solved by keeping the two hints separate one from the other, refers to the document of Pope Paul IV, Cum nimis absurdum, which does exaggerate. This document, seeming to blame Jews more than anyone for the death of Christ, was, unfortunately, in popular imagination, put together with a truly in-your-face inscription in Hebrew and Latin on the little church immediately facing the Tempio Maggiore, the Great Synagogue, in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto. That inscription cites Isaiah 65,2-3, which, in Latin, refers to “populus incredulus” (taken by some as equal to the removed terminology under discussion here). The Hebrew refers to being stubborn or rebellious against a correct faith. In THIS context, the LXX (not cited on the little church) refers to disobedience (to the correct faith).

    Over the centuries, this scenario with Paul IV and the little church (which are incorrectly put together) sucked into itself all subsequent horrors on whatever “side”. In Rome, among the “intelligentia”, this is all still white hot. It was a stone’s throw from this place where the deportation to the death camps began a few decades ago. But the white hot controversy shouldn’t be so. We just need to set emotions aside and make distinctions, looking at the facts.

  70. Legisperitus says:

    If priests using the 1962 Missal were to be commanded to cease public prayers for the conversion of Jews, there would be a serious question as to whether that command were contrary to Charity and should therefore be disobeyed. I suspect Pope Benedict recognizes this problem and would not put priests in that situation.

  71. Felix says:

    1. Although there’s no hard evidence on there is a serious proposal to amend the Good Friday prayers in the 1962 Missal, the idea seems extremely plausible.

    2. How should this be averted? Perhaps by praying for the conversion of both our Jewish and our ecumenicists.

    3. In the Jewish liturgy, the twelth of the eighteen benedictions is aimed at Christians. (It was added at the Council of Jamnia in the 1st century AD/CE.)

    Perhaps the deal should be that we change the 1962 Missal if they change drop the 12 benediction.

  72. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Sorry, Felix! We pray, besides other things, until they are all Catholic! No compromising charity!

  73. RBrown says:

    Alexander said: “Recently dear Fr. Harry Marchosky passed away, a Jewish traditional Roman Catholic Priest.”

    I met him many times through John Senior, my godfather and later friend, under whom I studied at KU. I didn’t know Fr Marchosky was still alive.

    Around 1970 a Jewish friend was about to become Catholic. He told Fr M that he didn’t know what to tell his mother. Fr M replied, “Don’t tell her anything–I still haven’t told my mother.” (A few years later he finally did tell her.)

  74. Matt Q says:

    Father DiLorenzo wrote:

    “Give me “perfidious” any day!”

    ()

    Thank you, Father, for your enlightening explanation. We wish more priests were as informed and willing to speak up as you have. God bless you.

    By the way, folks. If someone Jewish has become a Roman Catholic, he is no longer a Jew, in that for the most part being Jewish is a sectarian description, not a race. There is no race of Catholics.

  75. Alexander says:

    The discussion about the Shoah and the deportation of Europe’s Jews in relation to this prayer is of course emotionalist nonsense. THe facts are that the Italian fascists prior to the National-socialist German occupation of the Italian peninsula only interned certain Jews, while no deportations or even executions happened there. And from September 1943 until June 1944 (the time the Italian Social Republic of Mussolini governed after his Royal-enscened fall in July 1943) the Holy See did all to save the Jews of Rome, and paid off entire sums of gold.

    The 16th century theological disputes with the Jewish community of Rome cannot be compared to 1943-44.

    Who cares whether there is a railway station nearby from which Jews were transported to the concentration camps. The church and the Cum nimis decree were there earlier of course, and the railway station was not placed there because of the decree (in the 19th century probably a Jewish architect built it, and the Germans chose it for the deportations because it was the railway station.

    It is very hard for me to accept that even discussion about the problems of and surrounding Jews, Shoah, Catholic-Jewish relations, Jewish-Eastern European relationship, Jewish-Israeli relations, Jewish – US relationships etc. are all surrounded with lies, emotions, exaggerations, and ad-hominem fighting from both sides.

    Why?

    And leave us even the ‘perfidis’.

  76. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr Z: BREAKING NEWS:

    USCCB CHANGES COMMENTS ON CATHOLIC JEWISH RELATIONS

    Father McManus compared the teaching style of Pope Benedict XVI with that of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, particularly in regard to the organic development of the liturgy. He then commented upon the July 7, 2007 Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI that widened permission for the use of the Latin Missal of 1962, which includes a Good Friday Prayer for the conversion of Jews. Father McManus reported that at the close of summer, Cardinal Bertone had suggested that active consideration was being given to the idea of substituting the prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the 1962 Missal with the prayer for the Jews found in the 1970 Missal. While other possibilities had also been considered by the Holy See, Cardinal Bertone’s suggestion seemed so far to have been found most practical.

    However, from what is reported here, it seems that Cardinal Bertone merely reported “consideration”, which the USCCB has turned into the personal suggestion of the Secretary of State. A bit odd, that… A bit of face-saving, that…

  77. Fr. Renzo: Thanks for that. I received an e-mail from Fr. McManus explaining something about the previous problematic text. I am glad something was done.

  78. danphunter1 says:

    The Good Friday prayers in the 1962 Missal are in keeping with the Churchs teaching on missionary activity.
    They will not change.
    Deo Gratias!

  79. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Alexander…

    Granted, popular imagination is never a way to solve anything, but popular imagination is fed by centuries of whatever… That’s just how it works, beyond any particular person’s control. But this is also one of the facts (about confusion), which helps one to understand the present confusion, which is, in fact, confusion. Confusing enough? When I mentioned Rome’s “intelligentia”, the inverted commas had a purpose! The problem is that Rome’s “intelligentia” does much of the “dialoging”. For them, what I mentioned is white hot for the confusion that I mentioned. That’s just the way it is for them, and that does have effects whether anyone likes it or not. It is, then, important to consider, so as to be able to see the actual facts more clearly.

    Just a side note on recent history: The deportation in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto started with infants, who, as the inscription there reads: non cominciarono neppure a vivere (they didn’t even begin to live). There’s no train station there, just memories of the most horrific hell.

    The words referring to the deportation of 2,091 Jews of Rome to Hitler’s death camps inscribed on the Tempio Maggiore are of note:

    “richiama le anime ad una più alta visione della vita riaffermando indomita la rinascente fede dei Padri.“It recalls souls to a higher vision of life, reaffirming, indomitably, the rejuvenating Faith of the Fathers.”

    For the removed terminology, see the notes further above.

    God bless…

  80. Jordan Potter says:

    Matt Q said: By the way, folks. If someone Jewish has become a Roman Catholic, he is no longer a Jew, in that for the most part being Jewish is a sectarian description, not a race.

    Yes and no. From the Jewish perspective, to be Jewish you need to have a Jewish mother and you need to believe that Jesus is not the Messiah. From the Christian perspective, you can be Jewish and Christian at the same time, as St. Paul said (“He is a Jew who is one inwardly, whose circumcision is of the heart and not the flesh,” and “God has not cast away His People whom He foreknew.”) So, when a Jew converts to Christianity, they cease being a Jew in the sense that they are not defined by the religious and ethnic rules of Judaism, but they remain Jewish at least in the same way that Greeks and Scythians who converted to Christianity remained Greeks and Scythians.

  81. danphunter1 says:

    So Jordan,
    By that logic am I also a Celtic pagan, since my ancient ancestors were non-Christian tree worshippers in central Ireland, who converted to Christianity in the 5th century and then to the Church in the 19th century. After all, I still have that Celtic pagan blood runnin’ in me veins.
    I do not know, I am just asking.
    God bless you

  82. elizabeth mckernan says:

    The late Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, Jean-Marie Aaron Lustiger, was proud to be both Jewish and Christian and Jewish prayers for him were said before his funeral at Notre-Dame last year. He never ceased to regard himself as a Jew.

  83. danphunter1 says:

    That is: my ancestors converted from paganism to Christianity in the 5th century, then to Protestantism in the 18th century and then back to the Church in the 19th.

  84. Jordan Potter says:

    Dan asked: By that logic am I also a Celtic pagan, since my ancient ancestors were non-Christian tree worshippers in central Ireland, who converted to Christianity in the 5th century and then to the Church in the 19th century. After all, I still have that Celtic pagan blood runnin’ in me veins.

    No, since you are a Christian, not a pagan, and it is your distant ancestors who were pagans, not you or your parents. You are a Catholic of Irish descent. Similarly, when a Jew converts to Christianity, he is a Christian Jew, of Christian of Jewish descent and heritage. Now, we know that the Church salvages what is good in any culture and religion and cleanses it. How much more, then, would the Church be able to salvage the good in Judaism, which originated in a covenant that God established with the People of Israel? Romans 9-11 are some of the key texts here, I think.

  85. Matthew Mattingly says:

    This is ridiculous. I’ve heard about several dozen “curses” and other invocations the Jews have in their prayers against Christians. Some date to the period of the Crusades 1,000+ years ago, and are very hateful to Catholics. There are tons of prayers/references of a negative nature in Judaism towards the “goyim”….non-Jews.
    So this is nonsense to worry changing the Holy Week prayers in the traditional Mass or any other prayers etc. because it is politically incorrect or insulting to Jews. Would they change their prayers or delete them? First of all there’s no Jewish body to decree anything authoritivly (no Jewish \”pope\” etc.). Second of all, I doubt if they would do it.
    They\’ve already done their best to quash the canonization proceedure for Pius XII with the most biased and hateful comments and false innuendos about this thruly holy and good man who probably IS a real saint. So this business of the USCCB is totally a waste of time. Don\’t they have important things to talk about….like restoring the Church? That would be something new and different!

  86. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    It’s way too slick to be true. I bet this is a test case for the USCCB.

    The USCCB speaks of a proposed replacement of the prayer for the lifting of the veil that is over the faith of the Jews in the 1962MR with the prayer in the 1970MR (which risks dispensationalism). The USCCB makes this look like a personal initiative of the Secretary of State, when, instead, all that Cardinal Bertone was doing was merely reporting the fact of this kind of consideration by those involved in dialogue (which has been going on for decades).

    That kind of slickness of the USCCB (worse than the previous version) really proves that nothing is going to happen, at least in the perspective of the USCCB. They want it too happen, but are afraid that it will not. It’s just all too far fetched. In other words, they really had to go a long way to fetch this one. They are nervous.

    Of course, this could just be more careless reporting. But… twice in a row? What’s really going on? Is the USCCB trying to make this a test case for destroying the 1962MR? What they are doing is just way, way too slick.

  87. kdpfam says:

    Little Gal:

    It’s not slander if it’s the truth.

    Kim

  88. Matt Q says:

    I’m telling you, folks. Look out. If the radical left gets the ability to change the prayer for Jewish conversion, it won’t be long before they begin substituting and rewriting the entire Tridentine Mass.

  89. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Perhaps a look at the anti-Semitism of the USCCB (read: some member(s)/employee(s) of it for this entire entry) should be evidenced.

    First, read, 1 Samuel 15,1-3:

    NAB 1 Samuel 15:1 Samuel said to Saul: “It was I the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel. Now, therefore, listen to the message of the LORD. 2 This is what the LORD of hosts has to say: ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. 3 Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.'”

    Now, read the note provided by the USCCB ( The New American Bible:
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__P79.HTM#$PQ ):

    “Under the ban: in such wars of extermination, all things (men, cities, beasts, etc.) were to be blotted out; nothing could be reserved for private use. The interpretation of God’s will here attributed to Samuel is in keeping with the abhorrent practices of blood revenge prevalent among pastoral, seminomadic peoples such as the Hebrews had recently been. The slaughter of the innocent has never been in conformity with the will of God.”

    Comment:

    God doesn’t command what He commands because He is a bloodthirsty beast projected by the imagination of a writer of the Chosen People into the mouth of a great prophet. The writer is not wrong. The prophet is not wrong. God is not wrong.

    The USCCB claims that the writer of Samuel is using God as an excuse for immoral violence. This is anti-Semitism at its worst. It is blasphemy.

    The provenance of this blasphemy and heresy, necessarily, is the denial of original sin and the denial of the just perogative of God to instruct us about the gravity of sin and the serious nature of the redemption to come. Infants are guiltless of personal sin, but they also stand under the consequences of original sin, including being in need of redemption. They are not “innocent” as the USCCB claims them to be.

    Time to repeat lesson one of “Bible 101″ from another post:

    It is not good when a creature shakes his fist at his Creator, but that’s what has been done. There are consequences chosen with this rebellion: weekness, temptation, sickness, death, and subsequent scepticism for goodness that wants to tear down any goodness down to our level.

    The Lord knew what we would do with our scepticism for goodness before His Goodness. He let us show our worst to Him, which is what we deserve ourselves. In taking this on, He has the right in justice to have mercy on us.

    Perhaps we were hoping against hope that someone, necessarily divine, would rise above the worst we could give out, and still love us. Our Lord passes our test. This is very much about the Liturgy which this website promotes so ardently.

    The Lord does hold out forgiveness: “Father, forgive them.” As a pedagogy, and in justice, he also keeps us, in this world, in all the other effects of sin: weakness, temptation, sickness, death. But he uses that to teach us how to be open to receiving His strength, His goodness and kindness, His Charity, the Living Truth of Charity that He is.

    To prepare us to understand what He was to do on the cross, He taught a certain people just how seriously wrong sin is, especially original sin, so that they could bring this truth to the rest of us.

    No one has a right to life in this world when that right is claimed against God. The Lord has a claim on our whole being, not only as our Creator, but also as our Redeemer. If someone dies a little ahead of time in order to teach this truth of the gravity of sin so necessary for all of mankind, that doesn’t mean that such people will go to hell. Instead, if we do not learn from what happened to them, we risk going to hell.

    Anything sanctioned by God in the Hebrew Bible is absolutely morally good forever, but in its place, that is, previous to the our redemption on the cross. Any pedagogy leading up to the crucifixion of the Lord, like stoning adulterers, cannot be continued after the crucifixion of our Lord, for, since He is divine, there can be no greater pedagogy for how horrific sin is, nor how deadly serious the Lord is in His eagerness that we should be in His good friendship.

    ==========

    It seems to bear repeating again and again that liberal, rubbish, make-pretend, politcally correct “Catholicism” is not the true Catholicism, and can easily lend itself and does lend itself to anti-Semitism. This is dangerous, USCCB. You are claiming that the Jews, even in their revelation, are evil, straight out of hell. You are leading them to Auschwitz.

    Again, Traditional Catholicism, the only kind of Catholicism there is, is never anti-Semitic. Praying that the veil covering over the faith they had been given may be lifted so that assent to our Lord can be given is an act of great charity on the part of Traditional Catholicism. It is not appropriate to change the prayer of the 1962MR for something so ambiguous, especially in the backdrop of your own divisory anti-Semitism.

    Let’s pray that the anti-Semitism and heresy of the USCCB changes, so that they too may assent to the true greatness of the redemption.

  90. Michael says:

    Fr. di Lorenzo,

    All of that may be true, but at the end of the day, it’s politics, not truth, that will determine the form of the prayer.

  91. Jordan Potter says:

    Thank you, Father Renzo, for spotlighting this serious doctrinal error in the New American Bible. You’re correct that it is essentially anti-Semitic at its heart. It’s also impossible to reconcile with the Catholic faith that, as Vatican II and numerous previous Popes have affirmed, the Scriptures teach the truth “without error.” The NAB’s commentary is essentially saying that, if Samuel really said what is recorded, then he was a liar and a false prophet who put words in God’s mouth, or else the Bible is in error in saying that Samuel said what is recorded. And yet Vatican II insists that I Sam. 15, and the whole Bible, was written under divine inspiration, has God as its author, and God cannot make mistakes.

    The NAB translators and commentators, however, can and do make all kinds of mistakes. Here’s another one:

    This is what the LORD of hosts has to say: ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel

    This is an interpretation, not a translation. The original text actually means, “I remember what Amalek did to Israel,” not, “I will punish what Amalek did to Israel.” God “remembering” something, anamnesis, is much, much more than merely “punishing,” and indeed often doesn’t have anything to do with punishment, as when He “remembers” good things.

  92. David Kubiak says:

    For what it’s worth, I find no citation of ‘perfidus’ in the
    OLD that does not have a strong negative connotation of
    deceit and treachery, cf. Cic., ‘Off.’ 3.60: ‘omnes aliud agentes aliud simulantes, perfidi, improbi…’ Interestingly, the Romans used the substantive form in a proverbial expression of a different kind of anti-semitism, that against the Carthaginians. If you wanted to say that someone was a liar and a cheat beyond anything imaginable, you said that the person was displaying ‘perfidia plus quam Punica.’

    We should pray for the conversion of Jewish people; the liturgy is much better off without this word.

  93. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Yes, David Kubiak. I entirely agree. For the sake of the correct understanding of all, the word is not, in fact, there.

  94. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    But, what if it’s true?

    The new USCCB presentation might seem over the top, but, let’s not be brash. Let’s say that there was no slickness intended. Let’s imagine, in fact, the worse case scenario (which I do not believe for a second), namely, that the Secretary of State is actually considering the active consideration of others so as to ditch the prayer for the Jews in the 1962MR in favor of the ambiguous prayer tending toward dispensationalism in the 1970MR. What if the Cardinal Secretary is making that consideration his own, so that he treats it as his own initiative? (Again, I would never put that on him).

    Just imagine. He does have all sorts of precedents for going ahead with that plan. Here’s two:

    A Cardinal dialoguer in all of this (not the Cardinal Secretary of State), a few years back, said to the Jews that we are all waiting for the Messiah. He said that dialogue would continue until the Lord comes, meaning that he didn’t expect the Jews to become Catholic until then. But then it is too late. Saint Paul says that only a part of Israel will be hardened, and only until the fulness of the nations enter. When they do enter, that part of Israel will also become Catholic, and, then, and only then, the Lord will come. Telling people that they are not supposed to become Christian until it is too late is, well, how to say it… inappropriate.

    And do you remember what the Papal Preacher said about Catholics not being able to invite Jews to believe in Christ since, he says, Catholics have lost the right to do so because of some mistakes of some people in the past? The Preacher said that first the wounds must be healed through dialogue and reconciliation.

    Of course, there is no basis for dialogue and reconciliation if even the possibility of making an invitation is denied to the Jews. It is saying that Catholics must deny the Jews that which we hold most dear. The invitation must always be on the table, not just when we deign to recognize that they deign to recognize something about people of today thinking about people of by-gone days. No one can make wrongs of the past right by way of dialogue. Things of the past are what they are. God provides the grace to forgive if there is anyone in front of you to forgive who needs forgiveness. There is no other way than forgiveness. There is no use forgiving if there is no invitation already being offered.

    Oh, I get it. All this rubbish is a push to interpret the 1970MR prayer for the Jews as an official promotion of dispensationalism, at least until the day that dialogue does it’s job and we can once again pray that the veil be lifted as an inviation for them to become Catholic. Oh, right, we won’t need the prayer then, if dialogue does its job. Anyway, until that time, with such logic, the 1970MR prayer must replace that of the 1962MR.

    I think the problem is that people are afraid of the Jews becoming Catholic for the reason that they fear that the Jews would be so passionate about the faith. But, why is that a fear? That is a compliment!

    As soon as we think that Jews have no religious, moral or spiritual capacity to understand a prayer for their conversion as an invitation to rejoice in the best we have to offer, that is just how soon we are thinking that they are worthy of Auschwitz. They can reject the invitation if they want, but that is THEIR perogative, not ours.

    People scream about the Shoah: Never again! Plus jamais! Nie wieder! That’s rubbish when one claims the Jews are imbeciles. Instead, it is much better to shout: Sag niemals nie! Never say never! For it can happen again. All the pieces are falling right back into place. This must be fought. If one forces a divisory, dispensationalistic interpretation of the 1970MR prayer for both usages of the Roman Rite, well, get ready for: Arbeit macht frei. This is how it happens, folks. While good liturgical prayer has good effects, bad liturgical “prayer” has evil effects.

    At any rate, the USCCB (or individual(s) working therein), shouldn’t be promoting rubbish, especially by way of ambiguously, slickly including the Cardinal Secretary of State the way in which they did. That goes double for some individuals in Rome.

    It is cause for concern, however, that the USCCB are getting away with the reference to the Cardinal Secretary of State for more than a day…

  95. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    But could some in the Vatican really think that the Jews are imbeciles?

    If the examples above are not enough, and you really want something official which hasn’t been “adjusted” to this day, try this:

    The Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (when that Commission was part of the Holy
    Office) signed a document, a letter about the first few chapters of Genesis [J.M. Vosté, Epistola (Le Saint-Père) [16 janvier 1948], in AAS 40 (1948) 45-48 (47) [I really doubt Vosté wrote this.] This is just two and half years after the Shoah. The letter held that these chapters were related ‘en un langage simple et figuré, adapté aux intelligences d’une humanité moins développée…’

    There was no reprimand for this little bit of poetry. What’s wrong, you might ask, with saying that the first chapters of Genesis were related ‘in a simple and figurative language, adapted to the understandings of a less developed humanity?’ Plenty. Some questions:

    Just who was it who did the adapting for the understandings of a less developed humanity if the writer is a member of the group that suffers from the understandings of a less developed humanity?

    Could this be an anti-Semitic non-sequitur manifesting the same deficient understandings as are wrongly being condemned?

    Does the comment really mean to say that the account of Genesis either had to have been written by a non-Semite, who pitied the stupidity of the Semites, or that a Semite simply caught the account as it dropped out of the sky (so that God alone did the adapting)?

    Does this not go against what the Church believes about the inspiration of the sacred writer, so that what is being held, wrongly, is that the Catholic Church is similar to Islam or ‘religion of the book’ fundamentalism?

    And isn’t THAT an irony inasmuch as these words are often cited as the best that “progressive Catholicism” has to offer?

    ==============

    Some in the Vatican may be very capable of thinking that a dispensationalistic interpretation of the 1970MR prayer is pleasing to the Jews, who, some in the Vatican may think, would be happy to see that prayer inserted in the Good Friday Liturgy of the 1962MR. The reason is that some in the Vatican may think that the Jews are imbeciles. It’s all for the sake of being ‘nice’, of course.

  96. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Anyone want to move on to what has been issued from the Holy See on the Jews more recently, or is that a little too embarrassing?

  97. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    The prayer for the Jews may very well be replaced…

    For those who know the more recent documents of the Holy See on Catholic Jewish relations, and for those who like novels… here’s an excerpt from a trilogy I’ve been writing (now some 550 pages). You enter in media res, since this snippet is from what is now the opening pages of chapter 22.

    The characters, whose names I’ve deleted here, are in the middle of an intense conversation. In this scene, we have a priest and rabbi talking within earshot of a Muslim on a plane.

    Hint, if you haven’t read the Holy See’s documents recently, or been listening in these past years to statements made by those who are responsible in the Holy See for some aspects of dialogue, you may not fully follow the import of what is said here, as most everything said [outside some of the wonderful summaries of the Rabbi] is a citation in one way or the other of actually interventions by whoever. Some readers to this ever far reaching blog may recognize their words here… Of course, this bit is taken out of context, but, still…

    =============

    Before Father […] answered, the Rabbi continued, hoping that attacking some Catholics would provide the [Muslim character] with a way to join them: “The Old Covenant must effectively be replaced by the New Covenant inasmuch as the Old is to be fulfilled and transformed in the New. The Old Covenant cannot be salvific on its own, even before any Messiah comes, for the Old had to look forward to the New, which fills the Old with Life. If the view is that the New has come, the Old must necessarily become sterile, even if it is not purposely cut off from the New, and no matter how much God respects the sincerity of Jews who do not even know what Christianity is. In that case, God gives grace to the Jews simply as His gratuitous gift, but not because God makes valid what cannot be made valid in the Old Covenant: the New has arrived.” Since Father […] did not interject, the Rabbi continued: “Your Cardinal Froben [ficticious name], nevertheless, gives us the lowest common denominator of no one having any covenant, telling us, absurdly, that both the Old and the New Covenant can be salvific at the same time. If the Old Covenant doesn’t look forward to the New, it is not actually the Old Covenant we are talking about, and if the New Covenant doesn’t fulfil the Old, effectively replacing it, it is not actually the New Covenant we are talking about. Two independent, salvific covenants are two other religions, neither Jewish or Catholic. Froben and his kind must stop insulting our intelligence. Tell me you understand!”

    “Rabbi,” said Father […], I know exactly what you are…”

    “Do you?” pressed the Rabbi.

    “I regret,” said Father […], “that Cardinal […] has scandalously claimed that our aim in a dialogue is not to come into any kind of communion or unity, but simply to improve constantly those relationships and to work together. What he says is not what the Church nor I believe. I’m for unity in Charity and Truth. Saint Paul goes out of his way to say that…”

    “I wonder about your regret,” interrupted the Rabbi, “Your Saint Paul makes it clear that he loves the Jews,” said the Rabbi, “but […] and those like him do not seem to know who he is. They take every opportunity to send us to Auschwitz again. Take that document on the Shoah…”

    “In reading that document, I just couldn’t believe that…” Father […] began to say.

    “You Catholics,” interrupted the Rabbi, “speak of your Tradition as Faith provided by the Holy Spirit to each person so univocally throughout time that it seems as if this Tradition is created by one person handing on a book to another person. Yet, you Catholics always spoke of any human involvement as merely ‘quasi per manus’, ‘almost by hand,’ so that Tradition is God’s work, however much men are truly involved. Tradition is part of Revelation, God-given Faith, going hand in hand with Sacred Scripture, inspired by God, authored by God, using human authors to whom He gave the Faith, this Tradition. It seems as if the Faith is handed on as a thing, by hand, since it is always the same.”

    “That is true,” said Father […]. “In fact…”

    The Rabbi, instead, wanted to make his point, and said, “We Jews believe the same thing about Tradition and Faith, but we use different words. Tradition for us is our own assent to the Faith as found with our historical ‘handing on’ of commentary by which we ‘soil our hands’, as with the Mishna, Tosepta and Talmud. This Tradition is not rendered ‘quasi per manus’, ‘almost by hand’, but actually by hand alone, without the direct intervention of divinely given Faith. That is why the Mishna, Tosepta and Talmud are not even read in our liturgy. But much more than this, we believe that the Torah, the Prophets and Writings were not only written with assent to the Faith, like this other commentary, but were also revealed and written under inspiration. They are eternal words, as we say. I can understand that you Catholics can be confused by the different use of terminology. However, I don’t like it when you so easily take a well deserved polemical statement and make it representative of what Jews believe. For instance, just because of a few of our comments, you think that the Prophets and Writings have nothing within them that is as essential to Judaism as the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Yet, the establishment of the Davidic line is essential to whom God wants us to be, namely, a holy People being led by one person who is a priest, a prophet and a king. This is far superior to the Aaronic priesthood. The New Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah 31,31-34 is also essential to whom God wanted us to be. Check out 1 Samuel 2,27-3. Do I need to mention the Suffering Servant described by Isaiah, and how he is the Son of David?”

    “I’m sure that all these misunderstandings can be sorted out,” said Father […].

    “Are you so sure?” asked the Rabbi. “Why, then, do some Catholics so easily believe that the Jewish Scriptures were complete only after what you call the ætas apostolica, the apostolic age, within which even your New Testament had to be finished for it to be inspired and canonical?”

    “But the Hebrew Scriptures were complete before Christ’s birth…” began Father Alexámenos.

    But the Rabbi interrupted him, saying, “I’ll tell you why. Because you want to condemn us to Auschwitz all over again. If you say the Jewish Scriptures were not written in view of the coming Messiah, the fulness of Revelation, whom you believe to be Jesus, then your insincerity is evident. You are actually saying that you do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and that the Jewish Scriptures point to a different Messiah. In fact, you say that no Jew ever read in the Jewish Scriptures what you read in the Jewish Scriptures, thus making even your Jesus into the greatest liar and fraud of all time, or at least those who wrote the New Testament, which, for you, makes the Holy Spirit into the greatest liar and fraud. You run away from the problem by saying that Catholics and Jews have two Faiths which are so ‘irreducible’ that we Jews not only would never become Christian – believing in Jesus as the Messiah – but could never do so. What an insult! What hatred of the Jews! If we are so cut off, in your view, from knowing the fulfilment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant promised by Jeremiah, cut off from knowing the fulness of Revelation, of the Messiah’s Charity, that He is the Davidic Priest, Prophet and King, why not just condemn us to hell forever, as if we want to kill the Messiah. Auschwitz, here we come!”

    “But Rabbi, those who say we have two different Faiths are heretics. In my…”

    “Don’t deny that this is the only problem, as if answering it will be the end of it all,” said the Rabbi.
    “How about when…

    ==========

    Cheers! Especially to the preparatory committee of the upcoming Scripture Synod!

    By the way, back to the topic: Yes, a ripping out of the 1962MR Good Friday prayer of the Jews in favor of a replacement with the prayer in the 1970MR (which has strong dispensationalistic tendencies) is VERY POSSIBLE.

  98. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Fr. di Lorenzo, would you mind informing me (via email) or the readers here (via a post) of the recent Catholic-Jewish relationship statements? Or is looking at the Vatican web site’s Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews sufficient?

  99. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Hey Jeff Pinyan…

    Let’s up the stakes, hiking over to the CDF, leaving behind the Commission and all sorts of confernces that can be found all over the internet. Go into the hallowed courtyard of the Holy Office and hang a right. Chase up the steps until you see the door opening into THE PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL COMMISSION. Knock on the door and this will be given to you whether you want it or not:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/pcb_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20020212_popolo-ebraico_en.html

    Scroll down to §22. Now, reading that, notice a lot of nice things that really are nice. But then notice the tyranny of relativism, that is, dispensationalism. Then, note who signs the preface to the whole thing in a pre-Benedict XVI epoch.

    That’s just an example. Of course, it’s all more involved in the book mentioned in a previous entry, which is meant to get people to think, parading reality, as it does, under the guise of fiction.

    Does all this mean that the 1962MR prayer for the Jews on Good Friday will almost certainly be replaced by the 1970MR prayer, that is, if it is given a relativistic, dispensationalistic interpretation? Yes. That’s what it means.

  100. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    From my entry at http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/john-allens-on-the-older-good-friday-prayers-and-the-popes-usa-trip/

    THE PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL COMMISSION

    THE JEWISH PEOPLE
    AND THEIR SACRED SCRIPTURES
    IN THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE

    ==
    Preface: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
    ==

    [The key text, according to Card. Kasper a few months ago:]

    7. Contribution of Jewish reading of the Bible

    22. The horror in the wake of the extermination of the Jews (the Shoah) during the Second World War has led all the Churches to rethink their relationship with Judaism and, as a result, to reconsider their interpretation of the Jewish Bible, the Old Testament. It may be asked whether Christians should be blamed for having monopolised the Jewish Bible and reading there what no Jew has found. Should not Christians henceforth read the Bible as Jews do, in order to show proper respect for its Jewish origins?

    In answer to the last question, a negative response must be given for hermeneutical reasons. For to read the Bible as Judaism does necessarily involves an implicit acceptance of all its presuppositions, that is, the full acceptance of what Judaism is, in particular, the authority of its writings and rabbinic traditions, which exclude faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.

    As regards the first question, the situation is different, for Christians can and ought to admit that the Jewish reading of the Bible is a possible one, in continuity with the Jewish Sacred Scriptures from the Second Temple period, a reading analogous to the Christian reading which developed in parallel fashion. Both readings are bound up with the vision of their respective faiths, of which the readings are the result and expression. Consequently, both are irreducible.

    On the practical level of exegesis, Christians can, nonetheless, learn much from Jewish exegesis practised for more than two thousand years, and, in fact, they have learned much in the course of history.45 For their part, it is to be hoped that Jews themselves can derive profit from Christian exegetical research.

    ====================

    You might want to read through the more recent post on: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/john-allens-on-the-older-good-friday-prayers-and-the-popes-usa-trip/

    This includes an analysis of the worst words yet to come from the Holy See, and from an unexpected source: Monsignor Perl of Ecclesia Dei.

    Let’s tweak a phrase often used here and let people guess what it means. Instead of “Save the liturgy, save the world,” why not “Change the liturgy, change the world.” That change could be for the worse. Auschwitz, here we come. Once the Jews are literally not worth giving a damn about… and that attitude is insisted upon in the worst possible way… I mean, what the hell are we doing? (the operative word being hell). Some people might be offended by that kind of theological language, wanting to be nice, not wanting to think that there even is a hell, but they should just grow up and read the Gospels and the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He died (and rose) for a reason.

  101. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Fr. di Lorenzo, I’ve written a blog post about a Jerusalem Post which cited displeasure at the terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament” (as well as had some mix of dispensationalism and pluralism in it). Perhaps you could read it (a bit long, I admit) and comment?

  102. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jeff Pinyan,

    You have so many good points, and have heaps of excellent research. A good resource.

    However, tackling the Jerusalem Post is like trying to evangelize the New York Times!

    Terminology, of course, depends on how it’s used. For instance, in using “Hebrews” instead of “Jews”, Monsignor Perl had a good intention, mistaken but good.

    In the same way, the phrase “Old Testament” — which, although itis an excellent phrase as you point out — can be used in a mistaken way, such as claiming that the Revelation before Christ came was imperfectly given, etc.

    The reverse holds true. Some neutral phrases, such as the Tanak, can be used, in context, for a good end, such as an easy way to distinguished this from the LXX in a technical argument.

    Theologically, an example of this is found with St Thomas in controversy with those who do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ, something about the phrase “consecrated wine”, which is a rubbish phrase, but which he used in the context of a polemic about this very point, and to a good end.

    A few years ago, this phrase, “consecrated wine” made it’s way into the new and improved GIRM without any polemical context, and was, as it stood, heretical, that is, until those fighting the good fight started fighting, and the phrase was removed forthwith before the final version came out.

    Sorry for the tangent!

    Thanks. Cheers.