Now, compare and contrast what Jacob Neusner wrote with what the excommunicated SSPX bishop Richard Williamson wrote.
Part of what Williamson writes, below, is rather interesting. He makes some good points. However, he steps over the line.
My emphases and comments:
Eleison Comments XXXIV
Most people seeing how Pope Benedict XVI has changed the Church’s Good Friday prayer for the Jews will think he has been their friend, because the change was in a direction demanded by spokesmen of theirs, who made themselves heard. However, for any Catholic who has the Catholic Faith, Benedict XVI has been in this not their friend but their enemy. [There it is, folks.]
The difference is quite simply the difference between our brief life here below, and life everlasting: For purposes of this life, lasting for each of us, let us say, 70 years, he has been their friend, because by, for instance, taking out of the 1962 text the references to the Jews’ "blindness", "darkness" and "the veil over their hearts", he has softened the Church’s solemn criticism of their condition.. On the other hand by the same softening he will also have diminished Catholics’ awareness of how especially Jews need the charity of Catholics’ prayers. [I don't think anyone who actually reads the new Good Friday prayers can come to that conclusion. Folks, it is important to seek in the text what the text means. Seek help of interpretation, of course, but read the texts. Don't just settle on what I or this exccommunicated bishop says.]
For indeed from Adam to world’s end, faith in the one and only Redeemer, to come or having come, can alone save any soul from eternal damnation, unless that soul lives without serious sin and is honestly ignorant of the Redeemer. But honest ignorance presents a particular difficulty for the Jews who had all the privileges of the Old Testament to prepare them for the coming of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and who ever since have had to put "the veil over their hearts" in order not to recognize him in the multiple prophecies of their Old Testament, notably Isaiah LIII. [Take note of what Williamson does: he places great emphasis on the image of the "veil". He is saying that Jews really sort of know that Jesus is the Messiah, but they purposely blind themselves to the truth. For Williamson, they are not honest. I think that what Jews know and believe about Jesus is more complex. Still, the poetic image of "veil" does indeed get at this tangled issue in a way, arguably, that the newer prayer does not. The new prayer emphasized a different point.]
Therefore the recent Good Friday liturgy change, by diminishing Catholics’ awareness of that real "veil", etc, has done a disservice to Jews’ eternal salvation. [I don't think that the Catholic people will necessarily have to remain ignorant of the "veil", if it is properly presented.] In this respect of the Catholic Faith, Benedict XVI has, objectively, shown himself to be against the Jews purely as Jews. [This strikes me as being over the top.] Is there any other possible true definition of the expression "anti-semite" ? [Williamson has just called Benedict XVI and "anti-semite".] Sacred Heart of Jesus, between now and world’s end, grant to your Church many martyrs to die for the eternal salvation of your racial kinsmen, beloved by you ! Kyrie eleison.
La Reja, Argentina posted by Bishop Richard Williamson at 11:41 PM