There is a piece on Religion News Service about the new Good Friday prayer for the Jews to be used in celebration of the Triduum with the 1962 Missale Romanum. Your humble correspondent is quoted.
My emphases and comments.
Critics unsatisfied after pope tweaks prayer for Jews
By FRANCIS X. ROCCA
VATICAN CITY — With his decision last July to liberalize use of the
Old Latin Mass, Pope Benedict XVI sought to appease traditionalists
disaffected by recent changes to Catholic worship. [Wow… that is really not what the Pope had in mind. Sure, that is one component, but not in any way the most important.]
But in making it easier for priests to celebrate the so-called
Tridentine Rite, Benedict also resurrected a controversial prayer used
on Good Friday that called for the conversion of the Jews.
On Tuesday (Feb. 5), just in time for Lent, the Vatican published a
new version of the prayer clearly designed to allay Jewish concerns. [Really? I wonder.]
Gone is the reference to Jews’ "blindness" and the request that God
"take the veil from their hearts." [Not really accurate. The reference is still very much there, as I show in another entry. The use of language from Romans 11 brings us directly back to Paul speaking about the blindness of the Jews. The reference to blindness is not gone. You just have to look for it a little harder.]
The new prayer calls upon God to "enlighten (Jews’) hearts so that
they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men" and expresses
the hope that "all Israel may be saved."
Yet judging from initial reactions to Benedict’s solution, the
formula for preserving Catholic tradition while promoting the interfaith
harmony that sprouted in the 1960s remains elusive — both inside and
outside the church. [Ummm… I don’t think a Catholic observance of Good Friday is about interfaith harmony.]
"We are deeply troubled and disappointed that the framework and
intention to petition God for Jews to accept Jesus as Lord was kept
intact," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the New York-based
Anti-Defamation League. [No surpise there.]
The International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations,
which represents a dozen international Jewish groups, also issued a
declaration of "deep regret and disappointment" over the new text.
According to one expert on Catholic liturgy, the revised prayer
continues to pose difficulties for the church’s interfaith outreach,
which was born after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, the same
time the old Tridentine Rite was retired.
"There is a tension that will not go well with the furthering of
Jewish-Christian relations," said the Rev. Keith F. Pecklers, an
American who teaches at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. [This is one of the three fellows who worked up the book about the post-Conciliar reform that came out over the name of Archbp. Piero Marini. I suspect Pecklers actually wrote most of it, but I am not sure. I think we can be reasonably sure, however, that he is helping to spearhead an effort to set up Archbp. Marini as a rallying point for those who don’t like what Pope Benedict is doing with the liturgy.]
"It’s a slight improvement over the original text," he said, "but
not much more."
Instead of modifying the Tridentine text, the pope could have
applied language from the post-Vatican II liturgy, a step that "would
have certainly solved the problem," Pecklers said. [First, it would have solved nothing. Had the Holy Father made the sort of change Fr. Peckler’s suggests, the ADL and others would have then merely pivoted and found some other point to to attack and gripe about. Second, it may be that Pope Benedict sees a very different "problem" than both Fr. Peckler’s and the ADL et al. His Holiness could have chosen the solution of Pecklers and the ADL, but he decided instead to reaffirm the substance of the traditional prayer in the older Missal. By doing so, he is probably saying that a) the Good Friday service is not really about ecumenical dialogue and b) any continuing dialogue making reference to how we pray must be rooted in what Catholics actually believe, rather than in what we are willing to compromise on after being griped at for long enough.]
The Good Friday prayer for Jews in the 1970 Roman Missal, now used
by most Catholic congregations around the world, refers to Jews as "the
first to hear the word of God" and prays that "they may continue to grow
in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant." [Which means … what, exactly? Is there any reference to Christ as our salvation in that formula?]
The Vatican’s secretary of state and No. 2 official, Cardinal
Tarcisio Bertone, suggested last July that the relevant section of the
Tridentine liturgy could be replaced by the Latin version of the 1970
But such a move would have been unacceptable to traditionalists,
notes the Rev. John T. Zuhlsdorf, whose Web site "What Does the Prayer
Really Say?" is popular among devotees of the Old Latin Mass.
"It would have been a different prayer," he said. [Well… yah.]
For some, Zuhlsdorf predicts, even the pope’s more limited revision
will seem too radical. [That this is proving to be the case, for some people anyway, according to the comments elsewhere on this blog.]
"There are going to be a lot of hysterical reactions," he said.
"Some will really hate this prayer simply because it’s change."
But other traditionalists "will read this prayer carefully and will
come to realize that it is actually in substance pretty darn good,"
Zuhlsdorf said. "The substance of the prayer … remains the same.
However, instead of talking about blindness, now we’re talking about
illumination." [Though, as I pointed out, the reference to blindness is clearly in the subtext because of the use of language from Romans 11.]