A friend who was dumpster diving for news about the reaction to Pope Benedict’s adustment of the Good Friday prayers for Jews just alerted me to an article in Hell’s Bible (the New York Times) which quotes Fr. James Massa, executive director of the secretariat of ecumenical and interreligious affairs of the USCCB.
Reacting to the change in the Good Friday prayers, Massa said that the prayer would be heard by “a tiny minority of Catholics and they will hear it in Latin.”
Let me admit that I made a similar observation in another thread. I observed that the number of people hearing the prayer on Good Friday would be relatively small. However, I do not intend to say that just because the number might be small, that group is therefore insignificant. I just don’t think this is as important as some people want to make it for interreligious dialogue.
However, I catch a whiff of something very different in what Massa said, especially with the comment about hearing the prayer in Latin: "…and they will hear it in Latin.”
What I get from Massa’s comment is the image of an insignificant group of people who probably have no idea what is being said, no doubt because they are either too ignorant to follow a translation or because they are just praying their rosaries in private devotion, etc.
There are two ways to approach the relative number of people who will be participating in the Holy Week rites with the older Missale Romanum.
If I have misunderstood the intent of Fr. Massa, I will gladly make that clarification.
UPDATE: 11 Feb 18:41 CET
I just got this through my e-mail:
Fr. Massa for your information is a diocesan priest from Brooklyn and is the coordinator for the Traditional Mass in Brooklyn and also one of our celebrants. He’s a man of good will.
Keep up your good work.
Again, I want everyone to know that if I misinterpreted what the NYT quoted from Fr. Massa, I am happy to be corrected. From the sound of it, Father is generously working with the people who want the older form of Mass and WDTPRS applauds him!