The USCCB has released a statement about Pope Benedict’s new prayer for the 1962 Missale Romanum Good Friday Prayer for the Jews.
Shall we have a look with my emphases and comments?
Response To The Publication Of Pope Benedict XVI’s Revision Of The 1962 Good Friday Prayer For The Jewish People
Statement of Most Reverend Richard J. Sklba
Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee
Chairman, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Ecumenical and
WASHINGTON – “The Holy Father has heard with appreciation the concerns of the Jewish community that the prayers of Good Friday should reflect the relationship between Jews and the Church put forward in Nostra Aetate, and implemented by the late Pope John Paul II. As Vatican II states, ‘God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues – such is the witness of the Apostle’ (NA, no. 4). [In a way, this states that the main point of concern was not so much what the Jews thought of the old Good Friday prayers, but rather what Nostra aetate said, though I could be wrong.]
“The Holy Father has chosen to omit from his revision any language from the various editions of the (Latin) Missal of 1962 that have long been associated with negative images of Jews. For example, there are no references to the ‘blindness of the Jews,’ to the ‘lifting of a veil from their heart,’ or to their ‘being pulled from darkness.’ [Well… maybe this isn’t quite accurate. It is true that the words "blindness" and "veil" and "darkness" are not in the new prayer, but the obvious reference to Romans 11:25-26 must inevitably pull the reader to read that Scripture and find that language. I would say that Pope Benedict’s prayer in fact retains the concepts which are claimed to have been omitted.]
“Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to present the relationship of the Church and the Jews within the mystery of salvation as found in Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans (cf. Rom 11:11-32). Central to the concerns of the Holy Father is the clear articulation that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and his Church. It is a faith that must never be imposed but always freely chosen. [Well put. However, central to the concerns of St. Paul, all too well-known to the Holy Father, is also the mystery of the "blindness" of those of his Jewish brethren who did not come into the Church in those days and what will happen with the return of the Lord. I will suppose that the Holy Father shares St. Paul’s concerns about the Jews, as well the peoples who even now are entering the Church. His revision of the prayer expresses those concerns very gently, but with insistence.]
“The Catholic Church in the United States remains steadfastly committed to deepening its bonds of friendship and mutual understanding with the Jewish community.”
I hope the Catholic Church in the United States is also steadfastly committed to implementing the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and the use of the entire 1962 Missale Romanum.