WDTPRS: The new Good Friday prayer for Jews in the 1962MR

Ecce HomoI have been thinking a little about the new prayer Pope Benedict XVI has swapped into the 1962 Missale Romanum for Good Friday when we, as a whole Church have always, do now, and will always pray also for the Jews.

I wrote about this issue at some length here.

A have some initial observations.

  1. Most people really wont care one way or another about this prayer.
  2. It is used once a year.
  3. Missals were changed by Popes all along the way.
  4. Our Church is not a fly in amber.
  5. People should actually read the prayer and think about it before freaking out.

Let’s have a look at the prayer as it appears in the 1962 Missale Romanum and now in its revised form in the 1962 Missale. My translations:

MR62 Latin

MR62 English

Revised ‘62 Latin

Revised ‘62 English

Oremus et pro Iudaeis: ut Deus et Dominus noster auferat velamen de cordibus eorum; ut et ipsi agnoscant Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum. …

Let us also pray for the Jews: that our Lord and God take away the veil from their hearts; that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ to be our Lord.

Oremus et pro Iudaeis: ut Deus et Dominus noster illuminet corda eorum, ut agnoscant Iesum Christum salvatorem omnium hominum.

Let us also pray for the Jews: that our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men.

Omnipotens sempiternae Deus, qui Iudaeos etiam a tua misericordia non repellis: exaudi preces nostras, quas pro illius populi obcaecatione deferimus; ut agnita veritatis tuae luce, quae Christus est, a suis tenebris eruantur.  Per eundem Dominum.

Almighty eternal God, who also does not repell the Jews from Your mercy: graciously hear the prayers which we are conveying on behalf of the blindness of that people; so that once the light of Your Truth has been recognized, which is Christ, they may be rescued from their darkness.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vis ut omnes homines salvi fiant et ad agnitionem veritatis veniant, concede propitius, ut plenitudine gentium in Ecclesiam Tuam intrante omnis Israel salvus fiat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Your Church, all Israel may be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

In first prayer of the couplet, the older version prayed that the darkness, in the image of a veil, be taken from the hearts of the Jews, presumably to let in the light of Christ, light being a metaphor for the Truth, who also is Christ.   In first prayer of the newer version, we pray that God may illuminate, that is shed light, which is a metaphor for the Truth (who is Christ) in the hearts of the Jews.

Okay… it is a little less poetic in the new version.  I like the poetry of the previous version and mourn its loss.  I found nothing, zero, offensive to Jews in that older version.  After, we Christians pray in terms our our own darkness. Still… the first prayers of both the older version and the newer version say the same thing.

The second prayer of the couplet, in the older version begins with a statement that God does not reject the Jews from His mercy.  An obvious point.  However, the Latin could be read to say in English: “O God, who does not reject even the Jews from Your mercy”. In English this could be made to sound rather like the Jews must be pretty bad indeed and that it would be reasonable for a less merciful God to not be merciful.  However, Latin, not English, is the language of Mass and this phrase need not have that negative connotation.  It is better to render it “also the Jews” and not just “even the Jews”.  In the next part of the prayer we take it on ourselves to pray on behalf of their “darkness”, that is, that they lack the Truth, the light of Christ.  That’s fine: we Christians pray for ourselves in those very same terms.  We refer to our own dark sins all the time, etc.  Then we pray that they will be rescued from darkness, which is a metaphor for error and the possibility of the loss of salvation.  No problems there.  I think we are pretty much praying for ourselves in those terms to.  However, the force of the statement comes as much through the beautiful turn of phrase, the poetry that has an impact on the ear.

The second part of the newer version of the prayer, starts from the larger picture, rather than the smaller group.  The older prayer focuses entirely on the Jews.  The newer version starts from the fact that all men, whomever they may be, were made to be saved and happy with God in heaven.  They are saved through “recognition of the Truth”.  Christ is that Truth.

The interesting point here is what is being said in “grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Your Church, all Israel may be saved”.

This is a reference to Romans 11:25-26:

For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery (lest you should be wise in your own conceits) that blindness (caecitas) in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles (plentitudo gentium) should come in (intraret).  And so all Israel should be saved (omnis Israhel salvus fieret), as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

Earlier in Romans St. Paul says that the Church is the fulfillment of the Israel.  However, here Paul is saying that God is not therefore finished with the Jews. In chapter 11, Paul is exploring how the Gentiles must be very humble in regard to their salvation.  However, Paul says that Israel has, in fact, a blindness problem (caecitatas)… and that this blindness of Israel, that is the part of the Israel that did not covert and come into the Church… until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in.  So, Paul focuses on the responsibility of the Gentiles, but he is also saying that God is not finished with the unconverted Jews.

So, in the second part of the second prayer in the new, revised couplet: there is a direct scriptural reference to the “blindness… caecitas” of the Jews.  This is very common with our Catholic prayers: often they only mention a fragment of a phrase of Scripture, and we must pick up the context.

If the Jews who hear this newer prayer think they have scored a victory over the Church because the Pope was persuaded to change the text, they are very much deluded.  The reference to the blindness of the Jews is still there: you just have to take the veil off your Christian Bible and look up the reference.   Frankly, I think that if the Jews who were really grousing at the Holy See look at this prayer, they are not going to like what the find.  They won’t be happy until the Pope stands at the center balcony of St. Peter’s and says that Jews are right and that Christ irrelevant to salvation.

If any Catholic traditionalists are angry that the Pope changed the prayer, they too should pick up their Bibles and take a look around, thinking first, about what the prayer really says.

The new prayer has retained the substance of the old prayers.  As a matter of fact, Pope Benedict has provided a deeper point of reflection.  Let us not forget that the earlier versions, going back to the 1570 editio princeps, are not doctrinally wrong.  We are free to change our manner of expression.  What Pope Benedict has done is shift the style, yes, but also add a layer for our prayer life, rather than take one away.

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123 Responses to WDTPRS: The new Good Friday prayer for Jews in the 1962MR

  1. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    I am still waiting for some critics to discover the interesting things the Fathers have to say about the Jews that can be found in the 1962 Breviary lessons. They rather make the 1962 Missal’s Good Friday prayer look tame in comparison.

  2. Breier says:

    Father,

    You would do well to put the revised prayer for the Jews in the context
    of the prayers that surround it, instead of isolating it out.
    It is here that it becomes rather jarring. One notes the robustness poetic
    language of the surrounding prayers, which seems attenuated in the revised
    version of the prayer for the Jews. Why to the Jews get the kid gloves,
    compared to every other group? In context it looks like a definite
    watering down, although the prayer, taken outside of the context of its
    change and by itself, is perfectly commenable and unobjectionable. But then
    again, so the changes that effected the Novus Ordo Missae. It is in context
    where the problems lie.

    Also, the beginning of the second portion of the new prayer, dealing
    with God willing the salvation of everyone, is a repetition of the
    prayer for heretics immediately preceding it:

    “O Almighty God, who savest all and would have none to perish, look down
    on those souls that are seduced by the deceits of the devil, that the hearts
    of those who error, laying aside all heretical malice, may repent and
    return to the unity of the truth”

    Contrast with the revised prayer for the Jews:

    “Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Your Church, all Israel may be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

  3. Pleased as Punch says:

    Fantastic point about the context in Romans, Father! Quite validating of the Holy Father’s effort!

  4. Mike says:

    Father:

    I don’t think anyone is questioning the end effect of the two versions of the prayers. We’re still praying for the conversion of Jews. That’s fine.

    The problem is WHY B16 did this — and that’s enough to worry me greatly.

    He did this because there were special interests rattling him. Well, what about the Brevery you, the FSSP, the Institute and others will chant today? It should be seen as much more offensive to the Jews than this prayer. But Abe Foxmas doesn’t know about it, so it wasn’t changed.

    Below is a great summary and criticism of the change. Mazel Tov:

    “The new prayer is, if nothing else, badly and confusingly written. The meaning of plenitudine gentium … omnis Israel salvus fiat is quite vague. It does not help that Benedict-Ratzinger is apparently not as good a Latinist as he has often been made out to be. The prayer is quite inelegant in the original, with ut clauses piling up and with an infelicitous placement of et in the beginning. The prayer certainly lacks the elegance and Leonine cadence that is found in the prayers in the traditional Missale Romanum

    “It took only six months, and Benedict was as good as his word: he has now changed his “Motu” Mess, which is no longer even officially the “Mass of 1962.” His change pertains to the most sacred part of the Missal, the rite of Good Friday, which is so ancient that it includes a number of phrases in Greek. This was done in order to please Jewish elements, like Abraham Foxman, the anti-Catholic bigot who heads the B’nai B’rith (Sons of the Old Covenant). The irony is that Benedict’s change has lost him a lot of conservative Newchurchers and has not gained him the approval of the Jewish leaders, who reject the softened language as well.”

  5. Andreas says:

    Dear Father!

    You don’t really mean that! Why are you putting lipstick on the pig? Are we to change the Bible texts too? You said yourself that they (even more passages) speak of the darkness and the velamen. What if Abe Foxman asks the Pope to change these? Of course you know that the problem is not only what the prayer really says. It is about who is leading the church? The Pope or Abe Foxman? It took the Pope so long to simply say what everybody knew: The Tridentine Mass has never been abolished – the proper treasure of the church for more than a thousend years. But if someone asks to “correct” a centuries old and good prayer – hey, let’s do it immediatly. It is a thing of political correctness – that is really important. And what a fatal signal to all traditional catholics! I am very disappointed!

  6. Ken says:

    If these prayers were for both the novus ordo and the formerly-1962 missal, that would be one thing — but the only reason for their being is to appease the very people they are intended for. And it didn’t even work. So now everyone is upset and brand new missal reprints already are dated just months after the motu proprio.

    By the way, is the Divine Office for Good Friday next? There is a priest who has noted the second nocturn is much more strongly worded than the Mass of the Presanctified.

  7. Michael says:

    Although most people won’t care about this prayer, most people don’t care about the liturgy. I dont think it really matters that it’s only read once a year. The Exultet comes once a year too. The Good Friday prayers are a very special part of our liturgical tradition.

    Missals have obviously been changed before, but for the same reasons? It’s hard to imagine Pius V or any other pope removing such an ancient prayer at such an important liturgy because it was too direct and confrontational. I’m still shocked by this move. I really didn’t see it coming. I’ll keep praying for the pope, as I’m sure the response from the Jews, the media and traditional circles will be disheartening and might cause him to question the prudence of this monumental decision.

  8. Eamonn says:

    Father, a small point: I think you’ve left out the translation of “repellis” from your English version of the 1962 prayer pro Iudaeis. Should it not read “who does not reject/repel the Jews from Your mercy”?

  9. Michael says:

    Let’s NOT mention the Second Nocturn please. I don’t want to wake up on Good Friday and find out that another part of our liturgy has been taken away from us at the request of the Jews.

  10. Neil Mulholland says:

    Since when do we permit people who reject our faith (and, frankly, hate us) tell us how to pray? It doesn’t matter whether the Pope has the authority to make the change (he clearly does). It doesn’t matter that the substance of the change is largely inconsequential (a debatable point, but one which I accept.) The problem here is a shameful capitulation to outsiders who have no right to an opinion on the subject.
    It took 40 years of pleading for Traditionalists to be given some thin facsimile of justice; it took 7 months of whining for the Jews to get their way in OUR liturgy. Makes you wonder who’s really running the show over in Rome.
    The disgust and sense of betrayal I am presently feeling has nothing to do with what is, after all, a relatively inoccuous change. I fear that we have taken the first step down a slippery slope.
    The glimmer of hope I had felt since last July has now been extinguished. We have been let down.

  11. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    I really like great poetry.
    Couldn’t the new prayer have been as poetic as the ’62 prayer.
    Does everything that comes out of Rome these days have to sound banal?
    Kyrie Eleison.

  12. John says:

    “The new prayer has retained the substance of the old prayers”

    If this is the case, what purpose does it serve other than being one more concession to the cult of man. Hasn’t it been the perennial stance of the Church been that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? It’s PR, pure and simple, and a disgusting stroke of politics besides.

  13. Ansjo says:

    Excellent post, Fr Z.

    As for the change to the prayer itself: At the end of the day, the old prayer (as we have seen) had the potential to cause scandal. The media and certain influential members of the Jewish community told the world that the pope was encouraging the recitation of an anti-semitic prayer. When people hear this, they conclude the Church is anti-semitic and therefore evil. Bingo, they have “another good reason” to reject Christ and His Church. This is why the Holy Father considered this change prudent. Salus animarum suprema lex.

  14. Jamie says:

    Ansjo: many fundamentalist “Christians” consider the papacy evil – should we abolish that too?

  15. Breier: You would do well to put the revised prayer for the Jews in the context of the prayers that surround it, instead of isolating it out.

    I would do well to do many things, but I do have a lot to do.

  16. danphunter1 says:

    Actually if everyone will read an excellent article by Christopher Ferrara, columnist for the Remnant Magazine, on the Remnant website, you will see an piece entitled:”A Papal Masterstroke”, wherein Ferrara points out that the new prayer actually calls for the conversion of the whole nation of Israel, specifically, and that Foxman is enfuriated over the new prayer.
    For anyone fearing a strain in the talks with the Vatican and the FSSPX, have no fear.
    I believe that the FSSPX see the Holy Fathers change as a move in the right direction.
    Great article by Ferrara Esq.
    Kyrie Eleison.

  17. Joe says:

    Father – thank you for this measured response. While the new prayer may not appease those opposed to the old prayer, the Holy Father has made the change. Roma locuta est; cause finita est.

  18. TipoftheSpear says:

    Dan,

    That was a very good article. Thanks!

    Fr. Z as usual, an excellent analysis.

  19. David says:

    Father Z,

    Thank you for all your work.

    Reading the Comment boxes on some of the wider read blogs has been disheartening to say the least. The viriolic words against the Holy Father’s intention here from Catholics who should no better has been very sad.

    I do hope that those who comment on this exemplary site do as the anti-spam word for my post suggested, “THINK before posting!”

  20. Henry Edwards says:

    As Dan has already pointed out, but to also provide a link to one of the most perceptive reactions yet, from — of all places — The Remnant:

    A Papal Masterstroke
    Pope’s Good Friday Prayer Reinforces Infallible Church Teaching

    Christopher A. Ferrara
    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/

    “The reports were true: The Pope has changed the traditional Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews. But, amazingly enough, the change is another positive development in this papacy, although I would never have thought so until I actually read the text of the new prayer.”
    …..
    “I think we have witnessed a papal masterstroke. And I hope traditionalists everywhere will be at least as perceptive as Foxman in assessing what has happened. ….. Here, again, let us have the sense to recognize a favorable development when we see one, instead of assuming the role of theological clerks with permanent desk jobs. What matters is that the new Good Friday prayer, which the Pope has every right to alter — and which already has been altered by his predecessor — is theologically completely sound and thus displeasing to those who had hoped for another capitulation to the world in the name of Vatican II.”

  21. Tim Ferguson says:

    Apparently, the revised prayer hasn’t palliated the Jewish groups who were upset about the preveious recension (which wasn’t a “centuries old prayer,” since it had already been altered in 1961). Surely Benedict is savy enough that if he intended to appease the complainers, he would have actually done so.

    I think it’s clear that, contrary to what some are saying, this is not Benedict caving into the pressure from outside the Church. In light of our understanding that the Holy Father is implementing a “Marshall Plan” for the Church, perhaps we should look at this change in that context. What other purpose could this change have? Perhaps, just perhaps, its a means of demonstrating precisely what Fr. Zuhlsdorf has said time and time again – we can’t treat the liturgy like some fly in amber. The Holy Father has the authority as Christ’s Vicar to revise the liturgy. Prima sedes a nemine iudicatur. He is under no obligation to provide an explanation or justification for disciplinary laws, including this. Would I have wished for something different? Sure. Would I have left the prayer alone if I were Pope. Yes. But I’m not, and Benedict is. He can, and I will stand with Peter.

  22. Jon says:

    I like poetry too, but my taste runs more to good Anglo-Saxon swinging. Chesterton and Kipling. I admit when I’m in the schola I’m partial to belting out “Et unum, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam Ecclesiam,” but hey, this is Latin. It could be the tax code, and it would still sound swell to me.

    For many reasons I think this is a brilliant move on the Holy Father’s part, but from the Abe Foxman angle, I have to say that Chris Ferrara says it best http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-2008-a_papal_masterstroke.htm

    I disagree, however, that pressure from the ADL is the main reason the Holy Father has done this. I find it much more likely that it was done to defuse the objection of liberal bishops to implementing SP.

    I would think the obstinate ordinaries who’ve cooked up “guidelines” for enacting Summorum Pontificum are getting a private earful from Rome. I’d bet anything that their chief excuse, especially in Western Europe, is “antisemitism.” The Holy Father, in one marvelous kick, has punted this one through the posts. The Cardinal Lehmanns of the world now have to put up and shut up.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the “document on the document” follows close to the heels of this.

    PS – Mike, You’re quoting TRADITIO?…HERE, of all places? Snap out of it man!

  23. Habemus Papam says:

    The article by Ferrara is well worth a read (subtext: tell the Pope what to do Abe, and this is what you get!). The progressivist Bishops were also calling for an end to the “anti-semitic” prayers of 1962 as part of their subterfuge against Summorrum Pontificum. Once again our Holy Father has out-witted his adveraries.

  24. Jon says:

    Henry and Dan,

    The three of us were obviously composing our posts at the same time. Amazing how great minds think alike!

  25. Jon says:

    Father,

    Something begs a question.

    Would you be able to address the fact this prayer apparently came out of the Secretariat of State? Why would the Holy Father choose that route, rather than Ecclesia Dei or CDWS? Does the Secretariat ever have authority over liturgy, even if it claims “The Holy Father has ordered?” Doesn’t the change have to be published in the Acta to assume force, unless the Holy Father states so specifically, and under his own name?

    If the National Park Service issued an executive order on taxation we’d all laugh and ignore it. I see a parallel here.

  26. Legisperitus says:

    Has the music for the new version been promulgated as well?

  27. Legisperitus says:

    I mean, it’s obvious how it should be chanted, but it will be awkward if the priest doesn’t have the notes in front of him.

  28. Joshua says:

    While I think it was a prudential mistake to change that prayer now (and I would point out that it is not true that changes were made ” all along the way” to the propers…those for Proper of the Seasons were unchanged for hundreds of years), I do hope that more traditionalist take the attitude of Ferrara. Like the change or no, we will have to accept it for now and though I cannot see a real reason for the change (as it still has the Jews mad, and has/had a lot of potential to anger traditionalists), I am sure the pope has his reasons which seem clearly not to be appeasing pressure groups (because he is smart enough to know that this would not do that)

  29. Henry Edwards says:

    I would think the obstinate ordinaries who’ve cooked up “guidelines” for enacting Summorum Pontificum are getting a private earful from Rome. I’d bet anything that their chief excuse, especially in Western Europe, is “antisemitism.” The Holy Father, in one marvelous kick, has punted this one through the posts.

    A great point, Jon, one I hadn’t thought of.

  30. Pope Evaristus, Martyr says:

    This is a very crucial moment.

    The Popes have given the traditionalists everything they could need: any priest who wants to has permission to join a traditional order and say the Old Mass.

    For whatever reason, the Holy Father now asks that they do a small thing he commands.

    We will see if they will be obedient in this matter.

    If they will, God will bless them. If they are not, God will not bless them.

  31. Fr. Michael says:

    I appreciate these posts, thus far – they raise good points. I have three:

    1. I’m glad that only one post thus far sounds disrespectful to our Jewish neighbors.

    2. The image of the Holy Father hatching plans to beat his “adversaries” (especially if you think that includes Bishops) paints a picture that is a bit juvenile. I hardly believe Pope Benedict sees himself in such a role.

    3. Why not use the Good Friday prayer found in the ’69 Missal? Paul VI reformed that prayer already, invoked the same papal authority already. This is a simple question, but one I believe is worth answering. God bless.

    Fr. Michael

  32. Josh Kusch says:

    Fr. Michael,
    Why not use the Good Friday prayer found in the ‘69 Missal? Paul VI reformed that prayer already, invoked the same papal authority already. This is a simple question, but one I believe is worth answering.

    Because the new prayer is deliberately ambiguous and politically correc t
    correct.

  33. Habemus Papam says:

    Fr.Michael: presumeably Pope Benedict did not use the Good Friday prayer in the ’69 Missal because he does not think its a very good prayer. That would be a logical explanation, don’t you think?

  34. Steve Skojec says:

    I’ll admit I don’t care for the capitulation. As I said on my own blog, I think if the Holy Father were more comfortable standing up to these criticisms, he would have told the offended Jews that he was sorry they had their feelings hurt, but they should offer it up, and he’d be praying for them. In Latin.

    On the other hand, I think that this move has a real value that should not be underestimated. The Holy Father has responded to the complaint of these Jews (Jews who should have absolutely no say in our liturgy) by RE-AFFIRMING perennial Catholic teaching. He simply said it in a different way. That he made the effort to change the words but keep the meaning the same could be construed as a more powerful statement than if he had just left the whole thing alone.

    Another interesting point is that the change indicates that the prayer we currently have in the Novus Ordo is in some way deficient, or it would likely have been used instead of wrtining something new. One can hope that this means the prayer in the N.O. will be replaced by this superior version at some point in the future.

  35. Jon K says:

    One needs only look at the new prayer to see that it is very good. The only problem I see is elsewhere: change in itself, in to-day´s circumstances. I do not agree with the view that the popes changed things liturgical all the time. Saying so misses a very important point. To add a new saint to the calender cannot be compared to submitting the very old liturgy of Holy Week to a Bugnini make-over (1955) or imposing new eucharistic prayers (1969).

    St Thomas said that a new law inescapably erodes the respect due to the principle of law. Therefore, a new law should not simply be better than the previous law: the emprovement must be such as to compensate for the loss. Also, new laws ought to be scarce.

    The question is whether this reform in any way contributes to restoring the former Catholic respect for the liturgy as something which does not change (slight exaggeration in order to make a point).

    If this proves to be the only change, I shalln´t worry too much. The 62 Holy week is a mess anyway. And this prayer is in itself perfectly alright. Should this, however, prove to be one of many changes, I ´d be less than happy and admiring.

  36. danphunter1 says:

    John,
    No problem.
    Ferrara sets everything straight.
    Our brilliant Holy Father is so masterfully clever. He knows exactly what he is doing.
    I am a three toed sloth and failed to see what the Supreme Pontiff was doing, instead I reacted.
    Thats why I remain an idiot and Benedict is the Vicar of Christ.
    Deo Gratias!

  37. Habemus Papam says:

    John; the NYtimes article highlights the fact that in the 1969 prayer the Jews are saved through the Old Covenant whereas Pope Benedicts prayer calls for their conversion to Christ. This is what the Jews object to as it dispenses with the Vatican II view of their salvation. Traditionalists would do well to ponder what Pope Benedict has actually accomplished here.

  38. It’s just that the 1962 version, which mentions the veil, refers, in effect, to that which has already been given to them, even though that which has been given to them is now veiled for them. It is Saint Paul who notes that they have already received:

    “the Sonship, the Glory, the Covenants, the Law, the Worship, the Promises, the Patriarchs and, according to the flesh, the very Christ of God.”

    Not being explicit about this is an ENORMOUS pedagogical loss.

    Yes, it is true, that all of this is inescapably implicit in the added reference in the revision, and that is good, wonderful, glorious, brilliant. However, it is a sad fact that even those who know the Scriptures well may not pick up on this. Consider the following:

    It is simply a fact that, at face value, even so many who write about this kind of thing for, say, the Pontifical Biblical Commission, will have no idea that one could read the revised prayer for the Jews as something that is any different than one would pray for, say, Hindus, or Mulims, or whatever. Jews may incorrectly perceive that they if they have any faith at all, it is a faith different to Christian faith. The PBC bows to that incorrect perception. Must it be repeated that his Holiness wrote the preface for their intervention? See:

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

    Also, see:

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

    and especially:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/a-curious-point-in-a-usccb-press-release-on-catholic-jewish-relations/

    The Jews, as all of us, need individually to be enlightened by the light of faith in a continuous manner. For the Jews, this is in reference to that which they have already been given, and reception of this light is equal to a lifting of the veil. “All Israel” refers to “the many” mentioned in the consecration at Holy Mass. In that sense, the Jews belong as others belong to this group of “the many.” But they are even more than this in the economy of salvation. The revision of the prayer seems to want to bring this point out, but… what is the mind of the legislator with this prayer, considering what has come out of the PBC in recent years?

    Whatever! The revised prayer is excellent, if one knows Scripture REALLY well, and it doesn’t matter what tangential thoughts any Cardinal Ratzinger or any Pontifical Biblical Commision thought or wrote about anything previous to this prayer. The prayer is good as it is and it will remain long after we’re all dead, so much will the drama of the change weigh on future Pontiffs.

    This is all entrenched in the drama over at the TRILOGY in two sets of upcoming chapters of Book 1.

  39. Is there any significance to the fact that the revised prayer concludes with “Per Christum Dominum nostrum” rather than “Per (eundem) Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium Tuum…” as all the other solemn prayers?

    May a priest change the conclusion?

  40. Legisperitus says:

    Does anyone happen to know which Pope reformed the Good Friday prayer “pro Christianissimo Imperatore” into the version used in the 1962 ceremony “pro omnibus res publicas moderantibus”? Was that part of Pius XII’s changes, or something earlier?

  41. Father G says:

    Legisperitus…

    The prayer for the Emperor was modified with the reform of the Holy Week ceremonies in 1955.

  42. schoolman says:

    Abe Foxman and friends are running back to the Holy Father and screaming “don’t write that!” The Holy Father says “What I have written I have written…”

  43. Tom says:

    “Most people really wont care one way or another about this prayer.
    It is used once a year.”

    Then why upset a vast amount of people who care?

  44. Viator C:

    The “eundem” has been dropped from the doxology of the new prayer because Christ is not mentioned in it. “The same” is only used when the prayer has mentioned Him.

    For a priest to change the prayers of the liturgy is forbidden. And in this case reinserting “eundem” would make the prayer incoherent.

  45. Michael says:

    “John,
    No problem.
    Ferrara sets everything straight.
    Our brilliant Holy Father is so masterfully clever. He knows exactly what he is doing.
    I am a three toed sloth and failed to see what the Supreme Pontiff was doing, instead I reacted.
    Thats why I remain an idiot and Benedict is the Vicar of Christ.
    Deo Gratias!”

    I think this is going overboard. Ferrara does not set everything straight. He offers a possible explanation. But even if Ferrara were right, we still have to answer why the pope had to change the liturgy to make the point that doctrine has not changed. Foxman is mad, but not as mad as he would have been if the prayer hadn’t been changed at all. If the pope wanted to reaffirm the traditional teaching, it would have been enough to proclaim that the prayer stands as is. Foxman isn’t satisfied, but surely he knows that this is a victory. He protested, the pope listened, and the pope acted, even if he didn’t go as far as the ADL would have liked. That prayer wasn’t anti-semitic. Of all the excuses for not saying the old mass, never once have I heard or read “because it’s anti-semitic.”

    Why is everyone here either against this change or think it’s a great thing? My guess is because we all realize that it would have been better for us and for the liturgy if this had never happened, and the implication are too scary for some people to deal with. No, the liturgy wasn’t constantly changed in the past. And if we don’t want it to become a fly in amber, all we have to do is pray it and let it effect us. We don’t need to go through the books making useless changes just to keep it modern. My guess is that this is something the pope thought long and hard on and prayed about, and we have to obey him, but does that mean this has to be the right decision? To say that is not to challenge the authority of the Pope. Rome has spoken. The mistake is here to stay.

  46. schoolman says:

    Ferarra has picked up on the significance of this. This “re-affirmation” of doctrine is more powerful than simply ignoring the whole issue. It is another devestating blow to the hermeneutic of rupture.

  47. Habemus Papam says:

    Fr. Renzo: does this new prayer better reflect the teaching of Nostra aetata? (Better than the Good Friday prayer in the ’69 Missal, that is).

  48. Jonathan Bennett says:

    Funny how Rome has given plenty of time for the Novus Ordo to correct it’s many translation errors, but this change in the 1962 Missal must be implemented immediately.

    When change is to be made to the NO there is a load of discussion and voting with the Episcopal Conferances and all kinds of opinions flying around everywhere. Not here.

  49. Matt Q says:

    Father Z:

    Thank you for taking the time to point out such wonderful details regarding the Good Friday prayer for the Jews. Very informative. I would like to comment though, that it isn’t so much as what the theology of the prayer is, it’s the very idea the prayer was changed in the first place. Merely rewording something for the sake of political correctness is galling. Even if it was done to the Novus Ordo it couldn’t be appreciated, and we know there is he enough of that going around.

    You pointed out some interesting observations. Here are mine.

    1. Most people really won’t care one way or another about this prayer.

    () For the most part, no, many won’t care, but I believe it will be more because they are humble about it rather than being bitter ( which I’m going to have to offer up for this Lent ).

    2. It is used once a year.

    () Because this prayer is going to be used only once a year, we should just jot it down on a Post-It and stick it in the back of our Missals. Eh, big deal. Just overlook it and listen when the prayer comes up. We hope people aren’t that scrupulous that they have to have that little ditty right in front of them, especially, as you said, it comes up only once a year and takes only a few seconds to mention. ;-)

    3. Missals were changed by Popes all along the way.

    () Yes, Missals have been changed along the way, but to make an alteration of such petty detail AFTER people the world over have just bought a brand new one really has somewhat cheapened it. Sort of along the lines of buying a new car but the manufacturer has recalled the entire fleet because of a minor defect. Sours one on the whole thing. Additionally, this creates a great financial burden on noble publishers such as Baronius and AngelusPress who then need to republish the thing for accuracy sake or put out an addendum. Waste.

    Oh, BTW, Father. You mentioned the poetic loss. I agree entirely. When comparing the English of the 1962 Missal and the English of the reformulated prayer, it sounds like heating directions off of a TV dinner.

    4. Our Church is not a fly in amber.

    () No, of course, our Church isn’t so, but also She is not a tumbleweed blowing across town at the whims of the world–and lately the Church very much has been.

    5. People should actually read the prayer and think about it before freaking out.

    () Again, what the prayer is saying isn’t so much the consideration ( being that it says the same thing which is great ) but that it was changed at all. Thanks again, Father, for your efforts at informing us.

  50. Tom says:

    Rather than comment upon the content of the prayer, the Holy Father has shattered the argument that Rome must tinker with the Roman Liturgy at a snail’s pace.

    Certain “impatient” Catholics (I guess that includes yours truly) have questioned why Rome has moved so sloooowly regarding certain reforms that are needed desperately to restore the sense of Tradition to the Novus Ordo.

    The response by various posters is that the Pope must proceed sloooowly in regard to tinkering with the Roman Liturgy.

    The Pope must spend years preparing the Faithful for even “minor” changes to the Mass.

    Funny…the Pope just tinkered in rapid fashion with the Traditional Roman Liturgy.

    He knew that his tinkering would create a firestorm within the so-called “Traditional” Catholic community.

    “Traditional” Catholics were not prepared for the change to the Roman Liturgy that the Holy Father just enacted.

    Conversely, it will have taken years…decades…to have rendered “pro multis” as “for many”…and we’re still waiting for that day to arrive.

    I believe that what has upset a great many Traditionalists is not so much that Rome just altered the venerable Roman Liturgy…

    …it is the swift manner in which Rome acted.

    Frankly, it is the “new” Roman Liturgy that requires swift attention and action.

    It is the “new” Roman Liturgy, far more than the ancient Roman Liturgy, that requires change.

    At any rate, Rome has just put to rest the argument that Rome must always move at a snail’s pace…must prepare the Faithful diligently… when it comes to changes regarding Roman Liturgy (in either form).

  51. Matt Q says:

    Jonathan Bennett wrote:

    “Funny how Rome has given plenty of time for the Novus Ordo to correct it’s many translation errors, but this change in the 1962 Missal must be implemented immediately.

    When change is to be made to the NO there is a load of discussion and voting with the Episcopal Conferences and all kinds of opinions flying around everywhere. Not here.”

    Good point, Jonathan. Just look at the “re-English-ing” of the Novus Ordo. Very true. Makes one wonder what the hidden agenda is.

  52. Matt: Because this prayer is going to be used only once a year, we should just jot it down on a Post-It and stick it in the back of our Missals. Eh, big deal.

    Please point out where I indicated it is not important. As someone pointed out above, the Exsultet is just once a year too. However, given that it is once a year, there is no reason to get worked up out of proportion to the real impact of the change. After all, the substance of the prayer is there.

    to make an alteration of such petty detail AFTER people the world over have just bought a brand new one really has somewhat cheapened it.

    No. It hasn’t.

    When comparing the English of the 1962 Missal and the English of the reformulated prayer, it sounds like heating directions off of a TV dinner.

    But English isn’t really the issue. Read: Who cares what an English version says? The text is in Latin, and that is what counts.

  53. It’s official, it’s in today’s Osservatore Romano.

    The Vatican caved in to the pressure groups
    and did the unthinkable. It has revised the 1962 Missal
    to make ambiguous the Good Friday intercessions
    for the Jews.

    The hierarchy just does not get it.

    Not only is it scandalous that the “Sacred Liturgy”
    be so much as touched by this generation of clergy
    (any such revisions need to wait til the hierarchy
    is one not fatally compromised by its coddling anti-semitism
    up to 1950 and its coddling pedophiles the last 100 yeares at least),
    the revision in these prayers only has used the excuse of dropping
    impolite words (e.g., “blindness”) to enact in the 1962 Missal
    the agenda an altering of the meaning of Christianity.

    Praying that Jews “acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men”
    is not the same as praying that they “acknowledge Jesus Christ
    to be our Lord.”

    One need not believe someone to be God to believe he is Savior.

    The original language calls on Jews to acknowledge Jesus
    as being more than Messiah; it also prays for them to acknowledge Him
    as God [which is what calling Jesus “Lord” (“Adonai”) would mean
    to any Jew.

    This new langiuage, thus, is all part of the new two-tracks-to-Heaven
    movement (i.e., the idea that Jews can be saved just via the Mosaic
    Covenant and, as always taught, not solely by Baptism and within
    the Catholic Church.

    Far from being the hoped-for sign that a corner has been turned,
    Pope Benedict is proven a continuation of the modernist revolution.

  54. Henry Edwards says:

    I don\’t believe anyone has yet pointed out here something my friend Jon mentioned elsewhere. That with this step the TLM rejoins the living liturgy of the Church, free now to resume its organic development, after having been artificially (if fortunately) frozen in place since 1962.

    As of yesterday, the traditional Missale Romanum is no longer a fly-in-amber museum piece. In due time, it will include important new saints and feasts and beautiful new prefaces (as Cardinal Ratzinger has mentioned).

    I wonder whether there\’s not also a message here that it\’s important to get things right in the TLM, whereas this may be less important if not impossible with the Novus Ordo. Important enough for the Supreme Pontiff to act promptly, rather than leaving it to years of unseemly political haggling in bishops conferences.

    Of course, an entirely different possibility — which will scare a whole different bunch of folks — is that this is a harbinger of similarly summary papal action to solve some of the Novus Ordo problems.

  55. Terence: The Vatican caved in to the pressure groups
    and did the unthinkable.

    I don’t think that was unthinkable at all. Pope constantly revised previous editions of the Missal

    One need not believe someone to be God to believe he is Savior.

    Nice trick, that.

    This new langiuage, thus, is all part of the new two-tracks-to-Heaven
    movement

    Noooo…

    Far from being the hoped-for sign that a corner has been turned,
    Pope Benedict is proven a continuation of the modernist revolution.

    You should calm down and rethink your position.

  56. Henry: with this step the TLM rejoins the living liturgy of the Church, free now to resume its organic development, after having been artificially (if fortunately) frozen in place since 1962.

    And, as such, this book is a whole lot harder to get rid of!

  57. schoolman says:

    If the substance of the prayer remains then why should we object to a re-formulation that removes potential obstacles to conversion? After all, the prayer is primarily intended for the benefit of the Jews. If we object we maybe should ask how much we really (really!) care about the conversion of the Jews.

  58. Tom says:

    Ferrara isn’t the only one with praise for the Holy Father.
    The much maligned Sungenis thinks this is great.

    http://www.catholicintl.com/articles/Note%20of%20the%20Secretariat%20of%20State%20on%20Latin%20Mass%20Prayer.pdf

    And did anyone happen to catch the January issue of Culture Wars?
    Holy White Smoke, Batman!

  59. Tim Ferguson says:

    With this revision, can we claim that the Extraordinary Form is now the more recently revised Missal, rather than that “old thing” that’s been around since 2002? (yes, I know I’m being mildly petulant)

  60. Peter Moscatelli says:

    No comments on “Jesum Christum salvatorem omnium hominum”? I find it a nice way of enforcing a piece of truth that some parts of the Church perhaps thinks too little of: let’s remember that we are speaking about one of the two forms of the Roman Rite – this prayer is not only matter for the inhabitants of Traddyland, but for every Catholic.

  61. Chironomo says:

    Yes, some actual RATIONAL thought would be useful here. If Benedict’s point were, as some here wish to claim, to “placate” or “cave in” to pressure from Jewish groups, we could assume that the resulting text would have done so, being the intelligent theologian that he is given the considerable amount of time that has been given to this rather brief prayer. However, the resulting text not only didn’t placate such groups, it has further infuriated them by a strengthening of the language concerning conversion. Rejecting the idea that the strengthened language was merely “accidental”, we have to conclude that Benedict did so on purpose, which would argue against the assertion that his point was to placate or cave in. All of this being the case, we can only come to two conclusions: Either his point wasn’t to placate or cave in to special interests, or he didn’t write the prayer (this is intended to be an absurd conclusion for those who might think I mean someone else wrote the prayer). Or perhaps some might fall back on the argument that this prayer “accidentally” turned out the way it did. Remove the blindness from your own eyes and look at what is going on…

  62. Excellent, schoolman!

    WAC

  63. Tom says:

    Jon wrote: “I disagree, however, that pressure from the ADL is the main reason the Holy Father has done this. I find it much more likely that it was done to defuse the objection of liberal bishops to implementing SP. I would think the obstinate ordinaries who’ve cooked up “guidelines” for enacting Summorum Pontificum are getting a private earful from Rome. I’d bet anything that their chief excuse, especially in Western Europe, is “antisemitism.” The Holy Father, in one marvelous kick, has punted this one through the posts. The Cardinal Lehmanns of the world now have to put up and shut up.”

    That doesn’t make sense to me as various Traditional Good Friday prayers employ language that many liberals and, for that matter, conservatives, find “offensive” to Protestants, Eastern Orthodox and non-Christians (besides Jews).

    Referring to non-Catholics as “schismatics, heretics and pagans” is deemed “offensive” among liberals and even conservatives (such as those within charismatic circles).

    Besides, a great many conservatives have shown little desire to accommodate the Traditional Latin Mass.

    Many liberals, compared to various conservatives, have been far more accommodating to the TLM.

    Within the Dallas Diocese, for example, conservatives, particularly priests, I’ve spoken with refuse to have anything to do with the TLM.

  64. Michael says:

    “I don’t believe anyone has yet pointed out here something my friend Jon mentioned elsewhere. That with this step the TLM rejoins the living liturgy of the Church, free now to resume its organic development, after having been artificially (if fortunately) frozen in place since 1962.”

    God forbid that our sacred liturgy go more than 45 years without a revision! The Orthodos simply don’t make major changes to their liturgy, and they are a liturgical Christianity par excellence. Between Urban VIII’s Missal in 1634 and the 1920 Missal which included Pius X’s reforms, the only changes made to the Mass were the inclusion of new feasts. I find it hard to believe that this made the liturgy a “fly in amber.” For those 286 years, the rubrics and prayers in the Missal were the same, and the church grew, expanding into new areas in South America and Asia, converting tens of thousands of souls to the faith, and sustaining Westen culture. It was that liturgy that inspired the great symphonic Masses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Catholicism was just as vibrant as it ever was, and no one thought to alter the Missal. I hardly see how not wanting to touch the Missal makes it a fly in amber or a museum piece. With so many saints since 1962, the Pope could have very easily given us new feast days, new propers, and new prefaces. All of which would have been a major step forward and reinvigorated the liturgy as you suggest. Instead, he chose to give us something else entirely.

  65. Jason L. Keener says:

    Sacrosanctum Concilium #23 states, “Finally, there must be NO innovations [in the Liturgy] unless the good of the Church GENUINELY and CERTAINLY requires them.”

    Did the good of the Church genuinely and certainly require a change to the Good Friday Prayer? Probably not. Traditionally-minded Catholics are now upset, and the Jewish people still aren’t happy. Most people could care less.

    Perhaps it would have been more prudent (and easier) for the Holy Father to have just explained the purpose and meaning of the old Good Friday Prayer instead of writing a new prayer that hasn’t seemed to satisfy anyone.

    In the Holy Father’s defense, with this change, it’s possible that he hopes to finally neutralize many of those people who used the old Good Friday Prayer as their big knee-jerk reason for not liking the Tridentine Mass. We all know dislike for the Old Mass goes much deeper than a single prayer, but now that the prayer has been amended with its original meaning still intact, the real reasons of those who disdain the Tridentine Mass can be brought into the open light and discussed frankly for all to see. We can only pray that the veil will now be lifted from their hearts.

  66. Jonathan Bennett says:

    You know, maybe we can turn this situation into something that will please traditionalists and give something to everyone else- make the revised Good Friday Prayer mandatory for both the 1962 and Novus Ordo Missals. Would certainly beat what they currently use in the NO.

  67. G says:

    Mike, if you think the Holy Father can be “rattled” you ain’t been paying attention.

  68. Legisperitus says:

    Thanks, Father G.

  69. Habemus Papam says:

    This new prayer for the conversion of the Jews could be a way of interpreting the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate “in the light of Tradition”.

  70. Hibernus says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for this and all your posts.

  71. Thank you Fr. Thompson.

    But, I shouldn\’t have been lazy in leaving my comment in shorthand for the second prayer conclusion.

    My point was that the new prayers ends with \”Per Christum Dominum nostrum\” (Through Christ our Lord. Amen.) like all all Novus Ordo prayers except the opening collect.

    The other solemn prayers of the 1962 Missal and all prayers (collect, secret, postcommunion) ended with a long conclusion, I think: \”Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium Tuum qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.\” (Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.)
    or if Christ were mentioned: \”Per eundem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium Tuum qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.\” (Through our same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.)

    Will the Holy Father change the shorter conclusion to the longer so as to allow the revised prayer to fit more smoothly with the other solemn prayers?
    Or did he intentionally want it to stand out as different?

  72. Mike says:

    All:

    Don’t fear just yet. I’m hearing from more than one traditional priest — and by that, i mean truly traditiona, as in a Latin Mass only priest in a traditional order — that they will be ignoring this re-write.

    I’m told the theory is that they were given their universal indult to use all of the books of 1962 — period. This prayer change now makes it, in their minds, the missal of 2008 and they will not be complying.

    Finally — some backbone.

  73. Mike says:

    All:

    Don’t fear just yet. I’m hearing from more than one traditional priest — and by that, i mean truly traditiona, as in a Latin Mass only priest in a traditional order — that they will be ignoring this re-write.

    I’m told the theory is that they were given their universal indult to use all of the books of 1962 — period. This prayer change now makes it, in their minds, the missal of 2008 and they will not be complying.

    Finally — some backbone.

  74. Habemus Papam says:

    Mike; well thats a legal point which may be valid. I think this new prayer is intended for the wider traditionalist communities who are not too fussed if its 1962 or 2008 just so long as they can get good Catholic liturgy.

  75. schoolman says:

    This just in from the USCCB:

    “Central to the concerns of the Holy Father is the clear articulation that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and his Church.”

    There you have it folks. This was a move no doubt designed to correct any misconceptions relative to Catholic/Jewish relations.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-016.shtml

    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
    Interreligious Affairs

    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).

    “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.’

    “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.

    “The Catholic Church in the United States remains steadfastly committed to deepening its bonds of friendship and mutual understanding with the Jewish community.”

  76. Michael says:

    Although this new prayer is beautiful, I like the poetry of the veil imagery because it connects to the Temple and the Crucifixion all at once. The Temple Veil being torn when Christ gave up His Spirit – juxtapose that with – our praying for the veil to be torn and Christ’s light to come into the hearts of our Jewish brethren. Also, this imagery harkens to the early Roman Rite when there was a veil which covered the altar (the Syriac and [my Church -->] Syro-Malankara Churches, which celebrate the Holy Qurbono of St. James, retain this veil), which is opened as the altar candles are lit and the songs of Christ as Light as sung..

  77. Pope Evaristus, Martyr says:

    Mike,

    That position is the same as liberal and evil bishops, who listen when they want to, and don’t listen when they don’t want to.

    A Pope that can allow the use of a particular edition of a Missal can certainly legislate particulars of said Missal.

  78. Matt Robinson says:

    I think this is a very shrewd move on the part of the Holy Father for many of the same reasons outlined in The Remnant article.

    The prayer is clear and to the point….none of the “elder brother” or “unrevolked covenant” stuff so en vogue as of late at the Vatican.

    Covenental Judaism ENDED around 70AD. The Jews of today are only accidental relatives of the Biblical Jews when it comes to spirituality.

    Christ took from them the marks of the historic Covenant:

    1. the Temple
    2. the Sacrifice
    3. the Priesthood
    4. the Magisterium
    5. Prophetic office

    and gave all these to the Apostolic Church.

    The Trad naysayers are actually placing the Jews on a sort of “Kasper-esque” level of importance by their reaction to the changes in this prayer.

    The Jews (such an amazingly broad term when you consider it) do have great and noble elements of truth (when they choose to live these out….unlike my own Jewish cousins and friends!!—long story there), such as the scriptures, 10 Commandments ect, much more than any other non-Christian religion by far and above, but they still need to convert just like everybody else does and they do not enjoy any special divine pass on salvation because they happen to have “feld” or “stein” at the end of their names. This prayer continues makes that clear.

    As for Saint Paul’s words, they are too obscure to place a definitive meaning on….we know the the Old Covenant was fulfilled in Christ, and no other covenant remains which is salvific. The Jews may yet have a special role to play in history, but this prayer puts to rest the heretical “salvific covenant” notion which grew so popular under JPII.

  79. Even more “clarity” from the USCCB film review office.

    Oh, sorry! You mean that the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs is not a subdivision of the film review office?

    My mistake. It was easy to make.

  80. E.Marie says:

    Please help me to understand the sense of disobedience I get from so many traditionalists.

    Mike wrote,
    \”Don’t fear just yet. I’m hearing from more than one traditional priest—and by that, i mean truly traditiona, as in a Latin Mass only priest in a traditional order—that they will be ignoring this re-write.

    I’m told the theory is that they were given their universal indult to use all of the books of 1962—period. This prayer change now makes it, in their minds, the missal of 2008 and they will not be complying.

    Finally—some backbone.\”

    To me this is so full of pride and disobedience. We are called to obey the Holy Father. Constantly we complain about the abuses that take place in the Novus Ordo mass; abuses that wouldn\’t exist if the mass was said properly. The Pope had every right to change this prayer, and the Church is a living organism, growing always. I don\’t think he was bowing to anyone, and studying the prayer and good commentary like Fr. Z\’s further affirms that for me. Trust in the Holy Father and do not dissent. You don\’t always have to like things, and discussion is wonderful, but to be openly flaunting and supporting direct disobedience?

    This is not a sign of backbone to me, but pride.

  81. schoolman says:

    “This is not a sign of backbone to me, but pride.”

    Wow! This really is a good opportunity for traditionalists to show their true quality. Let’s not be disobedient in this instance and then point like hypocrites to disobedient “progressives” that would resist Summorum Pontificum.

  82. I must say I’m surprised. It seems an unnecessary re-write. It’s not a bad one, but it seems unnecessary. What I take from the re-write is a stronger focus on the universality of the prayer, that the Jews are more clearly included in that context of prayer for all others’ enlightenment as well. But, I think one must have been rather dense not to have understood it in that context previously. So, meh.

    I feel for all those who’ve recently bought brand new missals with the old text!

  83. Andrew says:

    Thanks Habemus Papam for your comment.

    Throughout all of this blog, and I am sad to see from Fr Z also, there has been hardly any reference to Nostate Aetate, the concilar document.

    This document, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the benchmark for Catholic-Jewish relations, and this revised prayer is in SYNC with this, unlike the old one.

    The revised prayer is still vastly better than that used in the 1970 missal, which speaks very ambiguously about the conversion.

    Remember Bl John XXIII began this process with his deletion of the word perfidious, which was the result of a respectful petitioni by the Sisters of Notre Dame De Sion. Surely this was to continue.

    The fact that so many Jewish persons are still unhappy with this prayer, belies the traditionalist objection that this has been an entire capitulation to Jewish interests. What the media has not focused on is the new direction in Catholic-Jewish relations mandated by the Council.

    So please in talking about this, consider much wider concerns.

    Can I recommend a good book edited by Roy Schoeman, called Honey from the Rock, the accounts of 16 conversions to Catholicism of those of Hebrew background.

    Andrew, a Latin Mass lover always, but at the same time a philosemite.

    In imitation of Pope John Paul and Benedict, can’t we see more of the latter here in this debate?

  84. Matt Robinson says:

    I’ve posted this spoof article I’ve created on another site, but am posting it here too for anyone’s use….I think it sums up the current absurdity of the Abe Foxman – ADL controversy.

    New York, NY, February 5, 2008 …. The Catholic Church said the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) changes to the Prayer for the State of Israel used during Jewish Torah Shabbat Services amounted to “cosmetic revisions” and that the prayer remains “deeply troubling” because it calls for Jews to acknowledge a “special Divine favour and protection for the State of Israel”.

    Cardinal Kasper issued the following statement:

    While we appreciate that some of the nationalistic language has been removed from the new version of the State of Israel prayer, we are deeply troubled and disappointed that the framework and intention to petition God to bless and protect the State of Israel against its enemies was kept intact.

    The Vatican said that mere alterations of language without a change to the prayer’s jingoistic intent amounted to “cosmetic revisions”, while retaining the most troubling aspect for Catholics, namely the petition to “strengthen the hands of the defenders, the guardians of our land” and “bequeath to them the crown of victory”. Cardinal Kasper went on to say that the prayer’s sectarian tone, “glorified the use of violence” and commented that the ongoing desire to view Israel as enjoying Divine favour over and above its “accursed” Arab neighbours was unacceptable. Still named the “Prayer for the State of Israel,” it is a major departure from recent peace efforts in the region and numerous secular Jewish documents which called for a withdrawal from Gaza and renewed talks between Jews and Arabs.

    Pope Benedict wrote to the ADL on January 22 expressing concern that a revised prayer for the State of Israel, would be devastating to the deepening relationship and dialogue between the Jews and non-Jews, and would derail hopes for peace in the Middle East

  85. Antiquarian says:

    Indeed, schoolman has hit the, or at least a, nail on the head. The Holy Father has given those of us who call ourselves “Traditional” an implicit, but genuine challenge. This change is Pope Benedict’s to make, and there is no intellectually honest wayto argue that point. Elsewhere on the blogosphere are posters shrieking that this puts an end to anyhope of reconciliation with the SSPX, for instance. If that’s the case, it is a mark of shame for the SSPX, and an indication that their long-proclaimed loyalty to the Pope was nothing but window-dressing.

    On a slightly different note, I am continually amused by those who call complexity “ambiguity,” and subtlety “vagueness.” All they do in a case like this is display that they are out of their depths.

  86. mike says:

    Father Z

    Some people are just retarded. I think I am using that word in the proper context.

    Can we talk about your supper instead?

    m

  87. Martin says:

    I think some of those who were suggesting that the current revision may turn out to be **non-binding** spoke in light of the oddity of the source from whence the “order” came. Surely the Pope can revise the prayer — and, indeed, make it mandatory for all those who use the 1962 Missal. The question, however, is whether (when all is said and done and the **proper dicastery** has issued the precise regulations in this regard) the change will actually be *mandated* or rather merely requested/optional.

    While Bertone would indicate the former, the fact that the “official” annunciation of the change has yet to come forth might allow for a certain lessening of the force of the revision itself — especially given the strong reaction of unhappiness and worry by many within the so-called “traditionalist movement”, individuals the Pope is eager to bring back within full communion.

  88. Aussie Paul says:

    Interestingly, the existing prayer that is being replaced also has a Scriptural theme: 2 Corinthians 3:12-16

    12 Having therefore such hope, we use much confidence:

    13 And not as Moses put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel might not steadfastly look on the face of that which is made void.

    14 But their senses were made dull. For, until this present day, the selfsame veil, in the reading of the old testament, remaineth not taken away (because in Christ it is made void).

    15 But even until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.

    16 But when they shall be converted to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. (Douay Reims trans.)

    More interestingly, why would the Church now find it necessary to suppress from its liturgical prayers a reference to the New Testament, divinely inspired as it is, just to satisfy some current Jewish complaints about alleged anti-semitism?

    If there is now to be a spirit of greater diplomacy, with less abruptness and directness in the liturgical prayers of the Church when referring to other churches, ecclesial communities and religions, in an effort to quieten their possible objections to such prayers, why is it that the Jews are singled out for preferential treatment on Good Friday?

    For instance, the prayer for members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Protestant sects still refers to them as “heretics and schismatics … who are led away by the Devil’s deceits”, who should “reject their mischievious errors”, and who we ask God to save from “all their errors and draw them back to their holy mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

    So too, the prayer for the pagans or heathens, and this would include members of the Muslim faith, begs God to “take away all wickedness from their hearts” and “bring them into your holy Church.”

    Why will there not be criticism from aggrieved Muslims, Hindus, Russian Orthodox, Anglicans and other Protestants etc that they are being accorded second-class treatment? Will they not ask why the Holy Father has not accorded them the same supposed graciousness, courtesy and cordiality?

  89. Martin says:

    In response to the immediately preceding question, no other specific groups besides the Jews *were* “singled out” by the traditional Good Friday prayers. Generic prayers for heretics, schismatics and idol worshippers allow for all sorts of finnessing in terms of “formal” heretics, “formal” schismatics, etc. — as opposed to those who may be in “invincible ignorance” (and thus already part of the one Church, though not formally, juridically and _in re_).

    As such, none of the other prayers need be interpreted as referring to any particular Protestant or Eastern Orthodox Christian, and the same goes for the prayer for “idol worshippers”. The prayer for the Jews was the only one that specified a particular historical group — and in a way that one could not make such “formal” versus “material” distinctions. I think this is one of the reasons why the change is aproppriate in their case, but not in the others.

  90. schoolman says:

    Antiquarian: “I am continually amused by those who call complexity “ambiguity,” and subtlety “vagueness.” All they do in a case like this is display that they are out of their depths.”

    I think I know exactly what you mean.

  91. Connie says:

    Antiquarian: “I am continually amused by those who call complexity “ambiguity,” and subtlety “vagueness.” All they do in a case like this is display that they are out of their depths.”

    And I am continually amused and AMAZED at the atheletic ability of many Catholics who continue to jump through a triathalon of hoops and hurdles in an effort to defend the Vatican!

    How is anyone suppose to take the Catholic Church seriously anymore, let alone “convert the Jews” or anyone else when one group of Catholics says this, the other group says that, and then the Vatican says…? Give me a break! There is not enough medication in the world to quell the schizophrenia infecting the Catholic Faith in 21st century I assure you.

  92. Malta says:

    YOU ARE ALL MISSING A HUGE POINT:

    This prayer is not political posturing, but should be a real, heart-felt prayer that Jews and the world itself come to know and love Christ; the Redeemer of the world, and the only path to Salvation. We should pray this prayer with Christian charity, and not with a grudge, or a political connotation against aggiornamento. The Salvation of Souls is the first business of the Catholic Church.

    If this prayer was failing in its original mission and intention, then it is right and just that it be reformulated to advance its original intention. That original intention has not been lost in the revision..

    Our Holy Father has masterfully and adroitly circumnavigated the murky waters between rapprochement (with traditionalists) and appeasement (with those whom the prayer was meant for in the first place.)

  93. ABOUT NOSTRA AETATE

    It is not inspired. Not even one of the Council Fathers or experts or anyone else would claim that it is. They would be horrified at such a suggestion. Really. Horrified. Cardinal Bea included.

    Neither prayer is more for or against Nostra Aetate. To claim such leaves one horrified. Both prayers are good and so is Nostra Aetate (it being given that this document is understood correctly in its original Latin).

    By the way… The USCCB is not inspired. Don’t be distracted by their continuing political posturing. Their uninspired translation of the Bible, the New American Bible, is horrifically anti-Semitic, as I’ve shown elsewhere in this blog (links provided in a comment further above. There I provide some of the text of the TRILOGY).

    The texts of both prayers and of Nostra Aetate are to be read in the continuing Tradition of the Church. Full stop. Thus, as far as either prayer goes, there is no reason to be concerned about previous or present theological misconceptions by whatever individual.

    Malta is exactly right: OREMUS!

  94. Michael says:

    Just dreaming, but does anyone think there’s a chance the prayer will be restored someday when the Jews have lost their victim status in Western Europe?

  95. I’m wondering and comparing this “that ALL Israel may be saved” (referring to the end of time when all Jews will be converted) to the ignominious change in the words of consecration of the chalice “…which is shed for you and for ALL”, instead of “for MANY”. What about Jews still living? Does the Church not have an obligation to evangelize to them as well instead of waiting for the Last Day?

  96. The Hymn: If you are making that comparison, you are making a false comparison. The Latin formula has never said anything other than pro multis… “for many”.

  97. david mcgowan says:

    Oooh! the short memories brought to bear.

    When I was much younger I was very impressed when John XXIII got up during the Good Friday liturgy went to the lectern and crossed out the adjective “Perfidious” and askedthe lector to read it again.
    Now I am much older, it would be impossible to assert that J XXIII did so without having thought about the matter beforehand. A priest adviser of mine told me the Jews loved hin for it, J XXIII’s demonstration was the effective promulgation of the new prayer wording. He was a great publiciist.
    Now we have Benedict making a change of the same nature, and in my poor opinion , for the same reason, to reflect the way we are in Jewish Church relations.
    Hurrah for B XVI
    It is reassuring to have a Pope who “has his finger on the pulse” and acts accordingly

    d

  98. Alright Fr. Z, I’ll take that. But the question remains unanswered… hope for the Jews to accept Christ NOW or hope for those remaining Jews on the Last Day to convert?

  99. Tom says:

    To the Hymn Selector

    Clearly the prayer includes all Jews whose salvation is still in question, and not just those around on the last day. For the prayer invokes, in relation to the Jews, God’s desire that all men be saved and know the truth, not just those humans about on the last day. And the introduction calls for the Jews in general to recognise Christ as saviour of all. It is not simply concerned with a future community living on the last day. So the prayer is concerned with Jews now as well as Jews then.

    The prayer is very carefully constructed, and should be read as a unity; and that reading precludes an exclusively eschatological reference, though Pauline eschatology is being, properly and scripturally, invoked.

  100. Prof. Basto says:

    The only comment I want to make is:

    Why was the ordinary form prayer left intact?

    Isn’t it true that the Novus Ordo prayer, in not asking for the conversion of the Jews, is more problematic than the 1962 prayer?

    Shouldn’t this new prayer, now composed to replace the 1962 one in the extraordinary form, also be imposed on the ordinary form, to replace the one found in the 1970/1975/2002 Missals?

    Wouldn’t that be an improvement?

    Why is it that only in the extraordinary form we will keep praying for the conversion of the Jews? Shouldn’t that also be done in the ordinary form?

    Isn’t the 2008 suitable for the ordinary form? Isn’t it not only more recent, but also better, than the one that is contained in the 2002 Missal?

    After all, the Pope didn’t impose the prayer contained in the 2002 Missal on the 1962 extraordinary form. Instead, he chose to compose a new one. That shows that the 2002 prayer was found as not being ideal.

    So, why is it that this new composition isn’t also applied by the Pope to replace the 2002 prayer?

  101. Habemus Papam says:

    Prof. Basto: It seems the Pope is asserting Catholic Truth here in terms of Jewish Relations, and this was my point about interpreting Nostra Aetae in the light of Tradition. As for the 1969 prayer, perhaps there’s some truth in the rumour of a completely revised Pauline missal in the works?

  102. Matt Q says:

    Okay, question. What is this big obsession with the Jews? granted, as a people, a group, they were chosen by God to have direct lineal succession of salvation. They had their chance, however, passed it up, and now they are no different than any other group on this planet needing the saving power of The Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    This is strictly an opinion, but I think this also has truly political tones to it. The Vatican wants immediately resolution with Israel on the question of Church property and clergy in that country, and Israel has been dilly-dallying for years. The Church even called off a recent meeting with Israel on this matter because there was total lack of urgency on their part. The Secretariat needed to confirm certain things with them before the scheduled meeting and its calls weren’t returned, so the Vatican said forget it.

  103. Rob F. says:

    Prof Basto and Habemus Papam,

    Indeed, my first thought on reading this new prayer was the Holy Father’s statement that he hoped the two forms of the Roman rite might evolve towards each other. I suspect we may see the 2008 prayer in a future edition of the ordinary form of the liturgy.

  104. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I won’t bother recounting what everything I have already said on this issue on another thread. The new prayer is completely unacceptable to me, so I won’t even read it, let alone pray it. The main reason is that it was formulated only to appease the very worst among the enemies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that is the very worst precedent to set, especially in the aftermath of a social and ecclesiastical revolution that has decimated Holy Mother Church. The masoretic Jews are keeping their blasphemous and unholy Talmud (may God blot it out!), which says things of our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, and even of us, that are too uncivilised and evil to print. Their problem is that they do not belong to the civilised world. When they decide to join it, their first act will be to amend the Talmud or, better yet, convert to the Truth.

    I note first, then, that we are obliged to accept the legal force of this change once it is printed in the Acta Apostolicæ Sedis. That is our duty as Catholics.

    Fortunately, however, this only means that we must accept it as a legitimate and valid act of law. Fortunately, that law does not require us even to read that prayer, let alone pray it. Since Good Friday is not a holyday of obligation, we are perfectly free to read the 1962 version of that prayer (whether in the vernacular or in Latin) that is printed in our 1962 Missals or downloaded from the Internet and taken with us into church. Whatever the priest may be saying in Latin, we can read the 1962 words (whether in Latin or in the vernacular, being careful, however, to use *only* the Douay-Rheims version) as if no change had taken place. The law does not forbid it. In fact, we can read anything we like during that liturgy, so long as it is a fitting text (reading a comic book would violate at least Moral Law, reading the 1962 words would not).

    Secondly, we are perfectly entitled to attend a S.S.P.X Good Friday Service in place of any other. The old rule (fortunately–and, yet again, ironically–annulled by those post-conciliar imbeciles) was that you could only attend a Protestant service in the case of social or state occasion, and with certain restrictions on your behaviour there. Under the new rules of the Age of Aquarius NewChurch, you can attend a Protestant Service whenever you like, but it cannot fulfil the Sunday or holyday obligation. However, Good Friday is not a holyday of obligation. So, if you are allowed to attend a Protestant Good Friday Service, you are certainly allowed to attend a S.S.P.X. one. And the S.S.P.X uses the 1955 text, with the term ‘perfidious’ retained. How apt. How holy.

    Third, we are always free to attend an Eastern Catholic liturgy on Good Friday, or to stay at home and read the 1962 or 1955 Good Friday Prayers, or even to organise communal Good Friday Prayers using the 1955 texts. The law does not forbid it. What is not forbidden, is allowed.

    Given my local situation, attendance at a Ukrainian Byzantine Good Friday Service is the most likely recourse. Its a good one because it means that this entire issue won’t even be in the back of my mind on that day. My preference is simply to go to a Traditional Latin Good Friday Service and read the 1962 words from my handmissal (or a downloaded page) while the priest says whatever. I will not pray the new prayer from the Zionist Missal, and no law obliges me to do it.

    Yes, we must accept the new law. But the new law, in this case, does not oblige us to pray the new prayer, just as we are not obliged even to read the new luminous mysteries or the so-called ‘fifteenth station of the Cross’. Let us refuse to pray it as a gesture against tinkering during the aftermath of a revolution. Let us refuse to pray it as a sign of our love for sacred tradition. Let no change to the liturgy be made unless the good of Holy Church clearly and genuinely *requires* it. Wasn’t that a statement of a Vatican II document somewhere? No matter, revolutionaries don’t obey their own restrictions. Hi, God!

    P.K.T.P.

  105. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I note that so many people are now trying to rationalise what has happened. And I thought that one of the good things about Americans is that they were tough and could face the truth. How wrong I was! They now consider voting for Hill Billary. Enough said!

    Why don’t people simply accept what their hearts tell them? Nobody wants to face the truth because it’s too unpleasant. Can anyone here honestly imagine Pope Saint Pius X bending down and altering the Holy Catholic Mass to appease the Jews? Can anyone even *imagine* it? Can anyone imagine Pius XII doing it? I can’t. I’m just trying to be honest. We are supposed to value honesty and even to emphasise that during Lent.

    We have now witnessed the spectacle of the Vicar of Jesus Christ getting down on his hands and knees to kiss the feet of the two chief rabbis of Palestine, those who represent the Jews who said, “Let His blood be upon us and upon our descendants forever”. And this is Lent, the Season of His Sacred Passion! He is the Light of the World. Are those who reject Him not trapped in a realm of darkness, a realm from which we seek to rescue them by our prayers? Is this not a wondrous act of love, to pray for their conversion from blindness and darkness so that they can enter into the light of the beatific vision? Their sick and twisted Talmud calls Him Who came to save them things too vile to print. It calumniates His Holy and Immaculate Mother in ways too sick to recount. Is there not indeed a veil over their hearts which we should seek to remove? Should this great prayer be taken away?

    And how do they react? Predictably. Their Italian rabbis scream hysterically that the new prayer is unacceptable. The only thing they will accept is that we convert to masoretic Judaism. Still, had the Pope himself knelt down and begged to be admitted into their errors and their yeshivas, they would have refused to take him! The Talmud says that they were born to rule us, and we were born to serve them (yes, I can find the text for those who need it). It also says of us, “May God strike them all dead”. Are they removing this text? Where is the letter of request from Benedict XVI for them to remove it and others? Is not œcumenism a two-way street? If it is not, why do we engage in it? Do truth and error meet and kiss in the psalms as well?

    Let us pray, then, for the perfidious Jews: that our Lord and God would withdraw the veil from their hearts: they they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ. Almighty and eternal God, who drivest away from Thy mercy even the perfidious Jews: hear our our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people: that acknowledging the light of Thy truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness.

    Amen, Amen, Amen.

    P.K.T.P.

  106. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    The Beginning of the End

    1. Here is a current text from the Second Nocturne of Tenebræ, also for Good Friday:

    “We know what was the gathering together of the froward amongst Jewry, and what was the insurrection of wicked doers. How were they wicked doers? In that they desired to kill the Lord Jesus Christ. … Let not Jewry say : We did not kill Christ. For they delivered him up to Pilate’s tribunal in order that they should themselves seem innocent of his death. Thus when Pilate said to them : Take ye him, and crucify him : they answered : It is not lawful for us to put any man to death. So it was that they sought to cast the guilt of their crime upon a human judge : but by this could they deceive God the Judge? … But if we hold him to be guilty who did it against his will, shall they be innocent who did force him to do it? By no means. … But O ye, his own Jewish people, ye in full truth did kill him. And how did ye kill him? With the sword of the tongue. For like a sword ye whet your tongue. And when did ye strike the blow, but when ye cried out : Crucify him, crucify him?”

    This comes to us from St. Augustine. Obviously, it is even less œcumenical than the one that was changed. Therefore, once Abraham Cardinal Foxman and the two chief Zionists of Palestine lodge their demands, the Successor of St. Peter will have to pull out his pen and re-write this one too.

    Oh, now, let us also amend their Office. Then let us examine their private devotions.

    2. Collect from the Feast of Christ the King: “Almighty everlasting God, Who in Thy beloved Son, King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things anew; grant in Thy mercy that all the families of nations, rent asunder by the wound of sin, may be subjected to his most gentle rule. . . .”

    Gradual: “He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. V. And all kings shall adore Him, all nations shall serve Him.”

    Oh, no, no, no, no, no. That is completely against the spirit of Dignitatis Humanæ! Come on, Sister Susy, get out your magic marker. It’s time to make a revision to the propers of the 1962 Missal! The N.O. has completely different texts, texts that in no way suggest His rulership over all the nations. Let’s just substitute those . . .

    3. Private devotions? One is the Litany of the Holy Cross, which I use every Friday. It is approved for private use. How anti-semitic it is! Here is a part of it:

    “Destruction of idolatry, Save us, O Holy Cross,
    Stumbling block to the Jews, Save us, O Holy Cross,
    Condemnation of the ungodly, Save us, O Holy Cross, …”

    Notice how the Jews are associated contextually with idolaters and the ungodly? Oh, I can’t stand. Abolish it, Holy Father. Take it away! Abe Flotsam demands it!

    So little done, so much to do. So said Sir Cecil Rhodes. But then he was a Freemason.

    P.K.T.P.

  107. Fr. J. says:

    Those who are arguing against the amended prayer on political grounds (ie that the ADL should not dictate the prayers of the Catholic Church) would have a stronger argument if the ADL weren’t still just as angry over the revised prayer. So, no worries, the ADL does not dictate Catholic liturgy. But neither does any other select group including those who wish our liturgy to remain frozen in the 16th Century, or as Fr. Z has put it so well, a fly in amber.

    Having looked over the prayer changes, I am happy to see that the prayer is improved! The need for the conversion of the Jews is even more explicit in the new form without insulting the Jewish people for remaining in darkness. What smacks of unnecessary insult will not assist the conversion of the Jews, but a prayer calling upon the Lord to save them will.

    For the party in the Church which hopes for a frozen Extraordinary Form, there will be disappointments ahead, I am a afraid. First the Good Friday prayer. Next, the revision is the EF calendar.

    Along with Fr. Z. I feel it important to remember that the MP was still about the reform of the liturgy, not an appeal to stagnation. The MP, as I understand it (and I may be wrong), is a do-over. The reforms of the 60′s were not organic. The MP gives the Church the opportunity to reform the liturgy in an organic fashion so that updates take place without disrupting the spirit of the ancient liturgy. That is why we have returned to 1962 and not some previous liturgy. We are returning to 1962 so we can reform the ancient liturgy in a way that honors it rather than subverts it.

    Well, that is my take anyway.

  108. Legisperitus says:

    I agree with Fr. J. The immediate effect of this change has been to call attention to the Church’s belief in the Jewish need to convert, much more effectively than the Pope could have done by silently letting the existing prayer remain. And the Italian Rabbis have suspended dialogue over it, thus laying their cards on the table and showing the world that Christ Himself is indeed the stumbling block after all.

  109. Aussie Paul says:

    “It is of course possible to read the Old Testament so that it is not directed toward Christ; it does not point quite unequivocally to Christ. And if Jews cannot see the promises as being fulfilled in him, this is not just ill will on their part, but genuinely because of the obscurity of the texts and the tension in the relationship between these texts and the figure of Jesus. Jesus brings a new meaning to these texts – yet it is he who first gives them their proper coherence and relevance and significance. There are perfectly good reasons, then, for denying that the Old Testament refers to Christ and for saying, No, that is not what he said. And there are also good reasons for referring it to him – that is what the dispute between Jews and Christians is about.” (God and the World, Joseph Ratzinger, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2002, p. 209)

  110. “So, why is it that this new composition isn’t also applied by the Pope to replace the 2002 prayer?”

    Pope Benedict, before he ascended the seat of Peter, said that the Roman Liturgy of the future will be built entirely on the tradition of the old handed-down rite (1962 Roman Liturgy) and would incorporate some of the legit developments that came after Vatican II (e.g. new prefaces, wider order of readings, a few more options, Prayer of the Faithful and minor reform to the Ordo Missae and sanctoral). In other places, he has spoken of the need to have a new “new Mass.” In short, the Pope wants to scrap the Novus Ordo and replace it with a moderately reformed version of the 1962 Liturgy. And if he lives long enough, this will happen. This agreement to change the prayer for the Jews is the first step in this program. While I don’t support this change and probably won’t support many more of the changes that will be effected, I do recognize that if the Pope fulfills his liturgical desires, the Ordinary form of the Roman Rite will be much better. In fact, it would be almost perfectly traditional. That would make the return to Tradition much closer than it is now.

  111. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Fr. J.’s point is one that I cannot support. It is not a question of whether or not the A.D.L. or two chief rabbis from Palestine can dictate the text. It is the fact that they can demand a change and get one. The fact that they don’t like the change is secondary. Perhaps they will like the next one better.

    The unfortunate precedent is that special interest groups, espeically those outside the Church, can now have ‘standing’ to complain about our Mass and demand changes. Have you seen the text of our Votive Mass Against the Heathen, part of our propers? That could be the next target. I believe that the Gradual there calls for God to “crush” the pagans.

    The precedent set is that the Supreme Pontiff has considered making changes to our Sacred Liturgy at the behest of infidels. In the case in hand, it is as bad as it could be, since this particular group of infidels are the very worst enemies of Christ, as their uncivilised Talmud proves in spades.

    The Pope is a supreme monarch, even if his rulership is a rulership of service. He does not deign to bend down and alter the Missal, an opus Dei, at the behest of those in error. Our Missal is the work of God the Holy Ghost as He works in the lives of the faithful over time. Should it ever be altered to satisfy those who are perfidious? Try to imagine Pope St. Pius X or Pope Pius XII making this change for this reason! I dare you!

    As to the content of the prayer, the reference to darkness and blindness was especially apt in the case of the masoretic Jews. One might even add the term ‘hysterical’, judging from the reaction of the Italian rabbis and the A.D.L. There is a veil over their hearts indeed. I comfort myself in the belief that most civilised Jews have no idea what is in the unexpurgated Talmud as used as yeshivas, in reference to our Lord and Saviour and His Holy and Immaculate Mother. If they knew, they would probably be as outraged as we are.

    P.K.T.P.

  112. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Addendum to “The Beginning of the End”.

    3. Here is an excerpt from the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to be made after the Feast of Christ the King:

    “Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.”

    What, our Lord should be King of the Muslims and the Hindus? The Jews are no longer God’s chosen people? They called down upon their own heads his most Precious Blood? Isn’t this a reference to the text Abraham Cardinal Flotsam worried would be in Mel Gibson’s film? Let “His blood be upon us and upon our children” forever. Whoops! That text appears in our Passion narrative for Palm Sunday! Quick, somebody, get me a pair of scissors! If Mel Gibson had to omit such hate speech from his film, we shall have to omit it from our Palm Sunday Mass!

    4. Now, let’s see. Hmm, saith Abe Flotsam. What is this “Votive Mass against the Heathen” here? Oh, my word, what racism it contains! How politically incorrect! What abuse! What horrible abuse! Quick, get me my cell phone. Time to start a whine-a-thon.

    Collect: “Almighty everlasting God, in Whose hand are the power and the government of every nation; look to the help of the Christian people, that the heathen nations, who trust in their own fierceness [feritate], may be
    *crushed* [emphasis added] by the power of Thy right arm [????!!!!] . . . .”

    Oh Dignitatis Humanæ, oh Vatican II, oh Feminazi nuns in sweaters, oh priests with banjos, come to our aid! This must go! Snip, snip, snip.

    From the Gradual: “O my God, make them like a wheel and as stubble before the face of the wind” !!!! Oh, poor Abe, this is too much! AAAARGG! I’ve had a heart attack reading it! Quick! Phone my lawyer! Sue, sue, sue! Just imagine what these Trinitarians might write in a Votive Mass Against us Zionists! The only reason they don’t have one is because we hadn’t stolen Palestine from its rightful owners at that point!

    So little done, so much to do.

    P.K.T.P.

  113. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Fr. J. mentions a coming reform of the calendar of the 1962 Mass. I am not opposed to additions to the propers. It is an established principle in liturgy that the ordinary is unchanged unless the good the Church genuinely requires alteration, in which case it should be done organically and not simply by fiat.

    But the Church has always added propers to enrich the spiritual lives of the people by honouring new saints (and so on) who are important to their generations. Of course, this must be done with care. We certainly do not want the silly brother-love character of the propers of the 1960s. It would be best if people who do not have the bad spirit of the 1960s would be assigned to work on slow and gradual calendar reform.

    Moreover, certain jurisdictions might favour the addition of certain feasts. For example, traditionalists in the Campos p.a.a. might favour a feast added for the Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, whereas they might prefer not to have a feast for some future St. John XXIII. I am not suggesting that John XXIII was not a saint, only that, for various obvious reasons, we might not prefer him over some others.

    What we do not want is a moving of feasts to where they are on the Novus Ordo calendar. Structural changes should be avoided for a grace period of, say, fifty years. After fifty years, if the N.O. still exists, it might want to move its feasts to where they are on the 1962 calendar!

    P.K.T.P.

  114. jack burton says:

    “For the party in the Church which hopes for a frozen Extraordinary Form, there will be disappointments ahead, I am afraid. First the Good Friday prayer. Next, the revision is the EF calendar.”

    Since I think the recent change is to some extent suspect I suppose I can speak as a member of the “frozen EF” camp.

    The fact that you are apparently ecstatic about the possibility of “revision” to the EF makes me question your underlying principles and assumptions.
    I would welcome an authentic enrichment of the 1962 missal according to the heroic sanctity of the past 100+ years, including a most conservative and reverent pruning of the calendar. What must be opposed is the idea of revision and tinkering as a kind of good in itself or absolutely necessity. Rationalistic, reductionistic or positivistic revisionism is also to be opposed. The tending of that garden that is the liturgy ought to be approached with the utmost faith, reverence and the fear of God or it should not be approached at all.
    Resisting the perverse fads and rampant anti-liturgical heresy of our time, and the sheer absence of a truly sacramental understanding of the Church and Her Divine Liturgy, is in my opinion most apposite. No need to resort to variations of the old out of step dinosaur rhetoric. Anyone who claims to believe in the Catholic faith and yet has an innate disrespect for that which has been handed down and hallowed through the ages is an imposter and an infidel as far as I’m concerned. The Roman Catholic Church today is practically a farce because of the asinine Vatican II revolution and if the Church needs anything these days it is witnesses to the real faith of our fathers and not another round of “improvements.”

  115. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Another blogger here suggested that the Pope now impose his new Good Friday Prayer on the Novus Ordo Good Friday Service, replacing the mushy version that it has. I agree. But I have a better suggestion: impose the new 2008 version on the N.O. but then restore the 1962 words for the Traditional Missal! I wonder how the two chief rabbis of Palestine would react to that!

    P.K.T.P.

  116. AUSSIE PAUL cited Ratzinger:

    “It is of course possible to read the Old Testament so that it is not directed toward Christ; it does not point quite unequivocally to Christ. And if Jews cannot see the promises as being fulfilled in him, this is not just ill will on their part, but genuinely because of the obscurity of the texts and the tension in the relationship between these texts and the figure of Jesus. Jesus brings a new meaning to these texts – yet it is he who first gives them their proper coherence and relevance and significance. There are perfectly good reasons, then, for denying that the Old Testament refers to Christ and for saying, No, that is not what he said. And there are also good reasons for referring it to him – that is what the dispute between Jews and Christians is about.” (God and the World, Joseph Ratzinger, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2002, p. 209)

    Comment by Aussie Paul — 8 February 2008 @ 8:58 am

    Thanks for that, Aussie Paul.

    Now, that’s been my difficulty all along with this revised prayer, that is, its possible and ultra modern, incorrect theological backdrop. However, as I’ve also said, any misconceptions of any individual do not matter. It is the text of the prayer which matters. And it can be separated from the intention of the person who wrote it. The prayer is what is it according to its words, not according to anything else.

  117. LeonG says:

    The prayer does what it ought to do – it prays for the conversion of the Jews to Our Blessed Lord. It also expresses prayerful hope for them to follow with the Gentiles into the New Jerusalem with all Israel. Surely, Roman Catholics desire this end for the Jews and for as many non-Catholics as possible.

    Where blindness and heart concealing veils are concerned, these are not strictly only reserved for the Jews. Many church people today have their faith obscured in similar manner. There are those today who construe The Christ as only a subjective figure of sentiment denuded of His historicity and objective reality. Others appear to construe Him as a mere formula of words. This is a worse condition in some respects.

    The fact that some Jews with political agendas, still dislike it is irrelevant and perhaps a good benchmark for its authenticity.
    Furthermore, it is not the substance of The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass which is being changed. To do this would be another matter entirely. The counter-reaction to this alteration is therefore somewhat hyperbolic. The Holy Mass will continue to be celebrated every Sunday and weekday in the absence of this prayer. Moreover, the prayer is not some genre of fetish or magical formula but it ought to be a living prayer that appeals to Jews to convert in a direct and inviting manner. It is in this context, the Italian Rabbinical assembly has called for a pause in and reflection on the nature of the dialogue with The Roman Catholic Church. This is an excellent effect upon an organization which should reevaluate the foundations upon which it is dialoguing in the first place. It is they who require such a necessary period not The Church of The Christ whose mission is to evangelise the truth. In a wider environment, it is clear that the Holy Father has unambiguously restated the divine mission of The Church to preach The Gospel to all.

    Judging by some of the reactions at large, one might have though he was acting contrary to The Roman Catholic Faith and that no Pope before he has ever formed or reformed a single prayer in a Catholic liturgy. Let us be reasonable, please. Is the consequence to absolve the Jews from conversion? Has the Pope removed the prayer altogether? A major criticism of recent pontificates was that they propagated the notion of immanent salvation of the Jews and other non-Catholic sects and religions outside of The Church. The often disturbing ecumenical orientation of the post-conciliar church appeared to enhance this underlying belief. However, this papal act & recent others, reaffirms the necessity of conforming to divine mandate – Our Blessed Lord is the unique pathway to salvation, even for the Jews. The fact that it is perhaps more generously worded alters neither the essence, nor the necessity, nor the urgency of its message.

    In view of the circumstances and literally speaking, Pope Benedict XVI has done a reasonable job notwithstanding the slightly jarring plural presence of “ut” and “et” in a shorter form. Thus, the action of the Transalpine Redemptorists who have adopted the new form is perfectly understandable. It also demonstrates the customary reasonableness of traditional Catholics when such matters are dispensed with all the necessary care and due attention to Catholic norms and values.

    All the talk about Archbishop Lefebvre rejecting this had he been alive is absolute speculation. This claim loses sight of the fact that he wanted to preserve The Latin Mass of All Times as it preserved doctrine of The Faith and therefore the faith of Roman Catholics, while the NO service of Bugnini diluted and placed this in direct danger. And how correct he was, along with many other traditional clergy, at the time. Therefore, in view of the actuality of the reformulated prayer, only one amongst numberless prayers in the traditional liturgy of The Church still unchanged, and the fidelity of its formula as an appeal to the imperative of conversion by the Jews to Our Blessed Lord, it ought to have passed inspection without all of this brouhaha. It is as though every thought, word, written statement and every action & omission of this pontiff has to be dissected for hidden motives and threatening agendas.

    As a very conservative traditionalist I feel constrained to appeal to wider more important liturgical issues that press and the fact that dissident elements within The Church are using every machination conceivable to dismantle The Faith especially through un-Catholic liturgies that adopt un-Catholic forms, matter and intentions. Given the opportunity such elements may endeavour to disrupt The Holy Mass in Latin one way or another, too. Today, in the contemporary church liturgical licitness and validity are vital concerns, amongst others, which this prayer and its reformulation has nothing whatever to do with, although some would like to make it so. This unfortunate focus on microcosm is at the expense of more realistic matters, particularly the propagation and dissemination of The Holy Mass in its authentic Roman Catholic form. Personally, I shall use all the valid prayers The Church gives me at my disposal for the conversion of the Jews and all other non-Catholics, including Pope Benedict XVI’s in the Good Friday liturgy. And I shall encourage my children to so do.

  118. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On precedents.

    One blogger here points out that this is not the first time a Pope has introduced changes to the liturgy. True, although this change is inorganic, like those of the 1960s and 1970s. It is concocted to a specific purpose.

    But the greatest problem is not that it is inorganic change but that it is change to the Sacred Liturgy made in reaction to the complaints of infidels. I can’t think of *any* instance of that happening before. That is the bad precedent I write about.

    Another blogger says that it is the text of the new prayer that matters most. I don’t agree in the least. I don’t find the new text to be an overwhelming problem, although the old one was vastly superior. Blindness and darkness and veils over the heart may apply to other groups but they apply particularly to the Jews because our Blessed Lord came directly to them, His own chosen people. They have eyes and they had the Lord amongst them, but they cannot see owing to the impenetrable veil that is over their hearts. In the case of the Talmud, this is expressed as implacable and even fanatical and hysterical hatred. Hence these terms are particularly apposite in their case. No other religion expresses comtempt for our Lord in such vile terms. May God forgive them for adhering to a religion that contradicts the Way, the Truth, and the Life so directly.

    But, I repeat, the text of the prayer is not what is primary. What is primary is the precedent set by having the Vicar of Christ amend the Work of the Holy Ghost in order to appease infidels, heretics, or schismatics. Justice shall meet mercy and kiss, in the psalms: should truth and error meet and kiss too? Not.

    As faithful Catholics, we must accept the validity of this change because it is enacted by the Supreme Legislator and does not per se contradict the higher Moral Law. However, the extent to which we must receive and use this prayer depends entirely on what the law constrains us to do. As I have explained in detail before, the law does not require us to receive and/or use it. Owing to the bad precedent the change sets, and also owing to the attachment I have to the *entire* Missal to which I am attached, I simply decline to receive this prayer or use it. I will, if need be, pray the 1962 words when the priest intones those of 2008. This is perfectly licit. It is a valid option.

    P.K.T.P.

  119. Jordan Potter says:

    Peter, I note your concern about the reform of the prayer apparently in response to the complaints of non-Catholics, but I think it may be apparent. We have to beware of post hoc fallacies. The post-Summorum complaints of non-Catholics cannot be viewed in isolation from the previous reforms of the prayer for the Jews. In response to objections regarding “perfidis,” the Pope clarified that it is to be translated “faithless” or “unfaithful,” not “perfidious.” Later the Pope removed the word “perfidis” altogether. Then there was the interim 1965 prayer for the Jews, and then the 1969/70 prayer for the Jews currently used in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite.

    A few decades later, the Pope derestricts the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, including the 1962 version of the prayer for the Jews. It’s hardly surprising that Jews and others would be troubled by that. Since the prayer had already been addressed, clarified, tweaked, reformed, and finally replaced in response to the past history of Catholic anti-Semitism and the aftermath of the Holocaust, there was already ample precendent to revise the 1962 prayer.

    I didn’t expect the Pope to do this, not this year anyway. I’d have preferred a less extensive revision. But I’m not unhappy about it — the new prayer still explicitly asks for Jewish conversion, unlike the prayer in the ordinary form, and the new prayer explicitly affirms that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, not just the Gentiles, not just the Catholics. That’s something that is only implied in the prayer for the Jews in the ordinary form.

  120. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Jordan Potter writes:

    “Peter, I note your concern about the reform of the prayer apparently in response to the complaints of non-Catholics, but I think it may be apparent. We have to beware of post hoc fallacies. The post-Summorum complaints of non-Catholics cannot be viewed in isolation from the previous reforms of the prayer for the Jews. In response to objections regarding “perfidis,” the Pope clarified that it is to be translated “faithless” or “unfaithful,” not “perfidious.” Later the Pope removed the word “perfidis” altogether. Then there was the interim 1965 prayer for the Jews, and then the 1969/70 prayer for the Jews currently used in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite.”

    I’m not sure where you’re getting this. My 1949 handmissal has “faithless”, not “perfidious”. The removal of the Latin word was apparently done on the spot one day during a Mass. The objector was not a Jew present that day but Pope John XXIII. He was not responding to some demand from Abraham Cardinal Flotsam but to his own sense of what was appropriate. I’m not sure about any 1965 form that was not in a editio typica anyway. But none of these changes was made at the behest of any pressure group of infidels. A 1965 change would be suspicious in value to me, since that was during the hot summer of the cultural revolution that devastated the Church. The earlier one was a single incidence of a Pope removing a single term. Before that, we have, at best, a change in some handmissals–if there was one. (It might be only a question of editorial preferences.)

    The Good Friday Prayers in their 1962 form were re-introduced (in the mistaken view of the majority: actually they were never abrogated in the first place) in 1984, not 2008. They were advanced very strongly in 1988, not 2008. Where was all the bitching in 1988? Why didn’t the Jews bitch and scream and whine for the last twenty years, during which time these Prayers were being said? The reason is that the real instigators of this change were not the Jews but people who are far worse than they. I am referring to Catholic liberals.

    The Holocaust is irrelevant to this. There is nothing anti-semitic in the 1962 version of the Good Friday prayers. They are in darkness and in blindness, more so than others because their spiritual relatives killed their own Redeemer and then calumniated Him in the most vile terms imaginable in the unholy Talmud (may God blot it out). As a result, they are much deeper in darkness and blindness than any ignorant animist to whom the truth has never been preached. It is Catholic dogma that they are especially blind and in error. He came unto His own, &c.

    You’d prefer a different revision? How many proposals are out there, I wonder? There is no need for any revision after the revolution we have suffered. We need a period of peace and stability.

    P.K.T.P.

  121. D. Sp. says:

    Laudetur JS CHS!

    Dear, rev. Father – dear bloggers.
    At first excuse my English that is not that perfect,because I´m German.

    With great interest I´ve read Your analysis, Fa., and many of the comments. Nearly all of them seem to be very outweighted and I like the style of Your (fair)discussion. But I really wonder, that nearly everybody , even the critics of the text, concedes, that the new prayer says essentially the same like the old, only in other words, and so is no problem in itselfe (problem should only be the context, as f.e. P.K.T.P. in his comment of 11.Feb.(4.34) pointed it). Am I the only person who sees the real problem in the text itselfe, i.e. the ending of the prayer, that gives the whole a eschatological turn?!

    I agree with You, Rev. Father Z., when you state in point 5. “people should .. read ..and think about it before freaking it out”. And, as I said, I like the way of fair, calm and only truth surching discussion. – I thought about it – and I agree (nearly) with You and many of the comments, that the “first prayers … say the same thing”, as You pointed it. (Only nearly, because its not right that there is a first and I second prayer. Better to say a first and second part of them. But even that is wrong: the first part is not a prayer, it is only an introduction, an invitation to pray. – And then, if it realy says the same would be a long discussion – its enough in the other commnents). And then also the next words (in the second part, i.e. the real prayer) say real good things. I agree. Well, You can discuss here some stylistic things etc (as done in some comments), but that is realy less importent (though important).
    One thing more important is, as pointed, the whole context. One point of criticism must be this circumstances. But here I also tend to say (but i´m not that shure), like citaded P.K.T.P.did: ok., I critisize the introduction because of the (further/not so near)circumstances, but I obey the Pope – because and as long there is no problem in the text itselfe (or in the nearest/next circumstances, that therefore belong quasi to the text itselfe).

    But there are these Problems in the thext itselfe (or in the next context): the ending of the prayer or better the nucleus of the prayer itselfe: the eschatological turning. As You, Rev. Fa., point it Yourselfe: “the interresting point here is what is beeing said in …” (Rm 11). Thats really the interesting point. And as You refere to the letter of St. Paul, You Yourselfe stress the word “until” by underlining it and writing it thik. This word is undoubtably temporal (and also the context of Rm 11 and the comment of the Fathers – the Tradition – show that!): temporal in the sence of futural,leading to end of time.
    See also the comment of H. Em. Card. W. Kasper – he´s totally wright: it´s eschatologic. – But – so – therefore the prayer is unacceptable in it selfe (!), because it prays only for the conversion of the Jewes at the end of time, and not now and for all the Jewes living before that period of time! Although, and that is the point: it should pray for them, more: the authentical intention of the prayer is (or better: was and should be) this. So therefore the new prayer says not – I repeat: n o t – the same as the old (only in other words). And it is the very essence of the prayer that is lost !!
    Therefore it is unacceptable! And read, what conclusions H.Em.Card. Kasper draws – and fully justified by the text!

    In CHo per Mam

    D.S.

  122. D. Sp. says:

    Laudetur JS CHS!

    Because my comment a few minutes ago was a little bit long, I try a summary:

    1. a) A agree: the Pope has principially the right and power to change things
    b) also in the old rite, and that in principal is even good to show the old rite is not antique but living inside the church.
    c) In doubt You have to obey.
    2. A agree (nearly) that some parts of the prayer, espec. in the introduction, say [nearly] the same things (as the old), only in other words, at least they say good things. (Even there are some problems…)
    3. One bigger problem is/are the circumstances/the context of the changing (as often commented)
    4. But I tend to say [But I must think more about that point - so therfore "tend"]: as far as this problems concerned – as far there is no big problem in the text itselfe or a real essential problem, that is a loosing of an essential point, then You have to obey the Pope (as I said in 1.: He has the right to do so – and in doubt You have to obey!).
    5. But there is such a real problem in the text, an essential point: The new prayer prays only for conversion of the Jews at the end of time. It should pray and the old did so for all the Jews without restriction to a special time or under special condition (“as/when the fullness of the peoples enters…”). That´s an essential loss. So it says not the same like the old. And more: it fails the very point, the very intention of the prayer: to pray for all the Jews now living!
    6. Thats obvious and not doubtfull: therefore You can`t or at least should not (at very least need not) obey the Pope.
    7. And at least together with the whole context and the other problems and with comments like Card. Kasper´s (read!), the rest of a doubt, that You should reject the changing, must be off.

    I realy do not understand why You haven´t stressed that yet, I realy wonder why most of You do not stress this only essential point in the discussion.

    In CHo per Mam

    D. S.