Why did Pope Benedict not replace the Novus Ordo Good Friday prayer for Jews?

In comments under a different entry there is some speculation about why Pope Benedict has replaced the Good Friday prayer for Jews only in the 1962 Missale Romanum but not also in the 2002 edition.  

Henry opines:

"In this particular instance, I share this concern, and wonder why the Pope did not make this replacement also in the Novus Ordo. Does his failure (so far) to do so inadvertently leave the impression that getting it right is less important in the OF than in the EF?"

Maynard asks:

… could this possibly be a translation issue? I’m not expecting the prayer to be submitted to the ICEL (and it’s counterparts amongst the various regions) and the episcopal conferences so they can “dialogue” about if for 25 years – but I wonder if “ready-made” translations into the various vernacular languages are being prepared for transmittion to the bishops some time between this year’s Triduum and next year’s?"

Good questions.   I was just talking about this with someone today.

This is not a translation issue.  In a pinch, a translation could be approved ad hoc and easily issued to the world through the proper channels.  That is not the reason why the Pope didn’t give his new prayer also to the Novus Ordo.

I think the key must remain in the fact that we now have a diversity of expressions in the Roman Rite.

The most important point to carry away is that  Pope Benedict intends that the 1962 Missale Romanum be used.   The change of the prayer facilitates that.  Remember: the provisions of Summorum Pontificum stick to the Church’s law about not having a multiplication of Holy Week rites in churches.  In those places where the Novus Ordo is used, the Triduum will be in the ordinary form.  The Triduum in the older rite will really only be found in those places where the ordinary form of Mass is not celebrated (e.g., personal parishes, chapels of traditional groups, etc.).  If we consider that the Good Friday prayers were very probably an obstacle to bishops being well-enough motivated to establish personal parishes or chapels where the older form could be used exclusively, and therefore for the Triduum, then changing this prayer was a very smart thing.  Again, the Pope wants the older Missale to be used.

A second point is a deeper, theological point. 

By giving the older Missale this new prayer, the Holy Father is confirming that there are more than one way authorized by the Church for Catholics to reflect about salvation for the Jews.

There is not only the way presented in the prayer in the Novus Ordo, which is admitedly far less pointed and precise than what our tradition has passed down, but there is also the older, traditional way.

Even though the language of the new Latin prayers for Jews on Good Friday falls flat, the content, the core substance of the older version of the prayers has been preserved and, in some respects, made more explicit: There is one Savior of all men, Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we Catholics pray for the Jews because we desire that they be saved by embracing Christ as Savior.  

The Holy Father, by imposing these new prayers, has let the world know that it is entirely legitimate for Catholics to pray for the Jews and desire that that convert to faith in Jesus as Savior. 

At the same time, he has left the other prayer in the Novus Ordo, for what it communicates.

Also, just to circle back to a point Henry raised (which I quoted at the top) keep in mind that Pope Benedict’s long term vision foresees that the older form of Mass, not the newer form, is going to form the basis of one unified Roman Rite somewhere down the line.

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42 Responses to Why did Pope Benedict not replace the Novus Ordo Good Friday prayer for Jews?

  1. schoolman says:

    I really think leaving the OF prayer in tact (at least for the moment) has a greater impact relative to the Holy Father’s hermeneutic of reform in continuity. He is implicity telling us that they share the same substance and hope…and that we should not interpret the OF in a manner contrary to the more explicit formulation in the EF. Just my two cents…

  2. danphunter1 says:

    As to your last point, Father.
    Exactly.
    The Holy Father realizes the immense mistake that was the hurried and unothodoxically influenced Novus Ordo, so he is “brick by brick” moving his “General Marshall Plan ” forward in bringing back the Tridentine Mass as the truer and more correct Sacrifice.
    He is amazing!
    God bless His most Brilliant Holiness.

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: In those places where the Novus Ordo is used, the Triduum will be in the ordinary form. The Triduum in the older rite will really only be found in those places where the ordinary form of Mass is not celebrated (e.g., personal parishes, chapels of traditional groups, etc.).

    I wonder whether we must still assume an older pre-SP viewpoint of only-OF parishes and only EF-parishes? Doesn’t that SP envisions parishes in which the OF and EF coexist and support each other constructively? In such a parish might not the OF normally be the principal Sunday Mass, but the EF be chosen for “high liturgical occasions” like the Christmas and Easter vigil Masses? If memory serves, this has sometimes seemed to be the situation at St. John Cantius (for instance). Alternatively, what’s to prevent a parish developing a pattern of using the OF for “low Mass” and the EF for “high Mass”?

  4. Bro. AJK says:

    Dear Fr. Z.,

    Also, could this mean that the newest edition of the EF would be something with a 2008 copyright? Or would this be considered minor in publishing?

  5. John Polhamus says:

    I am still hoping that someone can enlighten me as the the authority for, and widespread use of the prayer for the Jews being rendered as “We pray for the Jewish and Muslim people, the first to know God…” as it has been for several years in the Diocese of San Diego. Is this a USCBB usage, or local deformation? Has anyone else heard of this? Personally I have a big problem with the Muslims being lumped in with the Jews, the chosen people of the old covenant. Even though they share a common ancestor, the Jews were born of the Spirit and the Muslims of the flesh, and are therefore not one but two people, one having ancestry through the spirit, and the other through the flesh. You know the arguments. But where does this usage come from, and is it VALID?

  6. Ian says:

    Father,

    There seems a major problem with the term “Israel” being used in the prayer (since it has never meant “the Jews” in the Roman Liturgy before this point, but always is a reference to the Catholic Church and those justified under the Old Law before Christ). I have not seen this addressed thus far. Perhaps this is something you might help us to understand in a future post.

    Connecting your thoughts here with the letter of Cardinal Ratzinger, recently posted, my brain had a few, usually rare, electrical impulses. I would appreciate your thoughts, Father:

    Does the fact that the Holy Father is modifying the 1962 Missal, but not the prayer from the Novus Ordo Missæ — in the context of the letter you just posted — indicate the path the Holy Father intends to take toward this One Rite? More succinctly: Does the Pope intend the basis of this single Rite to be the 1962 Missal modified by small steps, like this modified prayer, or is this an isolated incident?

  7. William says:

    Father Z: Also, just to circle back to a point Henry raised (which I quoted at the top) keep in mind that Pope Benedict’s long term vision foresees that the older form of Mass, not the newer form, is going to form the basis of one unified Roman Rite somewhere down the line.

    I would like to hear more about this from someone. Are you saying that you believe the newer form will eventually cease? I find that highly unlikely for the forseeable future. What evidence do you have of this? Are you saying that the newer form will be considered an abberation?

  8. Fr Z wrote: “At the same time, he has left the other prayer in the Novus Ordo, for what it communicates.”

    Really? Sorry, Fr Z, but that’s a brave reading, isn’t it? Couldn’t we see other reasons for this (as you effectively named, so that “the older form of Mass, not the newer form, is going to form the basis of one unified Roman Rite somewhere down the line”)?

    To claim that he himself thinks the two prayers are compatible is, I think, too much. Don’t tell me it means that you think that the two prayers are compatible! Of course, you may very well be right about what Benedict thinks. I think you are right about that. But still, that he thinks this way cannot be proven by the revision of the one prayer while the status quo remains (temporarily?) for the other prayer.

    A side by side comparision of the 1970 and 2008 prayers for the Jews may be helpful, just so we know what we are talking about.

    God bless.

  9. Christophorus says:

    I forgot who asked for this — but here’s the prayer with accents:
    Oremus et pro Iud&#509is. Ut Deus et Dóminus noster illúminet corda eorum, ut agnóscant Iesum Christum salvatórem ómnium hóminum.

    Orémus.
    Flectámus génua.
    Leváte.

    Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui vis ut ómnes hómines salvi fiant et ad agnitiónem veritátis véniant, concéde propítius, ut plenitúdine géntium in Ecclésiam Tuam intrante omnis Israël salvus fiat. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.

  10. moretben says:

    Dear Father

    I am at my wits’ end with all of this. What is going on? Is dispensationalism now a legitimate opinion for Catholics, with legitimate expression in the lex orandi? Is that why the new prayer is also capable of the dispensationalist construction more explicitly insinuated in the Novus Ordo version? Is that why the old prayer, and not the new one was changed – because the former excluded an opinion now postively transmitted, or at least permitted by the Church? If so, how did this reversal come about? If not – well, I’m even more confused. Please help.

  11. oliveira says:

    Father Z: At the same time, he has left the other prayer in the Novus Ordo, for what it communicates.

    And Father, with all due respect, what is it that the novus ordo prayer communicates?

  12. Tom says:

    Moretben

    Neither the 2008 nor the 1962 prayer is dispensationalist. Each says, the new 2008 prayer more explicitly than the 1962 prayer, that Christ is the only way of salvation, and prays for the Jews to convert to Christ. What is happening is that liberals who would otherwise be dispensationalists, but who see that a dual covenant structure is ruled out by the new prayer as much as the old, are trying to save something of their position by interpreting the prayer for conversion as exclusively eschatological – as a prayer for conversion only at the end of time. So, on this fairly forced interpretation, we don’t pray for any Jews to convert now, let alone attempt ourselves to convert anyone now. It’s just a pious hope for the end-time. We effectively end-up with the same pastoral attitude to the Jews as if we were dispensationalists, but without actually claiming a separate way of salvation for them. Ingenious people these liberals! Notice that the 1962 prayer is just as vulnerable to this exclusively eschatological intepretation as the 2008: that is, someone can perfectly well say that 1962 prayer should be interpreted so that we pray that the Jews be enlightened, or reliieved of their blindness, only at the end of time, not now.

    The 2008 prayer clearly is not exclusively or narrowly eschatological, because it is a prayer for all the Jews, not just those living at the end-time. And it invokes God’s desire that all know the truth, a desire that must apply to Jews living now as well as Jews in the end-time. So in fact this reduction of the prayer to apply only to a future conversion of Jews living at the end-time is deeply implausible. But it is being made. And this shows Benedict’s problem, and the real reason why – I think – nothing has been done to the Novus Ordo prayer.

    The reason is that hostility to or fear of any kind of mission to the Jews is now deeply entrenched in certain parts of the Church, particularly in the US and in Germany, where for different reasons in each case (history in Germany, ethnic-religious politics in US) a huge emphasis is placed on good interfaith relations with the Jewish community. Dispensationalism has become a politically correct default option, even for a number of US and German bishops, and certainly for those Catholic theologians involved in interfaith dialogue with the Jews. Indeed it is very clear that many Jewish leaders have been informed, wrongly, that the correct interpretation of Nostra Aetate is dispensationalist. Hence the genuine shock in the Jewish community that Benedict refused to import the 1970 prayer, which admits of but does not demand a dispensationalist interpretation, and instead provided 2008, which is all too clearly not dispensationalist at all.

    Given this, the 2008 prayer being introduced into the Extraordinary liturgy alone is already proving traumatic enough in terms of interfaith politics and also in terms of relations between Benedict and substantial parts of the US and German churches. To impose the 2008 prayer on the New Rite mass would – I am quite sure – have led to widespread rebellion and disobedience. That is the reason nothing has yet been done. It will take time for the climate of theological opinion to move back in a more orthodox direction. Introducing the 2008 prayer at all is already helping further that change. But until the change is further advanced, an attempt at an immediate revision of the 1970 missal really would be explosive. We are dealing here with a deep theological crisis – a collapse of orthodoxy about the universality of Christ’s New Covenant; and the rationale for the delay is not really liturgical, but rather lies in this theological crisis. Benedict is doing his best. And the 2008 prayer, for the Extraordinary form only, is his carefully measured step to resolving this crisis.

  13. Ottaviani says:

    Tom: Each says, the new 2008 prayer more explicitly than the 1962 prayer, that Christ is the only way of salvation, and prays for the Jews to convert to Christ.

    Are you kidding me?

    Is this:

    Almighty and eternal God, who dost also not exclude from thy mercy the Jews: hear 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. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    Or this:

    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 fulness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

    … understandable to the average Joe-Catholic? Cos, it sure looks to me that all the textual exegesis to try and defend the traditional orthodoxy of the newer Good Friday prayer, would suggest otherwise.

  14. And another thing says:

    Tom wrote: “Indeed it is very clear that many Jewish leaders have been informed, wrongly, that the correct interpretation of Nostra Aetate is dispensationalist.”
    Tom, why can’t those with a keen interest in what the Church teaches just read the pertinent documents? Nostra Aetate is only 6 pages long, after all, with just 3 of those pages addressing specifically Jewish matters. Any sincere and objective reading of Nostra Aetate would quickly disabuse anyone of the notion that the Church has adopted dispensationalism, don’t you think?
    How could any “shock” be genuine?

  15. Tom says:

    Ottaviani

    I am referring of course to the exordium or introduction of the 2008 prayer

    ut agnoscant Iesum Christum salvatorem omnium hominum

    where Christ is referred to explicitly as the Saviour of all men, and we pray that the Jews know him as such. Pope Benedict introduced this reference to Christ’s role as saviour of all men, not referred to in the 1962 prayer, to make an anti-dispensationalist point. (On the dispensationalist view the Jews have their own saving covenant independent of Christ’s New Covenant and of Christ’s sacrifice under the New Covenant.) Then, when referring back to this the main prayer is explicitly for Israel’s salvation, it follows that this salvation prayed for must be through Christ. Christopher Ferrara in the Remnant rightly pointed to these additions as crucial.

    The 1962 prayer says nothing _explicit_ about Christ’s universal saving role or indeed about salvation as such. All it talks about explicitly is of the Jews being freed from ignorance and darkness – which may imply salvation but could be understood simply in terms of release from error. Of course salvation was always understood, and explicit reference to Christ’s universal saving role was not needed in the past, since when the 1962 prayer and its close ancestors were formulated, that was taken for granted. Pope Benedict has written this prayer in respose to the crisis posed by the spread of dispensationalist heresy – and it addresses that heresy specifically by, for the first time, talking about salvation and Christ’s precise saving role explicitly.

  16. Antiquarian says:

    “The 1962 prayer says nothing explicit about Christ’s universal saving role or indeed about salvation as such. All it talks about explicitly is of the Jews being freed from ignorance and darkness – which may imply salvation but could be understood simply in terms of release from error.”

    You mean– a prayer from the 1962 Missal was— AMBIGUOUS???

    “Of course salvation was always understood, and explicit reference to Christ’s universal saving role was not needed in the past, since when the 1962 prayer and its close ancestors were formulated, that was taken for granted.”

    Oh, so commonly understood intent overrides perceived ambiguity? Alright, then.

  17. Tom says:

    And another thing

    I know it’s strange that Nostra aetate is so misread. I think the motive on the Catholic side is this fear of any sort of commitment to evangelising the Jewish community. This is a very very strong motive, just because of the profound cultural after effects of general guilt over the Holocaust, the general tendency in our culture anyway to relativism, and also because of the past role of the Church in some fairly intrusive forms of evangelisation (eg compulsory attendance at conversion homilies being imposed on Jews who were already confined to ghettos). Dispensationalism provides a clear and very welcome rationale for why we don’t need to evangelise. I suspect the sort of hook used to read dispensationalism into Nostra Aetate is through misreadings of the passage where it says that in relation to the Jews, God

    ‘ does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle’.

    But there’s a lot of ‘spirit of the council’ stuff at work as well. Much is made by Catholic dispensationalists, for example, of the fact that a call for the Jews to convert to Christ was withdrawn from the final draft of Nostra aetate – something which, scandalously, did happen. This withdrawal is then distorted into a dispensationalist message supposedly actually to be found in the Council’s teaching.

    Given that Jewish leaders are fed this dispensationalist message constantly by their generally liberal interfaith interlocutors from the Catholic side, and given that this message is deeply congenial to them – and makes intuitive sense in their terms since Judaism is not a religion that aims at conversion – the shock posed by the 2008 prayer, the anti-dispensationalist import of which is deeply clear to them, is very genuine. Pope Benedict has somehow to deal with this shock – which will undoubtedly be distressing to him in turn. But do not fear. Pope Benedict will not give way on this prayer.

  18. Tom says:

    Antiquarian

    I don’t think that the 1962 prayer is ambiguous, merely that, because it never needed to be otherwise, it is inexplicit in one respect that the 2008 prayer is not. The 1962 prayer doesn’t talk _explicitly_ about Christ’s role as universal saviour and about the salvation of the Jews through Christ’s exercise of that role. The words ‘salvatorem omnium hominum’ do not occur in the 1962 prayer. The 2008 prayer does explicitly use these terms – and there’s a clear reason why it does. That’s the spread of dispensationalism which Pope Benedict needs and wants to reverse.

  19. And another thing says:

    “As holy scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize God’s moment when it came(see Lk:19:42). Jews for the most part did not accept the Gospel; on the contrary many opposed its spread (see Rom 11:28). Even so, the apostle Paul maintains that the Jews remain very dear to God, for the sake of the patriarchs, since God does not take back the gifts he bestowed or the choice he made”.
    Nostra Aetate

    Tom, I’ve always read that to mean that God choose to be born a Jew and that He prepared the way with patriarchs and prophets; these were gifts. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t all pointing to Jesus.

    “the shock posed by the 2008 prayer, the anti-dispensationalist import of which is deeply clear to them, is very genuine”
    Tom, I find that difficult to believe. Obviously, then, “discussions” over the last 40 years have been pointless since they still don’t get the nub of 2,000 years of Catholic teaching (which is expressed in the prayer in question): Christ came out of Israel for the salvation of all mankind. It isn’t that this is “shocking”; it is just unacceptable. So be it.

  20. Tom says:

    And another thing

    You make the point: “Obviously, then, “discussions” over the last 40 years have been pointless since they still don’t get the nub of 2,000 years of Catholic teaching (which is expressed in the prayer in question)”

    Unfortunately, those involved on the Catholic side in the last 40 years of discussions have, on the whole, not been communicating the nub of 2,000 years of Catholic teaching. That, unfortunately, is the problem, which is not the fault of the Jewish side.

    As for how Nostra Aetate should be understood – I do agree. As I said – that passage is misread.

  21. I’m sure that Benedict would be perfectly happy to replace the existing prayer for the Jews in the Novus Ordo with the new prayer he has just composed for the 1962 missal. But could you not just imagine the terrific stink that would result both with the secular media, not to mention bishops conferences and liturgy commissions?

  22. Antiquarian says:

    Tom,

    I don’t truly think the 1962 prayer is ambiguous either. I was tweaking (perhaps a bit unfairly, I’ll allow) those who complain about ambiguity in many other texts that are, in some case, no more inexplicit than this one.

  23. Jordan Potter says:

    John Polhamus said: I am still hoping that someone can enlighten me as the the authority for, and widespread use of the prayer for the Jews being rendered as “We pray for the Jewish and Muslim people, the first to know God…” as it has been for several years in the Diocese of San Diego. Is this a USCBB usage, or local deformation?

    I’ve never heard of anyone lumping the Muslims together with the Jews like that. I’m sure it’s just a local deformation. It couldn’t possibly have any authorisation from Rome or the USCCB, and probably not even the local bishop, because it simply doesn’t make any sense. Islam wasn’t invented until the 600s A.D., so Muslims could not possibly be among the first to know God. Ishmael was the ancestor of several Arabian tribes, but you don’t have to be an Arab or a descendant of Ishmael to be a Muslim, and, as I said, before the 600s A.D. there were no Muslim Arabs. What you’ve described is a liturgical abuse and a falsification of the historical record.

  24. moretben says:

    Tom (and others)
    I’m sincerely grateful for your careful and considered replies here, which have eased my perplexity somewhat, if not my fundamental unease.

    In a nutshell, and in no particular order:

    1)Large sections of the Church are, at all levels, so far gone in dispensationalism, or something as close to it as makes no difference, that to impose a liturgical formula that excludes a dispensationalist interpretation would be to provoke outrage, if not open revolt. this confirms my own impressions and experiences.
    2) If we believe at all in the principle lex orandi etc we must accept that this state of affairs is substantially the result of praying, year after year, according to a formula which is open (to say the very least) to a dispensationalist construction.
    3) The vast majority of Catholics will continue to be formed according to the Novus Ordo prayer.
    4) In this context, a new prayer has been composed for the Traditional liturgy which does not positively exclude a dispensationalist construction. It’s true that the ’62 version didn’t either, but in 1962 dispensationalism among Catholics was not on the radar. So even though the new prayer insists that all men are saved ultimately by Christ (which most dispensationalists can also accomodate) the dispensationalist “theme” sine qua non of Israel’s conversion subsequent to “the fullness of the Gentiles” has been introduced. Inevitably, this will be understood by those formed in dispensationalism as supplying the key to the whole. The “hermeneutic of continuity” is thus definied in terms of continuity with the “old” (i.e. Novus Ordo) prayer.
    5) The only senior Curial Cardinal to have made an on-the-record statement on the new prayer has asserted unequivocally its dispensationalist character and intention.
    6) As someone has pointed out elswhere, conceding a principle (that the Church should adapt ancient liturgical texts to the sensibilities of non-Catholics and even non-Christians), while restricting its application arbitrarily to a single instance, is not tenable. Further changes of this kind must now be expected – perhaps not in this Pontificate, but eventually.
    7) “Conservatives” who embraced the motu proprio are once again heaping vilification on those uneasy at this new development: The brief truce is over and the the usual accusations of “pride” and disobedience and disloyalty to Peter are starting all over again. They will accompany every expression of dismay or disquiet at every new development, whether we end up with Novus Ordo Mk II, or something short of it. Such people, so quick to praise the fruits of the Tradtionalist movement while cursing the tree, have learned absolutely nothing from the past 40 years. I fear them, if anything, even more than the perfidious (unbelieving)liberals.
    8) The Jews are unimpressed. How could it be otherwise? It’s Christianity itself which is the scandal.

    I will, of course, accept what the Holy Father has given us; but with a heavy heart and with a deep sense of foreboding and dismay.

  25. Dan Guenzel says:

    Many of the comments I have been reading from those above have been, to me, very helpful and very good. This whole thing has been very upsetting and it is always helpful to read the sensible opinions of others.

    I will chime in, however, with one strong lament, and that lament is this: it is very sad to see the Vatican jump every time our Jewish friends burp. You can parse Benedict’s new prayer any way you wish (and in true Vatican 2 style it leaves room for several interpretations) but you must at the same time realize that this was done under pressure for the age-old reason of a fear of the Jews. I’m not condemning Benedict for this fear – goodness knows, most of the hierarchy shares it – I’m merely suggesting that that was the motivating factor behind it. And that is what distresses me so.

    The new prayer does imply that the Jews need to become Catholic in order to be saved (Kasper is working hard in public trying to suggest otherwise) but the language is rather watery. Some writers on this blog have suggested that this “wateriness” might be good since it differs from some “old ways” some in the Church went about evangelizing Jews (one writer paints a dark picture of “forced evangelization” in Jewish ghettos. I would first like to read the historical reference to the incident he is referring to and secondly I would like to be shown how preaching Catholicism to Jews, whether in ghettos or anywhere else, is some sort of dark deed. Catholicism is, after all, their birthright.) Namby-pamby prayer formulations do not make good Catholics, let alone converts, as the past five decades should amply testify. It is strong, clear language that is needed now.

    It is also distressing to see the Pope tampering with the old Mass, or at least traditional prayers. Why they can’t keep their hands off these venerable rites and prayers is beyond my comprehension.

    Some have used the fury of some vocal Jews as proof that Benedict’s move was a good one. I would recommend to those people that they exercise a little more prudence in that regard. Some Jews are never satisfied, no matter how much you bend over backwards for them. They will always demand more apologies, more humiliations, more toadying, with the chutzpah (read: audacious impudence) that they are noted for. So I discount these characters right away. I would also remind people who use Jewish anger over this as their litmus test not to forget forty years of disgusting Vatican chicanery. True, Benedict is now receiving untold graces in his new role as Pope and there are precedents for liberal Cardinals turning into great Popes under the influence of those graces. But we must be prudent.

    All in all I am saddened and unhappy over this affair and only hope God will bring good out of it somehow. For myself I will say the Good Friday prayer found in my 1937 St Andrew missal for the conversion of the Jews and others. It is clear and unambiguous and, in the end, shows a much greater charity toward the Jews and others by its clear desire to have them become Catholics.

  26. Richard Cox says:

    With regards to what Henry Edwards — 9 February, suggested might come of the traditional Mass in that the EF would be used as the High Mass and the OF become the low Mass; may God forbid such a thing from happening; unless one can conceive of a low low mass; I couldn’t. I can accept the OF as a valid Mass but having it become the normative for the Low Mass as a replacement of the Low Mass using the 1962 Missal, never. But then again, Henry, maybe you weren’t suggesting such a thing? I invite everyone to visit http://www.Perpetual-Help.org in the Diocese of San Jose.

  27. Henry Edwards says:

    Richard: I can accept the OF as a valid Mass but having it become the normative for the Low Mass as a replacement of the Low Mass using the 1962 Missal, never. But then again, Henry, maybe you weren’t suggesting such a thing?

    No, I was thinking more of the typical Novus Ordo parish that begins under SP to offer the TLM also. Once the people get over the usual hang-ups and develop a healthy regard for both forms as complementary and mutually supportive, it might seem natural to schedule the TLM for special “high” occasions while retaining the NO for most “low” occasions. For instance, retaining the NO for ordinary daily Mass, but scheduling the TLM for solemnities calling for greater ceremonial, for instance, some or all principal Sunday and holy day Masses, with solemn high Masses for Holy Thursday, Christmas and Easter vigils, etc.

    This seems a more likely path of evolution in the near future than TLM-only parishes (admittedly my own personal preference) breaking out all over. In such a situation one could see the kind of influence of the TLM on the NO that our Holy Father seemingly envisions. Indeed, we’re already seeing this — new Gregorian chant scholas developing at a couple of NO-only parishes in my area, while I’ve yet to hear of a TLM community anywhere forming a contemporary music group.

  28. jack burton says:

    I could agree that when it is celebrated in a proper and dignified manner there is a sense in which the N.O. could be supportive and complimentary to the traditional Roman rite. The general liturgical climate is, in my opinion, simply perverse and destructive of authentic liturgy and orthodoxy. The proximity of the TLM to the NO in the post-motu Church is a matter of concern to me. Already people are talking about tinkering with the TLM, merging the new lectionary, new calendar, novus ordo fads (altar girls, communion on hand, cheap religious tunes, et cetera). I don’t deny that some of this talk is perhaps worthwhile (enriching the traditional calendar for example), but in general I think that the novus ordo has infected the Church with the same kind of iconoclastic and anti-liturgical ideology that brought forth the novus ordo Mass in the 1960′s. Personally, I’m about one hoopla Mass away from Orthodoxy.

  29. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    Like many others above, I am sorry to hear about the revised prayer. By itself, the change is relatively minor and not particularly objectionable, but at least right now, it is difficult to separate the revision from the context in which it is promulgated. I can imagine the Holy Father is under much pressure; but what can we say to someone who has been given us more in 2 years than we practically received in the last 35? So we accept the change and continue our works of spiritual and corporal mercy.

  30. Tom says:

    Father Z wrote: “In comments under a different entry there is some speculation about why Pope Benedict has replaced the Good Friday prayer for Jews only in the 1962 Missale Romanum but not also in the 2002 edition.”

    Father Z employed the important word…”speculation.”

    I don’t believe that the Holy Father has revealed his reason for having discarded the traditional prayer for the Jews.

    All we have in the meantime is “speculation.”

    Father Z has placed his spin(s) upon the Holy Father’s decision. I have placed my spin(s) upon the Holy Father’s decision.

    Each poster has done the same…and frankly, we’re all in the same boat.

    In effect, we have placed words into the Holy Father’s mouth.

    For whatever reason, His Holiness has refused to explain his decision.

    Until such time (if ever) that the Pope reveals why he abolished the traditional Good Friday prayer for the Jews, we can offer speculation and only speculation regarding the Holy Father’s decision.

    I wish that were the case as it is unfortunate that we have not heard from Pope Benedict XVI regarding his decision to alter the Traditional Roman Liturgy.

    I would prefer to have heard from His Holiness rather than have each of us “speculate” as to why the Pope altered the Traditional Liturgy.

    In lieu of the definitive explanation, isn’t our collective speculation of little value?

    We are akin to television news media types who, during breaking news stories, do little more than speculate…rather than wait for official pronouncements and explanations.

    TLM Tom

    P.S. By the way, several posters have insisted that prior to any change to the Novus Ordo liturgy, the Latin Church Faithful must be “prepared” well in advance so that the Faithful aren’t “left in the dark” as to why Rome altered this or that.

    Does that principle apply to the Traditional Roman Liturgy?

  31. jack burton says:

    This is of course speculation, but it is a fact that Pope Benedict is German, and of the generation that experienced the atrocious anti-Semitism of WWII. Perhaps he naturally has a different perspective and sensibility on this issue than that of most posters here.

    I have a friend who could be described as a “radical traditionalist” (certainly no friend of the novus ordo) who is in fact a Jewish convert to the Faith. In a recent conversation he revealed to me that while he believes that people have misrepresented and over-reacted to the Good Friday prayer, the desire to change the tone of the prayer in light of recent world history is praiseworthy. This is his personal opinion of course, but coming from an educated and devout Catholic Jew I must take it to heart.

    Even if the change is a gesture towards those who have perhaps objected to it unjustly, it would still be praiseworthy since the Church vehemently rejects anti-Semitism and has rightfully sought to distance herself from it in modern times. Some old rites of the Church speak of the vile blasphemies and dark superstitions of the Jews; this hardly seems appropriate for a public service in the world of today. There are many historical instances of seemingly Church sanctioned anti-Semitic acts on the part of Catholics.
    If the change is merely a sign of goodwill I think it would be worthwhile to stand behind it.

  32. Rose says:

    Great good common sense and charity, Jack Burton, evident in your comment and I agree. The Pope acted in truth with love; what more need be said?

  33. Jordan Potter says:

    moretben said: The only senior Curial Cardinal to have made an on-the-record statement on the new prayer has asserted unequivocally its dispensationalist character and intention.

    No, not unequivocally. His comments sounds pretty equivocal to me. In fact, Cardinal Kasper didn’t say anything at all about the Old Covenant still being in force and being salvific for the Jews — even if he is dispensationalist heretic, he didn’t assert that the new prayer has a dispensationalist character and intention. He did, however, try to play up the eschatological angle of the prayer and downplay the part fo the prayer that calls for Jews living today to acknowledge Jesus as the Savior of all mankind — and in that, Cardinal Kasper’s interpretation is unconvincing and, I believe, erroneous.

    “Conservatives” who embraced the motu proprio are once again heaping vilification on those uneasy at this new development: The brief truce is over and the the usual accusations of “pride” and disobedience and disloyalty to Peter are starting all over again.

    I don’t know who the “conservatives” are you’re talking about, and I’m not sure what you mean by “vilification.” I have, however, encountered certain online comments from those who might perhaps be traditionalists, or called so, and those comments don’t just express uneasiness. The comments I’m talking about show pride, disobedience, and disloyalty to Peter: one or two even indicated they were, because of this revised prayer, leaving the Church and joining the Eastern Orthodox. Others have said they don’t care what the Pope does, they will continue to use the unrevised prayer. That’s not just expressing uneasiness.

    Such people, so quick to praise the fruits of the Tradtionalist movement while cursing the tree, have learned absolutely nothing from the past 40 years. I fear them, if anything, even more than the perfidious (unbelieving) liberals.

    Perhaps “such people” are just ordinary faithful, orthodox Catholics who embrace Summorum Pontificum because of their faith and loyalty to the Pope, and who now are showing the same trust and submission to the Pope now that he has issued another ruling regarding the liturgy.

  34. Dob says:

    Jordan Potter

    Any person with half a brain will be uneasy about this. Don’t mistake obedience for the sin of servility. Many people have a deep sense of unease and then we flail around trying to look on this in a positive light. No. Firstly, it is by no means clear that this change is coming from the Pope. Certainly we have received a statement from the Secretariat to say that the Pope has arranged for this prayer to be made available. Has he ORDERED IT? I am not familiar with any document that states so. The Pope has never indicated his intention to make this alteration. Ecclesia Dei have not spoken one word about this except to dismiss any change to the prayer. The only person who proposed this was Cardinal Bertone. The only other who has commented was Cardinal Kasper. Where is Ecclesia Dei? Where is the Pope’s comments? This whole affair stinks to high heaven. It is not disobedience or pride to question this business. It is your duty as a confirmed Catholic to be vigilant and call out when you see trouble. If people had not been so sycophantic and laboring under the sin or servility 40 years ago the wolves would not have slaughtered so many. This looks to me like a rerun all over again. Changes you know go against the grain being pushed through using vague documents translated into “orders”. If you love the Pope then you should know him. You should have a taste for what is of him and what is not of him. Sure, I may be wrong and I’ll happily accept correction, however there is nothing for an intelligent faithful Catholic to do here except to protest and keep things as they are until certain confirmation has been made. If the Pope has not ordered a change but arranged for an alternative prayer to be made available then it could simply be a political move to satisfy the secretariat. The Pope could be counting on your faithfulness to him and the Church to know what you should do. It’s called being awake. You cannot be unaware of the power relationship between the Pope and the Secretariat. He is in a very difficult position and will have to compromise if he is to get anything done. Maybe our duty is to ensure those compromises are made harmless.

  35. Jordan Potter says:

    Dob said: Jordan Potter

    Any person with half a brain will be uneasy about this.

    There really was no need to start off by insulting the intelligence of perhaps most members of the Catholic Church.

    Anyway, as you would know if you kindly read my comment, I
    wasn’t talking about expressions of uneasiness, but expressions of far, far greater and stronger feelings than mere uneasiness.

    Don’t mistake obedience for the sin of servility.

    Thank you. Just don’t be remiss about taking your own advice.

    Firstly, it is by no means clear that this change is coming from the Pope.

    Are you suggesting there has been a secret coup d’etat at the Vatican, and the Pope is now a prisoner in his apartments, with Cardinal Bertone and a junta of cardinals now running the show? L’Osservatore Romano would go ahead and publish the announcement without receving papal approval?

    Certainly we have received a statement from the Secretariat to say that the Pope has arranged for this prayer to be made available. Has he ORDERED IT? I am not familiar with any document that states so. The Pope has never indicated his intention to make this alteration.

    Dob, you’re talking like a paranoid conspiracy theorist. I don’t find even the most hardened or extremist traditionalist engaging in the sort of wild speculations you’re engaging in.

    Ecclesia Dei have not spoken one word about this except to dismiss any change to the prayer.

    Yes, I had expected this would have been issued through Ecclesia Dei — but then I had to admit that Summorum Pontificum does not preclude the Pope issuing something directly, nor does Summorum Pontificum actually indicate that a decision like this would come through Ecclesia Dei.

    The only person who proposed this was Cardinal Bertone.

    There is no evidence of that. He talked about it in public, but that doesn’t mean he was the only one in the Curia to propose it.

    It is not disobedience or pride to question this business.

    I never said it was. In your case, though, it seems your questioning has gone so far as to wondering if the Pope didn’t confirm a public decision and decree that could not be published without his direct involvement.

    If you love the Pope then you should know him. You should have a taste for what is of him and what is not of him.

    On that score, there can be no grounds to spin the sort of wild conspiracy theories that you are suggesting. Changing the prayer for the Jews in this way is exactly the sort of thing Pope Benedict might do.

    Sure, I may be wrong and I’ll happily accept correction, however there is nothing for an intelligent faithful Catholic to do here except to protest and keep things as they are until certain confirmation has been made.

    This is a change that only affects those few priests and bishops whouse the old Good Friday prayers, so most Catholics are not in any position to “keep things as they are.”

    If the Pope has not ordered a change but arranged for an alternative prayer to be made available then it could simply be a political move to satisfy the secretariat.

    If your scenario were correct, then why didn’t L’Osservatore Romano make that announcement instead of the announcement it made?

    You cannot be unaware of the power relationship between the Pope and the Secretariat.

    The “power relationship” between them is simple: the Pope asked Cardinal Bertone to be his Secretary of State, and the Pope and his Secretariat seem to be on the same page in this and other matters.

    He is in a very difficult position and will have to compromise if he is to get anything done.

    Sorry, I think that’s a real stretch . . .

    Maybe our duty is to ensure those compromises are made harmless.

    I don’t see how that could be. If the Pope makes a lawful and moral decision as the result of a compromise, how can it be our duty to decide his decision will not be implemented? You don’t like the decision, or don’t like the possible means by which he came to make his decision, so you are going to ignore it? Really, you’re talking like a “liberal” modernistical Catholic.

  36. ALL: I updated the top entry for this thread with information about Fr. Massa:

    I got this by e-mail:

    Father:

    Fr. Massa for your information is a diocesan priest from Brooklyn and is the coordinator for the Traditional Mass in Brooklyn and also one of our celebrants. He’s a man of good will.

    Keep up your good work.

  37. Kirk Kramer says:

    Of Hebrew Catholic interest:

    http://www.hebrewcatholic.org/

  38. Matt Q says:

    Just in case no one has heard of this recent development, here it is.

    **Rabbis’ Group May Condemn Change in Good Friday Prayer**

    Washington, Feb. 11, 2008 (CWNews.com) – An organization of Conservative Jewish leaders, meeting in Washington, DC, this week, will consider a resolution that condemns the change made by Pope Benedict XVI in the Good Friday prayer for Jews as it appears in the 1962 Roman Missal.

    The 400 members of the Rabbinical Assembly will discuss a proposed statement that says the revised prayer could “cast a harsh shadow over the spirit of mutual respect and collaboration” between Catholics and Jews in the years since Vatican II.

    Rabbi Joel Meyers, the executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Assembly, told reporters that although the Pope’s revised version of the prayer eliminated a reference to the “blindness” of Jews, the change nevertheless “appears to be a step backward.” He was referring to the fact that the revised prayer, like the one it replaces, includes an appeal to God for the conversion of the Jews.

    Rabbi Meyers acknowledged that the Jewish group cannot “dictate to the Vatican.” He said, however, that he hoped the change might be reconsidered. Founded in 1901, the Rabbinical Assembly represents the leaders of Conservative Judaism, a group that arose in the late 19th century as an alternative to the progressive Reformed and traditional Orthodox Jewish branches.

    ()

    Who do these people think they are? A bunch of two-faced whiners. They don’t like being referred to in our prayers, but they have the gall to complain and condemn it. They demand a change, the change is made, and they still complain about the change. There is just no satisfying them.

    ===============

    Dear Father Z:

    On its face, how do you know whether that email regarding Fr Massa is bogus or not?? Well, regardless of his position, Massa’s comments did seem a bit smarmy to me.

  39. It’s water under the bridge at this point, but wouldn’t the Council fathers have been wiser AND MORE CHARITABLE to install the NO–carefully worked out of course–as the extraordinary form alongside the traditional rite?

  40. jack burton says:

    Yeah, I was recently reading one of Klauser’s books penned in 1965 in which he systematically critiques the Roman Canon but then indicates that he believed the process of “improving” the Canon would likely take place over the next 100 years! He couldn’t possibly have known that within a year of his book Fr. Vagaggini would begin putting together his little treatise on the Roman Canon that soon after provided the foundations for Eucharistic Prayers III and IV, and that the Roman Canon would already be completely undermined in just a few revolutionary years.
    In 1965 Klauser believed that even the use of the Canon in the vernacular was a goal far off in the future. Today one is fortunate to encounter the Roman Canon at all, and of course it is prayed in the vernacular by default. Not even the progressives of the time could have imagined that within a decade the Canon would be marginalized such that Mazza could remark, “its use today is so minimal as to be statistically irrelevant.”

    Reinhold’s little book, “Bringing the Mass to the People”, is similarly fascinating from this perspective since although he foresaw a pretty substantial reconstruction of the Roman rite on the horizon, his vision of the liberal scenario falls quite short of what actually happened.

    In any case I agree that the biggest sin of the liturgical reform was to craft substantially new rites and put them over and above that which has been hallowed by tradition. In the early sixties even the progressive champions spoke of the prudence of “gradual progress” as opposed to overly enthusiastic rupture. Of course the impetus of this wisdom among such figures tends to be pastorally rooted rather than based on respect for tradition or organic development properly speaking.

  41. D. Sp. says:

    To moretben (10th of Feb., 3.08):
    Good – especially point 4) and 5)
    But why then at the end stating to obey? – I think for this reasons we have to reject the new prayer.

    To Jordan Potter (4. Feb., 10.25):
    Al right, M. Rev. Card. Kaper´s comment is equivocal or better: it contains some good things. It´s only semi-modernistical or quater-modernistical, … by beeing CHristocentric while refusing mission of the Jews. But his “eschatological angle” i s convincing! – And he´s not the only one giving this interpretation. For example for Germany: Eberhard von Gemmingen (Radio Vatican) [real horrible Interpretation; see also the Neue Züricher Zeitung of Feb. 8. with a similar comment of Mr. Tück] or Prof. Berger (see Die Tagespost) – and the latest comment by M. Rev. Gianfranco Ravari (see new Oservatore Romano!)!! (find all also on kath.net).

    To Tom (9. Feb. 6.40)and others:
    Well, the invitation to the prayer invitates to pray for the Jewas without specifying a time or giving a condition, and also in the prayer then you find the words that express that GOD desires that all shall be saved – but then the prayer prays only for the saving “of all Israel” “when/as” entering the “fullness of the gents”, so for the saving at end of time!! Only! That´s the problem.

    laudetur JS&Ma
    D.S.

  42. D. Sp. says:

    And (also to Tom – and to others):
    The 1970 prayer is at least “haeresi(m) fovens/favens” or “inducens in haeresim” – e. g. the German abrobated (!) text is the more (implicitly) haeretic. Then there can be no – n o – reason to keep it only one second longer in use. Even if the reaction would be “widspread rebellion and disobedience” (as, f. e., Tom puts it – but also others, including Rev. Fa. Z., seem to put it as an apologize for not changing the 1970 prayer).

    Even if most horrible things would be the reaction. – Hello, do we have still catholic thingking? – Hello, wake up – we can´t apologize not changing a heretical/or leading-to-heresy prayer because of the “oh so bad consequences, the trouble inside – and outside – the church, …”. Puh – Am I dreaming? Look at the early times of CHristendom, the troubles with arianism, pelagianism, nestorianism a.s.f. – can you imaging a Pope – an orthodox one – or for example St.Athanasius saying: Oh, we must tolerate an ambigious, to heresy tending prayer, becaus of the many troubles, that would be caused by not-tolerating it?!

    Poor, poor week Christendom, Catholicism.

    Where is the seeking of the Honor of GOD, the zelus of/for truth?!
    Where is the abhorrence of heresy – where has it gone?!

    May our Mother, victoress of/over all heresies, pray for us – to convert our depraved modern thinking!
    D.S.