Vatican to issue conciliatory note by Card. Bertone to Jews over Good Friday Prayer?

This just in: 

Vatican to issue conciliatory note to Jews

Mon Mar 17 12:26:06 UTC 2008

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict has approved a conciliatory statement for Jews upset by a Good Friday prayer that many saw as a call for their conversion, Catholic and Jewish sources said on Monday.

The statement, likely to take the form of a letter from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to the chief rabbi of Israel, is expected to be released soon but perhaps not in time for this Good Friday on March 21.

Bertone is second only to the Pope in the Vatican hierarchy, meaning the clarification is coming from the highest levels, as had been requested by the Jews, the sources said.

The Vatican last month revised a contested Latin prayer used by a traditionalist minority on Good Friday, [later the "minority" issue will be repeated] the day marking Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, removing a reference to Jewish "blindness" over Christ and deleting a phrase asking God to "remove the veil from their hearts".

Jews criticized the new version because it still says they should recognize Jesus Christ as the savior of all men. It asks that "all Israel may be saved" and Jews say it keeps an underlying call to conversion that they had wanted removed.

But Cardinal Bertone will say in the letter that the new prayer is not a call for conversion or proselytism and that there was no turning back on dialogue between the two religions.

The letter is expected to stress the concept that all salvation, including that of Israel, is in God’s hands and that the prayer is not a call for missionary activity. [Hmmm...]

Jewish groups complained last year when the Pope issued a decree allowing wider use of the old-style Latin Mass and a missal, or prayer book, that was phased out after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, which met from 1962 to 1965.

They protested against the re-introduction of the old prayer for conversion of the Jews and asked the Pope to change it.

Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee and the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations criticized the new version of the Good Friday prayer.  [This makes it sound as if the change in the prayer for Jews on Good Friday was, definitively, because some Jewish groups complained.  I don't think that is the entire story.]

According to sources familiar with drafts of the letter, it will say that the Vatican still takes as its reference point the landmark 1965 declaration Nostra Aetate (In our time).

This repudiated the concept of collective Jewish guilt for the killing of Christ and urged dialogue with Jews. [Yes... but is that really what this controversy is about?  I don't think so.]

Rabbis around the world had asked the Vatican to clarify the new prayer. Italy’s Jewish community was particularly tough, saying the new prayer was a serious step backward that posed a fundamental obstacle to continued Catholic-Jewish relations.

Sources on both sides said they hoped Bertone’s letter to the chief rabbi would end the controversy.  [Yah... right...  This will escalate until Good Friday.  And it will happen again nest year.]

They said it would say that the Church had no intention of returning to what one source called "the language of contempt" [I reject that the earlier version of the prayer expressed "contempt".] it had used in the past and wanted to stress mutual respect.

The prayer will be heard only by a tiny minority [2nd time] of Catholics who attend services on Good Friday that are held in Latin rather than in their local languages as usual.  [Again... this is lousy homework.  For example, the Good Friday services in Latin with the Novus Ordo, the revised prayer will not be used.  It is amazing that, after all this time, reporters convering the Holy See can seem to get this into their heads. CLARIFICATION: I mean the equation of "Mass in Latin" with only the older form of Mass.  I am not talking about the "tiny minority" phrase, which I hear as rather dismissive.]

(Reporting by Philip Pullella, editing by Tim Pearce)

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84 Responses to Vatican to issue conciliatory note by Card. Bertone to Jews over Good Friday Prayer?

  1. Doug Nesmith says:

    You’re absolutely right Father. This will only diminish after Good Friday when it will be picked up again anew next Lent, just like the magazine coverage every Easter that talks about how Judas isn’t a bad guy and Christ didnt really rise from the dead. It wont really be solved until Christ comes again as the Just Judge so whether the Jews like it or not I will continue to pray for their conversion just as I do for myself and everyone else. Thanks for everything Fr. Z.

  2. Jrbown says:

    Fr. Z., thank you for addressing this issue prior to Good Friday, as this new turn in the story is only now making the rounds. I would ask you this directly (and anyone else who reads this): if the Vatican, via Cardinal Bertone, issues a statement which disclaims any ‘call for conversion’ or even prayerful hope for present conversion of Jews, and makes this a purely eschatalogical prayer, and does so solely or primarily due to complaints of Jews (including the most liberal types imaginable), does this not mean that we have a true rupture with the past? The original prayer was without ANY question a prayer for PRESENT conversion of every Jew, by asking that the veil spoken of in Romans be lifted and that every Jew join us in recognition of Our Lord. Now we could be told that due to Vatican II (hermeneutic of continuity?) has repealed this attitude, founded on 2000 years of Tradition, in favor of ‘dialogue’ and ‘eschatlogical hope’. In all honestly, would this not constitute a rupture for political and ecumenical purposes? I am truly struggling with this issue and I cannot understand why there is not more pastoral sensitivity here for the ‘tiny minority’ of CATHOLICS actually being affected by all of this.

  3. Jrbown says:

    Fr. Z., Thank you for addressing this prior to Good Friday, as this purported ‘letter’ is only now starting to make the rounds in the news. I would like to ask you directly (and anyone else who may read this): if in fact Cardinal Bertone’s letter disclaims any prayer for a PRESENT conversion of Jews, and instead makes this entirely an eschatalogical hope for a future, end-times event (and does so due to pressure from Jewish leaders’ complains), do we not have a definite rupture with prior practice if not teaching? There is no question that the pre-February, 2008 prayer for the Jews in the 1962 Missal had a PRESENT conversion hope and prayer that Jews would have the veil lifted and recognize Our Lord with us as Savior. If, as is being reported, Cardinal Bertone’s statement will indicate that since Vatican II (hermeneutic of continuity?), the notion of present conversion and the need thereof has been replaced with ‘dialogue’ and ‘respect’, do we not have a definite rupture with the past, and for political and ecumenical reasons? I am truly struggling with this, and cannot understand why there is not more pastoral sensitivity for the ‘tiny minority’ of CATHOLICS who actually are being affected by this back and forth. I thought the Motu Proprio was about reconciliation and restoring trust, not creating new cause for division and confusion among the faithful. Thank you.

  4. schoolman says:

    “…not a call for conversion or proselytism…The letter is expected to stress the concept that all salvation, including that of Israel, is in God’s hands and that the prayer is not a call for missionary activity.” [Hmmm…]
    =====================================

    We will have to wait to see the “letter”, however, I would not be too surprised if the letter takes up the point recently made in the CDF instruction of Evangelization and Mission where the CDF had made a sharp distinction between “mission” and “proselytism\”.

    Still, there could be something to the effect that the Church does not intend to “mission” to the Jews in the same sense as there is a “mission ad gentes”. Perhaps because of Jewish blindness — the Church engages in a mission of prayer for the Jews while leaving the time and place of conversion in God’s hands.

  5. Thomas says:

    How can they possibly say that it is not a call for conversion. That is what the prayer is for, though it is not directed toward the Jews. This article seems rather bizarre to me; I trust that what is right will be done, whatever that may be.

  6. Paul says:

    Bishop Fellay has a point; the Vatican’s obsession with Jews is completely incomprehensible. What’s gained by attemtping to appease them?? Why is “mutual respect” more important than salvation?

  7. schoolman says:

    Jrbown, to be fair we should recall that the old version said nothing about the time and place of Jewish conversion. In fact, there is no substantial difference between the two prayers. The issue now is that the change has in effect *renewed* the call for Jewish conversion — and that has some very upset. But neither form called specifically for an “active” missionary program to convert the Jews.

  8. momof8 says:

    Reminder on what Cardinal George stated..

    ‘Would you care to look at some of the Talmudic literature’s description of Jesus as a bastard, and so on, and maybe make a few changes in some of that?’”

    I dont understand what certain Jewish groups hangups are. We aren’t pressing them for change.

    Which brings me to a theological question.. if the Jews are God’s “chosen” are they rejected by God now because of their denial that Christ is the Messiah?

    If they are rejected because they have chosen to deny Christ, then we must pray for them, those outside the Church, atheists, agnostics and so on. Its a simple concept, isnt it??

  9. I would expect something like this from Cardinal Kasper…from Cardinal Bertone it is really a cause for alarm. It would seem like ecumenical dialogue is our highest purpose as a Church.

  10. Ken says:

    Ah, the aftermath of changing the traditional missal. And some reform-of-the-reform folks here still want to change more of it…?

    On this subject, I read this recently and found it quite telling:

    Philip Cunningham, a member of the U.S. bishops’ Advisory Committee on Catholic-Jewish Relations, said he understands why Jews are upset. In his many talks with Jewish audiences, he is almost always asked whether the improvements in the church’s relationship with Jews are temporary.
    “My response is that there’s a body of teaching there that’s difficult to reverse,” he said.
    Regarding the revised Good Friday prayer, Cunningham said that “99 percent of the Catholic world” uses the New Mass, which has “no mention of Jews coming to faith in Jesus the Savior. There’s not even a hint of it.”

    http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/03/07/faith/20_45_523_6_08.txt

  11. Michael says:

    Once was enough, don’t you think? Or are we going to keep making minor revisions until we have a prayer that asks God to help Jews be good Jews? Then the Remnant can tell us how the final revision was a papal masterstroke.

  12. Garrett says:

    I agree with JRBrown; is this not a huge deal? Basically we are being told something completely different than 50 years ago. Isn’t this the Church officially endorsing a change of faith regarding our obligation as Catholics to evangelize all peoples, including the Jews?

    See, this is what happens when you try and “touch up” a traditional prayer; pretty soon, it’s going to take on a whole new meaning. The whole mentality is, to me, just way, way off.

  13. Jrbrown says:

    Sorry for the inadvertant double (rewritten) post. I would counsel everyone against heated polemics, and would honestly like to see Fr. Z’s and others’ reactions in light of what is being said. We are now 3 days away from Good Friday and still apparently no one knows what this new prayer REALLY means. This is truly disturbing and confusing in my view, far more than a superficial ‘annoyance’ that might pop up.

  14. Jeff Pinyan says:

    The Church, since its inception, sought to save the Jews by spreading the Gospel to them so that they too might believe in our Lord Jesus as the Christ promised to them. I’d say the Jews today who have a problem with this prayer are the same type of Jews who hardened their hearts when Peter preached to them. Their problem is not with a prayer, their problem is with our faith and our Lord.

  15. Theodorus says:

    “Cardinal Bertone will say in the letter that the new prayer is not a call for conversion….” If it were true, it would totally beyond comprehension. Revising the original prayer is already a mistake, and now they want to water down the intent of the second prayer? Does that mean we are perfectly OK to pray something highsounding to “please” God without the intention to really mean it? Don’t forget our Lord’s words: “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me….” I have to ask, what good will it do to appease certain groups of Jews and promote a superficial dialog by losing the Church’s own credibility and the trust of its own faithful?!

  16. Ottaviani says:

    The Catholic church is fast becoming a big politically correct washout. No one from any other religion will respect us – Catholicism has no backbone after the conciliar reforms.

    Pray for the Holy Father. He needs our prayers.

  17. Ave Maria says:

    I wish they would just let this lie and leave it alone now!

  18. Michael says:

    There’s so much wrong with this mess. It’s particularly disgusting the the Secretary of State is the one assigned to present this LITURGICAL change to the world. The liturgy is being use to speak to the world. When non-Christians hold the Church’s prayer hostage and we negotiate, we deprive it of its sacredness. Even the smallest change for a worldly cause harms the liturgy. Worst of all, this isn’t even front page news. The Missal has been changed because of complaints and protest no one will remember in ten years. But a precedent has been set. If a child throws a tantrum, and you give in, he knows he can get whatever he wants by kicking and screaming. The best solution to this problem would have been to reinforce the traditional teaching of the church by reaffirming the the traditional prayer.

  19. To use a bit more of my in your face simplicity logic. If they (the minority of th Jews) that are upset with the prayer (which has already been changed to take away the “offensive language”) they have 2 options: 1. shhhhhhhhh, it’s not your Faith, or Liturgy. 2. convert and the prayer will no longer be a problem since now your Faith is in Salvation.

  20. Tim H says:

    But then, what would be the point of converting, if Rome does this, then Matt 16:18 is a lie, and it has all been a lie.

  21. Melody says:

    I’m just dying for someone to come out and basically say, “Hey, our religion says to convert all people to Christ. Deal with it. It’s not meant to be offensive, it’s just what we believe.”

    I mean, enough with this politically correct nonsense! It’s nothing they shouldn’t already know by now. Do they think forcing us to change the wording of one traditional prayer said one day of the year is going to change sacred Tradition?

  22. Erica says:

    Father Z wrote: “Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee and the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations criticized the new version of the Good Friday prayer. [This makes it sound as if the change in the prayer for Jews on Good Friday was, definitively, because some Jewish groups complained. I don’t think that is the entire story.]”

    Why do you think there is more to it than appeasement? If the Holy Father was interested in restating the Church’s teaching on the conversion of the Jews, why not correct the prayer used by the vast majority of Catholics on Good Friday? What is the rest of the story? As other posters have expressed, this is distressing (the change and the apparent motive). It is causing division and spiritual confusion among Catholics. Where is the Holy Father’s pastoral concern for his sheep – the sheep in the fold? I am REALLY struggling. Please share your insights.

    A Blessed Holy Week to all …

  23. Dob says:

    I think the prayer can be read as a call to conversion or not a call to conversion. The only part of the prayer that is actually addressed to God is the second half which seems rather nebulous. So, as far as I can see, the parts where we actually pray are ambiguous. I should not think Cardinal Bertone would have any problem placating these Jewish people. Furthermore, I’m quietly happy that everyone rattles their plastic swords at Holy Mother Church and expects that their position should be supported by Her. What else would you expect? She is after all the one true Church of the second person of the Holy Trinity. On some deep level, they know this so of course they care what she says and prays. It’s only natural. Tell me, what Catholic would be insulted by a muslim/hindu/jewish/….. prayer calling for Catholics to be enlightened or to convert? We would assume they were having a laugh wouldn’t we? Why the difference? Because at some level……..

  24. Habemus Papam says:

    The new Good Friday prayer is addressed to God but this, an explanation for the chief rabbi is too much. Enough.

  25. Tom says:

    Perhaps people should remain calm. To begin with Reuters is not that reliable. (a) It is not staffed by precise theologians. (b) I suspect that there is massive spin happening. This has been the story regarding the secular news services throughout over the Good Friday prayer for the Jews – the news service reports have always, since January 2007, been thus: certain ‘sources in the Vatican’ say that there will be no continued call for the Jews to convert/ the 1970 prayer will be introduced for both EF and OF. But when the EF Good Friday prayer was amended, the call to conversion was, if anything, left even more clearly just that – a call for conversion.

    Secondly Pope Benedict XVI refused to admit the 1970 prayer into the EF, despite huge pressure to do so. Why do that if he does not think the Jews are called to convert to Christ? He had already made it clear, moreover, that the call to Jews to convert is for now, since the eschatological for Benedict is the now, the world post-incarnation, not some indefinite future date. As he said on March 15 2006

    “As the system of the 12 tribes had long since faded out, the hope of Israel awaited their restoration as a sign of the eschatological time (as referred to at the end of the Book of Ezekiel: 37:15-19; 39:23-29; 40-48). In this regard, it must be said that the message of Jesus is completely misunderstood if it is separated from the context of the faith and hope of the Chosen People: like John the Baptist, his direct Precursor, Jesus above all addresses Israel (cf. Mt 15:24) in order to “gather” it together in the eschatological time that arrived with him. And like that of John, the preaching of Jesus is at the same time a call of grace and a sign of contradiction and of justice for the entire People of God. And so, from the first moment of his salvific activity, Jesus of Nazareth strives to gather together the People of God. Even if his preaching is always an appeal for personal conversion, in reality he continually aims to build the People of God whom he came to bring together, purify and save….In choosing the Twelve, introducing them into a communion of life with himself and involving them in his mission of proclaiming the Kingdom in words and works (cf. Mk 6:7-13; Mt 10:5-8; Lk 9:1-6; 6:13), Jesus wants to say that the definitive time has arrived in which to constitute the new People of God, the people of the 12 tribes, which now becomes a universal people, his Church. With their very own existence, the Twelve — called from different backgrounds — become an appeal for all of Israel to convert and allow herself to be gathered into the new covenant, complete and perfect fulfilment of the ancient one.”

    Do you think the Pope will sign off on a statement that says otherwise? Moreover, he is a Pope of Vatican II. Consider Lumen Gentium para 9, which implies the very same Benedictine message of conversion as directly addressed to the Jews _now_ as to the Gentiles:

    “He therefore chose the race of Israel as a people unto Himself. With it He set up a covenant. Step by step He taught and prepared this people, making known in its history both Himself and the decree of His will and making it holy unto Himself. All these things, however, were done by way of preparation and as a figure of that new and perfect covenant, which was to be ratified in Christ, and of that fuller revelation which was to be given through the Word of God Himself made flesh. “Behold the days shall come saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the house of Judah . . . I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people . . . For all of them shall know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord.”(86) Christ instituted this new covenant, the new testament, that is to say, in His Blood,(87) calling together a people made up of Jew and gentile, making them one, not according to the flesh but in the Spirit. This was to be the new People of God.” Lumen Gentium para 9.

    This passage is also cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, para 781. Is the pope about to cast out both Lumen Gentium and the Catechism?

    So the claim that there is no call from the Church to the Jews to convert _now_ would be a revision of Vatican II, of the pope’s own catechesis, and his own Catechism. Or do the readers of WDTPRS prefer to believe loose prediction from Reuters?

    On the other hand if, per impossibile, Reuters _were_ right on the tendentious detail, and the call from the Church to the Jews to convert _now_ were being given up, then I think the Lefebvrists would be right. There would be a ‘conciliar Church’ apart from eternal Rome – but in opposition not just to pre-conciliar Tradition, but to the New Testament, and in opposition too to the Second Vatican Council itself. And we would be entering, surely, a whole new and very disturbing ball game.

    Notice the Reuters claim is not just about missionary strategies, and how they might or might not be targeted – which is all that Cardinal Bertone’s note will, I predict, really address. The Church can adjust its view on these to suit the times. It’s about the very call to conversion. And on this point, I do not believe Reuters.

  26. Martin says:

    The prayer says what it says. We all know what it means. That’s all that should matter to us. Diplomatic maneuverings should not be of concern to us when we pray on Good Friday.

  27. Tom says:

    The Pope’s catechesis of March 15, 2006, can be found here:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/b16ChrstChrch1.htm

    Melody asks: ‘ I’m just dying for someone to come out and basically say, “Hey, our religion says to convert all people to Christ. Deal with it. It’s not meant to be offensive, it’s just what we believe.’

    But the Pope has _already_ done what Melody wants – see the audience catechesis just cited.

    If some traditionalists’ faith in the Church is less than their faith in Reuters, this is more their problem than the Church’s. The traditionalist culture of suspicion – endless scepticism towards the recent Popes including Benedict and a completely contrasting and unthinking gullibility regarding every news report – is getting rather tiresome.

    But I will grant the traditionalists this. Were Reuters right on all the detail – no call from the Church for Jewish conversion – this would indeed be a traitorous failure to proclaim the Gospel.

  28. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    And so we see yet again what happens when a reigning Pontiff caves in to the two (not one) chief rabbis of Palestine. These two rabbis (Sephardim and Askenazim) sent their joint official letter and then alerted the international press in order to exert pressure on the Holy Father. It obviously worked. Whether he intended to appease them (probably the case) or not, the timing made it look as if appeasement was exactly the purpose of the re-formulation. It was a mistake to ‘deliver the goods’ only a fortnight after receipt of the joint letter from the chief rabbis. Those rabbis are known to the Supreme Pontiff through official channels, and he has cordial relations with them.

    It is truly sad that this has happened. In bargaining, if you can get your opponent to ‘move’, you can press him all the way to the wall. Naturally, the complainants have rejected the Pope’s revision: it does not go far enough for them. Nothing, in fact, would ever satisfy them. We are now seeing Vatican sources assuring the public that the new formulation does not mean to call for masoretes’ conversion to Christianity. Should such assurances be given publicly, would this comport with Catholic teaching about the Jews’ need for conversion? Surely, everyone who is not Catholic needs conversion. Is it charity or infamy to deny evangelisation to the Jewish people?

    I pray that His Eminence will not be issuing any statement. We do not want to reduce the office of the Vicar of Christ to a voice of appeasement. It is completely inappropriate that the Holy Father should even appear to be explaining or justifying himself to infidels or heretics, or trying to placate them. This entire procedure is dishonouring Holy Church. Suddenly, the Holy See is reduced to a ‘party’ which ‘negotiates’ with Jews for their own salvation, and the international press becomes the referee which will ‘control’ how the dispute or ‘dialogue’ is interpreted. Instead of the Holy See being the interpreter of truth, this procedure has de facto transferred that rôle to the international press. And that press, I insist, is definitely not controlled by the Church.

    It is time for the Holy See at least not to repeat the first mistake. One mistake in isolation might be reparable and reversible. But repeat it just once, and a precedent has been set. It’s all downhill from there.

    P.K.T.P.

  29. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Tom, regarding Reuters:

    Actually, many traditionalists predicted that the Pope would not alter the prayer to appease the Jews. Long before he altered it, Reuters and the others were reporting that it was being considered. I think that many of us were shocked when he actually changed it. I know I was.

    Many people trusted in the Church and discounted the international press, which was reporting the probability of a change well before it occurred. Those people discovered that, perhaps, they should have listened to the press, since the press turned out to be right! This is where we are now.

    P.K.T.P.

  30. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Tom’s longer post:

    I agree with much of what this blogger writes. It is, of course, true that the press puts all sorts of spins on its predictions of coming papal letters, and so forth.

    But the problem is really a simple one. The main damage is not caused by the Pope making any particular statement or re-formulating any particualar prayer. The problem is that, by the very act of responding (or seeming to respond) to demands from infidels circulated in the international press, the Pope seemeth to enter an arena as a party equal to the complainants, an arena in which the press, as the reporter of the dialogue to follow, will come to control its meaning. The Pope is not equal to the complainants. He is their ruler and superior, a position which, ironically, he achieves by his humility and servitude. But it is a superiority nevertheless because it regards salvation, and being in Heaven is definitiely finer than being anywhere else.

    As I have argued from the beginning on this, it is the process that is the problem, not the prayer. Similarly, any coming statement will advance that process, even if it is a good statement. The Church, which should stand above all institutions and judge them in justice and charity, is now de facto submitting to the judgement of mere journalists, of those who are expert in nothing at all. Journalism is not even a profession, since it is not an activity which proceeds from any particular system of disciplined thought.

    It would be regrettable indeed should the king submit to the judgement of his lords. But it is beyond belief when the king submits to the judgement of the people who create cheap entertainment.

    I feel that Benedict XVI, in particular, being, as he is, a very impressive intellectual, simply cannot resist, at times, the issuance of exacting statements. Honest men would read them and learn from them. But honest men are not the people who control the press, and they will quote him out of context and twist his meaning to create controversy, for controversy sells their product. The best answer to them is no answer at all.

    P.K.T.P.

  31. CatholicGandhian says:

    Gee, things were on the up and up, and now this. I am genuinely dissappointed in the Holy Father.

  32. Deborah says:

    I am very curious as to what this letter from Caridnal Bertone will actually say. Nothing will shock me to be quite honest.

    This intense desire for what I call “fabricated ecumenism and dialogue” has always seemed strange in my opinion. Sure get together, have dinner and visit once in a while even to just give witness to the world that we can all get along but that should be it.

    Again, I think of how many of us live true ecumenism every single day yet we don’t sit around trying to figure out how we can change each others religions to make everyone happy. Perhaps it would be good for the ecumenical councils in the Holy See to take note of Catholic laity and their authentic witness of ecumenism.

  33. Maureen says:

    Y’all are pessimistic. The Pope is going to write a little paper about the meaning of the prayers on Good Friday, and everyone will be caused to think deeply and look differently at the prayers. In the process, our little Pope will be evangelizing through dialogue.

    He’s not much for retreating, our little Pope. Re-explaining until the students or colleagues get it, yes.

  34. Michael says:

    I think it’s more than likely that the document will say everything we expect it too, but bloggers and Catholic newspapers will actively support it, saying “Well, at least it doesn’t say ____,” and give us loads of unconvincing reasons why we shouldn’t be in disagreement. Unable to live with the new dilemma, within a day or two, everyone will have convinced themselves it’s no so bad and viciously defend the Vatican’s decision, branding all those who oppose “radical traditionalists.” Then, when we’ve finally accepted it, the Vatican can move un to the next unsatisfying reform without considering the opinions of liturgical scholars and traditionalist orders. Such is the fate of the 1962 Missal.

  35. D. S. says:

    to Tom, who said:

    “…if, per impossible, Reuters were right … and the call from the Church to the Jews to convert now were being given up, then I think the Lefebvrists would be right.”

    Impossible??
    You seem to oversee some thing: there is the NO-prayer, used by ca. 99% of the Catholics, that has realy and clearly given up praying for the actual conversion of the Jews, even more: it supports – again clearly, in the latin and the more in the venacular texts and at least without any doubt within his whole context – heresy (of the Jews beeing in a valid covenant).

    The German approbited (!) text f.e. is not only supporting that heresy, but in itself (implicit) heretic, the latin text at least supporting heresy (“haeresi favens – as I said without any doubt if you see also the context).

    So it is not only possible, but is the fact in the post-Vatican Church. And suporting heresy is a mortual sin, as you know.

    So not rejecting the NOM would be also a mortual sin; the “Lefebvrists” (as you call them) are in fact right to reject – at least – the NOM (for different reasons, but clearly for this reason here!) and on the contrary, I repeat: not rejecting it is absolutly clear(ly) peccable/sinful.

    So don´t oversee that the NOM-prayer is in tact and will – sadly – be used by 99% of the priests this Good Friday… how horrible, how offending GODs honour!!

    And therefor it is also realy horribel if You, Rev. F. Z., promote NOM in latin – as it is posted 18 March. [GRRR... and more than GRRR... - it is sinful!! - I beg You in the name of the immaculate Virgin and CHrist, our Lord: don´t do so! - Think about. In this latin masses, on Good Friday the will use this totaly inaceptable, pecacable prayer, they will use the inacceptable new Requiem-prayers at a "Requiem", etc.pp.!! That´s sinful, GOD-offending. Clearly.]

    (“More Latin! Excellent!” – pah!! – it is You who is always angry in Your commentarys if someone refers to TLM as latin mass. So understand my anger and zelus now. realy horrible! I don´t understand such a blindness, excuse me.)

    laudetur JS&Ma
    D.S.

  36. D. S. says:

    laudetur JS CHS!

    And a word to the revised prayer now (and especially to Jrbown):

    As I stated and stated before (see my comments to this matter – new Good Fr. prayer – before, all the last days):
    The new prayer prays clearly – absolutly clear – only for the saving of the Jews at the very end of time, not for their converting now.

    And Your comments, shoolman (and Jordan Potter et others), are not convincing (read my comments before – I´m not going to recur here – [sometimes I think I am only losing/wasting time, many of you do not earnestly take and weight the arguments...sorry.])

    So you need no comment of Card. Bertone to see what the PRAYER REALY SAYS – it prays not for the conversion now, but only at end of time (and even then not for conversion, but only for saving – that´s an important difference, as you hopefully see!)
    So, sorry, Martin (3.43): that is WHAT THE PRAYER REALLY SAYS!

    I said that all before. And I have to repeat again: therefor, like Jrbown putted it, we have a true rupture with the past, or, in my words: the prayer lacks of an essential point, supports semi-modernistical teaching (again, I am not going to echo all here…read my comments).
    So reaction must be: profoundly regret it!

    It is that clear, I don´t understand You all, who not want to see that. Incredible. (I am realy wondering…)

    In CHo per Mam

  37. D. S. says:

    P.S.:

    Sorry for my English; f.e. it must be “mortal sin”, not “mortual” (etc.?). I´m German, and my English is not that perfect. I beg Your pardon.

  38. Melody says:

    Tom- I am not a “Trad” in the sense you imply. I love Pope Benedict. I say rosaries for him in appreciation of the difficult situation he is in trying to reform things. I just think someone at the Vatican needs to very bluntly state Church teaching in response to this particular issue. Hopefully this upcoming letter by Cardinal Bertone will do just that.

    I also don’t see why anyone has a problem with the new prayer. Pope Benedict had a stroke of genius when he changed it, since the new one is essentially the same as the old one but with gentler language. (It’s as my grandmother used to admonish me, “Be honest, but say it in a nice way.”) When I first read the new prayer I laughed, for this such a smart and subtle rebuff. My mind’s eye imagines Papa Benedict simply shrugging at the rabbis and saying, “Well I changed it… What, you’re still not happy…?” :)

    D.S. You have obviously never been to a Novus Ordo done properly in Latin. It’s really very close to a Tridentine mass when all the rubrics are followed, the main difference being the whole assembly saying the responses and the prayer of consecration being audible. Don’t confuse the abuses of the accursed “Spirit of Vatican II” with the actual teachings of the Council itself.
    Pax Christi

  39. Mark says:

    Melody:

    Your comment: “It’s [The Novus Ordo] really very close to the Tridentine mass when all the rubrics are followed…”

    Are you kidding me? There are so many differences, it would take me an hour or more to enumerate them all here. Please crack open your two missals (if you own a copy of each) side be side and compare again.

  40. Melody says:

    LOL… I said to myself earlier “I’m going to regret posting that…”

    Yeah, there are a lot of differences. That did not come out right. To be more accurate, when the Novus Ordo is celebrated properly, one can see many similarities with the old rite. The most jarring differences can usually be traced to the “Spirit of Vatican II” not to the rubrics themselves. It’s also interesting that the Latin texts of the prayers are close to the older rite, a fact which is obscured by the abominable ICEL translations.

  41. Matt Q says:

    Schoolman wrote:

    “Still, there could be something to the effect that the Church does not intend to “mission” to the Jews in the same sense as there is a “mission ad gentes”. Perhaps because of Jewish blindness—the Church engages in a mission of prayer for the Jews while leaving the time and place of conversion in God’s hands.”

    ()

    Schoolman, very interesting point but I hope this is not the case. If it is then it begins a very dangerous precedent in which the Church begins to believe there is no more need to evangelize. If we are going to approach the Jews with the idea of “Jewish blindness” but “the Church engages in a mission of prayer for the Jews while leaving the time and place of conversion in God’s hands,” then the Church no longer has any validity in evangelizing anyone else. The very argument against it will bring up the very precedent set for the Jews. How does the Church pick and choose which group is exempt from prayers for conversion? How would that then square with the Lord’s commandment, “once thou art converted, convert thy brother!”

    ===========

    Paul wrote:

    “Bishop Fellay has a point; the Vatican’s obsession with Jews is completely incomprehensible. What’s gained by attempting to appease them?? Why is “mutual respect” more important than salvation?”

    ()

    Exactly, Paul. This brings up the big question? What is the need for Ecumenism? I understand the need for dialogue. One has to be able to communicate with others in being able to ask questions, to clarify, etc. Well and good, but beyond that, what then? The article related Cardinal Bertone said there will be “no turning back on dialogue between the two religions.” What else is there to talk about? What does constant yammering about each other’s religion accomplish? I think this dialoguing means looking for what else can be watered down, what else can we share so as not to further the other’s need for conversion? Scholman’s observation will in fact play itself out.

    Again, Peter Karl T. Perkins’ statements are wonderful. The pre-Conciliar Church always held its head high, never backed down from a fight. People respected the Church, consulted the Church. Not anymore. To that, I think it’s true Vat2 made the Church needy. This constant need to loved and to be liked by high and by low–as we ought–but to carry on this narrow-minded and offensive attitude of self-impugning, making Catholics feel as though we are a conquering people.

    ==========

    Deborah wrote:

    “I am very curious as to what this letter from Caridnal Bertone will actually say. Nothing will shock me to be quite honest.”

    ()

    Yes, it’s true, Deborah. Nothing is shocking anymore. It may be surprising or it may be disappointing, but it’s not shocking. After forty years of this, there is not a whole lot to be shocked about. Sadly.

    ==========

    Mark wrote:

    “Are you kidding me? There are so many differences, it would take me an hour or more to enumerate them all here. Please crack open your two missals (if you own a copy of each) side be side and compare again.”

    ()

    LOL Don’t be too hard on Melody. We have this bearded **deacon** at our church who thinks the same way. He thinks the Usus Moderna is just a simplified version of the Usus Antiquior. Really brilliant!

  42. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Michael’ comments are exactly right.

    There is a word for this justifying everything a Pope does. I do not mean ‘papolatry’, I mean ‘rationalisation’. The neo-conservative and the semi-traditionalist will rationalise any action of the present Pope. They start with the conclusion (viz. it must be good because Benedict XVI favours it) and then they work backwards to find reasons to support the pre-conceived premise.

    It is best to look truth straight in the face. Benedict XVI, in my view, is the best Pope we’ve had since Pius XII, and I love him dearly. That’s why I absolutely refuse to explain away the more dangerous of his mistakes as ‘masterstrokes’. If we love the Pope and love the Church, we need to pray that he will do what is best. We can be wrong about what is best, which is why we need to consider the facts carefully but then speak honestly about them. I just cannot see how any letter right now to these rabbis can be a good thing. Silence is sometimes the best thing. The Supreme Pontiff does not owe them an explanation for his actions.

    P.K.T.P.

  43. Tom Heneghan says:

    Fr. Z – As religion editor for Reuters, I’m always interested in your comments on the Catholic Church and on our stories about it. As you know, we are a secular news agency, writing for readers of all faiths and none, and we try as best we can to explain events for them. We may not always view these events from the same perspective, but we should at least be able to agree on some facts. One point you contest here is the idea that only a tiny minority of Catholics will hear the revised Good Friday prayer in Latin this week. The implication is that clearly more than a tiny minority will hear it and we are wrong to tell readers otherwise. If this is the case, do you have an estimate for how many Good Friday services will be in the Tridentine rite? Is there anyone tracking this who could tell us how many are scheduled and what percent they represent within the whole Catholic Church? Whenever we ask, we’re told there is no way to know but the total will be a tiny minority. Anecdotal evidence from different countries also indicates very few Good Friday services will be held in Latin. If we had indications that a majority or a substantial minority of Catholics would hear the revised prayer in Latin, we would write that. But at least for now, “tiny minority” seems to reflect the situation best.

  44. Bill says:

    Sorry to say it, but I tend to agree with Mr. Heneghan on this one. Most of the Latin-rite Catholic world uses the NO. Facts are facts. Or does Fr. Z have some inside information?

  45. Aussie Paul says:

    We haven’t heard much from Fr Z yet!

    Perhaps a prudent silence? Perhaps a wise throwing of “the cloak of Noah” over Benedict?

    At least Fr Z might eventually tell us, if the story is accurate, which aspect of the new “Marshall Plan” this forms part.

  46. D.V.M. says:

    Let us pray that the implementation of the new prayer not be enforced and that it be quietly forgotten.

  47. Tom Heneghan: I am very grateful that you chimed in and engaged us here. Thank you!

    One point you contest here is the idea that only a tiny minority of Catholics will hear the revised Good Friday prayer in Latin this week.

    Actually, if you take a look at what I wrote, I did not “contest” that only a minority will hear that prayer. I have stated that myself on this site elsewhere! I did not point out that repetition because I thought it was not true, I pointed it out because it seemed to me dismissive.

    It is not unusual for minorities to be dismissed as unimportant, or as not having rights.

    I would add that interest is growing, and in countries like France the minority is pretty strong.

    However, I suspect that you thought I objected to the factuality of the “minority” issue because at the end I refer to lousy homework. What I was referring to there, was the reference to the use of Latin, rather than to the minority issue.

    This is something I very frequently point out on the blog and in my own articles.

    What many people reporting, even in Catholic publications don’t realize, is that the newer, post-Conciliar form of the Mass, which many call the Novus Ordo, is also a Latin liturgy. The proper and official language of the newer Mass is Latin, though the vernacular is permitted. For example, all too often people use the entirely inaccurate term “Latin Mass” to mean only the older, pre-Conciliar form of Mass, as if Latin and the Novus Ordo have nothing to do with each other.

    It has been my constant concern in these pages and in print to help eliminate this mindset about the segregation of Latin to the “traditional” use of the Roman Rite and the limitation of the Novus Ordo to vernacular.

    I know of some places where the Good Friday services will be celebrated in Latin, but with the newer books, not the older.

    I hope that make clearer what I was aiming at with that comment. It might seem that that comment about Latin at the end is just a throw away, but to many people … at least to me… it is rather important.

    Again, I deeply respect that you engaged me head on about this and raised a challenge.

    I greet you cordially, and wish you a good continuation of your Easter preparation!

  48. Jrbrown says:

    As one of the ‘tiny minority’ who might actually be attending such a liturgical ceremony, I do feel that it is dismissive, if not pejorative. More to the point, I believe Reuters and other news agencies are attributing these words to Cardinal Bertone himself, and not an anonymous author of the story. Since the Motu Proprio was supposed to be about restoring the dignity of the 1962 Missal, and what it represents, as well as effecting interior reconciliation with traditional-minded Catholics, I don’t see how referring to us as a tiny (and irrelevant) minority, whom can be turned in whichever direction may be needed due to ecumenical pressures, is in keeping. It has been 5 weeks since the prayer was changed and we have had no statement by the Vatican as to whether or not Cardinal Kasper, etc., are correct and that the prayer is now solely eschatalogical, or indeed why it was changed and what it means. I think this is extremely rare in modern Vatican actions-every liturgical law change, CDF statement, motu proprio, etc., come with long introductory letters, newspaper articles, etc. This is a prayer to God, after all, and I would like to know what it is that I am petitioning the Blessed Trinity-is it for the grace of God to effect conversions PRESENTLY, or only until the end of time? I know for myself I am asking for BOTH, as the Church always has done, but is that what the Vatican actually intended with this prayer. I do think this is a right of the faithful for which we can petition our pastors for clarification. Thank you.

  49. Tom from Reuters has a point. There will not be one church in the Diocese of Arlington that will celebrate the Easter Triduum in the Extraordinary form. Fr McAfee will celebrate the Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary form but I don’t believe he will celebrate Holy Thursday or Good Friday in the Extraordinary form. Neither will Fr Jerome Fasano unfortunately. If any pastors would have celebrated the Easter Triduum in the Extraordinary form, it would have been these two excellent priests.

  50. Dob says:

    Jrbrown,
    Indeed this whole affair is very strange. I think a wait and see policy is required and a heartfelt prayer for the conversion of Jews to the Catholic faith as part of my daily family prayers and especially on Good Friday. St Stephen was stoned to death for preaching Christ to the Jews. Jesus Christ himself suffered in part for preaching Himself to His people. It is very strange that any Catholic would suggest that Jews have no need of accepting Jesus Christ and therefore His Church. In the interest of being politically correct I think we deliver the Jewish people a harmful and unchristian blow by not praying and continuing Christ’s mission to these people.

  51. Tom Heneghan says:

    Fr. Z, thanks for such a warm welcome to your forum. I can’t say it’s always as friendly on other blogs ;-)

    I take your point about distinguishing between Latin in the Novus Ordo and in the Tridentine rite. Phil Pullella, our Vatican correspondent, and I are well aware of the difference because we hear the NO in Latin at the Vatican. We try to make this clear in copy, but there’s just so much detail that can go into a general news story before editors’ and readers’ eyes glaze over. That’s why we sometimes use shorthand terms like “old-style” that you highlighted in bold.

    As for being dismissive, we mean the term “tiny minority” as a very small number of Catholics worldwide. We’re using those words in their basic literal sense here, in the same sense as we could write that the Apostles were a tiny minority among the Jews of their time. But language can be tricky. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to write about a tiny minority without someone reading more into the statement. If anyone has an equally compact phrase (remember, every word counts in a news story!) that is free of all potential misunderstanding, please let me know.

    Since I live in France, I have noticed increased (but still very small) interest in the Tridentine Mass since the motu proprio. My question there is whether the people now going to new extraordinary rite Masses being launched here and there are mostly parishioners who formerly went to vernacular Masses, or are many of them former SSPX parishioners who are now returning to regular parishes because the Latin Mass (sorry!) is now being said there. Does anyone have any ideas?

  52. I have a better answer to all this Good Friday Prayer change stuff. How about we add the prayer:

    “Let us pray for the perfiduous media … that they may be converted to Christ.”

    I’m totally serious.

  53. Henry Edwards says:

    Mr. Heneghan: My question there is whether the people now going to new extraordinary rite Masses being launched here and there are mostly parishioners who formerly went to vernacular Masses, or are many of them former SSPX parishioners who are now returning to regular parishes because the Latin Mass (sorry!) is now being said there.

    First, let me add my own thanks for your welcome appearance at this forum.

    I cannot speak to the situation in France, but at the extraordinary form Mass I now attend on Sundays in the southern U.S., I’m pretty sure that a great majority (probably over 95%) have never attended an SSPX Mass in their lives. So, with few exceptions, they are not “returning” to regular parishes, because most of them have been (and still are) active members of regular parishes all along. And many of them continue to attend ordinary form (vernacular) Masses on a daily basis when the extraordinary form is not available. Finally, I believe this local situation is typical of the many new extraordinary form Masses springing up in U.S. dioceses.

    A separate phenomenon that you might like to investigate is the conspicuously young average age of the congregation at most traditional Latin Masses. Young adults — a seemingly missing generation in many regular Catholic parishes — are numerous, and families with 4 to 8 children are not at all uncommon.

  54. Tom Heneghan: Please greet Mr. Pullella, for me. He is one of the sturdy columns of the Sala Stampa. He would pick my brains occasionally and I always found him to be a gentleman and hard working.

    I sure understand the restraints of space. I write a weekly feature in The Wanderer that runs to 2000 words and still I can’t get in what I want to say. But I am writing more for a journal of opinion, rather than a strict news outlet. It must be very challenging to do what you do.

    About “tiny minority”…. I guess we don’t have good stats on that. However, the discussion of the Holy Father’s provisions has been, on the part of negative critics, very dismissive. It is not uncommon to find them using that phrase. So, if perhaps some language has been picked up, perhaps inadvertently, by consultation mainly with those who don’t support the Pope’s Motu Proprio (and I know that is very possible around the Roman circles I too have moved in for years), perhaps some judicious retuning is in order.

    I wonder if some of the readers here won’t have suggestions about “tiny minority”.

    The problem is how to express the reality that the numbers are small, without giving the impression that these people and what they adhere to have no significance.

    Please feel free to contact me at any time and to post around WDTPRS.

  55. Jrbrown says:

    I might suggest “rare” or “relatively few in number”, or something along those lines. The consistent idea that seems to be behind ‘tiny minority’, etc., is that because few Catholics will hear the 1962 Missal on Good Friday, we can ignore them and maintain good relations with Jews, etc. In point of fact, it is precisely because the Holy Father has chosen NOT to ignore such Catholics that is creating the controversy. Again, I wonder if these words are being attributed to Cardinal Bertone personally, as I have seen similar remarks from curial ‘sources’ over the last few weeks.

  56. Henry Edwards says:

    Perhaps you could salt in something like “small but growing minority” occasionally to mitigate the steady drumbeat of “tiny minority” we’ve seen some quarters.

    That it’s growing is without doubt, and not only because every week we hear of the scheduling of additional extraordinary form Masses in various places. For instance, in my own admittedly tiny (but otherwise typical) traditional Latin Mass community of less than a hundred families, I know of two families with 8 children and several others with 4 or more. Whereas at my daily ordinary form Mass I look (hoping it’s not entirely self deception) like a relative youngster despite my biblical three score and ten. So the demographic handwriting is already on the wall.

  57. Matt Q says:

    Roman Sacristan wrote:

    “I have a better answer to all this Good Friday Prayer change stuff. How about we add the prayer:

    ‘Let us pray for the perfidious media … that they may be converted to Christ.’

    I’m totally serious.”

    ()

    Yes, let’s pray. Most in the media are Godless heathens anyway. Look at the slanted diatribe they put out everyday, rank with snide innuendos ( such as “tiny minority” ) not to mention their biased commentaries against religion especially against Catholics. Have you ever heard them say anything against Islamics and their desire to blow up people? “”" crickets chirping “”"

  58. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In regard to Mr. Henderson’s questions about numbers. I am not consulting my files directly on this, but I am very knowledgeable about the statistics of the T.L.M.

    There are only about five cases in all of the U.S.A. in which diocesan priests will be using the Traditional Liturgy on Good Friday. These would include the church in Richmond (Va.) and the personal parish at Troy, N.Y.

    Presumably, the F.S.S.P. will use it. It has apostolates in 27 U.S. sees. However, in several of these, it is only assisting with Masses in territorial parishes. I would think that it will offer the Good Friday Service in about 20 sees.

    The I.C.R. has ten aposoltes in the U.S.A., mostly grounded in shrines and other permanent apostolates. Then there are the cases of the Benedictines in Oklahoma, the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, and the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. But they only operate in one diocese each.

    I would estimate that there will be about forty (40) Traditional Good Friday Services in the entire U.S.A. I would imagine, as a wild guess, that there will be at least 20,000 Good Friday Services in the Reformed Liturgy.

    In Canada, the Traditional Good Friday Service will probably be available at Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Montréal, Québec and St. Catharines, but not in Toronto, Winnipeg, Trois Rivières, or anywhere in Saskatchewan or in the Atlantic provinces. There might be seven Traditional Good Friday Services in the entire Dominion.

    Where this will come up most will be France, where a much higer per centage of traditional apostolates are pastored by traditionalist societies and institutes. In fact, there will probably be about sixty Good Friday Services there, or even more.

    Really, however, we need to include the irregular S.S.P.X on this. The reason is that, under the New Code, we are free to go to its liturgies, and because Good Friday is not a holyday, there is no requirement to attend regularised liturgies on that day. But, of course, the S.S.P.X will not use the 2008 version. All the more reason to go there.

    P.K.T.P.

  59. Ken says:

    Mr. Heneghan — I think what could solve this problem would be the elimination of the word “tiny” before “minority.” It comes off as pejorative.

    But what I think dedicated readers of Reuters articles would add to the choice of verbiage would be the extreme focus on the fifteen second prayer for the Jews on Good Friday by your organization. During the July 2007 announcement by the pope that the traditional Latin Mass would be allowed to be said publicly by any priest in the Roman Catholic Church, your writers chose to focus on that fifteen second prayer on Good Friday. The AP, New York Times and Los Angeles Times, with (honestly) much more objective Vatican reporters, didn’t let a “tiny minority” of Jews (wait, you didn’t use that term for them) who cared about the details of the traditional Catholic Good Friday liturgy shape the entire focus of a historical announcement by the Catholic Church.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL0750134120070707

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKL0818470320070708

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070423-0537-vatican-jews-.html

  60. Tom says:

    A “tiny minority” of Catholics will hear the so-called “traditional” Good Friday prayer for Jews.

    I say so-called “traditional prayer” as that prayer is just a few weeks old.

    That said, the important factor is not whether a “tiny majority” of Catholics will hear the “traditional” Good Friday prayer for Jews.

    The important point is that the “traditional” prayer in question is an official prayer of the Catholic Church.

    In 2001, Eugene Fisher issued the following claim: “There is actually only one official prayer for the Jews in the Liturgy of the Catholic Church. The reform of the Liturgy mandated by the Second Vatican Council, however, re-conceptualized and rewrote the prayer entirely. It now reads: (Mr. Fisher then quoted the revised prayer of the Novus Ordo Mass).

    Mr. Fisher was wrong in 2001. In 2001, the Good Friday prayer for Jews from the 1962 Missal was just as “official” as the Novus Ordo prayer in question.

    In 2008, the novel Good Friday prayer for Jews that Pope Benedict XVI altered from the 1962 Missal is also just as “official” as the Novus Ordo Good Friday prayer for Jews.

    The question is whether the novel prayer introduced a few weeks ago by Pope Benedict XVI is prayer that calls for Jews to convert to the Catholic Church.

    If the novel prayer for Jews that was introduced a few weeks ago calls for Jews to covert to the Catholic Church, then that represents the Faith of the Catholic Church.

    Therefore, even if just a “tiny minority” of Catholics hears the new prayer in question, if said pray calls for the conversion of Jews, then that is what the Church believes regarding Jews.

    To dismiss the “traditional” prayer in question as nothing more than a prayer that will be heard by just a “tiny minority” of Catholics is to overlook the fact that said prayer represents the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

    By the way, considering that (in the U.S.) probably little more than 10 to 15 percent of Catholics will assist at the Novus Ordo Good Friday Liturgy, just a “tiny monority” of Latin Church Catholics will hear the Novus Ordo prayer for Jews.

    Bottom line: As Mass attendance has collapsed throughout the Latin Church, relatively few Catholics will hear any prayers for Jews this Friday.

  61. PKTP: There are only about five cases in all of the U.S.A. in which diocesan priests will be using the Traditional Liturgy on Good Friday.

    I hope you include St. Augustine’s in S. St. Paul, MN.

  62. Ken: didn’t let a “tiny minority” of Jews … who cared about the details of the traditional Catholic Good Friday liturgy shape the entire focus of a historical announcement by the Catholic Church.

    Points for that one!

  63. Ken says:

    Thanks, Father.

    In the Archdiocese of Washington, there will be a sung Good Friday Mass of the Presanctified at Old Saint John’s (a.k.a. Our Lady Queen of Poland) church in the Forest Glen section of Silver Spring, Md. Gregorian chant will be sung by a schola of men. The liturgy, said by a priest from the military archdiocese, will be at noon.

  64. Tom says:

    Jrbrown wrote: “It has been 5 weeks since the prayer was changed and we have had no statement by the Vatican as to whether or not Cardinal Kasper, etc., are correct and that the prayer is now solely eschatalogical, or indeed why it was changed and what it means.”

    Great point.

    A novel prayer for Jews replaced the traditional prayer for Jews…and we don’t know why. All we have is speculation as to why the Pope substituted novelty for tradition.

    Father Z, for example, argued that the traditional Good Friday prayer for Jews was axed to render the 1962 Missal “alive.”

    1. I disagree with Father’s spin…(my use of the word “spin” isn’t meant to be nasty). By the way, wasn’t the 1962 Missal “alive” prior to the recent introduction of the novel Good Friday prayer for Jews?

    2. I agree with the following spin: The prayer in question was changed as the result of post-Vatican II Rome’s infatuation with interreligious/ecumenical “dialogue.”

    That said, to repeat Jrbrown’s excellent point…”It has been 5 weeks since the prayer was changed and we have had no statement by the Vatican as to whether or not Cardinal Kasper, etc., are correct and that the prayer is now solely eschatalogical, or indeed why it was changed and what it means.”

    Therefore, Father Z may be correct. Conversely, I and others who believe that the prayer was changed as the result of interreligious “dialogue” may be correct.

    We simply don’t know.

    We won’t know until the Pope speaks to the issue at hand.

    Until then, we can only seculate as to why the Pope axed the traditional Good Friday prayer for Jews.

  65. D.S. And therefor it is also realy horribel if You, Rev. F. Z., promote NOM in latin – as it is posted 18 March. [GRRR… and more than GRRR… – it is sinful!! – I beg You in the name of the immaculate Virgin and CHrist, our Lord: don´t do so! – Think about. In this latin masses, on Good Friday the will use this totaly inaceptable, pecacable prayer, they will use the inacceptable new Requiem-prayers at a “Requiem”, etc.pp.!! That´s sinful, GOD-offending. Clearly.] (“More Latin! Excellent!” – pah!! – it is You who is always angry in Your commentarys if someone refers to TLM as latin mass. So understand my anger and zelus now. realy horrible! I don´t understand such a blindness, excuse me.)

    Okay… that would be a “no” vote for the Novus Ordo in Latin, I guess.

    You are wrong, of course, and I am right.

    We need more Latin everywhere.

  66. Tom: Father Z, for example, argued that the traditional Good Friday prayer for Jews was axed to render the 1962 Missal “alive.” … I disagree with Father’s spin…

    That is certainly not the only reason why Pope Benedict could have done this. However, it is without question one of the effects and that, namely the effect can’t be challenged, either by opponents of the TLM or its promoters.

  67. Tom says:

    Tom: Father Z, for example, argued that the traditional Good Friday prayer for Jews was axed to render the 1962 Missal “alive.” … I disagree with Father’s spin…

    Father Z replied: “That is certainly not the only reason why Pope Benedict could have done this. However, it is without question one of the effects and that, namely the effect can’t be challenged, either by opponents of the TLM or its promoters.”

    I understand your point, Father.

    By the way, congratulations, Father, regarding the many awards that have come your way as the result of your outstanding blog.

    You are a holy and important figure within the Church.

    Pax.

  68. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Fr. Z.’s comment about numbers. No, I hadn’t counted that one. And there may be a few others. But I’m sure that there cannot be more than ten or twelve run by diocesan priests. Still, there has been such a large growth in the number of Traditional Liturgies since July that it is hard to keep track of every aspect of the figures. I used to draw up a list of personal parishes once a year but have not done so now in a while. There are also options to the personal parish such as the non-parochial church (cf. Canon 556). A bishop may dedicate one of these to a special community. But, in the U.S.A., most personal parishes, non-parochial churches set aside for traditionalists, and oratories, chapels, and shrines are superintended by traditionalist societies of life. The I.C.R. seems to like the shrine option, although I think that there is now a shrine being used by a diocesan priest for the old Liturgy (Diocese of Jefferson City).

    We must also keep in mind that, even where some of these options are to be found, they will not offer the Good Friday Liturgy in the traditional form or, for that matter, in any form. For example, the one I mentioned in the D. of Jefferson City only has the Mass once per month.

    One addition (soon to come) is this chaplaincy approved for Maine. But I do not think that it is operational yet.

    P.K.T.P.

  69. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Regarding this conciliatory note now said to be imminent, I wonder if various bloggers here will, after its publication, suggest that there is no causal link between it and the continued bitching and screaming from Jewish organisations and the international press! After all, it may be that the Pope is completely unaware of the complaints and, having read over the new formulation a new nights ago, it suddenly occurred to him that it needed clarification, so as to avoid any misunderstanding.

    I can just imagine certain bloggers here trying to convince us that it was pure coincidence that the Holy Father issued this letter subsequent to said bitching: post hoc ergo propter hoc! Some people seem to think that that fallacy means that it is impossible for a later thing to be caused by an earlier one.

    And so we have the ‘post hoc’ fallacy: a rooster always crows before the sun rises. Therefore, the crowing of cocks causes the sun to rise.

    And then we have the failure to understand that this fallacy means choosing one of several reasonable premises as the only possible premise.

    P.K.T.P.

  70. D.V.M. says:

    Fr. Z: “However, it [rendering the missal alive] is without question one of the effects and that, namely the effect can’t be challenged, either by opponents of the TLM or its promoters.”

    Wouldn’t it be more precise to say that the change has wounded the missal? Doing harm to the missal is surely contrary to life.

  71. Jbrown says:

    I guess we will only know if and when this letter is published, perhaps 6-7 weeks after the prayer was changed, and after the tiny minority is required to use the new prayer this Good Friday. Why it was so hard to merely explain, even in a couple sentences, the purpose of the change I don’t understand. Again, Reuters is reporting Vatican sources, and I think Cardinal Kasper is one, stating that Cardinal Bertone will say we are no longer praying that Jews convert in the PRESENT. Since the earlier prayer was quite clear, despite what some have said, and the new one is less clear, I think we are within our rights to respectfully request a formal clarification and explanation by our pastors, chiefly the Secretary of State and the Pope himself, as this matter has never apparently even crossed the desks of any other departments in the Vatican (except of course Cardinal Kasper’s, whose role in crafting liturgical prayers to Almight God I’m a little unclear about). I guess it goes without saying that anything which muddles the objective requirement of even Jewish people of seeking the truth about Christ and embracing it, lest they risk their salvation, it terrible, even worse if done for merely political or ecumenical reasons.

  72. PKTP: Could the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei have numbers?

  73. PKTP: And so we have the ‘post hoc’ fallacy: a rooster always crows before the sun rises. Therefore, the crowing of cocks causes the sun to rise.

    On the other hand, the fire alarm does cause the firemen to slide down their poles and rush to the fire.

    I think there is little doubt that the “conciliatory” note has at least something to do with the griping of some Jewish groups.

  74. DVM: Wouldn’t it be more precise to say that the change has wounded the missal? Doing harm to the missal is surely contrary to life.

    I suppose if you want to dwell on the negative, sure, that is one way to see it.

  75. Simon Platt says:

    “Tiny minority” …

    “some”, “a few”, “small number” …

    … not so hard, surely?

  76. RBrown says:

    D.S. You have obviously never been to a Novus Ordo done properly in Latin. It’s really very close to a Tridentine mass when all the rubrics are followed, the main difference being the whole assembly saying the responses and the prayer of consecration being audible. Don’t confuse the abuses of the accursed “Spirit of Vatican II” with the actual teachings of the Council itself.
    Pax Christi
    Comment by Melody

    Although I agree that there is a certain similarity between a Latin mass using the 1970 Missal (assuming ad orientem) and one using the 1962 Missal, nevertheless, it must be noted:

    1. The Offertory of the 1970 Missal is much different from that of the 1962.

    2. JRatzinger has written/spoken often of the discontinuity between the 1970 Missal and Vat II.

  77. RBrown says:

    Wouldn’t it be more precise to say that the change has wounded the missal?

    No.

    Doing harm to the missal is surely contrary to life.
    Comment by D.V.M.

    Disagree with your premise. See above.

  78. It is not contempt that seeks conversion but, rather, Love.
    Father C

  79. It is not “contempt” that seeks conversion but, rather, Love.
    Father C

  80. Tom Heneghan says:

    Further our exchange about the Good Friday prayer, I’ve posted an item about this on the Reuters religion blog FaithWorld (http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld). Readers who speak French might be interested in a brand new book mentioned there about the Lefebvrist schism. Thanks again for your help.

  81. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In regard to Fr. Z.’s comment about the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei. I have the greatest respect for Mrs. Kraychy, who is a real foot soldier in our movement and has been for twenty years. I have sent her information from time to time for updates to her site; many others have as well.

    Yes, the Coalition numbers are very helpful.

    The problem right now is that new permissions are coming in so fast that few can keep up with them. The best site for current information is Mr. Carl Schwalm’s Mater Dei site, which I assist with very often. There is also Mary Alexander’s Latin Mass Network, which publishes news flashes on schedules for Traditional Latin Mass. Some of these experts work co-operatively.

    By the way, I have some splendid news to report this evening. Today, I assisted at the first Mass of the restoration of our Traditional Latin Mass, which was long approved under the old 1984 Indult. After speaking to the celebrant, who is a wonderful priest, I am very hopeful that it will continue indefinitely. He has announced an every-Sunday schedule starting today. The Diocese of Victoria is the first Canadian Diocese to gain an every-Sunday Traditional Latin Mass since publication of “Summorum Pontificum”. My mood is about 1,000% improved. I feel like I am walking on air.

    In contrast, those inferior Americans to the south have had the old Mass restored on an every-Sunday basis in 27 dioceses since S.P. was published. They are way way way ahead of us up here in the Great White North.

    Happy Easter to everyone!!!!!!!!!! Alleluia!

    P.K.T.P.

  82. D.S. says:

    CHRISTUS surrexit vere, alleluia!
    (Best Easter greetings&wishings from Germany!)

    To Melody (and RBrown – thanks, but there are much more big problems in the NOM, independent of read in latin or vernacular, see later!):

    1. I attended NOM in latin and to east (celebrated by Rev. P. Hönisch, SJM – R.I.P.).

    2. My point is, that the changings in text and ceremony don´t depend on the language. In this respect language/latin is only secondary/accidential or more: it does not help the textual and ritual changings.

    3. That corresponds to the point Rev. F. Z. always and rightly stresses: Latin language is not proper to the Vetus Ordo, it is not the differentiating factor.

    4. For example (as also F. Z. said) the NO-Good-Fr.-service can be said in Latin – but it will contain the NO-prayer then.

    5. As I stated times and times before this NO-prayer is so clearly supporting heresy that it is absolutly unacceptable. And it does not help that it is in latin (from 3.)

    6. If you do reject this my point then either you can´t read or do not know the context or are not honest. Please, come on – don´t say this changing to a form that evidentially supports the heretical thinking of the Jews beeing in a valid covenant is not meant so, you can read it in an other way, … – come on, that is unreal, be honest, or, as somebody put it, don´t rationalise all things in a way looking through rose-coloured glasses.
    This would not be honest and not supporting a fair and serious discussion.

    And more examples later.

  83. D.S. says:

    Well, I will give You more examples for essential differences between the NO and VO – independend of the language (!!) (even it will will cost some space and time):

    a) As RBrown stated, the offertory/offering prayers. In the old there was some clear expression of the offering-character of the Mass i. t. S. of expiation-offering and offering for the dead. Both teachings that rejected M. Luther. He was a great enemy of this offertory prayers. And in NO they changed it – eleminating this Luther-offending catholic teachings.

    But don´t say now: well, but they didn´t want to support this protestant heresy, you can interprate the NO-prayer also in a catholic way, it denies no catholic teaching explicitly.

    My answer: Yes, concedo, not explicitly. But see the whole context, see the statements such people like Msgr. Bugnini or E. J. Lengeling have given, see the Protestant “observers” of the liturgical changings (etc.)

    You can´t factor out the circumstances. I think that is the main defect/error in most of your argumentations, also – with all respect – in Your´s, Rev. F. Z.: to factor out some iportant circumstances, discussing in “vacua”, abstract space, not grounded – in this senes “rationalising” all, looking through rose-coloured glasses, and – again with all respect – not beeing honest(perhaps to your-selfes).
    By context it is very clear that the NO-”offering prayers” – compared with the old, but this is part of the context (!), etc. – are supporting heresy, they are also (and at least) “pia aures offensiva” etc. – even if not explicitly heretic. This I do and did always admit [the NO-Good-Friday-prayer is the only thing that is directly, even implicit heretic, in the NO, at least the German text - but let us speak about Latin, yes!]

    (to be continued)

  84. RBrown says:

    1. I attended NOM in latin and to east (celebrated by Rev. P. Hönisch, SJM – R.I.P.).

    Are you in Germany? If so, do you know Jens Mersch? He is a very good friend from Rome–twice I spent Christmas with his family. A few years ago his paper Kirchliche Umschau translated and published an article I wrote on the priesthood–also published an obituary I wrote on the death of Prof John Senior.

    2. My point is, that the changings in text and ceremony don´t depend on the language. In this respect language/latin is only secondary/accidential or more: it does not help the textual and ritual changings.

    Obviously, there have been changes in texts, rubrics, and the elimination of gestures. When I would attend a whispered low mass at Fontgombault in 1972, it was easy to follow just by the gestures. With a NO, it was all but impossible.

    My point is that the consequences of most of those changes are minor compared to the consequences of the change from Latin to the vernacular and ad orientem to versus populum.

    3. That corresponds to the point Rev. F. Z. always and rightly stresses: Latin language is not proper to the Vetus Ordo, it is not the differentiating factor.

    I never said it was. But the use of Latin is very important in the life of the Church. As I said on another thread, the consequences of Latin go beyond liturgy. I recommend JXXIII’s Veterum Sapientia.

    4. For example (as also F. Z. said) the NO-Good-Fr.-service can be said in Latin – but it will contain the NO-prayer then.

    5. As I stated times and times before this NO-prayer is so clearly supporting heresy that it is absolutely unacceptable. And it does not help that it is in Latin (from 3.)

    “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.”

    In what way does that prayer support heresy?

    6. If you do reject this my point then either you can´t read or do not know the context or are not honest.

    Or perhaps the reason is that I can think analogically.

    Please, come on – don´t say this changing to a form that evidentially supports the heretical thinking of the Jews beeing in a valid covenant is not meant so, you can read it in an other way, … – come on, that is unreal, be honest, or, as somebody put it, don´t rationalise all things in a way looking through rose-coloured glasses.
    This would not be honest and not supporting a fair and serious discussion.
    And more examples later.
    Comment by D.S.

    You have raised some excellent questions, but your answers are oversimplified.

    Two principles must be kept in mind while considering the the Old and New Covenants (I prefer the word Law).

    1. There are not Double Covenants of equal value, one for the Jews and one for everyone else.

    2. But the fulfillment of the Old by the New did not revoke the Old. Even though they rejected their own Messiah, the status of the Jews is not the same as the status of pagans. Believing Jews are still children of the promise (cf Romans 9:11), which will be fulfilled when they convert.

    You are fine on #1, but your rejection of #2 makes you sound like a Protestant.

    BTW, I am a convert and am well aware of hostility toward the Church–I have experienced it in my own family for 38 years.

    I am also aware of Jewish hostility toward the Church. I know two Jews who became priests, one a monk of Fontgombault (now at Clear Creek) and the other a Dominican. In both cases after their Baptism their parents completely cut off all communication with them.