UPDATE 24 Nov:
Fr. H has updated his post about the attack on Pope Benedict’s prayer for the Jews on Good Friday waged by the bishops in England and Wales. Fr. H asked me to update you.
The BC [bishops conference] has now published a Note (see the thread) which does considerable discredit to whoever drafted it. He or she, indeed, appears to be unaware that the Prayer concerned was written by the Sovereign Pontiff himself … or else wishes the fact not to be known. The Note gives no information about what it is in the text composed by Pope Benedict that contradicts Nostra aetate. It claims that “the Prayer produced in 2008 [written by Benedict XVI!] reverted to being a prayer for the conversion of Jews to Christianity”, but fails to indicate which phrases in the text of the Prayer it deems objectionable. Whoever drafted it is clearly someone who believes, at all costs, in avoiding honest, or precise, dialogue.
At one point only does it come clean. “The Bishops of England and Wales have now added their voice to that of the German Bishops who have asked for the Prayer in the Extraordinary Form to be changed”. [So the Germans are attacking Benedict’s prayer, too.]
So now we know what is going on. Kasper’s belated revenge on Ratzinger, now that he can’t answer back.
____ Original Post Published on: Nov 23, 2015 @ 10:15 CT
Fr. John Hunwicke has at his excellent blog Mutual Enrichment an interesting bit of news. Perpend:
“The Bishops’ Conference [of England and Wales] … ”
” … requests that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei review the prayer Pro Conversione Iudaeorum in the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, in the light of the understanding in Nostra Aetate of the relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism”.
There appears to be no indication whether this resolution, passed last week by the English and Welsh Bishops, was unanimous.
Assuming that the bishops did not all wake up one morning with one identical thought in every head, it would be interesting to know where this concern originated; particularly, whether with one of the bishops or in some Liturgy Committee. Such information is always available with regard to the deliberations of the American Episcopal Conference. [But not with the bishops of England and Wales?]
I find it extraordinary that whoever originated this move is unaware that the current form of that Prayer comes directly from the pen of Benedict XVI himself, who was at the Council as a peritus and, it has always seemed to me, gives the impression of knowing some of the Conciliar documents really quite well. And, while aware that a lot of people viscerally loathe Joseph Ratzinger, I have always found his writings, both as a theologian, and as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF, and as Successor of S Peter, cogent, convincing, and illuminating. I would like to be helped to understand where it is that I have gone wrong in this judgement.
A Conspiracy Theorist would probably wonder if this is part of an attempt to get rolling a movement for dismantling the Magisterium of Benedict XVI and for derailing the current rather promising rapprochement under the direction of Pope Francis between the Vatican and the SSPX. I, fortunately, am not a Conspiracy Theorist. What I would like to have, as a concerned Catholic Priest who tries to understand the Church’s Magisterium, is a lucid and unwoffly statement of what exactly it is in the Prayer which contradicts which precise affirmations of Nostra Aetate, [Good question.] a document to which, of course, I subscribe. Since the Prayer as composed by Benedict XVI carefully follows, even verbally, the teaching in the Epistle to the Romans of S Paul (an author whom I spent three decades teaching), I would also be very interested to know what it is in S Paul’s teaching which is deemed to fall under the condemnation of Nostra Aetate.
In previous posts I give some context, a comparison of texts and my own analysis.