CNA: Pope Benedict to reformulate Good Friday prayers for Tridentine Mass

This is just in from Catholic News Agency.  My emphases and comments:

Pope Benedict to reformulate Good Friday prayers for Tridentine Mass

Rabbi David Rosen

.- Pope Benedict XVI will modify the Good Friday prayers used in the Tridentine Mass that generated protests from Jewish leaders who found the prayers offensive, the Jerusalem Post reports.  [Okay… CNA so far has this second hand… and from a reliable source?  Up to date or just rehashing things from a few weeks ago to keep the pot stirring?]

In July Pope Benedict widened the use of the 1962 Latin Tridentine missal in a “Motu Proprio” edict.  This missal included Latin prayers for Good Friday that asked Catholics to "pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ," asking God not to "refuse your mercy even to the Jews; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness."

After the Pope permitted the wide use of the Tridentine Missal, Abraham H. Foxman, [Who really outta have something to say about how Catholics pray…] United States director of the Anti-Defamation League, criticized the prayers.  In July he said he was “extremely disappointed and deeply offended” by the use of what he called “insulting anti-Jewish language” that would "now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words." According to the Jerusalem Post, Foxman said the reintroduction of the Latin prayers was a “theological setback in the religious life of Catholics and a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations.”

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel also wrote the Pope expressing concern.

In a July interview with the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire, Archbishop Angelo Amato denied the Good Friday prayers were anti-Jewish.  [And he is right.] The archbishop said Catholics pray first for their own conversion “And then we pray for the conversion of all Christians and of all non-Christians. The Gospel is for all."

On January 18 the Milan newspaper Il Giornale reported that the new text of the prayers would drop all references to the “blindness” of the Jews.  The Pope has reportedly drafted a new prayer that will be released in time for Holy Week in March.  [Really?]

Rabbi David Rosen, chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, told the Jerusalem Post that the removal of references to the “darkness” and the “blindness” of the Jews for refusing to recognize Jesus as the messiah was a sign Pope Benedict was "deeply committed to advancing the relationship with the Jewish Community."  [This suggests that if Benedict XVI doesn’t change the prayer then is isn’t really open.]

Rabbi Rosen said the July Motu Proprio had nothing to do with Jews, saying there was confusion about the concept of conversion.  “Used in the sense that Archbishop Amato uses it, it does not mean the acceptance of the Christian Faith by a non-Christian," he said, according to the Jerusalem Post.  Rosen said that his Vatican sources indicated that the new text does not call for Jews to accept the Christian faith.  Like a common 1970 prayer used by the Church, he said it “prays for the physical and spiritual well being of the Jews.”

The Vatican would not confirm the Il Giornale report. [Good.  This doesn’t sound too solid.]

 I have a sense the the Jerusalem Post piece they picked up was designed to keep the pressure on the Holy See about this issue, which had one dead in the press for a while.

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  1. Derik Castillo says:

    I wish liberty of religious practive would come not only
    from goverments, but also from leaders of all religions.

  2. Christine says:

    So, can we pressure Jewish men to stop thanking God that they are not women?

  3. Fr. Michael says:

    A part of the Mass is being reformed due to theological changes (Christian-Jewish understandings). Interesting. Something similar occurred over 40 years ago.

    The irony is rich, but also, the opportunity for us to reflect on the relationship between liturgy and theology are great. Thanks to Fr. Z for the web “space” to reflect more deeply on these matters.

  4. Father G says:

    Old news…all old sources. If the Holy Father does cave in to these perfidious Jews,(and here I mean the term as it is intended in the prayer eg.,being of bad faith)it’s really going to tick SSPX off…not to mention practically the whole traditionalist world. What is said in the old Holy Week prayer is true and remains true and the prayer is not offensive. I hope and pray that His Holiness doesn’t bend to the heresy of political correctness.

  5. Fr. D says:

    I do not think the pope is going to do this, but think about this….

    The anti-continuity crowd often stress that the purpose of the July Motu Proprio to bring the SSPX back into the Church. However, changing the prayers will certainly not have this effect. The pope knows that. Some anti-continuty folk may be happy about this, but then they will have to admit begrudgingly that the Motu Proprio is intended for the “whole Church” rather than just the SSPX.

    I would prefer the prayer remain as it is, but remember that even pope John XXIII remove ”perfidei” from the 1962 Missal. [A few decades earlier, the prayer for the Roman Emperor was also removed.]

    Therefore, by changing the “wording” of the prayer rather than the “meaning” (and the Holy Father will certainly not have us stop praying for the conversion of the Jews), the Holy Father would be boldly reaffirming (as he already did in the Motu Proprio) that the Traditional Latin Mass is not primarily directed at a reunion of the SSPX with Rome. Instead, the TLM is a living organically developing liturgy which was, is, and ever shall be, until the Lord’s glorious advent, a vital element in the life of the one true Church.

  6. T- R says:

    Or thanking G-d that HE didn’t make them a goy! His life was spared because a Catholic family raised him as one of their own during the War and now he has it in for Catholics because that family loved him enough to have him baptized.

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