“two steps forward and three steps backward”

I think we can very soon leave off reports about the new Good Friday prayer for Jews.  However, this next item has an interesting point.

Before reading it go into it with the idea that absolutely nothing any Catholic leader might do will satisfy some Jewish leaders.  We’re we to eliminate praying for Jews during Good Friday, the next demand would be to stop reading Scriptures during Mass.

That said… (my emphases and comments)

ADL Says Vatican Statement Does Not Allay Jewish Concerns About Conversion Prayer

New York, NY, April 4, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said today’s statement by the Vatican reassuring Jews of the church’s commitment to a positive relationship with the Jewish people is "a welcome step," but added that the statement "does not go far enough to allay concerns" about the introduction of a Latin prayer calling for the conversion of Jews.

Issued in advance of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States, the Vatican statement reaffirms the fundamental principles of Nostra Aetate, the landmark Second Vatican Council document that repudiates the concept of collective Jewish guilt for the death of Jesus, and says the re-introduction of the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, "… in no way intends to indicate a change in the Catholic Church’s regard for the Jews which has evolved from the basis of the Second Vatican Council."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

    On this issue the Vatican has taken two steps forward and three steps backward.  It is reassuring that the Catholic Church remains committed to the ideals of Nostra Aetate and to an approach toward relations with the Jewish people based on cordiality and mutual respect.

    Yet it is troubling that the statement still does not specifically say that the Catholic Church is opposed to proselytizing Jews.  While they say it does not change Nostra Aetate, the statement does not go far enough to allay concerns about how the message of this prayer will be understood by the people in the pews.  The Latin prayer is still out there, and stands by itself, and unless this statement will be read along with the prayer, [! …  I wager this is what they will start driving for next year as Holy Week approaches.] it will not repair or mitigate the impact of the words of the prayer itself, with its call for Jews to recognize Jesus as the savior of all men and its hope that ‘all Israel will be saved.’

    The impact of those words is undeniable, and we wish the Vatican had explicitly rejected calls to conversion or to proselytizing Jews.

First, I think our best approach is simply to deny the premise inherent in phrases like "repair and mitigate the impact", etc.  I simply reject the premise.  I don’t think that real damage is done by Catholics praying this prayer as Catholics.

Second, perhaps next year someone will recall this little prediction.  I suspect that if calls to hack the prayer out of the Missal are not successful in the interim, a push will be made to try to convince diocesan bishops, at least… for the sake of dialogue…. to force priests in places where the older use is celebrated in the Triduum also to read aloud or print some weasly quivering chancery statement distancing Catholics from the very way Catholics pray.

Since already this blog has already seen far too many poorly edited comments on this topic, I think I will just leave the coxbox closed. You can e-mail me instead and if something catches my interest I will post it. 




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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