Daily Archives: February 6, 2008

"There’s no pleasing some people": the new Good Friday Prayer for the Jews

(I have modified this from the original post yesterday which I did in a rush at the end of the day–sorry about the original mistakes).

Within the Jewish community (and it is very diverse) there are some who expressed concern about the “prayer for the Jews” in the Extraordinary form of the Good Friday liturgy which referred (among other things) to the “blindness” of the Jews in rejecting Christ. There was a signficant lobby, both within the Jewish community and among some Catholics involved in Interfaith dialogue, to have the text altered.

Well, one would think that they might be happy with today’s news that the Pope has officially ammended the text. It now reads:

Oremus et pro Iudaeis. Ut Deus et Dominus noster illuminet corda eorum, ut agnoscant Iesum Christum salvatorem omnium hominum.
Flectamus genua.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vis ut omnes homines salvi fiant et ad agnitionem veritatis veniant, concede propitius, ut plenitudine gentium in Ecclesiam Tuam intrante omnis Israel salvus fiat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

As the news report says, this prayer would be used only in the Latin language, in the extraordinary form of the Latin liturgy. CWN offers its own translation, but here (a little more reliably) is Fr Zuhldorf’s version:

Let us also pray for the Jews: that God our Lord might enlighten their hearts, so that they might know Jesus Christ as the Savior of all mankind.
Let us pray.
Let us bend our knees (kneel).
Please rise.
Almighty and eternal God, whose desire it is that all men might be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, grant in your mercy that as the fullness of mankind enters into your Church, all Israel may be saved, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

I wonder if that will make them happy? Does it not rather suggest (as in fact is the case) that salvation comes to humanity as a whole (“the fullness of mankind” including “Israel”) when humanity as a whole a) “know[s] Jesus Christ as the Saviour of all mankind” and b) “enters into [God’s] Church”.

Fr Z notes that the CDF did not get to look at the prayer before it was issued. I don’t think that will worry them, since in all respects, this new prayer perfectly reflects the CDF’s great trio of documents, “Dominus Iesus” (2000), “Responses to Some Questions regarding certain aspects of the Doctrine of the Church” (June 2007), and “Doctrinal Note on some aspects of Evangelisation” (14 December 2007). (For a complete reflection by Fr Z, see here–his point that the new prayer still has the same scriptural reference as the old one is significant).

I’m happy with the new prayer. But then I am neither a Jew nor a devotee of the extraordinary form of the liturgy. In other words, it still will be offensive to those who wish to take offence.

One example is the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations , who released this press statement yesterday:


Vatican’s Jewish Partners Express Deep Regret over Latin Liturgy

NEW YORK, NY, February 5, 2008 — The International Jewish Committee for interreligious Consultations expressed its deep regret and disappointment that the new text of the Prayer for the Jews in the Catholic Church’s Latin rite, prays for the salvation of the Jews exclusively through the acceptance of Christian Faith.

“We had hoped that the prayer in the Latin rite would be the same as that of the universal Catholic liturgy in use since 1970,” declared Rabbi David Rosen, Chair of IJCIC. He added, “This new version for the Latin rite appears to be a regression from the path advanced by the declaration of the second Vatican Council. We urge the Catholic Church to deepen its exploration of the full implications of Nostra Aetate’s affirmation of the eternal validity of God’s Divine Covenant with the Jewish People.”

As the ex-leper said to Brian, “There’s no pleasing some people”.


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More on Listening to the Pope (or not, as the case may be)

Fr James Schall commenting on Zenit a few days ago:

Briefly, the Pope is the only universal voice in the world today. This is the uncanny genius of founding the Church on the Rock of Peter. What is most embarrassing to the world today is that the most intelligent voice it confronts, or deliberately refuses to confront, is that coming from the papacy. We can spend all sorts of time digging up scandals in the Church or things the papacy should have done but did not. What we cannot do is read the basic documents of the Church, particularly those of the recent popes, and claim that they do not strike at the very roots of all that is disordered in all of the public order of the world, not just the West, but Islam, China, India and the rest.

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The Holy Father Outlines My Life’s Agenda…

…and the Church’s too, while he was at it. To the participants in the 6th Meeting of the 11th Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops (ain’t that a mouthful!) he said:

Among the Ecclesial Community’s many and great duties in today’s world, I emphasize evangelization and ecumenism. They are centred on the Word of God and at the same time are justified and sustained by it. As the Church’s missionary activity with its evangelizing work is inspired and aims at the merciful revelation of the Lord, ecumenical dialogue cannot base itself on words of human wisdom (cf. I Cor 2: 13) or on neat, expedient strategies, but must be animated solely by constant reference to the original Word that God consigned to his Church so that it be read, interpreted and lived in communion with her.

Ecumenism and Evangelisation. That’s my mission!

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I feel a bit like this…

…trying to organise the Catholic Muslim Youth Friendship Night.

Hat tip to the Ironic Catholic again.

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Giving up for Lent?

Answering the phone and going to meetings.

I wish.


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Help Needed from Melbourne Readers

Long in the planning, but only now heading toward fruition, is a “Catholic Muslim Youth Friendship Night” in Melbourne at the Archdiocesan centre on March 9th. You can get all the details here from the Commissions “Newsblog”. Difficulty is, I’m struggling to drum up any interest from Catholics.

So: If you are between 15 and 30, Catholic, and live in Melbourne, and would like to be a part of an intercultural experience with a group of young Turkish Australian Muslims, drop me an email at ecum@melbourne.catholic.org.au and I will be very glad to welcome you aboard!

Other Melbourne Catholics who fall outside the age bracket: You could still be of help. Please contact me if you want to assist.


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