EDITOR'S NOTE: The expected Motu Proprio pertaining to the traditional Latin Mass, if it ever comes, will be kosher. Solve et Coagula.
Jews warn Pope over Latin Mass
By Marc Shoffman - Tuesday 1st of May 2007
Jewish campaigners this week expressed concerns over relations with the Roman Catholic Church as they awaited a papal decree which could approve prayers calling on Jews to convert.
Conservative Catholics have urged Pope Benedict XVII to bring back the traditional Latin Mass, a Good Friday liturgy including prayers for Jews to follow Jesus Christ.
The controversial prayer, which was outlawed by the Vatican in the 1960s, reads: “Let us 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."
It was dropped as part of a move to improve relations between Catholics and Jews in 1965 but the Vatican is now considering reintroducing it to create greater unity within the Church and with conservative bishops.
The Latin Mass, however, could be reintroduced excluding the controversial segment.
Interfaith workers have contacted the Vatican raising concerns about the language in the prayer. The International Council for Christians and Jews wrote to the Vatican describing the paragraph as "profoundly demeaning."
A decision was expected on Monday but has now been delayed. [Papal Knight] Rabbi David Rosen president of the International Jewish Committee for Inter-religious Consultations said no news is good news.
He told TJ: “It is a reflection of the Pope’s desire to create greater unity in the church, the intention is not to set the clock back. We are alerting the Vatican that elements of the prayer provide implications for Catholic and Jewish relations.”
Edward Kessler, Executive Director of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations recently raised concerns about faith relations after the Pope failed to question an Easter sermon by Vatican official Raniero Cantalamessa which focused on Jewish complicity in the death of Jesus.
Writing in Catholic newspaper, The Tablet, Kessler said: “It generated no contradictory response, even though it was published in the official Vatican press.”
He told TJ: “If the Latin Mass is reintroduced it will change relations between Christians and Jews.”
Sir Sigmund Sternberg, who has been named a papal knight by the Vatican, said he would raise the issue with the pontiff when he meets him next month, but he quashed concerns that the prayer would be introduced. He said: “I don’t think this will happen, our relationship with the Catholics is a good one.” [for who?]
The Vatican said it is still awaiting the Pope’s final decision.
Meanwhile, the Vatican has placed the issue of fighting anti-semitism high on its agenda for an international Roman Catholic conference next year. It includes a questionnaire for bishops to examine “attitudes of anti-semitism” in biblical passages in their church.