ROMA, March 7, 2008 – Some leading representatives of the Jewish world had protested vociferously against the new formulation ordered by Benedict XVI for the prayer for the Jews in the liturgy of Good Friday according to the ancient rite.
An authoritative response has now come to these protests, in a note published in the latest edition of "La Civiltà Cattolica," the magazine of the Rome Jesuits printed after line-by-line scrutiny by the Vatican secretariat of state ...
According to the note published in "La Civiltà Cattolica," this was the reason for the change:
"In the current climate of dialogue and friendship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, it seemed right and opportune to the pope [to make this change], in order to avoid any expression that might appear in the least to offend or displease the Jews."
The words of the previous formulation which appeared offensive to many – both Jews and Catholics – were above all "blindness" and "darkness." Both have disappeared from the new formula. ("A Bishop and a Rabbi Defend the Prayer for the Salvation of the Jews," Sandro Magister, Chiesa, March 7, 2008)
Back in October, 2007 Cardinal George stated:
"Of course [the prayer for the conversion of the Jews from the Good Friday liturgy in the 1962 missal can be changed], and I suspect it probably will be, because the intention is to be sure that our prayers are not offensive to the Jewish people who are our ancestors in the faith. We can't possibly insult them in our liturgy."