No need to revise the Good Friday prayer for the Jews, says leading traditionalist

No need to revise the Good Friday prayer for the Jews, says leading traditionalist

Catholic Herald
posted Thursday, 3 Dec 2015

Traditionalist movement responds to request by bishops of England and Wales for 2008 prayer to be revised

The president of a traditionalist movement has said the prayer for the Jews used in the extraordinary form of the Good Friday liturgy does not need revising.

The bishops of England and Wales are appealing to Rome to change the wording of the Good Friday prayer for Jews in the extraordinary form because it had caused “great confusion and upset in the Jewish community”.

The prayer reads: “Let us also pray for the Jews: that our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Saviour of all men.”

But Felipe Alanís Suárez, president of Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV), said that Pope Benedict had already revised the prayer in 2008 and that the new text was “clearly based on what is essential to Christianity: the acceptance of Christ as the saviour of the whole world, and the desire that all persons be saved.”

He continued: “Jews are mentioned because of their special role in the history of salvation, and the special concern we must have for our ‘elder brothers’ (as Pope St John Paul II called them).

“The prayer looks forward to the incorporation of the Jewish people, of which Our Lord Jesus Christ and His first disciples were all members, in the salvation won for the human race by Christ on the Cross, a reconciliation which, as St Paul teaches, will be fulfilled only towards the end of history.”

Felipe Alanís Suárez added that FIUV were “convinced that any possible continuing misunderstanding regarding the Good Friday prayer for the Jews can be resolved in the context of the Magisterium of the Church, without veiling the treasures of our Faith” and emphasised that the organisation rejects “hatred and hostility towards the Jewish people, and all forms of unjust discrimination.”

But Archbishop Kevin McDonald, chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations, said the difference had caused “great confusion and upset in the Jewish community”.

He said: “The 1970 prayer which is now used throughout the Church is basically a prayer that the Jewish people would continue to grow in the love of God’s name and in faithfulness of his Covenant, a Covenant which – as St John Paul II made clear in 1980 – has not been revoked.

“By contrast the prayer produced in 2008 for use in the extraordinary form of the liturgy reverted to being a prayer for the conversion of Jews to Christianity.”

He said the English and Welsh bishops had “added their voice” to that of the German bishops, who had already asked for the prayer to be amended.

The statement released by FIUV said: “In their daily prayers, Jews pray for the conversion of ‘all of the impious of the earth’. Rabbi Jacob Neusner, responding to criticisms of the 2008 prayer for the Jews, pointed out the parallel and remarked: ‘The Catholic prayer manifests the same altruistic spirit that characterises the faith of Judaism.’”

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2 comments on “No need to revise the Good Friday prayer for the Jews, says leading traditionalist

  1. A prayer revised many times in modern times – all for “political correctness”:

    Before 1955:

    Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that Almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. (‘Amen’ is not responded, nor is said ‘Let us pray’, or ‘Let us kneel’, or ‘Arise’, but immediately is said:) Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy mercy even Jewish faithlessness: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    At that time, the congregants did not kneel during the prayer for the conversion of the Jews (even though moments of kneeling in silent prayer were prescribed for all of the other petitions in the Good Friday rite), because, as the famous liturgist Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., said:

    Here [at this prayer] the deacon does not invite the faithful to kneel. The Church has no hesitation in offering up a prayer for the descendants of Jesus’ executioners; but in doing so she refrains from genuflecting, because this mark of adoration was turned by the Jews into an insult against our Lord during the Passion. She prays for His scoffers; but she shrinks from repeating the act wherewith they scoffed at Him.

    1955: Instituted kneeling for this petition as at the other petitions

    Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us pray. Let us kneel. [pause for silent prayer] Arise. Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy mercy even Jewish faithlessness: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    1960: Removed “faithless (Latin: perfidis)” removed from the prayer

    Let us pray also for the Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us pray. Let us kneel. Arise. Almighty and eternal God, who dost also not exclude from thy mercy the Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    1970 (Novus Ordo): Completely revised – especially removing the reference to the veil on the hearts of the Jews (based on 2 Corinthians 3:14)

    Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. (Prayer in silence. Then the priest says:) Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to your Church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    2008 (“Extraordinary” form of Mass): The only change Pope Benedict XVI made in the 1962 Missal

    Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men. (Let us pray. Kneel. Rise.) Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

  2. Bishop McDonald is a plank. The Catholic Faith clearly teaches that the old covenant was revoked. Christ wants everybody to be a Catholic. He needs to take his faithless sit-upon down to the local job centre and find something useful to do with his life as he clearly has no interest in the job he has.

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