Because what’s a little intolerance among ‘friends’:
The revision of a contentious Good Friday prayer approved this week by Pope Benedict XVI could set back Jewish-Catholic relations, Conservative Judaism’s international assembly of rabbis says in a resolution to be voted on next week.
The prayer calls for God to enlighten the hearts of Jews “so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men.”
The draft resolution states the prayer would “cast a harsh shadow over the spirit of mutual respect and collaboration that has marked these past four decades, making it more difficult for Jews to engage constructively in dialogue with Catholics.”
On Tuesday, the pope released new wording for the prayer, part of the traditional Latin, or Tridentine, Mass.
Before the Second Vatican Council, also known as Vatican II, the Good Friday Mass in Latin prayed for the conversion of Jews, referring to their “blindness” and calling upon God to “lift a veil from their hearts.”
An unofficial translation of the new prayer reads: “Let us pray for the Jews. May the Lord Our God enlighten their hearts so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men.”
….”We have been very much involved in interfaith activities and dialogue for years, and relationships with the Catholic Church are really quite good,” the rabbi said. “I think it really turns back the clock a bit and reverts to some sense that the church is pulling back from the positions it took in Vatican II.”
I would think so. What’s crazy is that this appears to be an attempt to assuage the ‘traditionalist’, pre-Vatican II Catholics:
Most Catholics worship in the vernacular, and their prayers will not be affected. But last year, the pope made it easier for traditionalists to celebrate the Latin Mass that was the norm before Vatican II.
At a meeting in Washington from Sunday to Thursday, the Rabbinical Assembly will vote on a draft resolution, which, while subject to revision, says the group is “dismayed and deeply disturbed to learn that Pope Benedict XVI has revised the 1962 text of the Latin Mass, retaining the rubric, ‘For the Conversion of The Jews.’”
Welcome to the true face of theological conservatism.
Update: In light of this NY Times story, it seems that Pope Benedict clearly wasn’t a willing participant, so the title is unfair. Having said that, reinstating the conversion clause is truly offensive: I don’t need fixing. For those who say, “That’s what religions do”, well, not all religions do that–in fact, many Christian denominations have turned away from this attitude. Furthermore, I think this is a shameless political ploy to retain the most reactionary elements of the Church. If this were really based on theology, why would only the Latin mass, and not the vernacular masses be changed? If the NYT story is accurate, Pope Benedict should know better. Much better.