Robert Mickens, the Tablet’s Rome correspondent, has a brief piece in that mag’s latest issue, on the recently revised prayer from the "Tridentine rite," for Good Friday. "The Tablet" For those who haven’t followed the controversy, here it is in short: When Pope Benedict issued his "motu proprio" allowing a wider usage of the Latin Mass, one of the more contentious issues that arose was that the prayers for Good Friday reflected a pre-Vatican II approach to the Jewish people. Good Friday is approaching, and so are those prayers, at least in parishes that will be using the Latin Mass. Catholic News Service reports the new text as follows: "The text, made available only in Latin with no official translations, begins: "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." It continues: "Almighty and everlasting God, you who want all men to be saved and to reach the awareness of the truth, graciously grant that, as the full number of the Gentiles comes into your church, all Israel may be saved." Here’s Mickens with more: ...The revised prayer [that is, the prayer that followed Vatican II] removes references to "the blindness of that people," that they "be delivered from their darkness" and that God "may take the veil from their hearts." And already in 1959 Pope John XXIII had removed a reference to the "perfidious Jews." However, the post-Vatican II reformed Roman Rite re-drafted the Good Friday prayers, which also included prayers for the conversion of "heretics and schismatics" (Protestants and Orthodox) and "pagans" (all non-Christians). In reference to the Jews, the English translation of the Missal of 1970 reads: "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. 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." Rabbis di Segni [the Chief Rabbi of Rome] and Rosen [Chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations], said that Jewish groups "had hoped the prayer in the [Tridentine] rite would be the same as that of the universal Catholic liturgy in use since 1970." What do our Catholic readers think about the latest changes? What do our Jewish readers think about them? What does everyone else think? James Martin, S.J.
The Jews, the Latin Mass, and Good Friday