AJC Welcomes Vatican Clarification
July 19, 2007 – New York – The American Jewish Committee welcomes the Vatican’s concern for replacing a prayer calling for the conversion of Jews in the Tridentine Latin mass.
“We appreciate the statement by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, making it clear that efforts will be made to replace the disturbing Good Friday prayer for Jewish conversion found in the 1962 version of the Latin Tridentine mass,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s international director of Interreligious Affairs.
Following the Pope’s “Motu Proprio” announced on July 7, there had been concern that this pre-Vatican II prayer would again be more extensively used.
“Contrary to those who presented the Motu Proprio, as a retreat from advances in Catholic-Jewish relations, this clarification in effect confirms those strides and even advances them,” said Rosen.
For well over half a century, AJC has been deeply involved in seeking to advance Catholic-Jewish relations around the world. Rabbi Rosen chairs the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations which is the official Jewish partner of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jewry, chaired by Cardinal Walter Kasper.
ADL Welcomes Vatican’s Consideration To Remove Anti-Jewish Prayer
New York, NY, July 19, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the comments of a senior Vatican official that the Good Friday Latin prayer to convert Jews could be removed from the re-introduced Latin liturgy. Holy See Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who ranks second to Pope Benedict XVI, told reporters that the Vatican could study the possibility of substituting the prayer. “This could be decided and this would resolve all the problems,” he said.
“We are pleased that the Vatican is listening to our concerns,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We hope that Cardinal Bertone’s public conjectures will shortly result in putting Catholic-Jewish relations back to the positive mode we were in before all this.”
Mr. Foxman added that, “ADL has no position on the Latin Mass itself. Our concern is focused on the Good Friday Latin prayer to convert Jews, which contradicts 40 years of evolving Catholic teachings about the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people, and the end of efforts to baptize Jews.”
ADL has called on the Holy See to re-examine its decision to sanction the anti-Jewish Good Friday prayer, which is included in a new papal decree that grants wider usage of the Latin Mass, a worship service that has been restricted since the progressive reforms of the Second Vatican Council and the landmark Nostra Aetate document in the 1960s. Because of the offensive language, Pope Paul VI in 1970 replaced the 1962 Latin prayer with a much more positive prayer for Jews.