Call to revoke revised old rite Good Friday prayer for Jews

A German bishop says the Church should revoke the revised Good Friday prayer for the Jews introduced when use of the 1962 Missal was widened.

Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff of Aachen said he could not “understand or implement” the revised version.

Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificam allowed for wider use of the 1962 missal.

A revised Good Friday prayer in the old rite was introduced for Holy Week in 2008.

The revised version of the prayer for Jews asks God to “illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Saviour of all men”.

Prior to Vatican II, the prayer had referred to the Jewish people as “faithless” and “blind” and called for them to “acknowledge Jesus Christ”.

Minor corrections had been made until the 1970 version of the prayer which read: “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.”

The 1970 prayer also asks God that the Jewish people arrive at the “fullness of redemption”.

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, asked this month that the Church revoke the Good Friday prayer for the old rite.

His request came at a function organised by the German bishops’ conference to mark Vatican II’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions – Nostra Aetate.

Bishop Mussinghof said the revised form for the Extraordinary Rite should be revoked as it is a burden on Christian-Jewish relations.

“I never understood why Pope Benedict reintroduced it in the first place.”

The secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Fr Norbert Hofmann SDB, advised Mr Schuster to address his request directly to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Writing in a Tablet opinion piece, the secretary of the Committee for Catholic Jewish Relations of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Sr Margaret Shepherd, said the Jewish people have remained in a covenantal relationship with God through which they access salvation.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,