It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Like Apostolic Times - Some Jewish Leaders Will Never Be Satisfied

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: On Monday, February 4th 2008, Pope Benedict XVI responded to concerns of some Jewish rabbis regarding the language of the Good Friday prayers for the Jews in the old Tridentine missal. Some might argue he would have been better off if he just left it alone, but nevertheless, it is within his papal powers to make such changes at his discretion. In an attempt to show good will to the those concerned about the older prayers, and still maintain the overall essence of what the prayer is all about, Pope Benedict XVI made the following change....

One unofficial translation (only the Latin text is to be considered official):
Let us pray, and also for the Jews.

May our God and Lord enlighten their hearts, so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, saviour of all men.
Let us pray.
Let us kneel.

Almighty and everlasting God, who desirest that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, mercifully grant that, as the fullness of the Gentiles enters into Thy Church, all Israel may be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

The pope effectively removed such language as "may the Lord God remove the veil from their hearts" and "the blindness of that people" and may they be "rescued from their darkness." Though he did not change the premise of the prayer, which is to pray for their general conversion. The prayer is sandwiched between similar prayers for heretics, schismatics and pagan unbelievers. It has always been the tradition of the Church to pray for this since the most ancient times. While most Jewish leaders find the prayer offensive, some non-dissenting rabbis have pointed out that the prayer is not offensive to them at all, and that Jews have historically had a similar prayers. One prayer observant Jews must pray regularly is:
Baruch atah Hashem Elokenu melech haolam, shelo asani goy … Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who did not make me a Gentile.

The prayer is from a Tana’itic source and it is in Rabbinic rather than Biblical Hebrew. "Goy" means an individual Gentile. What is the context of this prayer for an observant Jewish man?
Siman 46:4: A person must say the Blessings shelo asani goy (Who did not make me a non-Jew), shelo asani aved (Who did not make me a slave), and shelo asani isha (Who did not make me a woman) every day.

The point here is that Christianity and Judaism have a historic context in which these prayers came about. They help define what these great religion are, and help distinguish them from each other. The pope's decision to remove certain elements of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews was an act of charity. He was simply trying to eliminate any language that might be twisted, or construed, as demeaning to the Jewish people. But he left the historic tradition and context of the prayer untouched. It was, in my opinion, one of the most perfect acts of authentic ecumenism I've seen in recent times. What was the public response of prominent Jewish leaders? OUTRAGE! I'm sure most Jews don't feel this way, but when we look at the history of the apostolic times, this has always been the case. The message of Christianity has always been far less offensive to the average Jewish population than to the most vocal elements of Jewish leaders. Here we are some 2000 years later, and some things haven't changed at all....
(Corriere della Sera) - Italian Rabbinical Assembly: "Pause for reflection in the dialogue" with Catholics

The opinion on the change of the Good Friday prayer: "An abandonment of the very conditions for dialogue"

ROME - And now, a rupture. The Italian Rabbinical Asseembly considers necessary a "pause for reflection in the dialogue" with Catholics after the modification of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews.

And it underlines that the modification decided by Pope Ratzinger is "an abandonment of the very conditions for dialogue". The Assembly states so in a note signed by its president, Rabbi Giuseppe Laras.

read story here (italian)