I have to say that in this case I agree with Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League - that it is offensive that the Catholic Church is reviving a version of the Good Friday Mass that calls for the conversion of the Jews, as if we needed to become Catholics to be saved. Even if this Mass is said very infrequently, the offense remains, because the revival of the Mass is a signal to us that our religion is not acceptable and must be changed. This is exactly the message that the Catholic Church gave us throughout the long years before the Second Vatican Council, and it resulted in many atrocities being committed against Jews, including forced conversions.Rebecca is referring to the comments that Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League has released, which I quote from JTA Breaking News-The Global News Service for the Jewish People:
And another point - what does the revival of the older Mass mean for Jewish-Catholic dialogue? In my past experience with dialogue, I found that although we obviously disagreed on many theological points, that there was a great deal of respect for Jews and Judaism. Perhaps the Pope is trying to appease this particularly conservative group that has left the Catholic church - but what about what I hope is a much larger number of Catholics who do respect Jews and people of other religions?
The Anti-Defamation League called the decision to revive a Catholic prayer for the conversion of the Jews a "body blow to Catholic Jewish relations."This news article which I quote here from AHN Global News for a digital world, includes a reference to the Catholic response:
Abraham Foxman, the ADL's national director, met this week in Rome with Vatican officials to press Jewish concerns over the revival of the Latin mass and possible beatification of Pope Pius XII. Though he had initially taken a softer line, on Friday Foxman slammed an expected papal order allowing the use of a 16th century prayer which beseeches God to "remove the veil from the hearts" of the Jews, "and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ."
"We are extremely disappointed and deeply offended that nearly 40 years after the Vatican rightly removed insulting anti-Jewish language from the Good Friday Mass, that it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted," Foxman said. "This is a theological setback in the religious life of Catholics and a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations."
Foxman also discussed the possible beatification of Pope Pius XII, the Holocaust-era pontiff accused of silence in face of the Nazi extermination of European Jewry. In an interview Thursday with JTA, Foxman said that Pius should not be granted a step towards sainthood until the Vatican's wartime archives are released for scrutiny, though he is prepared to be patient in waiting for the archives to be opened.
"If Pope Pius is worthy of beatification, that beatification will be available to him after the archives are open and possibly after the survivors are not there to witness this debate," Foxman said.
Some Jewish leaders were offended by the pope's decision and say it will do harm to a still incomplete reconciliation between the two religions, reported the Associated Press.
"The language is insensitive. The language is insulting," said Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, a U.S.-based Jewish civil rights group.
The decree made no change to the 1962 missal, the main prayer book for the old rite, which includes prayers on Good Friday that call for the conversion of the Jews and calls them blind to the Christian truth.
French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard said the Good Friday prayer could be changed if it caused difficulties with Jews. Church sources said it would rarely be prayed because the old rite is an exception and the new rite, which drops this text, would be used in most churches around the world on that day.
The pope's decision to allow the Latin or Tridentine mass is a move that is seen to be a call for many traditionalists to return to the Church. Traditionalists are generally not pleased with many of the decisions of the Second Vatican Council, most notably the change in the mass from Latin to local dialects.
"The traditional mass is a true a gem of the Church's heritage, and the Holy Father has taken the most important step toward making it available to many more of the faithful," said Michael Dunnigan, chairman of Una Voce America.
The decree does not force Catholic churches to change to the Latin mass, it only gives them the option to do so if a "stable group of faithful" request it.