Readers of Rorate Caeli will have seen that the expected new Good Friday prayer for the Jews for the Extraordinary Form has been published today by the Vatican. I have no problem with the prayer. It still clearly calls for the Jews to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Saviour of all. I had no problem with the old prayer but if the Holy Father sees fit to make this change to remove some language which may make relations with the Jews difficult while retaining the meaning of the prayer than that is a good thing.
Another Good Thing is that it removes the claim that was made by some through an inaccurate reading of Summorum Pontificum that there was no permission for the EF in the Triduum. All that is forbidden is a private celebration which is natural enough. Yet another Good Thing is that this shows that the EF is here to stay and is a full part of the current Roman Rite.Here is the prayer and translation courtesy of Rorate Caeli:
Oremus et pro Iudaeis. Ut Deus et Dominus noster illuminet corda eorum, ut agnoscant Iesum Christum salvatorem omnium hominum.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vis ut omnes homines salvi fiant et ad agnitionem veritatis veniant, concede propitius, ut plenitudine gentium in Ecclesiam Tuam intrante omnis Israel salvus fiat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
From the Vatican, February 4 2008.
Let us pray 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.
Of course supporters of the SSPX will complain bitterly about this (cf. Angelqueen) and it will make reconciliation with them more difficult but if they really believe in the authority of the Pope it would be refreshing to see some humility on the part of the SSPX leadership, for them to really show willingness to accept the authority of the Pope and agree to use it.
This prayer came out rather quickly. I wonder how near to completion the long-awaited explanatory document from Ecclesia Dei might be?
UPDATE: 6.02.08 I thought this would not be very acceptable to Jews who were offended by the idea that the church should pray for conversion and so it seems it isn`t
Prayer for Conversion of Jews Remains Troubling Despite Vatican Changes
New York, NY, February 5, 2008 …. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the Vatican's changes to the Latin Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews amount to "cosmetic revisions" and the prayer remains "deeply troubling" because it calls for Jews to "acknowledge Jesus Christ as the savior of all men."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
While we appreciate that some of the deprecatory language has been removed from a new version of the Good Friday prayer for the Conversion of Jews in the 1962 Roman Missal, we are deeply troubled and disappointed that the framework and intention to petition God for Jews to accept Jesus as Lord was kept intact.
Alterations of language without change to the 1962 prayer's conversionary intent amount to cosmetic revisions, while retaining the most troubling aspect for Jews, namely the desire to end the distinctive Jewish way of life. Still named the "Prayer for Conversion of the Jews," it is a major departure from the teachings and actions of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and numerous authoritative Catholic documents, including Nostra Aetate.
ADL wrote to Pope Benedict on January 22 expressing concern that a revised Good Friday prayer that Jews abandon their own religious identity, would be devastating to the deepening relationship and dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
I can`t get too excited by this as I have mentioned before that celebrating the 1962 Good Friday liturgy I discovered it is essentially the same as that of the Novus Ordo apart from using black vestments. I would be interested in using the older form, from before the changes of the 1950`s but there is no permission to do so (although rumour has it that the Institute of Christ the King have permission). I ony wish that this new prayer for the Jews could be used instead of the rather weak one in the Novus Ordo.