Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summorum Pontificum, and Praying for the Jewish People

July 10, 2007 - Feast of Saint John of Tobolsk

I am sure you have all heard of the recent motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum , graciously given to us by the Holy Father, regarding the wider use of the Tridentine Mass. I have not posted on it until now, because I have been so busy reading other people’s blogs.

Well, not surprisingly, there are issues.

The American Jewish Committee released this statement yesterday –

July 9, 2007 - New York - The American Jewish Committee expresses its appreciation to Pope Benedict XVI for his confirmation that the positive changes of Vatican II will apply to his recent decision regarding the Latin Mass, which has been reinstated by the Church. "We acknowledge that the Church's liturgy is an internal Catholic matter and this motu proprio from Pope Benedict XVI is based on the permission given by John Paul II in 1988 and thus, on principle, is nothing new," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of Interreligious Affairs. "However we are naturally concerned about how wider use of this Tridentine liturgy may impact upon how Jews are perceived and treated."

Pope Benedict XVI, in a decree issued on Saturday, authorized wider use of the traditional Latin Mass, which in some liturgy contains language offensive to Jews.
"We appreciate that the motu proprio actually limits the use of the Latin Mass in the days prior to Easter, which addresses the reference in the Good Friday liturgy concerning the Jews," Rosen added. "However, it is still not clear that this qualification applies to all situations and we have called on the Vatican to contradict the negative implications that some in the Jewish community and beyond have drawn concerning the motu proprio."

The above response is the most level-headed I have read. But. I wonder, does no one do his or her research? The media has been all over this too!

First, there are those who complain that the revival of the Tridentine Mass will revive an old Good Friday prayer that prays for the conversion of the Jewish people, and calls them “perfidious”, which they consider offensive.

Then, there are those, having done a little more research than the previous group, who also complain the Tridentine Mass will revive an old Good Friday prayer that prays for the conversion of the Jewish people, but they get the “perfidious” issue correct, saying the word was removed. They are still offended, just by the fact that there is a prayer for their conversion.

First, let us look at the prayers of the 1962 missal (the one approved to be used in the Tridentine Mass), and the current missal:

1962: For the conversion of Jews. Let us pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, you do not refuse your mercy even to the Jews; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness.

NEW: 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. Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to your church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption.

No mention of the word perfidious. So that knocks out the first group. But, let us look at the definition of the word.

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Perfidious - of, relating to, or characterized by perfidy
Perfidy - the quality or state of being faithless or disloyal

The Jewish people do not believe in Jesus Christ. So to Christians (Catholic and Protestant), does that not mean they have no faith in Jesus Christ? They are “faithless” when it comes to Jesus Christ? This reminds me of when my brother and sister and I were children. I called my brother Sebastian, and he thought I was calling him a bad name, just because he thought it sounded bad.

Now, let’s look at the other “issue” of praying for the conversion of the Jewish people. The new prayer still has us praying for their conversion!

“that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant” – That they may grow in their love and faith and come to accept and believe in Jesus Christ.

“we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption.” The redemption being believing in Jesus Christ.

It is no secret that Jewish people do not believe in Jesus Christ. Nor is it a secret that those of us who do believe in Him, pray for those who do not believe in Him. We would be hypocrites if we did not pray for them. This does not mean any disrespect to the Jewish people, but only shows our love for them, that they may come to see the truth. I do not agree with anti-semitic hate crimes, and that is not what this is.

I realise people may be upset with this issue, but all I ask is that they sit back and think about it, not letting their anger get in the way. Does anyone like hypocrites? If you do not agree with us, shouldn't we at least be respected for not being hypocrites?

I wonder, do the Jewish people pray for our conversion? While I do not agree with their viewpoint, I am not going to go around saying I am a victim of prejudice. I’d rather worry about the price increase in services I get at the auto shop just because I am a woman.

1 comment:

Lily said...