Jewish groups praise Vatican on Mass

Pope's second in command says controversial prayer might be substituted.

blood libel 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
blood libel 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Anti-Defamation League welcomed on Friday the comments of a senior Vatican official that the Good Friday Latin prayer to convert Jews could be removed from the reintroduced Latin liturgy. Holy See Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who ranks second to Pope Benedict XVI, told reporters that the Vatican could study the possibility of substituting the prayer. "This could be decided and this would resolve all the problems," he said. "We are pleased that the Vatican is listening to our concerns," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman in a statement. "We hope that Cardinal Bertone's public conjectures will shortly result in putting Catholic-Jewish relations back to the positive mode we were in before all this." Foxman said that the ADL had no position on the Latin Mass itself, and that its main concern was the Good Friday Latin prayer calling for Jews' conversion. The prayer, Foxman argued, "contradicted 40 years of evolving Catholic teachings about the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people, and the end of efforts to baptize Jews." The American Jewish Committee also welcomed Bertone's remarks. "We appreciate (Bertone's) statement... making it clear that efforts will be made to replace the disturbing Good Friday prayer for Jewish conversion," said Rabbi David Rosen, who is in charge of interfaith relations at the US group. Rosen said in a statement that, contrary to the criticism that painted the pope's decision "as a retreat from advances in Catholic-Jewish relations, this clarification in effect confirms those strides and even advances them."