Pope to revive 'anti-Semitic' Mass

16th-century Latin Mass recited on Good Friday says Jews live in "blindness."

pope benedict XVI 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
pope benedict XVI 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Vatican is expected to publish this week a document authorizing the use of a controversial Latin Mass, parts of which are deemed anti-Semitic, the Holy See announced Thursday. According to a report in Britain's Independent newspaper, some clergy fear that if the Latin Mass were brought back into common use, it would limit the Church's dialogue with Jews and Muslims, as well as create a schism among Catholics worldwide. The 16th-century Tridentine Mass - recited every Good Friday - refers to Jews as "perfidious," and claims they live in "blindness" and "darkness." The Mass prays that God might "take the veil from their hearts" so that Jews can come to acknowledge Jesus Christ. Rev. Keith Pecklers, an expert on Jesuit liturgy, told the Independent that elements in the Church who embraced the old Mass tended to oppose "collaboration with other Christians and [the Church's] dialogue with Jews and Muslims." Currently, priests who wish to recite the Latin Mass, which was replaced in 1969 with liturgy in the vernacular, must receive permission from their bishops. Pope Benedict's decision, some believe, is an attempt to bring the ultra-traditionalist Society of St. Pius X group back under the auspices of the Vatican. The move has been opposed by many senior representatives of the Catholic Church in Britain, including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, as well as Jewish leaders.