Vatican issues new Good Friday prayer for Jews; Jewish groups disappointed

The Vatican on Tuesday issued a new prayer for the Jews to be recited during some services of the old Latin Mass after Jewish groups complained that the existing one was offensive. But Jewish groups said they were disappointed that the new version didn't address their concerns and said it suggested that they, and all of humanity, needed to convert to Christianity to find salvation. The prayer for Jews is recited during Good Friday services of Easter Week, the most solemn week in the Christian calendar, in which the faithful commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus Christ before his resurrection on Easter. The prayer in question is part of the old Latin rite, also known as the Tridentine rite, which was celebrated before the liberalizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s paved the way for the New Mass used widely today in local languages. Last summer, Pope Benedict XVI allowed wider use of the old Latin rite, which had been restricted. In doing so, he prompted criticism from Jewish groups who had long been offended by the Good Friday prayer and lamented that it might be celebrated more broadly.