Friday, January 18, 2008

The Prayer, Lifted

In a significant "extended hand" for the future of Catholic-Jewish dialogue, B16 has reportedly decided to change the 1962 Missal's controversial Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews.

Reported today by the well-connected Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale, a formal announcement of the move is expected "within days" -- the Triduum is, after all, but nine weeks away.

After its July "liberalization," the intercession of the the pre-Conciliar liturgy imploring God to remove the Jewish people "from the darkness" and "lift the veil from their hearts" came under fire from numerous Jewish leaders around the world -- including, Tornielli writes, both the Sephardic and Ashkenazic chief rabbis of Jerusalem, who wrote the Pope to request the "modification" of the text.

According to the daily, Benedict himself prepared the draft of the decision, which will be released through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. While the passages deemed viscerally offensive will be struck, the prayer's original emphasis on conversion is to be retained.

The Pope would hope to visit the Holy Land in 2009, provided the current wrinkles in Vatican-Israeli relations are smoothed out.