Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Onvertcay the Ewsjay

I love Pope Benedict XVI. He isn’t afraid to say what he thinks, and what he thinks is so refreshing: Islam is evil, Catholicism is the best religion, Protestants are doomed. Of course if he were head of the Holy Roman Empire with an army in the thousands instead of leading the tiny state of the Vatican with an army in pantaloons, he would scare me shitless. But he isn’t, so he doesn’t, and I get to blog on.

On July 7th His Holiness issued an “Apostolic Letter in the Form of Motu Proprio.” I have no idea what that means, but what it says is that Catholics can now choose to celebrate Mass in Latin using Pope John XXIII’s Tridentine Mass published in 1962. No, this doesn’t allow Catholics to substitute chewing gum for the Body of Christ (yes, I thought this too, but I looked it up), but it does have them pray the following on Good Friday:

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.

Wow. This is great stuff. The Jew’s heart is veiled, the Jew’s eyes are blind. Yet God’s mercy is so vast that He might be persuaded to have compassion even—EVEN!—on the Jews. O, thank You, Jesus!

Is this offensive? Some Jews are outraged by it. Others see it as a chance to separate good Catholics from bad Catholics, those choosing to pray in Latin being the bad Catholics.

Not withstanding the fact that for centuries Jews often found themselves under murderous attack by Catholics exiting church on Good Friday, I am not going to call this Mass anti-Semitic. Rather I will simply offer a prayer that Jews might insert into their liturgy on Good Friday Night which just happens to be the Jewish Sabbath:

For the conversion of Catholics. Let us pray also for the Catholics that the Lord OUR God, Chooser of the Jews and only the Jews, may take the veil of ignorance from their hearts that they also may acknowledge OUR Lord, Chooser of the Jews. Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, do not refuse your mercy even to the Catholics whom You didn’t choose and who think You had a baby with one of our girls so that You could kill him and use his blood to soothe Your wrath. Hear the prayers which we, Your Chosen People, offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of Your truth, which is Torah, and be delivered from their darkness, and know that Your Mercy is greater than Your Anger and that no one need die to be saved from going to Hell in which even the worst stay for but eleven months anyway so what is the big deal? Help this people, Lord, and don’t forget us, Lord, the people You chose to choose.

1 comment:

Huw Richardson said...

Hi Rabbi -

Just a note about the MP document from the pope: it specifically denies permission to celebrate the old rite on Good Friday.

Article 2 says:

"In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum."

The Triduum - "Three Holy Days" include Good Friday.