AJC Seeks Clarification on Latin Mass


July 9, 2007 - New York - The American Jewish Committee expresses its appreciation to Pope Benedict XVI for his confirmation that the positive changes of Vatican II will apply to his recent decision regarding the Latin Mass, which has been reinstated by the Church. 
 
"We acknowledge that the Church's liturgy is an internal Catholic matter and this motu proprio from Pope Benedict XVI is based on the permission given by John Paul II in 1988 and thus, on principle, is nothing new," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of Interreligious Affairs. "However we are naturally concerned about how wider use of this Tridentine liturgy may impact upon how Jews are perceived and treated."

Pope Benedict XVI, in a decree issued on Saturday, authorized wider use of the traditional Latin Mass, which in some liturgy contains language offensive to Jews. 

"We appreciate that the motu proprio actually limits the use of the Latin Mass in the days prior to Easter, which addresses the reference in the Good Friday liturgy concerning the Jews," Rosen added. "However, it is still not clear that this qualification applies to all situations and we have called on the Vatican to contradict the negative implications that some in the Jewish community and beyond have drawn concerning the motu proprio."

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