AJC Welcomes Vatican Clarification on Latin Liturgy

January 20, 2008 – New York - The American Jewish Committee welcomes reports from Rome on the imminent clarification by Pope Benedict XVI concerning the prayer for the Jews in the Latin (Tridentine) liturgy, the use of which was extended by the Pope last October.

This rite in use before the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council contains a prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the Easter liturgy.

"As we declared at the time, it is obvious to all who are aware of Pope Benedict’s commitment to Catholic-Jewish reconciliation that the extension of the use of the Latin liturgy had nothing to do with the old Easter prayer and we are grateful that our call for clarification is being responded to by the Pope himself," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of interreligious affairs.

In response to concerns from AJC and others, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy See's Secretary of State, indicated in October that the matter could easily be resolved by stating that the Latin prayer had to be a translation of the text reformulated after the Second Vatican Council.

This text prays for the Jews but has no reference to conversion. However, the reports from Rome suggest that Pope Benedict has formulated a new text for the Latin liturgy in keeping with the Vatican II revolution in Catholic-Jewish relations.




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