Rorate Caeli

Overlooked in the fray: the Pope on Judaism and the prayer for Jews

Sandro Magister's site has published an English translation of the passages from the Pope's upcoming book "Light of the World", which were previewed the other day by L'Osservatore Romano. The following is the passage on Judaism:

I must say that from the first day of my theological studies, the profound unity between the Old and New Testament, between the two parts of our Sacred Scripture, was somehow clear to me. I had realized that we could read the New Testament only together with what had preceded it, otherwise we would not understand it. Then naturally what happened in the Third Reich struck us as Germans, and drove us all the more to look at the people of Israel with humility, shame, and love.

In my theological formation, these things were interwoven, and marked the pathway of my theological thought. So it was clear to me – and here again in absolute continuity with John Paul II – that in my proclamation of the Christian faith there had to be a central place for this new interweaving, with love and understanding, of Israel and the Church, based on respect for each one's way of being and respective mission [. . .]

A change also seemed necessary to me in the ancient liturgy. In fact, the formula was such as to truly wound the Jews, and it certainly did not express in a positive way the great, profound unity between Old and New Testament. For this reason, I thought that a modification was necessary in the ancient liturgy, in particular in reference to our relationship with our Jewish friends. I modified it in such a way that it contained our faith, that Christ is salvation for all. That there do not exist two ways of salvation, and that therefore Christ is also the savior of the Jews, and not only of the pagans. But also in such a way that one did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense, but that the Lord might hasten the historic hour in which we will all be united. For this reason, the arguments used polemically against me by a series of theologians are rash, and do not do justice to what was done


The other passages also contain much matter for intense discussion.

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...and here again in absolute continuity with John Paul II..."

If that is the new standard of continuity, we are sunk.

ATW

Melchior Cano said...

How long, O Lord, how long?

LeonG said...

"But also in such a way that one did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense."

And what, pray, is wrong with so praying for the conversion of the jews?

This may be in continuity with the last pope but hardly in continuity with traditional Roman Catholic teaching. You have to hand it to the neo-papacy. The last three significant popes have initiated a new church based on new paradigms.

This helps to explain why the missions have been all but destroyed by this novel approach to "conversion" - we await Omega Point with Chardinesque evolutionary patience until the historic Chrsit emerges in the consciousness of all.

Once again in saying too much so eloquently the guard comes down and the real philosopher and his phlosophy are revealed.

n Good Friday I shall continue to pray the orthodox prayer of conversion of the jews, missionary style.

wheat4paradise said...

Ten deep breaths (everyone now) ...

First let us bold the following words:

That there do not exist two ways of salvation, and that therefore Christ is also the savior of the Jews, and not only of the pagans.

The Jews are not saved by or in their religion. The Jews are not saved apart from Jesus Christ. The Pope affirms these things.

Let us now consider this:

Then naturally what happened in the Third Reich struck us as Germans, and drove us all the more to look at the people of Israel with humility, shame, and love.

For better or for worse, the Holy Father was deeply affected as a German by what happened to the Jews during the Second World War. As a result, he is not inclined to use methods that could appear in any way confrontational in seeking the conversion of the Jews (which certainly he desires). Therefore, we should not expect Pope Benedict XVI to ever use the fiery language of St. Peter and St. John, by which the Jews are shamed into believing in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Father has proclaimed to the world and continues to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, the only Savior. As for the conversion of the Jews, he is putting the matter in the Lord's hands.

Anonymous said...

If I may ask a naive question, do those who observe current-day Judaism really follow the Old Testament? Or to put it more directly, are they truly Jews?

Anonymous said...

It seems like a sin against charity to not pray for their conversion, but just to sit back and presume God will do it when He feels like. Although, there will come a day when they all will be saved--St. Thomas explains this well in his commentary on Romans-- the Apostles certainly did not give up on calling the Jews to do penance and believe in the Gospel.

I think this will be the course though until we have a generation of Popes and bishops who do not have the psychological baggage associated with the Nazi persecution (not the lessons learned about what evils can lead to the genocide of minority peoples, but rather the paralyzinge sense of guilt and servile fear that prevents true acts of charity).

Anonymous said...

It is perfectly clear from that interview and the prayer itself that the Pope holds that the Jews, like everybody else, are saved (if at all) ONLY through Christ, and that we should pray to hasten the day when all are one in Him. Praying for that IS praying for the conversion of the Jews - the "not ... directly ... missionary" bit refers only to the emphasis/tone of the prayer, not to what is being prayed for.

If we can pray for the conversion Jews without adding unnecessary offence by the way in which we do it, then we should. Whether the old prayer needed changing to avoid that unnecessary offence is very much a matter of opinion - I happen to think not - but the existing prayer is for Our Lord to hasten the day (and to make progress EACH day) when all are converted to Him, Jews and all.

Carping at the Pope for stuff like this is only drawing blood which will attract the wolves from whom we pray he may be delivered. Think carefully if such criticism is truly necessary and just before publicly attacking Christ's Vicar.

-Benedict Ambrose

Anonymous said...

This does seem off considering what he has said previously:

"In choosing the Twelve, introducing them into a communion of life with himself and involving them in his mission of proclaiming the Kingdom in words and works (cf. Mk 6: 7-13; Mt 10: 5-8; Lk 9: 1-6; 6: 13), Jesus wants to say that the definitive time has arrived in which to constitute the new People of God, the people of the 12 tribes, which now becomes a universal people, his Church.

Appeal for Israel

"With their very own existence, the Twelve - called from different backgrounds - become an appeal for all of Israel to convert and allow herself to be gathered into the new covenant, complete and perfect fulfilment of the ancient one."
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2006/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20060315_en.html

Also, here is a good article on his previous works dealing with the covenants:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=7878&CFID=356049&CFTOKEN=72844775

Jordanes said...

Therefore, we should not expect Pope Benedict XVI to ever use the fiery language of St. Peter and St. John, by which the Jews are shamed into believing in Jesus Christ.

Or the at times fiery language of St. Paul, for that matter.

The Holy Father has proclaimed to the world and continues to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, the only Savior. As for the conversion of the Jews, he is putting the matter in the Lord's hands.

St. Paul also put the matter of the conversion of the Jews in God's hands, but he still prayed and worked energetically for their conversion as he did for the conversion of the Gentiles. Given the experiences that Pope Benedict and others had, the intention to rewrite the prayer for the conversion of the Jews, and the modern reticence to evangelise them is at least understandable. Still, while the mission to the Jews is still implicit in the rewritten prayer for their conversion, it would be better -- indeed it's really necessary -- to explicitly and directly refer to that mission. That can be done without using language that needlessly offends, without seeming to abdicate our missionary obligations and substitute an eschatalogical hope. After all, Jesus did not command us merely to go into all the world and be kind and helpful to all nations.

Anonymous said...

"That there do not exist two ways of salvation, and that therefore Christ is also the savior of the Jews, and not only of the pagans."

Well, he is speaking as a private theologian here. As well, I think he is preserving the core truth of Dominus Jesus. Also, the Church has grown, adopts different attitudes and approaches to bringing the faith to different times, without changing the Creed. I am reading Abbot Vonier's "A Key to Understanding the Doctrine of the Eucharist" (1925), and he makes a large point when he says that some of Aquinas' points in the Summa are true, but also something one must be careful about saying after the Protestant rebellion...so what is prudent at one time, may not be prudent at another...unless you want to call St. Thomas a protestant for calling the Eucharist a "memorial", and a "representation"...but I guess it's good sport these days for some Trads to call the Holy Father a modernist...I suggest they take up a sport, and get their aggression out that way :)

Anonymous said...

Wheat4Paradise,

With no disrespect intended, I don't think this cuts it. Either we truly believe Christ is for all, and is necessary for all, or we don't. If we do, then we would be praying for conversion and engaging in evangelising of all without fail or excuse.

If the matter can be left in the Lord's hands with regard to Jews, then why not with all other non-Christians and cease evangelising altogether? We can always find some historic Christian injustice to justify avoiding theological confrontation if that's what we're looking for.

I'm growing weary of the papal multi-faceted, trapezoidal, triangulating theological acrobatics. What would Pius IX, Pius X, Pius XI, or even Pius XII say about this?

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

"If I may ask a naive question, do those who observe current-day Judaism really follow the Old Testament? Or to put it more directly, are they truly Jews?"

Most people today who call themselves "Jews" follow the Talmud, which was codified about the 5th century A.D. This book speaks horrible blasphemies against Our Lord and Our Lady. It has been condemned by the Church and saints throughout the centuries.

Furthermore, most of "Jews" today are NOT semitic. They are Khazarians, which was an old empire in and around Russia and converted to Judaism about the 8th century.

Jordanes said...

If I may ask a naive question, do those who observe current-day Judaism really follow the Old Testament?

Which "current-day Judaism"? Orthodox Judaism? Reform Judaism? Conservative Judaism?

From the Christian perspective, only Christians "really follow" the Old Testament.

Or to put it more directly, are they truly Jews?

No. Romans 2:25-29

Yes. Romans 10:1-21; 11:1-32

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Will it ever end? He allows his guilt as a German to affect his role as Pope. Leave our ancient Mass alone! It has nothing to do with an conflict from the 1930s. The prayer of 1958 and earlier was the better one and reflects the mind of the Church over the centuries. But people will putter.

P.K.T.P.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Sounds like a Vatican II document. Say one thing in accordance with Tradition and then another in contradiction or at least ambiguous.

LeonG said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with praying missionary style for the conversion of the jews, that is except to liberal modernists & to avid supporters of Chardin's pantheist philosophy of which the current pope is an admirer. This new perspective has taken the church off-track intentionally so by those who want a syncretic ecumenical and interreligious approach that manifestly relativises the divine mandate to go out and preach The Gospel.....Yes!....but........not in a missionary manner. How on earth did Roman Catholic missions establish the church globally without being missionery and without evangelising zeal?

On the contrary, this was another "bastion" that the liberals had to "raze" at the councils and they have effectively done so. Thus, if anyone is "carping" it is they who have neutralised the missions with their new model pantheism and evolutionary tendencies.

Ultimately, the offense is to ignore the need to pray for and propagate missionary activity to convert souls, including the jews of all types. Entering into synagogues to participate in their false ways does nothing to encourage conversion but it does reconfirm the validity, however false, of the belief system. This follows the conciliar intentions of the liberals and their inherent dislike of the pre-conciliar church & evangelism.

David said...

As for the conversion of the Jews, he is putting the matter in the Lord's hands.

Why this false dichotomy between praying and "putting matters in he Lord's hands"? As Jordanes said, they are the same thing. If by "putting matters in he Lord's hands" we mean doing nothing about it then this is a denial of the plain words of the Gospel.

This is a deep mystery, and an inexhaustible subject of meditation, that the salvation of many depends on the prayers and voluntary penances which the members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ offer for this intention and on the cooperation of pastors of souls and of the faithful, especially of fathers and mothers of families, a cooperation which they must offer to our Divine Saviour as though they were His associates.

Mystici Corporis 44

Cruise the Groove. said...

"That there do not exist two ways of salvation, and that therefore Christ is also the savior of the Jews, and not only of the pagans."

Wheat for Paradise,

So then why should we not pray for the conversion of the Jews to the Catholic Faith, wherein "Christ is also the savior of the Jews'?

wheat4paradise said...

Anon 14:35,

The Holy Father does pray for the conversion of the Jews:

"Let us also pray for the Jews: that our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men."

Them's the Holy Father's words. Let's be fair and accurate, ok?

wheat4paradise said...

Cruise the Groove,

We DO pray for the conversion of the Jews, along with the Holy Father himself. Read the prayer, pray the prayer. It is a prayer for conversion.

When the Holy Father says that he wants to avoid a "missionary" approach to the Jews, I think that he means that he wants to avoid direct confrontation and any sense that we are trying to shame the Jews into converting. You may or may not agree with that approach, but you are quite wrong if you conclude that the Holy Father does not pray for the conversion of the Jews or that he is directing us not to so pray.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"Christ is salvation for all. That there do not exist two ways of salvation, and that therefore Christ is also the savior of the Jews, and not only of the pagans."

Pardon my being dense, but am I missing something hear? I am not trying to be disrespectful, but what is going on here?
How can the Holy Father reconcile his above statement with what he says immediately afterward:

"But also in such a way that one
did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense, but that the Lord might hasten the historic hour in which we will all be united."

What is wrong with praying in charity for the conversion of someone???

wheat4paradise said...

Anon 14:46,

Do you get into the face of Jews whom you know and tell them that they must convert or be damned? Probably not, because you know that such an approach is highly ineffective. The Apostles used that approach, but they themselves were Jews. They also didn't have the historical baggage that we have to carry into the discussion.

Paul Haley said...

Leon G said in part:

Ultimately, the offense is to ignore the need to pray for and propagate missionary activity to convert souls, including the jews of all types. Entering into synagogues to participate in their false ways does nothing to encourage conversion but it does reconfirm the validity, however false, of the belief system. This follows the conciliar intentions of the liberals and their inherent dislike of the pre-conciliar church & evangelism.

Thanks, Leon, for hitting the nail squarely on the head. "Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." Matt 28:18-20

Are we now to believe that there was a postscript to Christs' own words, to wit: ..."but in the case of the Jews do so only in a way which will not offend"? Methinks not! Give me a break.

Paul Haley said...

As for this eschatological salvation business, i.e., the Jews will be converted at Christ's Second Coming, what does this say about all the Jews who will have lived and died before that happens? What will their fate be? Is it not charitable to convert them while there is still time for individuals to assent to the true Faith?

By the way I do believe that the Jews will be converted in the end times and mean no disrespect to that belief but I wonder about all those being judged before that fateful day. Do we not have an obligation to do all in our power to convert them? Methinks so.

Jordanes said...

Furthermore, most of "Jews" today are NOT semitic. They are Khazarians, which was an old empire in and around Russia and converted to Judaism about the 8th century.

Well, there is a significant contribution of Turkic DNA among Jews of European descent, but it's not the case that most Jews are of Khazar descent. In any case, under Mosaic law a proselyte and the observant descendants of a proselyte are Jewish regardless of genealogy. Through conversion and subsequent intermarriage, the Khazarian Jews received the heritage of "carnal" Israel.

Ultimately the question of whether or not non-Christian Jews are "really" Jews is irrelevant, since we know that salvation is available through Jesus alone, in His Church. It doesn't matter if they are "really" Jews -- it matters only that they aren't Christians whereas they, as all men, should be.

John McFarland said...

Note the following following passage:

"...there had to be a central place for this new interweaving, with love and understanding, of Israel and the Church, based on respect for each one's way of being and respective mission..."

I submit that there is no way to make the foregoing consistent with the Faith delivered once for all to the saints. In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew.

If anyone thinks otherwise, I would be interested in their reasoning.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"When the Holy Father says that he wants to avoid a "missionary" approach to the Jews, I think that he means that he wants to avoid direct confrontation and any sense that we are trying to shame the Jews into converting."

Wheat4paradise,

With all due respect Wheat, are you a mind reader?
How do you know the Holy Father means this?
He says nothing to even suggest this.
It goes without saying that we should not force nor shame anyone else to convert, even if our motive is their eternal salvation.

But it is a divine mandate that men should go out into the world and teach the Gospel to ALL men, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Ghost.
God Almighty's own words, and we must obey them.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you."

I would think that, going by these words of God it would be a good thing to teach Jews this reality.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jordanes.

It is distressing to hear the mere parroting of discredited early 20th century anti-semitic racial theories. Modern genetics has mercifully laid those to rest.

Anonymous said...

The Jews must be saved like any other group of people by faith in JESUS only! This statement like the one with the condoms is regrettable since Our Lord said let your YES be YES , your NO be NO. YES the JEWS must be converted. What he means not in a missionary sense i can only speculate is the teaching that in the last days the Jews of that era will be totally converted to JESUS. Has the Fatima message told him these are the last days? Who knows.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"...but that the Lord might hasten the historic hour in which we will all be united."

And what better way is there to "hasten" this "historic hour" than through missionary teaching and prayer?

Anonymous said...

"But also in such a way that one did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense."

What pluperfect nonsense.Those who are members of the Church are expressly commanded by Christ to not only pray for the conversion of all men "in a missionary sense" but to actively evangelize them. The Jews were the first that the Apostles were "missionaries" to. Let us face the realty that Benedict XVI is as much a product of VCII as the rest. Due to their sophistries they have painted themselves into a corner and can now only resort to such lame "spin" that contradicts the very Gospels. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

I believe it worthwhile to bear in mind that when the Holy Father speaks in such a context as a journalistic interview he is not speaking ex cathedra and not even precisely as Pope. He is speaking as a private person, as a theologian who happens to be also Pope. As such his words are, of course, deserving of respect, but his private theological opinions are no more binding than those of any other theologian.

Anonymous said...

It would be a real blessing to have Catholic missionaries of old, for Jew and Gentile. The fruit of V2 - no vocations.

Thomas said...

Are we down to the "the Jews are really Khazars" myth? Please, we can do better than that, even if one is determined to wallow in anti-Semitism and historical ignorance.

Anonymous said...

"A change also seemed necessary to me in the ancient liturgy.

"In fact, the formula was such as to truly wound the Jews, and it certainly did not express in a positive way the great, profound unity between Old and New Testament."
---------------------

That, and his having lived in Nazi Germany, justified in the Pope's mind that he was free, even required, to have tinkered with the Traditional Roman Liturgy?

Had any Pope ever understood Liturgy in such a manner as Pope Benedict XVI?

By the way, two years ago, should not the Holy Father have informed his flock as to why he had altered the Traditional Liturgy?

He tinkered with the Liturgy.

Many members of his flock were bewildered as to his action.

They were left to speculate as to his action.

Tony

Anonymous said...

The excerpts from Mr. Seewald's have left me with the following thoughts:

1. We have reached the point at which a Roman Pontiff believes that it's his right to tinker with the ancient Roman Liturgy based upon the years 1933-1945.

2. The Traditional Roman Liturgy was not "positive" as at least one of its prayers "wounded" certain people.

3. Rome is unwilling to confront Islam.

4. Communion in the hand is not to be opposed in principle.

5. The Latin Church has collapsed to the point that a great many communicants are unware that something "special" takes place during Holy Communion.

6. Pius XII "was one of the great righteous men … and saved more Jews than anyone else."

7. Finally, the condoms disaster.

I believe that that the Church, at least the Latin Church, will remain in a state of collapse for years and years...and decades...

What a shame.

Tony

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

The Catholic Church dogmatically teaches:

"It (the Catholic Church) firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

Oh, how I wish the conciliar popes would speak so simply.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of progressivism, ecumenism, Vatican II's novelties, and many other problems. I'm against the new, ambiguous version of the Good Friday prayer, too. If the Vatican wants to pander to Jews, I hope it remembers that the Talmud says that Jesus is in boiling excrement in hell.

Dan said...

I'm not sure what "historical baggage" that mr wheat4paradise is referring to but I would very much like to know what it is. Remarks like that say one thing to those minds untainted with historical facts: that our Jewish friends were and are an immaculately conceived people and the only wrongs that have ever been done are those done by Catholics against them and never, oh not ever, the other way around.

If that is what this poster means then he is living in the same murky cloud cuckoo land that so many others are.

The Pope's words perfectly illustrate the muddled thinking of a man who has all but given up Christ's dictum to convert all nations, and who has all but ignored the previous 2,000 year old teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the necessity of Christ's one, true Church for salvation. Benedict's words speak for themselves and many other of those who posted got the message loud and clear. That "wheat4paradise" did not get the Holy Father's message is a problem that he will ahve to solve by himself.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure what "historical baggage" that mr wheat4paradise is referring to but I would very much like to know what it is."

Give me a break.

Look, several millions Jews were murdered simply because they were Jews by blood-worshipping monsters.

More than 500,000 Americans died in order to stop this regime.

We're not living in the 1250s.

This Pope is trying.

John McFarland said...

Since the "private scholar" concept has been raised, let me ask a question.

Is there in fact anything that the Holy Father says that at bottom isn't his opinion, rather than an explication of the Faith delivered once for all to the saints?

Recall then Cardinal Ratzinger's remarks in his Milestones memoir that he couldn't accept neo-scholaticism, because he had to figure it all out for himself.

Is it not all arguably private opinion -- and most recently, private opinion in a white soutane?

I'm not trying to be a wise guy. I'm dead serious. I may not be right, but I'm dead serious.

I think that when you come right down to it, in the Pope's eyes, the only thing that makes his doctrine authoritative is that he has authority. The continuity is the continuity of men in white soutanes and earlier papal garb, exercising authority.

The Holy Ghost is not the guardian of an essentially unchanging deposit of faith, but the guarantor that whatever each pope says, and whatever its relation to what was said by previous popes, and what is said by the subsequent popes, is all OK, even if it's different or even if it's contradictory.

Pascendi said...

"And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto myself..."


Our Lord Jesus Christ, St. John 12:32.

Anonymous said...

I wonder to whom the writer of the last book of the bible was referring when he spoke of "them who say they are jews but are not." Apoc 2:9 & 3:9. Is it not so that the believing Jews,the people of God, became followers of "The Way"? Those who follow the talmud, the rabbis, the synagogue, and have no sacrifice have formed a new religion which is not as old as Catholicism.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, please help me to understand the following:

The Pope linked Nazi Germany to the Roman Good Friday Liturgical prayer for the conversion of the Jews.

Correct?

I'm uncertain as to how anybody could deny that. But seriously, please explain the above to me.

Thanks.

Daniel

J.G. Ratkaj said...

What ever happened to jewry 70 years ago it cannot be a reason to withhold the jews from the truth of Christ as preached by the roman pontiffs through the centuries.

M. A. said...

"This Pope is trying."
______________

I do not doubt that his intentions are good, but his human efforts will fail. He calls it a "new" way, i.e., one not taught by our Lord as transmitted to His Church, and thus, a purely human effort, a novelty guaranteed to collapse because in vain, they persist in building on sand.

wheat4paradise said...

Dan,

Your tone of disrespect toward the Vicar of Christ is absolutely disgraceful and you should be ashamed of yourself. I know that in another post I said that I would refrain from uninvited fraternal correction of fellow posters, but I refuse to let your impertinent remarks stand unchallenged.

... our Jewish friends were and are an immaculately conceived people and the only wrongs that have ever been done are those done by Catholics against them and never, oh not ever, the other way around.

Yes, some Jews seem to think that way. I don't think that the Holy Father sees it that way. However, he did witness first hand how horribly the Jews were treated in his native country. That shattering experience had a formative influence on his mind and work. Go figure.

wheat4paradise said...

Tony, he's the POPE. He's allowed to revise one liturgical prayer. Good grief.

wheat4paradise said...

Cruise the Groove,

No, I'm not a mind reader, yet I believe that my speculation -- and that's all that it is -- makes sense. You're free to disagree.

As for shaming the Jews into converting, it's not necessarily a bad approach. I believe that St. Peter adopted it. However, 2000 years since Christ issued the Great Commission and after all the blood that's passed under the bridge since then, it just might not be the best approach today. That doesn't mean that the Pope has abandoned the Great Commission, which is the totally stupid conclusion that not a few have blundered into. There are other approaches to converting the Jews. Again, the Pope's prayer is an EXPLICIT CALL FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS. How can you not see that? The business about not praying "directly" in a "missionary sense" is certainly open to misinterpretation, yet if we have charity and good will we can arrive at an interpretation that does justice to the Holy Father's intentions, which I'm convinced are pure and orthodox.

Anonymous said...

I thought there was a principle that said:
lex orandi, lex credendi

Are we now to believe that the old Good Friday prayers for the Jews were faulty (and that the above principle does not apply, therefore, to the Good Friday liturgy)? Or that times have changed and Catholic doctrine has since "evolved" to something different to keep up with the Zeitgeist?

I accept that the Vicar of Christ has the authority to change the prayers of the liturgy. But when Benedict XVI suppressed the use of the old prayer for the Jews, surely that suppression only applied to the use of that prayer in its place in the Good Friday Liturgy. Could Catholics not legitimately continue to use that prayer in private devotion (or even publicly in Sunday bidding prayers) without being disobedient? Surely if the prayer was a valid part of the Church's liturgy fifty years ago, it remains good for use today? Or have i missed something??

Anonymous said...

"So it was clear to me – and here again in absolute continuity with John Paul II – that in my proclamation of the Christian faith there had to be a central place for this new interweaving, with love and understanding, of Israel and the Church, based on respect for each one's way of being and respective mission [. . .]"
Earth to His Holiness: the Church is the "New Israel" which alone has a mission, the sanctification and salvation of all mankind. The secular state of Israel is precisely that, i.e a secular entity. Judaism is a conscious rejection of Christ. There can be no "interweaving" of light and darkness, acceptance of the Messiah and rejection of Him. These two "missions" are diametrically opposed to each other, or at least they should be. At least they were.

Anonymous said...

More ambiguity.

Anonymous said...

It seems that there has been a substantive change in the prayer, and that the Pope "slipped" in this change in meaning without bothering to explain it. I actually do not see how a Catholic can, in good conscience, agree to not pray for the conversion of the Jews in precisely the same way counseled by St. Paul himself. To promulgate the official interpretation of a liturgical text in the form of a popular book seems to be scandalous and disrespectful of the liturgy. J Brown.

Anonymous said...

These books with Messori and Seewald were fine when he was a cardinal, but now that he is pope they are improvident, I think. Look at what is happening now. I think in his heart of hearts Joseph Ratzinger wants to be a theology professor more than pope. We should all pray extra hard for him, such a kind, mild mannered man, who had this office thrust upon him.

Anonymous said...

Also based upon the Seewald book, John Allen reported the following, which destroyed the claims of conservative Catholics who insisted that via his fashion choices, Pope Benedict XVI intended to promote a return to Tradition.

So much for the Pope's "brick-by-brick Marshall Plan" claimed by conservative Catholics.

"For example, in December 2005 Benedict XVI once sported the camauro, a thick woolen cap last worn by Pope John XXIII.

"Several commentators touted it as an example of Benedict’s traditionalism, but in the Seewald interview the pope says the reality was far more prosaic: It was a cold day, Benedict has a sensitive head, the camauro was lying around, and he simply put it on."

Benedict says he’s never done so since, “in order to forestall over-interpretation.”

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment. I think there is something to be said for a pope restricting his written works to authoritative works such as encyclicals, apostolic exhortations and the like.

Thommo.

ToS said...

But also in such a way that one did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense, but that the Lord might hasten the historic hour in which we will all be united. For this reason, the arguments used polemically against me by a series of theologians are rash, and do not do justice to what was done

I don't think so. We have to pray to hurry up the end of the world where the Jews will be converted? This is offensive to pious ears. We have to pray NOW for EVERYONE'S conversion. The Apostles did not ignore the Jews and said "let's wait."

Jordanes said...

It was a cold day, Benedict has a sensitive head, the camauro was lying around, and he simply put it on

Yeah, and how did there just happen to be a camauro lying around, and how many other people would be apt to wear a camauro even once.

For years it has been obvious that the pope's "ecclesiastical fashion sense" is of a more "traditional" bent, even if he doesn't want people to "overinterpret" his choice of ecclesiastical garb.

Anonymous said...

And yet the relationship of the Jews to the Church is a very mysterious one. It is fascinating and no doubt providential that they have all this time kept their identity as a supranational nation (if that is possible) and a religion.

While it must be true that each Jew will be judged on his acceptance of Christ according to his lights, I'd venture to say that God has not cast off His chosen people. The fact that Scripture tells us that they will be converted at the end and that this is part of the Divine Plan, certainly gives them a continued special place in the history of salvation.

Thommo again.

Anonymous said...

An excellent response to the Pope:

http://iteadthomam.blogspot.com/2010/11/pope-benedicts-confused-opinion-on-jews.html

Anonymous said...

I am a convert from a Jewish background to Catholicism:

1) My first question to the Supreme Pontiff may well be 'was I wasting my time and effort to study, pray and come to Catholicism? Should I just idly sit by in Judaism until the Second Coming'?

2) Yes, the pope can change a prayer. However, a pope should also have clear, unmistakable, proper motivations on behalf of the Church and within the mind of the Church when he exercises his rightful prerogatives, not acting out of some kind of psychologically imprisoned Upper Room that must atone for Nazi crimes and start catering for fear of the Jews' feelings.

Please forgive and pardon me, all, for such a tone toward the Holy See. I'm not a cradle Catholic, but even I'm incensed. I cannot begin to imagine what an elderly cradle Catholic who grew up in the Church of the 1940s or 1950s must be enduring during these past 45 years.

P.S.: While our faith obviously has its roots in the Old Testament, I can assure all that, having spent a number of years in Orthodox Jewish yeshiva school, that the differences between the two faiths are extensive and profound. In traditional, orthodox Judaism, the Talmud is utterly inseparable from the Jewish Scripture.

Anonymous said...

Part I

Speaking of Pope Benedict XVI's remarks regarding Jews (in Seewald's new book), I came across the following story:

(Following the brief reference below to the story in question, I posted several headlines from Google News Archive Search taken from newspapers between 1940 and 1946.

It is interesting that during the war years, Jews praised Pope Pius XII to the hilt.)

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/11/22/popes-high-praise-of-holocaust-era-predecessor/

Pope's High Praise of Holocaust-Era Predecessor Sparks Jewish Ire

Coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's new book-length interview has focused almost exclusively on his remarks about using condoms to prevents AIDS, but Jewish leaders are voicing objections to his unqualified praised for his war-time predecessor, Pius XII, whose record during the Holocaust is a perennial source of frictions between the Vatican and the Jewish community.

"Pope Benedict's comments fill us with pain and sadness and cast a menacing shadow on Vatican-Jewish relations," said Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

"The assertion that Pius saved more Jews than anyone else during the Holocaust is categorically contradicted by the known historical record," Steinberg said.

Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, said that there "is certainly enough evidence to refute those who charge that Pius XII stood idly by while the lives of Jews and others were imperiled."

But, he added, "not only did Pius XII never directly challenge the Nazi regime regarding the extermination of the Jews; perhaps even more dramatically, he never publicly expressed any condemnation, let alone express of regret, subsequent to World War II."

In France, the umbrella representative group of Jewish organizations, CRIF, said that Pope Benedict's opinion "wasn't shared by any serious historian," according to Agence France Presse.

Anonymous said...

Part 2


Pope Protests to Vichy Over Seizure of Jews

Los Angeles Times - Aug 6, 1942
Pope Pius XII, speaking through the Papal Nuncio at Vjchy, ... does not understand the treatment accorded Jewish refugees and entreated them to end "these ... All 4 related - Related web pages


Pope Has Long Talk With Taylor; Move to Aid Jews in France Seen ...

New York Times - Sep 20, 1942
... Pope Pius XII shortly after 11 o'clock this morning received Myron C. ... has risen to new

REPORTS FEDERAL AID IN RESCUING OF JEWS; Pehle Says Refugee Board ...

New York Times - Apr 3, 1944
... executive vice chairman of the committee, praised the aid given by Christian churches. He mentioned the helpful acts of Pope Pius XII for the relief ...


LAUDS POPE'S HELP TO JEWS;
Representative Celler Sends Letter

New York Times - Oct 31, 1944
Pope Pius XII was thanked today for his "mercifUl endeavor" in behalf of Jewish refugees. In a letter to His Holiness.


Jewish Group Gives $250,000 for Aid of Christian Refugees

- Los Angeles Times - Jan 2, 1940

The organization said $125000 of the sum will be transmitted to Pope Pius XII by Bishop Bernard J. Shell of Chicago, for the aid of.


SAVING REFUGEES LAUDED; Federal Agencies and Churches Credited at ...

New York Times - Oct 16, 1944
He praised the non-Jewish groups "who have shown a true Christian spirit," ... His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, has interceded on many occasions in behalf of .

CARDINAL VERDIER IS DEAD IN PARIS; Advocate of Democracy and Foe ...

New York Times - Apr 9, 1940

Cardinal Verdier, like Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII, was the especial champion of persecuted Jews. Besides extending monetary and material aid to Jewish ...

Vatican Post Goes to Jew As Italy's Ban Is Imposed

- New York Times - Mar 2, 1940
ROME, March 1-The law aimed at Jewish professional meri and women went into ... the Vatican newspaper announced that Pope Pius XII had appointed the Jewish ...


GIVES $20000 TO VATICAN; World Jewish Congress Hails Holy See's ...

- New York Times - Oct 11, 1945
... by Pope Pius XII. Dr. Kubowitzki said the gift was made in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecution. ...


New Chief Rabbi of Rome Thanks Pope for His Aid

- Chicago Tribune - Dec 12, 1945
Pope Pius XII today received Dr David Prato newly elected chief rabbi of Rome's Jewish community who thanked the pope for his help to Jews

Anonymous said...

Part 3



SAVING REFUGEES LAUDED; Federal Agencies and Churches Credited at ...

New York Times - Oct 16, 1944
He praised the non-Jewish groups "who have shown a true Christian spirit," ... His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, has interceded on many occasions in behalf of .

CARDINAL VERDIER IS DEAD IN PARIS; Advocate of Democracy and Foe ...

New York Times - Apr 9, 1940

Cardinal Verdier, like Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII, was the especial champion of persecuted Jews. Besides extending monetary and material aid to Jewish ...

Vatican Post Goes to Jew As Italy's Ban Is Imposed

- New York Times - Mar 2, 1940
ROME, March 1-The law aimed at Jewish professional meri and women went into ... the Vatican newspaper announced that Pope Pius XII had appointed the Jewish ...


GIVES $20000 TO VATICAN; World Jewish Congress Hails Holy See's ...

- New York Times - Oct 11, 1945
... by Pope Pius XII. Dr. Kubowitzki said the gift was made in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecution. ...


New Chief Rabbi of Rome Thanks Pope for His Aid

- Chicago Tribune - Dec 12, 1945
Pope Pius XII today received Dr David Prato newly elected chief rabbi of Rome's Jewish community who thanked the pope for his help to Jews

Anonymous said...

Michael J. Matt, Editor, The Remnant, wrote the following (below) on February 8, 2008.

I guess that his analysis of the Pope's new Good Friday Prayer for the Jews was off the mark.

In fact, many conservatives and traditionalists were off the mark when it came to discerning the Pope's reason to alter the traditional prayer in question.

It is puzzling as to why His Holiness did not reveal at the time the reason as to why he changed the prayer in question.

Please note that Mr. Matt claimed that Pope Benedict XVI's new prayer reiterated "the missionary mandate of the Church."

Michael J. Matt
Editor, The Remnant

Posted February 8, 2008

As the whole world knows by now, this week the Vatican released Pope Benedict’s revised version of the traditional Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews.

What some feared might entail a dismantling of the traditional prayer has at least in one sense served to reinforce it.

A few Catholic bloggers beg to differ, arguing that any modification of the prayer indicates the Chair of Peter is, out of fear of political reprisals, taking dictation from special interest groups, tantamount to the apostles hiding themselves in the upper room out of “fear of the Jews”.

Given the adverse reaction to the new prayer on the part of those same special interest groups, however, it would appear this critique misses the point.

Far from taking dictation the Pope has settled the matter by reiterating the missionary mandate of the Church.

Why else formulate a prayer that could in no sense mollify even the most timid critic of the 1962 version?

Anonymous said...

Has His Holiness altered prayers for the Jews found in Eastern Catholic Churches?

If not, have Jewish pressure groups called upon the Pope to alter Eastern Catholic Jewish-related prayers?

I also wonder if Catholics and Eastern Orthodox united, would Rome alter the Orthodox prayers in regard to the Jews?

The following is from Wikipedia:

Eastern Churches

The Great Friday liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Byzantine Catholics uses the expression "impious and law-breaking people",[20] but the strongest expressions are in the Great Thursday liturgy, which includes the same chant, after the eleventh Gospel reading, but also speaks of "the swarm of deicides, the lawless people of the Jews",[21] and, referring to "the gathering of the Jews", prays:

"But give them, Lord, their requital, because they plotted against you in vain."[22]

In 2007, a group of twelve Orthodox priests representing five different national churches, some in open defiance of directives from their church leadership, issued a ten-page declaration calling for the removal all such passages from their liturgy, calling them anti-Semitic.[23][dead link][not in citation given]

Ma Tucker said...

This is all very odd.

As far as I remember the Pope did not change the prayer for Jewish conversion. It was reported that he suggested an alternative. To now state that he changed it quite firmly is not in keeping with the facts as I remember them. Furthermore, I did not believe that it came from the Pope's hand because it is particularly stupid to state an intention to pray for conversion and then in the prayer NOT actually pray for conversion. The Pope is very smart. This is very stupid. So, something must be going on here.

Frankly, I would be more happy to dismiss this book as a gerrymandered affair than to believe it came from the Pope. Anyway, I thought he was working on Jesus of Nazareth No.2.

I'm sure the Pope would consider it an act of hatred to withhold prayer for the conversion of the Jews.

All is very strange and I suspect this is some sort of attack. Prayers for the Pope needed.

wheat4paradise said...

Anon 05:55:

My first question to the Supreme Pontiff may well be 'was I wasting my time and effort to study, pray and come to Catholicism? Should I just idly sit by in Judaism until the Second Coming'?

Do you really think that the Pope would answer "yes" to that question? Really? C'mon now.

Clearly the Pope is putting the initiative for the conversion of the Jews into the Lord's hands. In a sense, he is taking the initiative out of the Jews' hands as much as out of ours. Totally, radically into the Lord's hands. The Holy Father bids us to pray "May the Lord convert the Jews even if it takes until the end of time" rather than "May the Jews convert". Nevertheless, the essential desire for their conversion (today if the Lord wills it, at the end of time if the Lord so wills it) remains the same.

Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior of all men. (Let us pray. Kneel. Rise.) Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Amen, amen.

Dr. T.T.Coals said...

Not to pray for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense is to deny the mission of the Church! This Pope has his heart in the right place, but his mind is infected with Modernism, the same Modernism that has wreaked havoc since Vatican II. "Dialog" has replaced mission, under the delusion that it's more important to be nice than to speak the truth. But that is placing human respect on a pedestal, and dethroning Christ.

Paul Haley said...

Anonymous said...

I am a convert from a Jewish background to Catholicism:

1) My first question to the Supreme Pontiff may well be 'was I wasting my time and effort to study, pray and come to Catholicism? Should I just idly sit by in Judaism until the Second Coming'?

2) Yes, the pope can change a prayer. However, a pope should also have clear, unmistakable, proper motivations on behalf of the Church and within the mind of the Church when he exercises his rightful prerogatives, not acting out of some kind of psychologically imprisoned Upper Room that must atone for Nazi crimes and start catering for fear of the Jews' feelings.

Please forgive and pardon me, all, for such a tone toward the Holy See. I'm not a cradle Catholic, but even I'm incensed. I cannot begin to imagine what an elderly cradle Catholic who grew up in the Church of the 1940s or 1950s must be enduring during these past 45 years.


The writer of the foregoing chooses to use the Anonymous tag and I respect that but I would like to commend him or her for having said what I believe is the main point of all this discussion on the conversion of the Jews. Why is it necessary or even prudent to wait for the Second Coming to convince our Jewish friends of the absolute truth of the Christian Faith? And I mean convince in a helpful, fraternal way - not in beating them up about the head and shoulders about their failure to recognize Christ. I also realize the Holy Father did not say to wait until the Second Coming but I wonder how many will interpret his words as having inferred that.

Tacitus said...

From today's New York Times article confirming that the Pope's "condom" remarks were meant to apply to females as well as males, Fr. Lombardi makes this intriguing comment:

Father Lombardi said he had asked the pope if he had recognized the risk in publishing a book of interviews in a complex media landscape, where his words might be “misunderstood.”

In response, “the pope smiled,” Father Lombardi said.


Make of it what you will . . .

wheat4paradise said...

My strong defense of the Holy Father notwithstanding, the fact that an actual convert from Judaism in our midst would be troubled (even incensed) by the Pope's remarks gives me pause. The reaction of this person should not be taken lightly. I hope that his or her question posted here might somehow be elevated to the Holy Father himself. Is there a way to make that happen?

wheat4paradise said...

Why is it necessary or even prudent to wait for the Second Coming to convince our Jewish friends of the absolute truth of the Christian Faith?

You and others seem to be quite convinced that this is the Holy Father's intention. I'm convinced that you are quite wrong. This is indeed the crux of the issue. It is absurd and uncharitable to go about asserting that Pope Benedict XVI actually intends that we should wait for the Second Coming for the Jews to convert and that we should all sit on our hands until then. Absolutely absurd and preposterous. What the Pope intends is that the traditional Good Friday prayer for the Jews should commit the issue of their conversion radically to the Lord. That is all. Stop reading all of these other ridiculous things into it.

wheat4paradise said...

Make of it what you will . . .

An open invitation to detraction and calumny against the Pope. Well done.

God help us.

De Liliis said...

"Not to pray for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense is to deny the mission of the Church!"

To hear this said.. I am just shaking my head.

craig said...

Some will interpret the Holy Father's words as saying to wait until the Second Coming, just as some once the Good Friday prayer for the Jews as ascribing to them an ongoing blood guilt. In both cases, their assumption is incorrect and yet does damage.

It is not necessary nor desirable to wait for the Second Coming. But it may be prudent (and I think this is the Holy Father's angle) to err on the side of gentleness and caution, as someone would in reconciling with a family member who has been wounded grievously.

The Nazis certainly hated the Church, but nowhere did they persecute Catholics as systematically and fanatically as they did Jews. That some of the commenters here do not recognize this quantitative and qualitative difference is evidence of the need for caution. The fact that Bavaria, France, Spain, etc. -- ostensibly Catholic regions of Europe -- were more cooperative with the Nazi persecution than were some of the non-Catholic regions, also remains a sticking point, as does the current tendency of Arab Christians to close ranks with the Moslems against the Jews in their midst.

By this point in history, persecution has become intrinsic to the Jewish self-image. It could be that Christians suffering alongside them in sympathy might bear more evangelical fruit than would offering them a seeming way out in exchange for renouncing their self-identity and parentage. Catholics everywhere need to reflect on what actually is helpful and fraternal, and what merely preaches to the already-converted.

craig said...

Typo in the first paragraph of my comment above:

...just as some once interpreted the...

Anonymous said...

According to this reasoning the Apostles themselves should have waited for the Second Coming.

Anonymous said...

Wheat4Paradise,

I appreciate the engagement and attention given to my post, as the convert from Judaism, but I would also caution not to ascribe too much importance to my remarks, either.

I can be as guilty of passionate over-reaction as much as anybody else.

Lately, though, I have become increasingly concerned and edgy regarding what I consider to be the rightful concerns of traditionalists, as well as my personal mounting frustration over what appears to be temporizing by the Holy See on a number of issues, Jews being one prominent one.

I recently came across an article by Fr. Brian Harrison detailing some of the Second Vatican Council records behind the drafting of Nostra Aetate, and it seems, if I read things correctly, that there was deliberate intent to soft-peddle and omit traditional teaching.

As I am coming to understand more and more of what the mind of the Church was prior to 1960, I am increasingly puzzled by what has unfolded since 1965.

Picard said...

As I said right after the changing of the prayer 3 (or 2?) years ago - and was arguing on and on, preaching to the deaf, to deaf ears!! - the crucial point is that it does not pray for the conversion of the Jews HERE and NOW - but only at the end of time (or "not ... directly ...in a missionary sense ... but hasten the historic hour", as the Pope puts it).

Therefore it is unacceptable.

I wrote this at Fr. Z´s site, at the Transalpine Redemptrosits site etc. (I think also here, perhaps I discussed it with Jordanes) -- but many of the neo- or half-conservatives or "rose-coloured-glasses-wearers" did not want to admit this.

Even some real trads did not want to admit this but tried to re-interprete the prayer as if it would pray - directly - for the Jews here and now.

But the prayer does NOT!!!

- The confirming interpretation of the Pontiff Himselfe would not have been necessary to acknowledge this
- the ability (and willingness!!) to read the text exactly and not to put on rose-coloured glasses would have been enough!

And right after the changing and beginning of the debate there was also an semiofficial interpretation by Card. Kasper in one of the biggest and most seriouse newspapers of Germany, the F.A.Z.

It said the same the Pope says now -- and what the prayer says itselfe (as I said: no need of interpretation, the prayer is clear):

*it does NOT pray for the conversion of the Jews HERE and NOW - but only at the end of time* [or less: it expresses some hope and confidence for this conversion at the end of time...].

[to be cont.]

Picard said...

But what is really *annoying* that even after this clear and unambiguouse interpretation of the Pope himselfe some of the "rose-coloured-glasses-" or "ostrich-head-in-the-sand-fraction" still are not willing to face the truth.

It´s really bothering.

Jordanes, I acknowledge (and am happy to do so) that you f.e. are NOT among those and that you seem to be aware of this crucial point.

But there still seem to be others...

Please - I am re-iterating it/myselfe again and again, as if I would speak to deaf [that is what is so annoying and what bothers me!] - READ THE TEXT of the prayer (WDTPRS!!)

It is clear itselfe, it does NOT pray for the Jews HERE and NOW.

(And now even the Pope Himselfe admits this!!!!)

Well, yes, wheat4paradise, of course there is the introductory-phrase you cited:

Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior of all men.

But this is [what I have now said again and again, so bothering...!] NOT a prayer but an introduction for the prayer, an invocation, a call to pray.

And it does not determin the point of time when this should happen.

The then following prayer then determines this point of time and makes it clear: it is the end of time, next to doomsday!

[Read the prayer, that you correctly cited!!]

wheat4paradise said...

Craig,

Very well said. A far more reasonable and accurate reading of the Holy Father than, say, the following rubbish:

This helps to explain why the missions have been all but destroyed by this novel approach to "conversion" - we await Omega Point with Chardinesque evolutionary patience until the historic Chrsit emerges in the consciousness of all.

Such ridiculous strawman arguments do not seriously engage with the issues.

Picard said...

And now the Pope Himselfe admits this (clear) reading of the prayer!

And, wheat4paradise, what do you want to tell us with your statement:

Clearly the Pope is putting the initiative for the conversion of the Jews into the Lord's hands. In a sense, he is taking the initiative out of the Jews' hands as much as out of ours. Totally, radically into the Lord's hands.

It is absurd and uncharitable to go about asserting that Pope Benedict XVI actually intends that we should wait for the Second Coming for the Jews to convert and that we should all sit on our hands until then. Absolutely absurd and preposterous. What the Pope intends is that the traditional Good Friday prayer for the Jews should commit the issue of their conversion radically to the Lord. That is all.

With all due respect, if anything is absurde, then this argumentation.

Not only that
a) exactly this "radically putting in the Lords hand" is the crucial point and contradicts the alleged intention that we should pray (and work) for the conversation of the Jews here and now [what we should in fact do, according to traditional teaching and practise!]

but also

b) the Pope expressely states that the new prayer did not want to call and pray for conversion "directly" and "in a missionary sense" [but in fact that should be done!!]

and

c) the prayer itselfe is clear (as I said above and again and again): "as the fullnes of the people enter Thy Church..." refers to St. Paul (Rom) and so to the time immediately before doomsday

d) that corresponds with the interpretation of Card. Kasper in the F.A.Z.

But as Rev. Fr. Michael Mary (Fr. Sim) or Fr. Z. did not want ot admit this facts in the past many do not want it right now (although there is one argument more, the new interpreation of the Pope himselfe) and I fear I will still preach to deaf ears also now....

Paul Haley said...

wheat4paradise,

It is absurd and uncharitable to go about asserting that Pope Benedict XVI actually intends that we should wait for the Second Coming for the Jews to convert and that we should all sit on our hands until then. Absolutely absurd and preposterous.

Did I say that Pope Benedict XVI actually intends that we should wait for the Second Coming for the Jews to convert? I thought I said that many would interpret his remarks that way. In fact my exact words were: "I also realize the Holy Father did not say to wait until the Second Coming but I wonder how many will interpret his words as having inferred that?"

But, you have not answered my question as to what happens to all the Jews who die between now and the Second Coming? Since we are told that everyone is given a particular judgment at the time of their death, what will their Judgment be? Even more to the point, what will our Judgment be if we had the chance to convert those Jews but, instead, left the matter entirely up to God or to use your own words, not mine, "sit on our hands"?

Your tone has certainly changed lately despite your claim to do otherwise. You have taken it upon yourself to tell all of us "What the Pope intends". I think that your claim is unfounded as He is the only one who should tell us what he intends. Hopefully, as the furor concerning his alleged remarks continues to grow, he will do just that.

Picard said...

And yes, there is the good - sound - and praiseworthy phrase of the Pope:

That there do not exist two ways of salvation, and that therefore Christ is also the savior of the Jews, and not only of the pagans.

So He is not a hard-core modernist. I never would have said (and thought) so.

But then the But also in such a way that one did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense

So that shows some semi-modernistical (or call it semi-traditional...) thinking.

The radical modernists are pluralists and theoretical-relativists: all religions (or at least Christianity and Judaism-Talmudism, and perhaps also Mahometanism) are equal or true or you can not judge between them.

That is not the thinking of this Pope and neither of the past ones (as I think).

But the semi-modernists, even if they acknowledge that XChristianity and Catholicism is the true religion, make the differences between the religions irrelevant or nearly irrelevant (re salvation and justification); they are "practical-relativists".

The have a smaller or bigger tendency to "salvation-optimism" or "Allerlösung" (the former directly condemned by PP. Pius IX!) and so no (or less, depending on the degree of "salvation-optimism") zeal for missionary work and prayer.

That´s the problem here - and of nearly all the Church-men in the last decades.

wheat4paradise said...

Paul Haley,

You have taken it upon yourself to tell all of us "What the Pope intends".

Give me a break. You have at least implied what the Pope intends, with your rhetorical question that I quoted earlier. Moreover, LeonG and Picard seem to know exactly what the Holy Father intends, i.e., that we must wait until the Second Coming for the Jews to convert. So it appears that I'm not alone in ascribing intentions to the Pope's words.

To answer your question, Jews who die in denial of Our Lord Jesus Christ will go to hell. Clear enough? My question for you is, do you really and honestly believe that the Holy Father doesn't care? That is the conclusion that we must logically draw if we believe that he intends for us to simply wait until the Second Coming for the Jews to convert.

Paul Haley said...

wheat4paradise,

Jews who die in denial of Our Lord Jesus Christ will go to hell. Clear enough? My question for you is, do you really and honestly believe that the Holy Father doesn't care? That is the conclusion that we must logically draw if we believe that he intends for us to simply wait until the Second Coming for the Jews to convert.

You're simply out of bounds, my friend, for I have repeatedly said that I do not believe the Holy Father intends for us to simply wait until the Second Coming for the Jews to convert. And, furthermore, your attempts to ascribe to me the views of others in this forum is also out of bounds. Though I may agree or disagree with the views expressed by others in this forum, my views are mine alone and I resent your attempt to broad-brush me into a category of your own choosing.

You say the Jews that deny Christ will go to Hell but what of those who convert in large measure through the efforts of Christians evangelizing them? They will go to Heaven, right? So, then, it is a good thing to evangelize the Jews as well as members of any other religion before they die. And to have to handle them with kid-gloves, so to speak, flies in the face of logic and the Christ who suffered and died on the cross for all of us.

This will be the last post I address to you on this subject for I truly believe you are engaged in an attempt to drive a wedge between us and the Holy Father because we may disagree on the tactical measures necessary for evangelization to succeed or, that time is critical and the time for conversion is now!

wheat4paradise said...

I will still preach to deaf ears also now....

I know how you feel Picard. :-)

Yet it seems that somehow it's ok to preach here on the alleged failings of the Pope, yet if you defend the Pope in strong (perhaps overzealous) terms, then you're the "ultimate arbiter" who has "taken it upon yourself", blah, blah.

wheat4paradise said...

Paul Haley,

Here are your words (bold type added by me):

The writer of the foregoing chooses to use the Anonymous tag and I respect that but I would like to commend him or her for having said what I believe is the main point of all this discussion on the conversion of the Jews. Why is it necessary or even prudent to wait for the Second Coming to convince our Jewish friends of the absolute truth of the Christian Faith?

Yes, it is true that elsewhere you claim not to believe that the Holy Father intends that we wait until the Second Coming for the Jews to convert, yet the above-quoted comment sends a mixed signal on that score at the very least.

I'm not trying to drive a wedge between you and the Holy Father, I'm just trying to defend the Pope and counter what I believe to be a strawman caricature of the Pope's teaching.

You say the Jews that deny Christ will go to Hell but what of those who convert in large measure through the efforts of Christians evangelizing them? They will go to Heaven, right? So, then, it is a good thing to evangelize the Jews as well as members of any other religion before they die. And to have to handle them with kid-gloves, so to speak, flies in the face of logic and the Christ who suffered and died on the cross for all of us.

Now, you are right that the Pope is handling the Jews with kid-gloves, so to speak. This is indeed a question of tactical measures of evangelization, upon which reasonable people can disagree. That's fine, let's agree to disagree.

Paul Haley said...

wheat4paradise,

I said that my previous post would be my last on the subject but I cannot let you get away with outright calumny. You said in quoting me:
The writer of the foregoing chooses to use the Anonymous tag and I respect that but I would like to commend him or her for having said what I believe is the main point of all this discussion on the conversion of the Jews. Why is it necessary or even prudent to wait for the Second Coming to convince our Jewish friends of the absolute truth of the Christian Faith?

Yes, it is true that elsewhere you claim not to believe that the Holy Father intends that we wait until the Second Coming for the Jews to convert, yet the above-quoted comment sends a mixed signal on that score at the very least.

Since when does a question: "Why is it necessary, etc" constitute a declaration that the Holy Father believes it is unnecessary for the Jews to convert? Why do you continue your crusade to convince others that I am not being truthful when I say that I don't believe the Holy Father intends to wait for the Second Coming for that conversion to be effected.

I will leave it up to the readers of this blog to form their own conclusions on this matter. Talk about "mixed signals"...you could give a class on that subject. And that truly will be my last post on this subject.

Picard said...

wheat4paradise:

;-)

But if He deserves it I really defend His Holiness.

So f.e. in the "Condom"-Affaire I do not critisize the Pope so much.

Well, some critique also here, I admit, because I think it was very imprudent or missleading how the Pope spoke.

But - and here my defense - He did not say something per se wrong. What he said was sound according to moral theology, at least not clearly wrong. He can not be blamed for having said something repugnant/contradictory to trad. Catholic teaching!

wheat4paradise said...

Paul Haley,

I accept that you DON'T believe that the Holy Father holds the proposition that we should wait until Doomsday for the Jews to convert, notwithstanding the fact that you identified that proposition (ascribed to the Holy Father as proof of his semi-modernism by a number of posters here) as the crux of a discussion prompted by the eschatological hope expressed in the Holy Father's prayer for the Jews. Pardon me for being confused.

This is what happen when we take upon ourselves the "grave responsibility" of instructing the Pope in the ways of Tradition, while wanting to still appear respectful.

wheat4paradise said...

I said that my previous post would be my last on the subject but I cannot let you get away with outright calumny.

Stop playing the victim. The Successor of Peter is being calumniated here, not you.

Anonymous said...

Why the big to-do? Paul covered this when he said, " If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema." Now, those of us who love Christ, love the jews for Christ's sake. We exhort them to investigate the life and deeds of Christ and the extraordinary claims of His Church. With good-will and grace, they will seek and find salvation. If not, just shake the dust and keep walking. You will have tried. It is NOT charitable to withhold the very remedy for the malady, namely PRAYER!

Picard said...

wheat4paradise:

The Pope is not calumniated -- He is just beeing blamed for having said that the new prayer does *NOT* pray for the conversion of the Jews DIRECTLY in a MISSIONARY sense!

And that "the Lord might hasten the historic hour in which we will all be united"
- what is clearly and unambiguousely referring to the very end of times [or to the afterlife, what would it make not better!].

So he - and the prayer - is rightfully blamed.

- because [argument:] in the prayer we should - OUGHT to - pray (and did and do[!!] it in the old version) that many of the Jews now and here might convert and will be saved, so we should (and the old did/does) pray "directly in a missionary sense"!

The new prayer fails to do what ought to be done - and what was always done.

So it is a clear disruption of tradition and continuity.

That´s an argument, where is the calumny here??

Anonymous said...

"Promising Salvation to Non-Catholics: A Sin Against Charity" http://catholicism.org/ad-rem-no-145.html

Jordanes said...

Picard said: And as I said from the beginning of the debate - the text of the prayer itselfe is and was clear enough to see that it prays only for the Jews at the very end of time and not for conversion here and now. But now this is absolutely clear.

However, the text of the prayer does not pray for the Jews only at the very end of time, but prays now that they be enlightened. One must remember that liturgical prayer is not correctly interpreted against the background of an individual's point of view or theological predispositions, but against the background of the whole Tradition of the Church and the teaching of the Scripture from which the prayer is derived. Whatever the pope may or may not have intended in having the Church pray in different words for the conversion of the Jews (and even now that intent is not clear), the Faith of the Church is to be shared and spread with all men, including Jews, today, now, not just in the last few moments before Doomsday. It is impossible to read the new prayer as a hope or intention that Jews today do not have their hearts illuminated.

Picard said...

Jordanes (and others):

the text of the prayer does not pray for the Jews only at the very end of time, but prays now that they be enlightened.

SORRY, THAT`S JUST WRONG! (Believe me I would be glad to state the opposite, but I can´t!)

It is no What The Prayer Really Says ;-)

many good souls seem to oversee the following points:

The first part - the good part with the mentioning of CHrist the Lord as Saviour of all men etc. - is NOT a PRAYER, it´s only the invitation to pray ("oremus" - "let´s pray...").

Yes, it gives some INTENTION for the prayer (that the Lord may enlighten the hearts...) but it does NOT determine TIME and space.

But then the PRAYER (second part) follows. Only this is the prayer. And it prays ONLY for the saving of the Jews at the very end of time.

It determins the point of time(what was not determined before): it is the time all the peoples go/ have gone into Church, when the number of the gents is fullfilled - so immediately before doomsday [or even aftertime].

And the interpretation of
a) Card. Kasper and
b) now of the Pope Himselfe
give the same determination.

I would be glad to state something else (please believe me!), but that would not meet the facts and words as they stand. That´s what the words (of the prayer and the interpretations) say.

How do you see any other interpretation?? Or should we just close the eyes in front of truth only because it was the Pope who did this??

Picard said...

Perhaps to clarify it even a bit more:

Jordanes, you worte:
the text of the prayer does not pray for the Jews only at the very end of time, but prays now that they be enlightened. [accentuation of the crucial word "now" by me]

The crucial word is "now": and you did introduce it here whilst exactly this word is not found in the text - neither of the invitation/preface of the prayer (/first part) nor (even more) of the prayer itselfe (/second part).

(And if you want to be very exact then: yes, of course, it prays now for theire conversion [or salvation, see below] - but that is not the question; it is not the question if it prays now for their conversion/salvation [what is obviously or per se so] but if it prays for their converstion/salvation now (nowadays). And it does not.)

That´s the problem.

Well, I also see that in the invitation to pray (/first part) the question of time [and space] is left open, there is no specification or determination.

So far so good.

But then the prayer (/second part)follows. It has the determination of the time: the very end of it. So the unspecific invitation (/fist part, that is only an invitation, not a prayer, remember!!) is specified.

The prayer (/second part) prays ONLY for the conversion or precisely: for the salvation of the Jews (and more precisely: not the Jews as individuals but "omnis Israel" -- so that underlines the determination to the very end of time again!) at the very end of time.

[By the way, so it does not pray for the conversion at all; it prays for their salvation (what is good, of course!), but not for their conversion (what also casts a damning light on it resp. goes/shows/leads to the same direction...). Well, I do not want to go into deep to that because that would perhaps lengthen the discussion unnecessarily... Everybody should think of this important differentiation...].


And then the interpretations by Card. Kasper and Hiss Holiness underline this too, say it very explicit - so where is the unclarity there?!

Jordanes said...

The first part - the good part with the mentioning of CHrist the Lord as Saviour of all men etc. - is NOT a PRAYER, it´s only the invitation to pray ("oremus" - "let´s pray...").

How absurd. The entire prayer is a prayer, not just the part of the prayer that you say is a prayer.

Yes, it gives some INTENTION for the prayer (that the Lord may enlighten the hearts...) but it does NOT determine TIME and space.

No part of the prayer limits the intention only to the very end of time.

And it prays ONLY for the saving of the Jews at the very end of time.

No, it refers to the fact that at the end of time, the fullness of the Gentiles and the fullness of the Jews will have entered the kingdom. But it does not tell us that Jews do not have to convert until the end of time, just as it does not tell us that Gentiles do not have to convert until the end of time.

And the interpretation of
a) Card. Kasper and
b) now of the Pope Himselfe
give the same determination.


No, not really -- and anyway, as I've indicated, their interpretation is not everything that can and should be said about the prayer. In addition, we know that the pope does not believe Jews need not bother with conversion until the Second Coming, and even Kasper if pressed would admit the same thing. Consequently it is impossible to interpret this prayer to mean that the Church doesn't desire or pray for the conversion of the Jews in the here and now, not just in some indefinite futurity.

Whether or not the Church should have changed that prayer is another thing, but there is nothing doctrinally or theologically amiss with the new prayer and its intentions, which do not, regardless of what anyone may claim, specify only a hope for eventual Jewish conversion, but simply requests the conversion of the Jews in view of the truth that Jesus is the Savior of all men (including the Jews) and the sure prophecy that all Israel shall be saved.

Jordanes said...

The crucial word is "now": and you did introduce it here whilst exactly this word is not found in the text

It's true that the word "now" is not found in the text, but that is irrelevant, as it is obvious that those now praying for Jews to have their hearts illuminated are praying for them now, not at the very end of time.

neither of the invitation/preface of the prayer (/first part) nor (even more) of the prayer itselfe (/second part).

Again, we are praying throughout the entire prayer, not just in the second part of the prayer. We pray when we state our intention, and when we make our petition. It's meaningless gibberish to claim that only the second part of a prayer is a prayer.

(And if you want to be very exact then: yes, of course, it prays now for theire conversion [or salvation, see below] - but that is not the question; it is not the question if it prays now for their conversion/salvation [what is obviously or per se so] but if it prays for their converstion/salvation now (nowadays). And it does not.)

By that logic, it doesn't pray for their salvation at all, at any time. There is no need for an explicit statement that we desire their salvation today -- that goes without saying, just as it went without saying in the old prayer for the Jews.

But then the prayer (/second part)follows. It has the determination of the time: the very end of it.

It also has a determination of the time of when all Gentiles will be saved. Does that mean the Church does not desire and pray for the conversion of the Gentiles today, but only at the very end of time?

[By the way, so it does not pray for the conversion at all; it prays for their salvation (what is good, of course!), but not for their conversion

Irrelevant. Salvation is impossible without conversion. This prayer derives from Romans 9-11, where St. Paul makes that clear.

And then the interpretations by Card. Kasper and Hiss Holiness underline this too, say it very explicit - so where is the unclarity there?!

The lack of clarity is that their words can lead people to think that the Church doesn't teach that all men today, including Jews, are being called to salvation in Christ Jesus.

Picard said...

Jordanes:

By that logic, it doesn't pray for their salvation at all, at any time. There is no need for an explicit statement that we desire their salvation today -- that goes without saying, just as it went without saying in the old prayer for the Jews.

Good point. And intersting discussion. I made (me) this objection (and others) myselfe (I am not uncritical to myselfe and thought about this objection). But it is not valid here.

If there is no determination and specification, you are right.
So yes, if there is no special specification of time at all it prays for all times, including now (as the old prayer does).

But in the reformulted prayer the case is different because there is not only an unspecific and open text (the introduction/invitation) but also a following specification and determination of the point of time: when the number of gents is fullfilled.
So it does not help that the first part of the text (what is not a prayer, even if you repeat it once again, but an invitation to pray - please re-read the text) has no specifiction and is open to all times.

As the specification follows in the prayer it is determined to the very end of time.

If you have an open, unspecific/indetermined introduction and then a specification and determination in the following text then the unspecified and unconcrete is determined by the specification and concrete.
That is how the language works [I will give an example in my next comment to illustrate that].

Picard said...

Jordanes:
So here the promised example(s):

If a minister (say the ecological-minister) says that we have a forest decline and that we must take care of the forest / the trees --- then of course all trees are included, there is no specification/determination but also no restriction [of/to any special kind of tree]. So all trees are ment (so in the prayer it would be all times, including now, you are right Jordanes!)

But if this same minister usese this same unspecific sententence as general/abstract introduction and let it be followed by the concrete dirctive to his sub-minister:
"therefore you have to take special care of the beech trees in the area xy"
then there is a specification and concretion that determines the trees to only one special kind of trees.

Of course you will object now that also in this case the minister did not exclude the care of other trees than beech trees.

Yes - but again that is not the point here. I did not argue that the prayer excluded (explicitly) the here and now.

The question was for what it prayed, so what it includes - so what is the scope of the dirctive resp. prayer:

And that is only beech-trees resp. the very end of time. (And NOT all trees resp. all times!).

And yes, the abstract, general introduction/invitation may be open to all trees resp. times - but the following concrete and determined directive resp. prayer is not. It is specific, so as in the example the directive is only about beech trees the prayer is only about the very end of time.

And pay attention to this, the undetermined/abstract/general/unspecific is always determined/specified by the specific/concrete - and NOT vice versa!

[to be continued].

Picard said...

And no, the general introduction resp. invitation to care / pray is something differnt from a direct directive resp. prayer.

[Jordanes:]Again, we are praying throughout the entire prayer, not just in the second part of the prayer. We pray when we state our intention, and when we make our petition. It's meaningless gibberish to claim that only the second part of a prayer is a prayer.

Meaningless gibberish? Are you kidding??

It is just wrong to speak of a first and a second part of a prayer (meaning a direct, concrete prayer). There are no two parts of a (direct) prayer here. There is an introduction/invitation to pray and the prayer.

An invitiation to pray is not a prayer. ("Let us pray that..." is not a prayer but an invitation to pray, a call to pray - to deny this is "gibberish", if I sould use this harsh word you used!).

If I invite you to go out with me for a walk saying: "let´s get out for a walk to enjoy the nice countryside"
that is not a walk!

If you want to enjoy the countryside and have a walk you have to go out.

"Let´s go out" and then going out are different things (so "let´s pray..." and to pray then directly are very differnt things)!

So I did not deny that the invitation to pray is open to all times, that it is not determined to one special point of time.

I only spoke of the prayer: and that is determined to only one special point of time, it prays only for the salvation at the very end of time.

Picard said...

[me][By the way, so it does not pray for the conversion at all; it prays for their salvation (what is good, of course!), but not for their conversion

[Jordanes:]Irrelevant. Salvation is impossible without conversion. This prayer derives from Romans 9-11, where St. Paul makes that clear.

No, not irrelevant at all. (Would it only be that!!). It is exactly the point that I wanted to stress.

Even according to traditional teaching salvation can be possible without (explicit/extrinsic) conversion to the Catholic Church if you are in good faith (bona fide), by ignorantia invincibilis.

So yes, there can be "anonymous Christians".

But you are right insofar, Jordanes, that the normal and more secure way is to convert (formally).

But the problem of the modern times and modern Church-men (including the last Popes, at least the last two) is that they tend to a very optimistic few re this possibility of "anonymous Christians" and so they are very optimistic that also without conversion to Catholicism you may be or better: are saved. All or nearly all non-Chrsitians are seen as "anonymous Christians" or "ann. Catholics" and thus saved without formal conversion.

So no need of formal conversion because there can not only be but there is most likely salvation without formal conversion, in all or nearly all cases (accoridng to modern thinking).

That is the problem of the not hard-core- but only semi-modernistical spirit of nearly all high-ranking Church-men after Vat.II

So it is very relevant if you speak of conversion (and therefore salvation) or only salvation (without mentioning conversion).

I would never claim that the last two Popes are/were hard-core-modernists or theoretical relativists/pluralists. On the contrary, they seem to be convinced that there is only one truth and one way of Salvation (theoretically).

But they are "semi-" or "soft-modernists" as they are pratical relativists, i.t.s. that it does not really matter if one is a visible member of the Church or not because all or nearly all men will be saved also without beeing (visibly) member of the true Church.

The Church is still the true Chruch, even the only true Church and way of Salvation, and CHrist the only Saviour etc. - as Pope Benedict clearly states and what the introdcution of the prayer without any doubt expresses.

But it is not that relevant if you convert to Him and Her visibly or not, we can be very optimistic that you are saved either way - so therefor no need of "direct prayer/work in a missionary sense" as the Pope also expresses without any ambiguity in His comment re the new prayer.

Getting my point? It´s a very serious one. I beg you (all) to think about it.