Rorate Caeli

Declarations in support of the Pope

After the several reactions to the publication of the altered Prayer for the Jews in the Good Friday Liturgy, the editors of The Remnant wrote an International Declaration of Support for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and are inviting "bishops, priests, journalists, lawyers, professors, editors, authors, Catholic spokesmen, homeschool co-op organizers, teachers, chapel coordinators or any other persons of influence (no matter how local) from any and all of the various traditional Catholic camps" to add their "name, position (if applicable), city and country" to the Declaration by sending an e-mail message to the paper (

The Declaration will be sent next Monday and we ask all our readers who fit the description above to join this noble effort.


The statement below, also in support of the Holy Father, was released by the President of the International Una Voce Federation, Mr. Leo Darroch.


Good Friday Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews.

The recent Nota from the Secretariat of State on the revision of the Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews has received much comment in the media; much of it unfavourable, unfortunately, from some of those for whom the revision was intended to placate. The fact that there has been a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding from certain quarters has not helped to promote a sensible appraisal of the revision. The Jewish Journal states, “The change would affect the Missal of 1962 which the pope brought back into use.” Other Jewish sources have made the same mistake and are blaming Pope Benedict XVI for re-introducing the traditional form of Mass. This is completely untrue and indicates, perhaps, an understandable lack of knowledge about the Catholic Church which, however basic, cannot be attributed to Catholics.

It cannot be emphasised strongly enough that Pope Benedict has not ‘re-introduced’ anything. The Missal approved in 1962 was never abolished and, thus, the prayer for the conversion of the Jews has always been available in its traditional form. In his explanatory letter to the bishops that accompanied his Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum (7 July 2007) Pope Benedict declared “I would like to draw your attention to the fact that this Missal (of 1962) was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”

A new Missal was promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970 (and included a revised version of the prayer) but in 1971, following receipt of a petition signed by a number of international figures, including the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, Pope Paul VI authorised the continuity of the older form in England and Wales. In 1984 Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter ‘Quattuor abhinc annos’, extended the permission to the rest of the Latin Church and stipulated that “These celebrations must be according to the 1962 Missal and in Latin”. Only four years later, because this document was found to be too restrictive, Pope John Paul II, in 1988, widened the authorisation even further through another Apostolic Letter ‘Ecclesia dei adflicta’. He declared “Moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.”

It is a fact, therefore, that the prayer for the Jews has been recited in Catholic Churches around the world more or less without interruption since 1962. It is pertinent to ask why complaints were not ranged against Pope Paul VI in 1971, or Pope John Paul II in 1984 and 1988? Why has Pope Benedict been unjustly, and falsely, accused of re-introducing a prayer that was never abolished and was publicly sanctioned by two of his predecessors? It is this kind of ill-informed comment and partial approach that does nothing to help the cause of improving Judeo-Catholic relations that Pope Benedict’s accusers purport to pursue.

Pope Benedict XVI, like Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI before him, is the supreme authority in the Catholic Church on matters pertaining to the celebration of the Church’s liturgy, insofar as the deposit of the Catholic Faith is preserved and propagated. The revised version of the prayer for the Jews as published by the Secretariat of State on 4 February 2008 quite clearly maintains Catholic doctrine. Our Holy Father has considered this matter and given his decision. The International Federation Una Voce welcomes this decision in filial obedience and will accept the new form with immediate effect.

Leo Darroch – Executive President.

10 February 2008.


Anonymous said...

Yes, but will they support him when he is forced to change Sacred Scripture or edit the remainder of the Divine Office to soothe the bruised psyches of the ADL? Benedict XVI has greased the slippery slope of false ecumenism even more by his actions.

Anonymous said...

Psst. Hush now. You didn't think of that yourself, what you said, did you? Some priest (SSPX, et al?) told you that. Now just hold your criticism, at least for the remainder of Lent.

Anonymous said...

The petition should not be supported by traditionalists. Never in the 2,000 year history of the Church has an inorganic change been made to the Liturgy specifically at the behest or demand of infidels. This sets a completely unacceptable precedent. Would Pope St. Pius X or Pope Pius XII have even considered altering the Sacred Liturgy to please infidels? Not. Whether it placates them or not is irrelevant. The very idea of wanting to placate them is completely unCatholic. We don't placate them; we convert them.

Fortunately, we can licitly refuse to receive or use the revision and continue to pray the 1962 words while the priest intones whatever. That is because Good Friday, thank God, is not a holyday of obligation.

Peter Karl T. Perkins

Anonymous said...

Pius XII erred in changing the Holy Week ceremonies.

I'm sorry, but some popes have let their position go to their heads, and have made liturgical changes that were morally and prudentially wrong, if within their legal powers. This it was quite right to resist these reforms, the arbitrary and abusive exercise of papal authority.

Fellow Catholics, you've escaped modernism, now please abandon the error that Satan has managed to trap you with - ultramontanism. It really is every bit as intellectually bankrupt, and is really no more than a form of subjectivism.

Anonymous said...


If you think that the new prayer by dropping reference to the veil and darkness, retains the fullness of revealed teaching about what are the obstacles which must be removed by prayer to obtain the conversion of the Jews today, then I think you have spoken rashly and without good consideration.

Those who support the petition do the same.

It was never a question of those who favor the ancient prayer being opposed to the conversion of the Jews, or to the affirmation of the truth that Jesus is the Savior of all, Jew and Gentile: rather it is the new prayer, set up against the old prayer, by the very fact that it replaces it, which opposes the confession of these truths taught by St. Paul, St. Peter, Our Lord and St. Isaiah.

Let's not play word games for political ends, or to save face in a hasty judgement.

The Pope's power, is, as St. Thomas and many Catholic theologians have taught for nearly 800 years, "supreme, but not absolute". There are many acts of the Roman Pontiff in matters liturgical which were ignored by the clergy and Bishops, or by their predecessors, because they violated the common sense principle, that a revealed truth once enunciated in the Liturgy can never be removed, because the explicit confession of revealed Truth is eternally and in every situation and condition of time and place, a moral and virtuous act, whereas to silence a confession once made is always evil.

Also this recent papal act is irrational, since by no sane measure is a prayer addressed to the Most Holy Trinity subject to the criticism of unbelieving Jews.

The old Jewish Highpriesthood has ended; the new highpriesthood is but a vicarious excerise of Christ's Highpriesthood. Therefore not even the Pope cannot touch or repove some things, which Christ and the Apostles established.

And if we entertain the notion that what has been in the liturgy for nearly 1500 years, can be erroneous, we necessarily must undermine the indefectibility of the Church.

Let us recall that Pope Innocent IV's reform of the Roman Office in 1245 was nearly universally rejected by the Roman Clergy, Sixtus V's order to burn the previous editions of the Vulgate in the 16th century, was likewise dismissed by the entire Church, and certain penetential processions established by one pope, which lead to the growth of the Flagellant Movement, where supressed by another.

Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Pablo said...

Dear Anonymous,

Some priest (SSPX, et al?)

Then you advise to hold criticism during Lent.

Are the Jesuits more honorable than SSPX Priests? Is the Novus Ordo Priest that sold the huge amount of property at the Shrine of the Martyrs in New York, to Buddhists, that they might walk all over the graves of the deceased priests there (about 300)to be respected over SSPX priests? And so on.

Whenever I have had a problem with an SSPX priest, I have told him my concerns right to his face. They are man enough to deal with a moron like me. What I have seen of them is the devil fears them, they are sound Catholic Priests, and they will run through the fires of hell to save a sinner like me. If you are going to spit on a SSPX Priest, do it to his face; hopefully you will do it to the right one, and he will knock you on you behind. (Some of the best Catholics I know were catechized this way).
You won't see any of them doing a clown mass, or taking advice from a woman, or letting a bunch of homo loving lay people run their Chapels.

What you will find in an SSPX Priest is an Alter Cristus.

And no, I do not sit in his Eminence Bishop Fellay’s lap.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't we simply defend the Pope against media attacks while not actually supporting his decision to rewrite the old prayer? Why does it have to be all or nothing? I certainly disagree with the criticisms leveled against him by the Jews, but also think the decision to change the prayer was injurious to the liturgy and something to be mourned by those seeking a return of traditional liturgical principles.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone seriously say they didn't see this coming? It's impossible to satisfy these people. I remember when John Paul apologized in St. Peter's on behalf of Pius XII's Church for not doing more for the Jews during the holocaust. And the first response we heard coming out of Israel? "That's not enough." The Jews are no more grateful, and now Catholics around the world have been taught to be ashamed of the Church.

Pablo said...

The Jewish High Priests Caiaphas and Annas, between Holy Thursday night and Good Friday morning, violated over five hundred of the six hundred thirteen Jewish Precepts.
They ignored the one that said you should not kill God. They murdered God Himself. They lied at every one of His six mock trials.

It is good that the Jews recognize Good Friday. Is it too much to ask they take a look at what the last Supreme Pontiff of the Old Testament and his High Priest were up to twenty-four hours earlier?
How about retracting "Let His blood be upon us, and our children"?

Why are they worried about our prayers; we are not the chosen people.

Anonymous said...

I would not support this action. I believe Benedict has been foolish and his timing, with respect to the limited steps towards Tradition, appalling.

Long may Oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis continue to be heard!

James M said...

Pope Benedict is "living the truth in charity". He is an instrument of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to love everyone--everyone! What Benedict has done is a great help to Catholics to understand that, and to Jews.

Do not be put off by hostile reflex reactions. There are many Jews who will warm to the Church because of Benedict's charity.

You 'anonymous' posters here, you make me sad. Really sad. When Jesus calls us to "be like little children" He does not mean it in the way you seem to interpret.

Please trust Pope Benedict! See how much good comes of this.

Anonymous said...

Dear James,
I am one of the anonymous commentators who agrees completely with you, second from the top. As for "pablo", he or she is exhibit A concerning the "tradie" attitude held by the SSPX and their imitators. He indicts himself. Rest my case.

Vox said...

When will all the self-appointed popes find some lenten humility and filial obedience?

Do you really think this division is healthy; It is diabolical!

Enough already!!!

Vox Cantor

Anonymous said...

No Vox, you have it backward! The compromise is diabolical!

Anonymous said...

The Missal of 1962 no longer exists. It has been abrogated.