Rorate Caeli

The new Oremus et pro Iudaeis
and the fraternal relations between Catholics and Jews

Following the publication of the new Prayer for the Jews [Oremus et pro Iudaeis] for the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal [Missale Romanum], some groups within the Jewish community have expressed disappointment that it is not in harmony with the official declarations and statements of the Holy See regarding the Jewish people and their faith which have marked the progress of friendly relations between the Jews and the Catholic Church over the last forty years.

The Holy See wishes to reassure that the new formulation of the Prayer, which modifies certain expressions of the 1962 Missal, in no way intends to indicate a change in the Catholic Churchs regard for the Jews which has evolved from the basis of the Second Vatican Council, particularly the Declaration Nostra Aetate. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI, in an audience with the Chief Rabbis of Israel on 15 September 2005, remarked that this document has proven to be a milestone on the road towards the reconciliation of Christians with the Jewish people. The continuation of the position found in Nostra Aetate is clearly shown by the fact that the prayer contained in the 1970 Missal continues to be in full use, and is the ordinary form of the prayer of Catholics.

In the context of other affirmations of the Council - on Sacred Scripture (Dei Verbum, 14) and on the Church (Lumen Gentium, 16) - Nostra Aetate presents the fundamental principles which have sustained and today continue to sustain the bonds of esteem, dialogue, love, solidarity and collaboration between Catholics and Jews. It is precisely while examining the mystery of the Church that Nostra Aetate recalls the unique bond with which the people of the New Testament is spiritually linked with the stock of Abraham and rejects every attitude of contempt or discrimination against Jews, firmly repudiating any kind of Antisemitism.

The Holy See hopes that the explanations made in this statement will help to clarify any misunderstanding. It reiterates the unwavering desire that the concrete progress made in mutual understanding and the growth in esteem between Jews and Christians will continue to develop.

From the Vatican, April 4, 2008.
[Source: Holy See Press Office - with corrections according
to the Italian text published at L'Osservatore Romano]


  1. Anonymous10:53 AM

    So the new 2008 prayer must be understood in the tradition of the 1970 missal?

  2. Anonymous11:02 AM

    The most interesting thing in this is that it does NOT say what the Chief Rabbi said it would say - it does NOT say that proselytism of Jews is not Church policy. Effectively, it is saying nothing new - since VII the Church wants to dialogue with Jews and holds them in esteem - but they must still convert to be saved.

  3. Anonymous11:26 AM

    "THEY MUST CONVERT TO BE SAVED" - sounds pretty antisemitic, huh? Richard Wagner said the Jew is saved only by disappearing. Catholic orthodoxy-nuts want to torture the whole world into shape to fit their Procrustean requirements. They have given Christ a bad name.

  4. anon 1: No. The declaration Nostra Aetate counts for all the faithful not just those who accept it. It is an authoritative document of the Church. It may be a badly written one but that cannot be helped and it is a condemned heresy to say the Church cannot write badly written documents. All infallibility means is that the Holy Ghost will save us from all error - it does not mean He will necessarily guide us to wise decisions!

    The 1970 missal is NOT the missal of V2 anyway. It is the frankenstein creation of curial nutters approved by a foolish and weak pope.

    I am not saying V2 was good. I am just saying that it is there and we must just accept that. It was a stupid council with bad documents that desperately need clarifying but that does not make it invalid!

  5. Anonymous11:50 AM

    Guadalupe Guard said...

    Thank God it did not repudiate proselytizing the Jews. For if it had it would have been a worse mistake than VII itself.

    However, it is also too bad that the 1970 missal did not adopt the new prayer as well. I'm afraid this shows that Benedict wants the
    Extraordinary Liturgy to be theologically influenced by the Ordinary, and not visa-versa. I believe his main desire with the Extraordinary influencing the Ordinary is more aesthetically than anything.

  6. This press notice clarifies nothing. It does what most post-conciliar clarifications have done, that is, maintain the position of Vatican II, which is packed with ambiguities. I am getting really tired of this "blah blah blah" nonsense.

    O Lord, deliver us from this chaos.

  7. Anonymous12:28 PM

    Clarification or "Ambiguization"? It's a difference in soteriology and that's that. You'll never make them happy.

    We believe that salvation comes through Christ and therefore, we should go into the world, preach the gospel to every creature, and baptize them into His Mystical Body, the Church.

    They believe that they are the chosen people and are not looking for Christians or anyone from any other religion to "sign up", lest we be damned. They are offended that we would pray, even subtly, for them not necessarily to be saved but to be saved "through Christ" and of course, implied in that is through the Mystical Body of Christ.

    The Jews would never pray that the rest of the world is converted and saved "through Judaism". I think that they're rather disinterested in what happens to the rest of humanity eternally.

    To me, this seems to be the sticking point and it will never be resolved. I don't know why time was wasted with this latest statement, and for that matter, I don't know why time and ink was wasted changing the prayer in the first place. You'll never make them satisfied or happy and just as the early church was locked in the room "for fear of the Jews" after the Death and Resurrection of Christ, it is absurd and frustrating when two millenia later, the Church still "locks" herself up "for fear of the Jews".

  8. Anonymous12:29 PM

    While this press release does not explicitly reject missionary efforts to save the souls of today's Pharisees, the document eschews any affirmation of the Church's duty in that regard, IMPLICITLY rejecting conversion.

    Once again, the man subsisting in the Chair of Peter has malfeasantly failed his duty of 2 Timothy 4:2. "Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine."

    By any objectively Catholic standard, smarmy diplomacy confirming souls in their eternally fatal errors is not preaching.

  9. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Instead of conversion, IN PRACTICE the Holy See leaves them to the fate promised by Jesus and the Council of Florence.

    “axe laid to the root” (Matthew 3:10), “cast into the fire” (Matthew 3:10; 7:19; Luke 3:9), “condemned” (Mark 16:16), “cut down” (Matthew 3:10), “in vain do they worship me.”(Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7), “judgment of Hell” (Matthew 23:33), “woe” Matthew 23:13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27; Luke 11:42, 46, 47, 52), “wrath” (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7; 21:23; St. Paul in I Thessalonians 2:16), and “you do not enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 23:13).

    Ҥ 712 It [the Holy Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to Divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the Sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors....
    “§714 The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,' (Matthew 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this Ecclesiastical Body, that only those remaining within this unity can profit from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, alms deeds, and other works of Christian piety and duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” —Cantate Domino, from the infallible ecumenical Council of Florence under His Holiness Pope Eugene IV defining the Solemn Doctrine: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, promulgated by papal bull, February 4, 1444 [Florentine calendar] in Denziger Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, § 712-714

  10. Anonymous12:36 PM

    This statement is not untraditional. There is nothing against traditional Catholic charity in seeking to assure the lost that there is no hatred or ill will. The liberal factions of Judaism who are making an anti papal spectacle of themselves can have no excuse after this sweet reaffirmation of Catholic good will towards them. What the statement is emphasizing is that the ambiguity of the NO prayer is to be understood in light of the Traditional prayer. And in this regard the statement emphasizes that there was never a change in the theology of the mystery of the Church. Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha'Mashiah, came to save the Jew first and then the Gentile and both are called to be one in the bosom of the Ark of the New and Everlasting covenant, prophesied by Holy Jeremias, and affirmed by St Paul the Apostle. God wants his firstborn nation to behold His Son in Whom He is well pleased. It might be useful in the midst of this public spectacle for Hebrew Catholics to become more public in their confession of The Faith.

    In JMJ

  11. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Contra the gentleman above, both "liberal" and "conservative" Judaism honor the Talmud, Kabbala, and the latest rabbinical opinions as their most authoritative teachings superceding what most Catholics mistakenly think of as "Torah."

    See the Jewish Encyclopedia's entry on "Torah" -

    "Originally, in order to maintain the distinction between the written Torah (see written law) and various traditional interpretations, customs and practices, the rabbis forbade the commitment to writing of the additional material. However, when it became too voluminous and chaotic conditions made oral transmission too uncertain, the ban was lifted and the material organized and transcribed in the form of the Mishnah, the Talmud, and other rabbinic works. The rabbis expressed their view that 'two Torahs' were given at Sinai, a Written Torah and an Oral Torah (see oral law) and that at least some of the oral traditions relating to the meaning of basic biblical concepts were as authoritative as the written text (see halakah le-mosheh mi-sinai) In a sense the Oral Torah came to be regarded as more important than the Written Torah inasmuch as the explanations and understanding of the latter depended upon the former. A third meaning of the word "Torah" therefore includes elements of the Oral Torah, which are considered authoritative or deoraita ---"from the Torah."

    "Finally in its broadest sense, the word 'Torah' is sometimes used to refer to the entire corpus of Halahak and Aggadah, Written and Oral, from the Bible up to and including the latest Responsa and homiletical interprtations of the rabbis...." —The New Encyclopedia of Judaism, Geoffrey Wigider editor in Chief, New York: New York University Press, 2002, ISBN 0814793996, page 778

    Don't be suckered into believing that when a rabbi says he submits to "Torah" that he has the Pentateuch in mind.

    The Holy See fails its duty to correct them in such "Torah" beliefs as these:

    "...'living soul' designates Israel because they are children of the Almighty, and their souls, which are holy, come from Him. From whence come the souls of otherpeoples? R[abbi] Eleazar said: 'They obtain souls from those sides of the left which convey impurity, and therefore they are all impure and defile those who have contact with them.'...'living soul' refers to Israel, who have holy living souls from above, and 'cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth,' to the other peoples who are not 'living soul," but who are as we have said." (Bereshith 47a)

    "You are adam ["man"], but goyim ["gentiles"] are not called adam ["man"]." (Kerithoth 6b)

    "The best of the goyim ["gentiles"] should all be killed." (Sopherim 15, rule 10)

    Further, the Talmud teaches that Jesus was a bastard born of an adulterous relationship (Kallah 51a) of a whore (Sanhedrin 106a) and that, because he was an idolator and sex pervert, He is now in Hell boiling in feces and semen (Gittin 57a). (See the Steinsaltz English translation of the Talmud or the scholarly exposition of these Talmudic beliefs in Princeton University Judaic Studies Prof. Peter Schafer, Jesus in the Talmud, ISBN-13 978-0691129266)

  12. Anonymous12:57 PM

    Jesus accused the Pharisees not only of rejecting Him, but of even rejecting the Mosaic Covenant, but, instead of saving their souls, the Novus Ordo confirms them in their condemned state.

    "There is one who accuses you... Moses" (John 5:43-47). At the time of Jesus' earthly ministry, they had already "made void the commandments of God for the traditions of men." (Mark 7:9)

  13. Anonymous1:02 PM

    The most disturbing aspect of this is that a prayer to Almighty God is treated as if it's 1) merely a political/aesthetic expression and 2) easily malleable depending on the audience, outside complaints, etc. More important, the language of 'ordinary' vs. 'extraordinary' in this case seem to actually refer to theology, i.e., the ordinary theology of the Church rejects the concept of conversion, while the 'extraordinary', or out of vogue theology still embraces it. Of course, this statement is ambiguous, says nothing about WHY the changes were made, the issue of conversion and its necessity, and so forth. It is as clear as mud, allowing all readers to interpret it to their own liking, and I doubt this will answer concerns of Jews precisely because of the ambiguity. Kasper will spin it liberally, others will be more conservative (such as The Remnant), the SSPX will remain suspicious and nothing will change. Truly a perplexing statement. Jbrown

  14. Anonymous1:12 PM

    We still all know our duty as commanded of us by Christ to convert all men to the only way to salvation, no matter what we read in a letter that is not infallible and ambiguous at best.

    My wife and I are in contact with two Jews and, with the grace of Almighty God are doing our best to convert them to the Catholic faith.

    It is working slowly but surely.
    We have brought both of them to a Tridentine Mass and I am teaching them Gods Truth from the Baltimore Catechism, they seem to be very moved by both.
    We can only plant the seeds and hope they fall on good soil.
    God will do the watering and fertilizing.

    Let us continue to convert ourselves as we attempt to convert Jews and all others that reside outside the Barque of Peter.And by the grace of the Triune Godhead may we bring as many as we can into the Beatific vision.
    God bless you,

    Dan Hunter

  15. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I agree. Truly there no hate, but only love, in revealing the fatally deficient state of Judaism. It is a false charity to conceal from them the danger to their souls.

    It may take "hard teachings," but that is a bona fide Spiritual Work of Mercy.


  16. Anonymous1:24 PM

    This is a great press release. If you read between the lines, it basically says the 1962 prayer won't change and the meaning is what you think it is.


  17. Anonymous1:47 PM

    It's not a great press release. It is allowing the world press to spin it as a repudiation of a prayer for conversion. The 1962 Roman Missal explicitly calls the prayer "For the Conversion of the Jews"-it is the actual title of the prayer, printed in the Missal, and this was not ostensibly changed. It was clear, unambiguous-the Jews knew what we were praying and so did we. This is no longer the case, evidently.

  18. Anonymous2:03 PM

    When Paul VI demoted the Holy Office from being the Supreme Congregation, then Cardinal Ottaviani warned that this was a dark day for the Church and that this decision would cause all kinds of harm to the Church. The Holy Office was the Supreme Congregation because it assisted the Pope in his office as teacher of the truth and guardian of the truth.

    Now a diplomatic calculus has been introduced whereby the goal is expediency. Hence you have the Vatican Secretary of State as the supreme office. Thus instead of confronting the issue head on and putting to rest tortured readings of Nostra Aetate and indicating that the Gospel is preached to all including the Jews we get a "diplospeak, happy talk statement which will do nothing except allow Nostra Aetate to continue to be spinned in accord with the various anti-Catholic cabals within and without Judaism.

    Plus Talmudic Judaism is not the Judaism of our Lord. T-Judaism was a post-70 AD phenomenon. There are Jews who recognize this and realize that we remain divided over the Person and mission of Jesus and all the happy talk in the world is not going to change this. As Brother Anthony noted above: Enough blah blah blah! It's worthless.

  19. Anonymous2:29 PM

    What is ironic about traditional Catholcis being preoccupied with this issue is that they do not make disciples of ANY NATION, let alone evangelize the Jews.

  20. Anonymous2:38 PM


    Yes they do.

    Deo Gratias!

    Dan Hunter

  21. Anonymous3:44 PM

    This issue was settled long ago,why does the Holy see keep playing these games. the Jews along with every other human must accept JESUS as their Savior to reach HEAVEN,and JESUS left his CATHOLIC CHURCH and SACRAMENTS as the means to attain it. The ball is now in your court!!!!

  22. Anonymous3:44 PM

    Pope Bendict's will has clearly triuphed here. The prayer stands and there is nothing about refraining from "converting" anyone or that the prayer is exclusively and "end times" issue. The liberal Jews (and Kaspar) did not get their way and Pope Benedict held his ground.

  23. Anonymous3:49 PM

    This statement is actually quite good. All it does is commit the Church to Nostra Aetate, to which the Church is already committed. Remember, the call from liberal and Jewish activists was for a renunciation of any call for conversion of or evangelization of the Jews. But there's nothing in Nostrae Aetate to rule out such conversion or evangelization - and no such renunciation is made in this statement.

    Nor should we have expected any. For some days ago, Cardinal Schoenborn, someone not unconnected with Pope Benedict XVI, managed to publish what is both a defense of evangelization of the Jews, and a denial of the orthodoxy of liberal Catholics who oppose such evangelization, in, of all places, the Tablet. He has to sugar coat the message - I suspect to get the article any hearing at all in that forum. But don't be put off by the title or packaging. The message, which backs earlier and admirable writing on the same topic by Cardinal Dulles, is perfectly clear. The Jews are as dependent on Christ for their salvation as any Gentile, and are no less called to conversion to Christ than any Gentile.

    Nor is Vatican II as a whole as ambiguous on this issue as some hope or fear. Remember Lumen Gentium para 9, in which the Church is referred to as the New Israel, and we read:

    "He therefore chose the race of Israel as a people unto Himself. With it He set up a covenant. Step by step He taught and prepared this people, making known in its history both Himself and the decree of His will and making it holy unto Himself.

    "All these things, however, were done by way of preparation and as a figure of that new and perfect covenant, which was to be ratified in Christ, and of that fuller revelation which was to be given through the Word of God Himself made flesh. 'Behold the days shall come saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the house of Judah . . . I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people . . . For all of them shall know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord.'

    " Christ instituted this new covenant, the new testament, that is to say, in His Blood, calling together a people made up of Jew and gentile, making them one, not according to the flesh but in the Spirit. This was to be the new People of God." Lumen Gentium.

    This passage is referred to in the Catechism, of which Schoeborn was one author, para 781. The Jews are called into the same New Israel as the Gentiles.

    Nothing in the statement disavows the 2008 extraordinary form prayer. The church simply remains committed to the 1970 prayer as well. But that prayer, though deeply ambiguous, can be understood as calling for conversion. And when juxtaposed to the 2008 prayer, with - according to Summorum Pontificum - the two to be understood so as to embody the same law of faith, that's how the 1970 prayer has in consistency to be understood. Which is why the 1970 prayer was not put in the extraordinary form, despite massive - _massive_ - pressure to do so; and why liberal Catholics have been so uniformly hostile to the 2008 prayer, and have remained unmollified by its restriction to the extraordinary form. They can read Summorum Pontificum as well as anyone.

    To those who dislike all the diplomacy and pussy-footing - I sympathize, but that's the modern Church. It is the imperfection of the Church on earth today as the execution of heretics was the imperfection of the Church on earth of the 16th century. What we are not dealing with is any actual surrender of Catholic orthodoxy.

  24. Anonymous4:10 PM

    What the statement basically says is "Jews, we love you." And it is because of this love, not hatred as is often alleged, that we pray that you come to recognize Jesus Christ. Notice the following:

    "It is precisely while examining the mystery of the Church [emphasis added] that Nostra Aetate recalls the unique bond with which the people of the New Testament is spiritually linked with the stock of Abraham and rejects every attitude of contempt or discrimination against Jews, firmly repudiating any kind of Antisemitism."

    This places Nostra Aetate clearly in the context of the continuing universal mission of the Church, even to the Jews, and not as a repudiation of that mission as some would like to claim.

    Fr. Forte

  25. Anonymous4:21 PM

    As scripture says "he who has not the Son, has not the Father." So the Church MUST continue to pray for the Jews despite their protests. For we serve the living God, and sadly they do not. That's not my view on this issue. It is the Lord's who told the prophet Jeremiah (ch 31, v. 31-32) that the Old covenant was now made void by the Jewish people, and so the Lord had to make a NEW covenant that "would never fail." This makes it plain for all with spiritual eyes to see (Jew and Gentile alike) that the Mosaic law is fruitless as to salvation.

  26. Anonymous4:30 PM

    Fr. Forte is right. The statement merely reiterates that, while we will continue to pray for them and do our things our way, we really do not intend contempt or antisemitism. Rather, we love them. It is an excellent clarification.

  27. Anonymous4:48 PM

    Thank's be to God, this issue has been put to bed at last. Only those who have a blind hatred of Jesus Christ and His Church will continue to murmur against the Pope. Let us pray for them.

  28. Anonymous4:56 PM

    I am a simple Catholic. I do not know what nostrae thingy is, some document of Vatican II that I cannot understand I imagine. And I don't understand this statement either. It doesn't clarify for me what I am supposed to think or believe.

    As far as I can tell the Church used to believe all people should convert. Now it seems to be saying something different or at least trying to soften its views or language on the subject.

    So what are simple Catholics like me supposed to think? Where is our shining light of truth guiding us? Am I supposed to pray for my Jewish neighbours and try and convert them as per the last 2,000 years or am I supposed to not bother?

    Frankly I am tired of trying to suss things out. Where is the Church that is supposed to be guiding me? Why do I have to come to forums like this to try and work out what the hell is going on? It's ridiculous. This statement itself is supposed to be a clarification but I need the statement clarifying!

    Sigh. This makes a mockery of all the stuff I'm supposed to be telling Protestants about needing a Magisterium. I'm beginning to think they have a point.

  29. Anonymous5:19 PM

    Michael Baker,

    To put your mind at ease: The Church has never and can never hange Her teaching for She has not the authority to change ANY of Her teachings.

    We are always and everywhere called to teach the Gospel message and proselytize and convert ALL men to the ONLY Church that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son established: the Catholic Church.

    Papal statements these days are written in an unprecise and unclear manner, but this document does not contradict the Divine mandate that we are all called to "go into all corners of the world" and convert all of mankind, "batising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost"

    Put your mind at rest.
    The protestants do not have a point.
    They are outside the mystical Body of Christ as are the Jews.
    And the ONLY way they can become part of that body is by converting to the Church that Christ established: the Catholic Church.

    "There is no Salvation outside the Church", is just as true now as it ever was and always will be.

    God bless you, sir.

    Dan Hunter

  30. Anonymous5:20 PM

    michael baker, its really not that complicated. The prayer is clear and simple -- just pray it. As for the "note" to the Jews...well it just means to say that we don't have ill feeling towards them.

  31. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Guadalupe Guard said...

    Exactly Schoolman, the prayer only says we don't have ill will, which is incredible deficient and defensive, and gives tacit assent to the prevalent notion that we don't expect them to convert.

    Will Pope Benedict baptize a prominent Jew in highly publicized event? I must say I would doubt it.

  32. Anonymous5:34 PM

    "Exactly Schoolman, the prayer only says we don't have ill will..."

    No, the "NOTE" says we don't have ill will. The PRAYER asks that the Jews by enlightened to accept Jesus Christ as saviour of all...

    Its simple as that...

  33. Anonymous6:00 PM

    Will Pope Benedict baptize a prominent Jew in highly publicized event? I must say I would doubt it.

    If he baptised a prominent Muslim in a highly publicized event, even though Muslims are apt to try to kill him and other Catholics for doing so, why wouldn't he baptise a prominent Jew if asked to do so, seeing that Jews are not apt to react so violently? The most they'd do is complain or pull out of some planned dialogue meetings, but they're not likely to lash out in violence the way Muslims reacted to Regensburg.

    Well, I'm quite pleased with today's communique. Rabbi Rosen was claiming it would say something the Church could never say -- no surprise that it didn't say what he thought it would. Perhaps the Pope edited Cardinal Bertone's remarks, or perhaps Rabbi Rosen didn't understand what Cardinal Bertone told him.

    Contra the gentleman above, both "liberal" and "conservative" Judaism honor the Talmud, Kabbala, and the latest rabbinical opinions as their most authoritative teachings superceding what most Catholics mistakenly think of as "Torah."

    Somehow I doubt Orthodox Jews would agree with your claim that Liberal and Conservative Jews accept rabbinical tradition or submit to the authority of the Torah or the Talmud. Liberal and Conservative Judaism, with its female and homosexual rabbis and free and rampant modification of Orthodox Jewish customs and beliefs, isn't exactly known for Kabbalistic practice either.

  34. Anonymous8:43 PM

    I think Abraham Foxman of the ADL is more astute than many traditional Catholics who dont seem to get it. This just in...

    Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

    On this issue the Vatican has taken two steps forward and three steps backward. It is reassuring that the Catholic Church remains committed to the ideals of Nostra Aetate and to an approach toward relations with the Jewish people based on cordiality and mutual respect.

    Yet it is troubling that the statement still does not specifically say that the Catholic Church is opposed to proselytizing Jews. While they say it does not change Nostra Aetate, the statement does not go far enough to allay concerns about how the message of this prayer will be understood by the people in the pews. The Latin prayer is still out there, and stands by itself, and unless this statement will be read along with the prayer, it will not repair or mitigate the impact of the words of the prayer itself, with its call for Jews to recognize Jesus as the savior of all men and its hope that 'all Israel will be saved.'

    The impact of those words is undeniable, and we wish the Vatican had explicitly rejected calls to conversion or to proselytizing Jews.

  35. Anonymous9:48 PM

    Why does it seem that Schoolman and Jordon Potter, are always out of sync with most of the other bloggers on this site? Are they just extreme optimists or maybe more neo-cons than traditionalists?

  36. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Michael Baker et al, documents of the authentic magisterium are always unambiguous and clear (at least to their stated intended audience.) "My sheep know my voice" or words to that effect. Very few if any documents of Vatican II or later are clear to anyone and need endless 'clarifications'. The simple Catholic is morally free, indeed bound, to ignore them. Louis

  37. Anonymous10:35 PM

    "The simple Catholic is morally free, indeed bound, to ignore them." Louis

    That does not seem like a very Catholic attitude. The documents are clear when read in continuity with Tradition. To see the clarity, one must first cast aside his "ruptured" lenses.

  38. Anonymous11:05 PM

    "Are they just extreme optimists or maybe more neo-cons than traditionalists?"

    Let's not confuse "extreme optimism" with the virtue of hope.
    In any case, this statement is good news for all Catholics -- the Pope has not budged a single inch on this one.

  39. Anonymous11:06 PM

    And wear schoolman's rose-colored ones!

  40. Anonymous11:16 PM

    I agree with schoolman.
    The Holy Father has not budged an iota.
    Problem is these documents do not always make this crystal clear.

    Many of these newer documents candy ass around the subject before oh so sweetly approaching it while attempting to soothe lil feelings dat might be O so senthitive.

    Unlike the way the Church has traditionally clarified truths.
    Crystyline and no pussyfooting around some whiny groups feelings.

    Just like Christ.

    Ut Prosim.
    Dan Hunter

  41. Anonymous11:24 PM

    "Pope Benedict XVI has limited his coming trip to the United States to 13 public events, but the church made a surprise announcement on Thursday that he had added two brief meetings — both with Jewish leaders." That would be almost a seventh of his stops!

    For purpose of proselytization I hope! This hope, lie Jordon Potter's and schoolboy's should not be confused with extreme (boarding on delusional) optimism.

  42. The One God's creation @ YouTube

    AMEN (hotep IV, that is)

  43. Anonymous11:37 PM

    Dan, I basically agree with what you say. But I think the Church is free to be as "friendly" or "stand-offish" as it deems appropriate at the time. It's a prudential call, thats all...and we are free to agree or not with the "tone" that the Holy See takes. After all, the Holy Father has a bigger role to play than just looking after me personally and my own likes and dislikes.

  44. Anonymous11:44 PM

    The Church is not free to not proclaim the Gospel!

  45. Anonymous11:45 PM

    Schoolman - "The documents are clear when read in continuity with Tradition." Is that not the same as "The documents are clear when interpreted in continuity with Tradition"? My point is that only Scripture and Tradition need interpretation (and only the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church has the ability to interpret, guided by the Holy Ghost.) Authentic Church documents need no interpretation. We sheep have no commission to interpret. Louis

  46. Anonymous12:05 AM

    "Authentic Church documents need no interpretation. We sheep have no commission to interpret."

    Of course they do. There are plenty of heresies that involve twisted interpretations of authentic Church documents -- the monuments of the Church's living Tradition. It belongs to the magisterium to clarify and interpret these as well -- since these ultimatly are part of Tradition in the broader sense.

  47. This is very unfortunate, but I have decided to reinstate prior moderation for the time being.

  48. This clarification will only confirm what the SSPX have thought of the new Good Friday prayer and will set back reconciliation.

    Pray the Holy Father will reconsider this whole affair again. We are on a very slippery slope - all the good of the Motu Proprio is being undone slowly.

  49. Anonymous2:40 PM

    And, I think, the longer this process of requiring clarification after clarification on every new document goes on, the better SSPX looks and the stronger their case for limiting change only to cases of true need. This constant confusion and vagueness long ago passed ugly. We will certainly see each and every viewpoint represented here publicly proclaimed to be the correct one by various Cardinals and Bishops in the future.

  50. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Let's use are terms precisely: The Ecclesial Magisterium is not an institution, it is the office of teaching of the Church, continuing the very same teaching office of Christ Himself, until the end of time. It can no more fail than the Church defect.

    However, the men who exercise it are not prevented from moral failure, except, in this, that St. Robert Bellarmine cites a number of Saints and Popes who held that the Roman Pontiff as a private person could never fall into pertinacious heresy, even if he could at times be a non pertinacious heretic: that is, he could fall into error, but the Lord having prayed for him that his faith may not fail, will give him the grace to see his error, with the correction of others, and/or without.

    The term "authentic" does not mean infallible. "Authentic" means that the teaching authority being exericese, inasmuch as it is exercised by those who rightlfully exercise the Ecclesial Magisterium, proceeds from the correct soure. That is different than saying what proceeds is correct. Thus the pope, as Pope, can write a letter to an individual, or local Church, propounding something which is incorrect or erroneous.

    "Ordinary" refers to the occasion of giving the teaching, as being a normal or ordinay exercise of the office; "extraordinary" and "solemn" to some out of the ordinary exercise, such as an ex-cathedra or during Ecumenical Council.

    "Infallible" means free from error, not well written; it applies only to those statements in which the Pope or an Ecumenical Councill united with the pope, or the common teaching of all Catholic Bishops from time immemorial.

    Thus the recent prayer and the recent Note, are not infallible.

    Being wishy washing, or double speaking is not virtous, but vicious; that does not make one a heretic; and certainly we are oblidged in concience not to consent to the vices, while deploring their consequences.

    Br. Alexis Bugnolo

  51. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Sorry folks, forgot to add the necessary text:

    "Infallible" means free from error, not well written; it applies only to those statements in which the Pope or an Ecumenical Councill united with the pope, or the common teaching of all Catholic Bishops from time immemorial, IMPOSE THE TEACHING AS SOMETHING WHICH ALL CATHOLICS EVERYWHERE FOR ALL TIMES MUST BELIEVE TO BE SAVED.

    Br. Alexis

  52. Anonymous6:02 AM

    As I see it, the conflict with the heirs to the Pharisees continues. The Jews persecuted and expelled the ancient Jewish Christians from the synagogues by invoking a curse against Jesus Christ and all Christians, Jews and Gentiles alike. The problem remains as it was in the past: the Jewish religious authorities persist in their obstinate rejection of the Messiah of Israel. Truly did Jesus Christ say of them:

    "(Mat 23:13) But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for you yourselves do not enter in and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter."

    What is a righteous person to think when people reject well intentioned prayers for their conversion? I suspect that this prayer has long rankled Jewish religious leaders, for it forces them to confront the preponderant role their ancestors played in the crucifixion of Jesus and their ultimate rejection of the Gospel.

    Thus, there are laws enacted by the Zionists in Israel punishing any Jew who converts to Christianity or brandishes a copy of the New Testament. Is there really any difference in laws such as these and anti-proselytizing laws in the Islamic countries? Only a few years ago, fanatical Orthodox rabbis were publicly burning copies of the New Testament in Israel, ala Goebbel's torching of books authored by Jewish authors in Nazi Germany. Perhaps the Jews were thinking of the public burnings of the Talmud which occurred during the middle ages? Yet, the destruction of the Talmud was justified for the Jews were given the opportunity to defend themselves against charges made by converted Jews that the latter contained numerous blasphemous directed against the persons of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles. They failed to convince the court and the Church, and the Talmud was rightfully condemned.

    Moreover, the calumny persists amongst many Jews that Christianity [and in particular Roman Catholicism] is somehow 'akin' to or even worse than Nazism.

    They whine and complain that the Pope didn't do enough to save the Jews of Europe when their own leaders did far less, at a time when the Zionists were collaborating with men like Adolf Eichmann. Is their view, then, unreasonable? Of course it is, but it has come to be largely accepted by the mainstream public due to the constant bad press Pope Pius XII has received. Edith Stein, of course, was dead to the Talmud Jews before she ever set foot in the train that conveyed her to Auschwitz.

    In truth, Jews believe that Christian prayers are no more efficacious than prayers to Baal.
    While we Catholics are well intentioned and truly concerned with the salvation of their souls, Jews remain indifferent and even hostile to Catholic attempts at reconciliation, for in their minds, reconciliation is commensurate with servile acquiescence to Jewish demands. I suppose all we can do under such circumstances is continue to pray for them and show them by our example what it means to live a good Christian life, but if they didn't learn that during the second world war, then I suspect they will never learn it, and as St. Paul, citing the prophet Isaish, correctly wrote, only 'a remnant will be saved.'

  53. Anonymous5:51 AM

    The last letter is obscenely antisemitic. I hope there are not many people like its author lurking in the pews of our Church.

  54. Anonymous5:54 AM

    Dan Hunter says that the Protestants "are outside the mystical Body of Christ as are the Jews." But John Paul II in Ut Unum Sint (repeated in the recent CDF document on other churches and ecclesial communities) says that THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS PRESENT AND OPERATIVE in those other Christian communities. Thus they cannot be seen as outside Christ's mystical body.

  55. This all depends on the category in which the statement is expressed. While ecumenism has no canonical definition, permitting the schizophrenia by which some talk of an ecumenism of return and some dismiss it, it is clear that there is a political sense in which the Church wishes to maintain dialogue with the Jewish people, which is a valid and reasonable situation to maintain in and of itself, understood in that category, a political one. If we are to speak in a religious sense, it would be false, because the only relationship you can have with the Jews is conversion, or else our religion is false and even the new prayer Pope Benedict replaced in the Good Friday liturgy would be wrong.

    As it has been pointed out, the Holy Ghost has again protected the Church from error. There was no repudiation of the great commission, the document only addresses relationships with "Jewish communities" in a political sense. However, the document is flawed much like Vatican II in as much as while not positively stating error, it is ignorant of reality.

    The context for this statement proves there has been no meaningful dialogue with Jews, political or otherwise, or else they would not be offended by either the old prayer or the one recently authored by Pope Benedict. Like all things with ecumenism, the "progress" is pretended and is either meant to save face or is a flat out lie.

  56. Anonymous8:30 PM

    Someone asked: Why does it seem that Schoolman and Jordon (sic) Potter, are always out of sync with most of the other bloggers on this site?

    It may have something to do with the fact that sometimes the other commenters are wrong while Schoolman and Jordan Potter are right, and other times Schoolman and Jordan Potter are wrong while the other commenters are right.

    Are they just extreme optimists or maybe more neo-cons than traditionalists?

    I’m definitely no optimist, nor am I a “neo-con” (as a Jacobite monarchist who prays for the establishment and restoration of Catholic confessional states, I doubt many neo-conservatives would see me as one of theirs), nor a traditionalist. I’m just a Catholic, thank you --- though I suppose most non-traditionalist Catholics would think I am a traditionalist.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!