The Anti-Defamation League called the decision to revive a Catholic prayer for the conversion of the Jews a “body blow to Catholic Jewish relations.”Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, met this week in Rome with Vatican officials to press Jewish concerns over the revival of the Latin mass and possible beatification of Pope Pius XII. Though he had initially taken a softer line, on Friday Foxman slammed an expected papal order allowing the use of a 16th century prayer which beseeches God to “remove the veil from the hearts” of the Jews, “and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.””We are extremely disappointed and deeply offended that nearly 40 years after the Vatican rightly removed insulting anti-Jewish language from the Good Friday Mass, that it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted,” Foxman said. “This is a theological setback in the religious life of Catholics and a body blow to Cahtolic-Jewish relations.”Foxman also discussed the possible beatification of Pope Pius XII, the Holocaust-era pontiff accused of silence in face of the Nazi extermination of European Jewry. In an interview Thursday with JTA, Foxman said that Pius should not be granted a step towards sainthood until the Vatican’s wartime archives are released for scrutiny, though he is prepared to be patient in waiting for the archives to be opened. “If Pope Pius is worthy of beatification, that beatification will be available to him after the archives are open and possibly after the survivors are not there to witness this debate,” Foxman said.
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