Pope to change liturgy offensive to Jews


Pope Benedict XVI reportedly has decided to change part of the Good Friday liturgy that is offensive to Jews.


The decision was reported by Andrea Tornielli, the Vatican expert of the Italian daily “Il Giornale.”


The change would affect the Missal of 1962, which the pope brought back into use. The prayer is not used in most churches, but certain congregations continue to use the old rite on Good Friday.


The prayer, which refers to the blindness of the Jews in refusing Jesus as the messiah, is part of a series of prayers for non-Christians.


The prayer reads: “Let us pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, you do not refuse your mercy even to the Jews; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness.”


A reference to “perfidious Jews” was dropped in 1959 by Pope John XXIII.


When Pope Benedict brought back the prayer, the chief rabbis of Israel expressed their concern in a letter to the pope, as did the Anti-Defamation League.

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