German leader: Vatican statement falls short


A German Jewish leader says she will not resume interfaith dialogue until the Vatican revises its Good Friday prayer.

The comment by Charlotte Knobloch comes after the Vatican issued a clarification of its amended prayer specifically aimed at calming Jewish concerns about references to conversion of Jews.

Knobloch, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in an interview Monday in the news magazine Der Spiegel that many Jews see the current prayer as a call to convert them. Last summer, German-born Pope Benedict XVI decided to bring back the Latin, or Tridentine, Mass – including its prayer that “our God and Lord may illuminate [the Jews’] hearts.”

The explanation delivered April 4 by the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has not allayed Knobloch’s worries, having made no mention of changing the prayer. But the statement insisted that the “progress of friendly relations between the Jews and the CatholicChurch over the last 40 years” should continue unabated.

According to the Vatican, the unamended prayer of 1970, which does not directly speak of Jewish conversion, “continues to be in full use and is the ordinary form of the prayer of Catholics.”


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