Vatican Official: Jews "Emotional" on Prayer

Interesting story via Reuters about the Vatican's latest reaction to Jewish groups' objections to the Good Friday prayer. The prayer, recited during Good Friday services of Holy Week in the traditional Latin Mass, called for the conversion of the Jews. The Vatican revised the prayer in February and last week sought to assure Jews that it sustains "the bonds of esteem, dialogue, love, solidarity and collaboration between Catholics and Jews.

The latest development is an article written by Cardinal Walter Kasper, in charge of relations with Jews, in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. In it, according to Reuters, he wrote that, "The reactions from Jews are in large part not motivated in a rational way, but in an emotional way. But one should not write them off too quickly as being caused by hypersensitivity."

He added: "One must always be mindful that dialogue between Jews and Christians will remain, by its nature, always difficult and fragile and that it demands a great amount of sensitivity from both sides."

By Jacqueline L. Salmon |  April 10, 2008; 11:58 AM ET
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Full english translation of Kasper's article can be found here:

with somewhat more substantial commentary than Reuters as to its implications.

Kasper 's article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, together with Cardinal Schonborn's in the Tablet, stand as the most substantial pieces of commentary on the controversy involving the Good Friday Prayers for the Jews.

Kasper's is particularly important, because he
reads Nostrae Aetate with what our present Pope might refer to as "hermeneutic of continuity" -- placing it in context with the other documents of Vatican II (particularly Lumen Gentium) and read in union with Catholic tradition.

Explaining why the Church doesn't have a formal "mission to the Jews" and yet why the Church continues to pray for their conversion (even, as subsequent commmentary points out, in the 1970 revised liturgies), it stands both as a rebuttal to those on the far right and left, who perceive Nostrae Aetate as a rupture with or reversal of prior Catholic teaching.

Posted by: | April 10, 2008 8:55 PM

Read "A Moral Reckoning," by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen to know by Divine scholarship that "two popes and the Roman Catholic Church are morally, legally, and ethically culpable of the Holocaust."

Posted by: Will Jones | April 12, 2008 6:14 AM


Posted by: | April 15, 2008 4:28 PM

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