Catholic Church Reinstates That Old “Convert The Sinner Jews” Latin Mass

popeI knew this new pope seemed a little icky. This weekend Pope Benedict empowered the world’s bishops (they’re the hat-lookin’ pieces three spots from the edge of the board, right?) to begin using the traditional rite known as the Tridentine Mass. Spoken entirely in Latin, it was abandoned by the Vatican Council in 1970 for the more user-friendly mass heard in today’s churches (not that I would know.)

Pope Vader is apparently trying to appease some more traditional groups within the Catholic church by extending them the option of returning to the Latin mass, which contains a passage stating that Jews live in “blindness” and “darkness” and asks God to “remove the veil from their hearts.”

According to Clerical Whispers, Reverend Philip Eichner, the chairman of the board of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said the references to conversion are well meaning — not anti-Semitic. “We would say everyone who doesn’t see Jesus is living in a certain amount of darkness, and we want them to see the light,” he said.

Although we should all be grateful that the part that refers to the Jews as “perfidious” (go ahead, look it up, I had to) was removed from the liturgy in 1969, you know our main man Abe Foxman had something to say about it. Specifically, he called it a “body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations” and was “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.”

As usual, the fact that good ol’ Abe gets totally indignant over stuff like this means that I don’t have to. Meaning, yeah, it’s really lame of ol’ Popey to kowtow to a small minority of the Church and allow culturally inappropriate material in a world that has a hard enough time keeping it together as it is, but I’m not going to let it bunch up my panties. (But bless Abe Foxman for being my Semitic Superhero.)

Reverend Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the Catholic journal First Things, preaches a similar apathy:

“We’re talking about one sentence that occurs once a year. That’s not to say it is unimportant, but the things done with Catholic-Jewish relations over the past half-century is not going to be compromised. The church’s commitment to a respectful dialogue with Judaism is irrevocable.”

Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, the head bishop in France, doesn’t expect a sudden demand the all-Latin Mass. “I don’t see a tsunami coming,” he dryly told French newspapers.

Seriously, though doesn’t the Church still have far bigger bigger problems than even the Foxy Abe, formidable as he is?

4 thoughts on “Catholic Church Reinstates That Old “Convert The Sinner Jews” Latin Mass

  1. Perhaps people might wanna take alook and some of the translations in a plain old standard siddur before getting into a snit about this.

  2. Thanks, but I’ll stick with Alenu, especially the version in the Spanish and Portuguese ‘rite’ by R’ David DeSola Poole (Congregation
    Sheareth Israel, W70th Street, NY). I agree with your praise for Abraham Foxman – he’s the best we could ask for.

  3. Actually, the censored sentence (removed after complaints in 1499 by the church) has been in both the Ashkenaz and Sephard version of Rabbi Arthur Scroll‘s siddur from the beginning.

    I do not know how to switch to post in Lashon Hakodesh so I will put in the tranliteration.

    She’heim mishtachavim lahevel varik, umishtachavim le-eil lo yoshia

    At one time when I was arguing with the missionaries on alt.messianic and fighting them off on soc.culture.jewish (many years ago) I mistranslated the first half as

    An they bow to the idol varik as a dig at the reason they gave for insisting it be removed from the siddur.

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