That’s the headline to an article in the Observer which picks up on one of the more interesting angles to the story re: Pope Benedict’s decision on the Latin Mass:
Pope’s move on Latin mass ‘a blow to Jews’
Sunday July 8, 2007
Jewish leaders and community groups criticised Pope Benedict XVI strongly yesterday after the head of the Roman Catholic Church formally removed restrictions on celebrating an old form of the Latin mass which includes prayers calling for the Jews to ‘be delivered from their darkness’ and converted to Catholicism.
In a highly controversial concession to traditionalist Catholics, Pope Benedict said that he had decided to allow parish priests to celebrate the Latin Tridentine mass if a ‘stable group of faithful’ request it – though he stressed that he was in no way undoing the reforms of the Sixties Second Vatican Council which allowed the mass to be said in vernacular languages for the first time.
‘What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,’ Benedict wrote.
However, the older rite’s prayers calling on God to ‘lift the veil from the eyes’ of the Jews and to end ‘the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ’ – used just once a year during the Good Friday service – have sparked outrage.
Yesterday the Anti-Defamation League, the American-based Jewish advocacy group, called the papal decision a ‘body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations’.
‘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, it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted,’ said Abraham Foxman, the group’s national director, in Rome. ‘It is the wrong decision at the wrong time. It appears the Vatican has chosen to satisfy a right-wing faction in the church that rejects change and reconciliation.’