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Let the Catholics pray as they want

There is so much tumult about the return of the Latin Mass. The Pope is trying to please some hard liners. Lots of Jewish groups have gotten upset, and liberal Catholics are concerned. But what does this thing say? It really is not as bad as everyone says it is. The following excerpts are free translation from the Latin.


P. Lord Jesus, Son of the living God, Who, by the will of the Father, with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, have by Your death given life to the world, deliver me by this Your most sacred Body and Blood from all my sins and from every evil. Don’t allow us, Oh God, to get Jewed into paying retail. May the circumcised ones learn to make an honest living, Amen. Oh ye, great and mighty, Lord, help us attain good law degrees like the Hebrews, so we can sue the pants off the enemies of the Church, selah! Not by the sword, not by credit, but by clever accounting have the stolen your sacred virtues….

Ok. I made that up. but really, I have read through the entire thing and find it harmless. Let the Catholics pray as they want, in Latin. Much more important is gaining the trust and understanding of the Church towards Israel.

29 Comments

  1. Barbara E.

    7/9/2007 at 7:29 am

    I agree with you 100%. A prayer for the conversion of Jews in a language the vast majority of practicing Catholics don’t know is no better and no worse than the former (?) Mormon practice of baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims. Not to mention a lot of nonsense that is best ignored.

  2. Tom Morrissey

    7/9/2007 at 9:32 am

    The vernacular version of the Mass is simply the Latin, translated. So the texts haven’t changed. Anti-Jewish language has to with other Latin liturgical texts; these haven’t been translated, and in most instances, the liturgies involved have fallen into disuse anyway (e.g. tenebrae services on Good Friday/Holy Saturday).

    Back to the Mass– for further info, get a recording of the Mozart C Minor (John Eliot Gardiner made a good one), or the Bach B Minor. (That Lutheran apostate, Bach, couldn’t resist setting the Catholic text).

  3. avi

    7/9/2007 at 10:37 am

    I agree we have to choose our battles and this one is silly.

  4. Rabbi Yonah

    7/9/2007 at 11:28 am

    Wow. I thought that this was a totally controversial position. On blogshul.com, Brian commented that the issue may not be the prayer as much as backsliding to pre-Vatican II church. I think it is too early to tell on that issue.

  5. Tom Morrissey

    7/9/2007 at 11:43 am

    It’s less controversial than you think, if only because Vatican II did not forbid the Latin Mass: the Pope is simply making it easier for parishes to use it. He’s facing a lot of resistance from folks who see this issue as “backsliding”, as you put it. It would take lots more than this to return the Church to an earlier age, even if that’s his intention. And I doubt it is. I think he wants to get the Archbishop Lefebrve types, the hard-right people, back on board without conceding very much in doing so.

  6. Irene M.

    7/9/2007 at 12:12 pm

    The prayer that everyone is worried about is only said on Good Friday (1/3rd of a 3 day holiday called the Triduum). If you read the Motus Propio, you’ll see in Article 2 that the Tridentine mass can be said on “any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum.” Why worry over a prayer that no one will be saying?

    As for backsliding, the Pope makes it very clear this new document does not override anything in Vat II. It’s designed to meet parishoners pastoral needs and fight “deformations of the liturgy”. As long as Vat II supporters follow the guildlines for the newer liturgy, they should not have any problems. Also, while this is a very important document for Catholics, it is a purely Catholic issue and should not reflect on interfaith relations.

  7. Ephraim

    7/9/2007 at 1:33 pm

    If Jews spent less time worrying about what the Catholics do and more time on shemirat mitzvot we’d all be better off. Who’s doing the complaining? Secular “watchdog” groups like the ADL.

    I mean, seriously: we already know that Christians think everybody should convert and become Christians. This is news? Why should it upset us just because they actually, you know, come out and say it?

    If you’re upset about proselytizing, teach your kids Torah instead of wasting your time complaining about what the Catholics do in in private in their own churches.

    After all, would you want them coming into shul and complaining about the Alenu?

  8. Tom Morrissey

    7/9/2007 at 3:45 pm

    Now that the Latin Mass is back mit der panzerkardinal’s seal of approval, I predict Jews will convert to Catholicism in droves.

    …Actually, lurking in this non-controversy is understandable sensitivity about the fate of Vatican II teachings relative to Jews and Judaism (contained in a document titled Nostra Aetate (1965). More recently, the latest version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (edited by– you guessed it– Cardinal Ratzinger) states that the Jews’ covenant with God must be deemed fully and continuously valid.

    Sort of a ‘we’ll swim our lane, you swim yours, and, in His infinite wisdom, God will sort it out in the end’ approach.

    When this gets thrown overboard, start to worry. But don’t hold your breath. It ain’t gonna happen.

    In the meantime– check out Mozart’s C Minor Mass. He didn’t finish it, but then again, lots of us zip out of the communion line right to the parking lot without waiting for the final prayers.

  9. yikes

    7/10/2007 at 1:01 am

    missing point. For a number of decades, certain Christians have been actively trying to convert Jews (ie Baptists) with well funded programs directly targeting us and certain groups have backed off.

    Catholics haven’t directly pointed to us. Now Pope is indicating it is okay again to specifically focus on us. This very bad as more and more priests will feel comfortable dafka focussing on getting Jewish converts

  10. Tom Morrissey

    7/10/2007 at 10:19 am

    yikes, I think you’re completely misconstruing what’s going on. The Pope’s not saying that, and if he did, you can bet the reaction would be incomparably harsher than the criticism he’s facing now (most of it from liberal Catholics predisposed to see a sinister motive behind anything he does).

    It’s one thing to permit people to say “Kyrie eleison” instead of ‘Lord have mercy”, which is what the Pope’s now facillitating. It’s quite another to toss a half-century of Church teaching overboard. Since the current pope helped formulate that teaching, it’s unlikely, to put it mildly, that he’ll wake up one day and decide he was wrong.

  11. Jewish Mother

    7/10/2007 at 10:47 am

    It’s not a case of G-d will sort out who is right in the end. It’s bigger and more mystical than that. In the house of the Lord there are many mansions. You don’t send all your children to the same graduate school.

  12. Jewish Mother

    7/10/2007 at 11:08 am

    Sorry, didn’t notice you were just quoting.

  13. Tom Morrissey

    7/10/2007 at 11:12 am

    Jewish Mother, wrote a lengthy response to your comment #11 above, I’ll see if it makes it to the site– may’ve gotten lost. If so, I’ll just repeat myself (as I’m often accused of doing).

  14. Tom Morrissey

    7/10/2007 at 11:26 am

    ….Well, on the theory that my previous comment got lost– the Catholic perspective is not a zero-sum one of ‘who is right’. The medieval view was that Jews rejected Jesus and thus insured their damnation, Jesus having rendered Judaism out-of-date and invalid. The contemporary view is that Jews have their own covenant with God, and we assume that God relates to Jews in that context, and not in our, Christian one.

    And, as you indicate, there is a ‘mystical’, mysterious quality to the time and manner in which redemption will unfold. Here, too, Catholics do not presume to understand or predict divine purposes.

    This is anathema to many fundamentalist Christians. But one of the best arguments for Catholicism is its 2000-year history of interpreting Jesus’s teaching, the theological discourse and creative evolution that’s unfolded over the centuries.

    In any event, Jews have their own responsibilities to God under their separate understanding with Him. You have our best wishes and support, because we remain deeply connected through Abraham, “our father in faith” as the Mass terms him, and all that followed as set forth in the Torah.

  15. Tom Morrissey

    7/10/2007 at 11:26 am

    ….Well, on the theory that my previous comment got lost– the Catholic perspective is not a zero-sum one of ‘who is right’. The medieval view was that Jews rejected Jesus and thus insured their damnation, Jesus having rendered Judaism out-of-date and invalid. The contemporary view is that Jews have their own covenant with God, and we assume that God relates to Jews in that context, and not in our, Christian one.

    And, as you indicate, there is a ‘mystical’, mysterious quality to the time and manner in which redemption will unfold. Here, too, Catholics do not presume to understand or predict divine purposes.

    This is anathema to many fundamentalist Christians. But one of the best arguments for Catholicism is its 2000-year history of interpreting Jesus’s teaching, the theological discourse and creative evolution that’s unfolded over the centuries.

    In any event, Jews have their own responsibilities to God under their separate understanding with Him. You have our best wishes and support, because we remain deeply connected through Abraham, “our father in faith” as the Mass terms him, and all that followed as set forth in the Torah.

  16. Tom Morrissey

    7/10/2007 at 11:28 am

    And you didn’t believe me about repeating myself?

  17. Jewish Mother

    7/10/2007 at 12:14 pm

    Cool.

  18. Ephraim

    7/10/2007 at 4:55 pm

    Yikes, missionaries are never going to stop targeting Jews for conversion. This is just a fact of life, and you can hardly blame Christians for being true to their faith no matter how much you disagree with it. You can’t ban missionizing, either.

    Our best defense is to learn Torah. Once you know Torah, missionaries will not affect you.

    The majority of Jews who are upset about Christians being Christians are secular people whose children have no defense against aggressive missionizing because they are ignorant of Torah. Teach them Torah and the missionaries can talk themselves blue in the face and it won’t matter.

  19. themiddle

    7/10/2007 at 7:30 pm

    How do we protect the secular children from Jewish missionaries who try to break them away from their parents with all kinds of tricks and lies?

  20. Jewish Mother

    7/11/2007 at 10:55 am

    Outreach folks don’t talk to anybody under 18, as far as I am aware.

    All Jews, when adult, get to decide their level of observance for themselves, whether toward observance or away, and families have to wiggle with that, using the usual tools of respect and manners. This has been going on for centuries. It’s a personal thing.

  21. Jewish Mother

    7/11/2007 at 11:10 am

    Please do not forget about the dread Third Generation Problem.

  22. ck

    7/11/2007 at 11:19 am

    How do we protect the Jewish children from secular missionaries who try to break them away from their common sense with all kinds of tricks and lies?

    I mean, deep down inside they know they don’t really need all that branded “stuff” they buy. But it’s hard to resist the pull of the all powerful marketing machines that encourage you to be narcissistic consumers at the expense of the environment and human rights and genuine spirituality. How do we help them?.

  23. themiddle

    7/11/2007 at 12:04 pm

    Fair enough, ck. But I don’t recall a Walmart campaign ever discussing Tinokot Shenishbu.

  24. Jewish Mother

    7/11/2007 at 12:14 pm

    Maybe there should be one? It’s better than Britney and her aging spears.

    What is all that?

    If you know, you aren’t secular.

    If you aren’t secular, you can’t complain on secular folks’ behalf. They have keyboards, too.

    If your choice were grandkids in kippot or grandkids without brisot, which would you prefer, if those were really the only two choices? Not trying to give you nightmares, seriously, but we have to have a plan, just in case. I am not being snarky. No sarc tag.

  25. ramon marcos

    7/11/2007 at 12:56 pm

    What seems to be more controversial are yesterday’s comments by the Vatican regarding the legitimacy of non-Catholic Christianity. Here’s a relevant Susan Jacoby post tying yesterday’s edict to the Latin Mass edict… make sure to scroll down to the postscript. And the comments.

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/susan_jacoby/2007/07/when_the_openhearted_and_openm.html

  26. Ephraim

    7/11/2007 at 1:12 pm

    Yeah, I’ll bet that the Protestants are just going to be shocked shocked that the Pope thinks they’re barking up the wrong tree.

    I mean, I’ve never heard that one before.

    Stop the presses! “Pope Pooh-poohs Protestant Pretensions!” Extra, extra, read all about it!

  27. Tom Morrissey

    7/11/2007 at 1:17 pm

    Love those comments…. Well, yesterday’s edict is much more legitimately controversial than the Latin Mass one, though in both cases, there’s nothing new. Perhaps the pope unnecessarily ruffles feathers, but he unsurprisingly defends the papacy as central to Christianity– as part of the Church’s claim to legitimacy as successor to the apostles (esp. Peter, Jesus’s chosen successor). (The eastern Orthodox Churches share this, in B’s view, hence his easier tack with them.)

    I guess B could roll over, or make nice in the finest contemporary Protestant tradition. His predecessor often did so. But as we saw re Islam, Benedict’s prepared to draw lines in the sand.

    And I wish folks would understand that the 1962 version of the Latin Mass (Rabbi Yonah provides the link) was already revised in light of Vatican II respecting any anti-Jewish language. Let’s at least get the facts right.

  28. ramon marcos

    7/11/2007 at 1:21 pm

    Sorry I mentioned it.

  29. Tom Morrissey

    7/11/2007 at 1:22 pm

    You’re the Pope. You could agree with the Protestants. Or, you could continue living in your posh flat in the heart of downtown Rome. Which would you choose?

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