BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of Germany's Jewish community said on Friday she was surprised Pope Benedict could have allowed a new version of a Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews.
Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told Reuters Television she could not fathom Pope Benedict putting forward the new decree because he experienced discrimination against Jews in Germany as a young man.
Bringing back an ancient rite risked reopening ancient wounds. And so after Pope Benedict XVI introduced wider use of the old Latin rite last year, top Vatican officials promised to adjust a Good Friday prayer from the ancient liturgy that had called for the conversion of the Jews. The text of the updated version — released this week in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano — deletes offensive language referring to Jews' "blindness" and the need to "remove the veil from their hearts." But the substance is left in place: "Let us pray for the Jews," the prayer says, according to an unofficial translation from Latin. "May the Lord our God illuminate their hearts so that they may recognize Jesus Christ savior of all men."
I don't see any problem with the prayer the way it is now. It's clear that Catholics believe it's their duty as Christians to spread the word and pray for conversions. The prayer does mot call for another Inquisition nor does it attack Jews. This meddling into affairs not of their concern only serves to antagonize and makes me wonder if these Jews who protest such things are really interested in improving relations. I'm glad the Pope changed the old wording in the prayer which was offensive. Jews should not expect complete capitulation to their demands. If this happens then next would be demands for changes in the New testament. I wonder if these same Jews demand that Koranic verses be changed so as not to offend?