Germany and the United States: The Jews and the Tridentine Mass

Source: FSSPX News


The Jewish circles in Germany have voiced severe criticism concerning the liberalization of the Tridentine Mass. They consider that the Catholic Church is distancing herself from the Jews “in order to operate a rapprochement with ultraconservative circles.” Thus wrote the former Rabbi of Wurtemberg, Joël Berger, in the weekly Jüdische Allgemeine of July 12. The fact that the Holy See made no comment forbidding the prayer “for the conversion of the Jews” present in the 1962 Missal on Good Friday, is for him “scandalous.”

In the daily, Die Welt, on July 11, the Secretary General of the Central Council of the Jews in Germany, Stephan J. Kramer, describes this “liberalization without condition” of the Tridentine Mass as a “blatant contradiction” with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. According to the Council, the Jews must not be converted, stresses S. Kramer, who sees this decision as a “resounding slap in the face” for all those who, on both sides, had seriously committed themselves to dialogue.

On July 18, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See, declared that the concerns about this prayer recited in the traditional liturgy could be resolved by a careful examination of the question  by the Vatican.” “A decision could be made and all the problems would be solved,” he specified.

The Jewish organizations congratulated themselves over this declaration. In New York, Rabbi David Rosen, president of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, said:  “With hope and gratitude we are awaiting the necessary measures to be taken to implement this modification.” According to him, the modification “would be in accordance with the pope’s own commitments and to those of his predecessor, John Paul II, making it possible to progress on the road to reconciliation and mutual respect between Catholics and Jews.”

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, in New York, declared that Cardinal Bertone’s answer proved that the Vatican was “attentive” to the concerns of the Jews. He added that the prayer “for the conversion of the Jews” was going in the opposite direction of “40 years of evolution in the Catholic teaching on the everlasting covenant between God and the Jewish people and of the renunciation of the desire to baptize the Jews.” (Sources: eni/cipa)