Jewish groups around the world have sharply condemned Pope Benedict XVI’s new version of a Catholic Good Friday prayer. The Easter holiday which commemorate’s the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has historically often been accompanied in the past by outbreaks of anti-semitism in Christian nations. Last month, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict had revised the so-called “Good Friday Prayer for the Jews” which forms part of the Tridentine Mass, ofen referred to as the Latin Mass. The new version, translated from the Latin now reads: “Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men.”
It is quite clear that Pope Benedict is no Pope John who at the Second Vatican Council had the Good Friday prayer revised to read: “Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant.”
Many Jews find insulting a prayer by the leader of the Catholic Church which implies they lack true faith and need some sort of guidance from people like him. His insensitivity is amazing. He certainly must be aware that anti-semites historically have used Good Friday to launch attacks on Jews by blaming them for the death of Jesus Christ. Perhaps, it is time for Jews to pray for the soul of Pope Benedict that he may gain awareness of his repsonsibility to spread peace and love.