|Response To The Publication Of Pope Benedict XVI's Revision Of The 1962 Good Friday Prayer For The Jewish People|
Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee
Chairman, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Ecumenical and
WASHINGTON – "The Holy Father has heard with appreciation the concerns of the Jewish community that the prayers of Good Friday should reflect the relationship between Jews and the Church put forward in Nostra Aetate, and implemented by the late Pope John Paul II. As Vatican II states, 'God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues - such is the witness of the Apostle' (NA, no. 4).
"The Holy Father has chosen to omit from his revision any language from the various editions of the (Latin) Missal of 1962 that have long been associated with negative images of Jews. For example, there are no references to the 'blindness of the Jews,' to the 'lifting of a veil from their heart,' or to their 'being pulled from darkness.'
"Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to present the relationship of the Church and the Jews within the mystery of salvation as found in Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans (cf. Rom 11:11-32). Central to the concerns of the Holy Father is the clear articulation that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and his Church. It is a faith that must never be imposed but always freely chosen.
"The Catholic Church in the United States remains steadfastly committed to deepening its bonds of friendship and mutual understanding with the Jewish community."