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countered: German bishops’ objection to the use of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews

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The letter below is one of several on the same topic which was prepared by NCCL in response to pseudo-objections of German bishop’s to a motu proprio they hadn’t yet received. But that hardly stopped them from beginning to campaign to undermine it — meaning, the Pope’s initiative.

May 31, 2007

The Letters Editor
The Times
1 Pennington Street
London E98 1XY

To the Editor:

The article, “Pope set to bring back Latin Mass in face of opposition” (The Times, May 14), demands a clarification apropos of the German bishops’ objection to the use of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews.

Although the descriptive phrase “perfidious Jews” does carry a negative connotation in English, the Latin from which this translation is taken, “perfidis Judaeis”, is not offensive. Handmissals from the 1950’s, used by the laity to follow the Liturgy, attest to this by translating the phrase properly as “faithless Jews” or “unbelieving Jews”.

Nevertheless, since traditional Catholics do not petition the vernacular translation of the Liturgy, let alone its meaning, but its Latin original, with its Latin meaning, the offensiveness of the English phrase “perfidious Jews” is irrelevant.

Moreover, by 1962 the so-called offensive word “perfidis” was removed from the Latin text. Since traditional Catholics petition for the 1962 liturgical forms, it follows that the phrase even in Latin, “perfidis Judaeis”, is likewise irrelevant.

Surely non-Christians could not possibly object to Catholics praying for their conversion, and, therefore, light for them from on high, since Christ spent three spectacular years of His life on earth for no other reason – a fact that has hardly been kept secret. One wonders why, then, the objections of those who think it is a secret, a novelty or an offense should be taken seriously. Besides, what sort of bishop objects to Catholics praying as they have for thousands of years, and do still with the Pope’s permission?
[249 words]

G. P. Lloyd
621 Jordan Circle
Fullerton Pennsylvania 18052 USA
tel-w 610/435-2634

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