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Jews not ‘perfidious’ in 1962 Roman Missal

25 July 2007


From Dr Sheridan Gilley
Sir, — I am grateful to Paul Vallely for making the excellent point (Comment, 20 July) that Benedict XVI excludes the services of the Sacred Triduum, including the Good Friday prayer for the Jews, from the extension of the right to say the old Latin mass to the whole Catholic priesthood without prior episcopal consent.

Paul Vallely, however, is not quite correct in describing this as prayers — it is a single prayer — for the “perfidious” Jews. Benedict has authorised only the use of the Missal of Blessed John XXIII of 1962, from which the word “perfidious” was removed; while the rubric also now requires congregations to kneel for the Jews as for the other categories of people prayed for.

The prayer might still be considered offensive, in asking that the veil be taken from their hearts (not, as Mr Vallely says, lifted from their eyes), but, as he also says, its use has not been allowed.
Durham University Department of Theology and Religion
Abbey House, Palace Green
Durham DH1 3RS

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