By Joseph Shaw (Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales)
The Bishops of England and Wales recently had a meeting, and among their decisions was one concerning a prayer of the liturgy which they decided they didn’t like in its current form. This prayer is used once a year, in about six churches in England and Wales, and never in English: it is always said in Latin, because it belongs to the Vetus Ordo (Traditional Mass) service for Good Friday.
Lionel : In the Vetus Ordo (Traditional Mass) service for Good Friday the ecclesiology of the Church before the Council of Trent was 'exclusivist ecclesiocentrism'.
A remarkable attention to detail, perhaps. But the bishops’ objection to the prayer wasn’t to do with it being difficult to understand (it doesn’t use the word ‘ineffable’, the word which so annoys objectors to the new translation of the English Mass.) The retired Archbishop Kevin McDonald explained it this way: it is ‘a prayer for the conversion of Jews to Christianity’.
This is true – more or less. The prayer runs like this:
‘Let us also pray for the Jews: that our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Saviour of all men.’
The prayer is based on St Paul (eg 2 Cor 4:3-6), who looked forward to Jewish people, as a body, coming to the Faith in the final phase of history .
Lionel: For St.Paul the Jews needed to come to the Faith in the Catholic Church. St. Paul did not separate the Faith from the Church.He appealed to the Jews of his time to convert. He did not wait for some future time. Jesus too told the Jews they needed to accept him as the Saviour and the Messiah. They had to accept him in a community, the Early Church, the Early Catholic Church.
The Fathers of the Church saw the ‘conversion of the Jews’ as one of the prologues to the Second Coming (Romans 11:25-26).
Lionel: This is an interpretation of Pope Benedict XVI.He said Jews would convert at a future time. But what about the Jews in the present times, they do not have to convert into the Catholic Church to avoid Hell?
While individual Jews become Christians along the way, the acceptance of Christ by ‘the Jewish people’ is not about a targeted programme of proselytism, such as Evangelical Christians sometimes promote.
Lionel: When the Latin Mass was offered it was always known in the Church that Jews and other non Catholics, would have to convert in the present times. There were special programs for their conversion.
Whether aggressively conducted or not, Jewish sensitivities to this kind of thing are easy to understand in the context of their history.
Lionel: The dogma says they need to convert to avoid Hell. Vatican Council II says they need 'faith and baptism' for salvation.The Bible says they need to convert in the present times.The FIUV, Joseph Shaw and other traditionalists are not saying this.
It was in light of these sensitivities that Pope Benedict re-wrote the Prayer for the Jews to be used in the Traditional Mass, after he lifted restrictions on the celebration of it in 2007. It is his, 2008 version, that we are talking about, not the one this one replaced. He removed some of the rather dramatic language used by St Paul (eg 2 Cor 3:14) – about how God would one lay lift the ‘veil’ from the Jews’ hearts – but he left in the hope that they would accept Christ one day.
POPE CONTRADICTS BIBLE, CARDINAL LEVADA ISSUES NO CLARIFICATION. EXPECTS OFFICAL CLARIFICATION FROM BISHOP FELLAY http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2012/04/pope-contradicts-bible-cardinal-levada.html
REPORT IS AN EXPOSE OF APOSTASY AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE CHURCH-ROBERT SUNGENIS http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2011/02/report-is-expose-of-apostasy-at-highest.html
CDF CLARIFIES COMMENT ON CONDOMS BUT NOT JEWS : POPE CONTRADICTS BIBLE
POPE SAYS REVISED GOOD FRIDAY PRAYER IS NOT FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS ? EARTHQUAKE SHIFT IN CATHOLIC TEACHING ?
Pope Benedict XVI’s objective,factual error in Light of the World (Ignatius) p.107 is contributing to widespread liberalism and dissent in the Catholic Church.
What is it about asking God to give Jews the grace of conversion that Archbishop McDonald and the English Bishops don’t like? They prefer the equivalent prayer used at Good Friday in the Novus Ordo, the liturgy reformed after Vatican II. He told us:
‘The 1970 prayer which is now used throughout the Church is basically a prayer that the Jewish people would continue to grow in the love of God’s name and in faithfulness of his Covenant, a Covenant which – as St John Paul II made clear in 1980 – has not been revoked.’
Exactly what St John Paul II meant by that phrase has been long disputed. It is in another reference to St Paul, who said the Jews are loved by God because, despite the coming of Christ, God does not revoke his promises (Romans 11:29). Could it mean that Jews are saved by something other than the Cross of Christ? It can’t possibly mean that: even people outside the Church are saved, if they are saved, by the merits of Christ, as the Catechism makes clear:
Lionel: Joseph Shaw will now interpret the following passage from the Catechism with Cushingism.
848 ‘Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.’
Lionel: For me those who 'through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel' and who are saved- are hypothetical cases. They are zero cases in our reality.They are invisible for us in 2015. So they cannot be explicit exceptions to all needing formal membership in the Catholic Church for salvation. Theoretical cases cannot be relevant to the traditional interpretation of the dogma on exlcusive salvation in the Catholic Church and the need for all to enter. So this passage in the Catechism and Vatican Council II is not an exception to the 'rigorist interpretation ' of the dogma on salvation.All still need to enter.
With Cushingism ( there are known exceptions to the dogma) it is an exception and with Feeneyism( there are no known exceptions to the dogma) it is not an exception.It depends on the theology you use. Joseph Shaw has used an irrational inference and I have avoided it.He infers invisible cases are visible. This is irrational.This is the FIUV interpretation. It is politically correct.
Denying that Christ died to save all mankind puts us into very dodgy ground. The universal nature of Christ’s saving act is a fundamental teaching of Christianity. It is offered universally; it is accepted, Christ tells us, by ‘few’. But every sin ever committed is infinitely counterbalanced by the Christ’s self-sacrificial love, his death on the Cross, and it is this, and this alone, which has opened heaven to us all.Lionel: Agreed!
We might be wondering, at this point, whether the reformed liturgy most Catholics go to, actually expresses this fundamental doctrine. Not only does it, but it contains explicit prayers for the conversion of the Jews.
Here’s one: ‘Let Israel recognize in you the Messiah it has longed for’
Here’s another: ‘Christ, Son of David, fulfilment of the prophecies, may the Jewish people accept you as their awaited Deliverer [Latin: Messiah].’
These are from the Liturgy of the Hours, not Mass, but they are part of the Church’s public prayer, and should be said by all priests. And bishops, of course. (They come up in Morning Office of 31st December, and Vespers of Easter Sunday.)
Lionel: At issue is the necessity of the Church for salvation. The necessity of formal membership in the Church, with 'faith and baptism' for salvation, is necessary, and the FIUV and the traditionalists deny it.
Have the Bishops of England and Wales not noticed that the 1970 liturgy does exactly what they object to about the Vetus Ordo liturgy? Should someone tell them?
Msgr. Guido Pozzo could announce Vatican Council II agrees with literal interpretation of dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus while Nostra Aetate says Catholics are the ‘new people of God’ : pope made an error in Light of the World- all this is relevant to the Vatican-SSPX differences
VATICAN SECRETARY OF STATE HAS TO BE A CATHOLIC ACCORDING TO CANON LAW
CATHOLIC NEWS BLACK OUT ON BAGNASCO-RABBI DEAL
RABBIS WHO MET WITH CARDINAL ANGELO BAGNASCO ORIENTED TO HELL INDICATES VATICAN COUNCIL II
CARDINAL BAGNASCO DENIES JESUS AND THE CHURCH
CANTATE DOMINO, COUNCIL OF FLORENCE ON EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS IS DE FIDE AND NOT CONTRADICTED BY VATICAN COUNCIL II- Fr. Nevus Marcello O.P
AMERICAN APOLOGIST SAYS ITALIAN BISHOPS IN APOSTASY
CATHOLIC PRIESTS CORRECT POPE BENEDICT'S MISTAKE : WE DO NOT KNOW ANY CASE OF A NON CATHOLIC SAVED IMPLICITLY BY JESUS AND THE CHURCH SO IT DOES NOT CONTRADICT CANTATE DOMINO,COUNCIL OF FLORENCE