3 December 2019

Fake News

"[Pope Benedict] managed to offend the worldwide Jewish community. First he restored to general use an ancient prayer calling on God to rescue the Jews from their 'blindness' by 'acknowledging Christ'  ...".

Thus, not long ago, wrote one Richard Morrison in The Times in a 'book teview'.

He may be the same person as the Richard Morrison who is Music Critic in that newspaper.

I have no competence in the fiield of Music, so I would refrain from pontificating about his competence as a musician. If I did express a view that, as a musician, Morrison is totally Cra**, my opinion would be completely worthless.

No such bashful shyness holds back this Morrison when he strays beyond areas in which he may, for all I know, be competent.

Incredible, isn't it? As readers will all know, the ancient Good Friday Prayer for the Jews was replaced in the changes which followed Vatican II.

That left it still in use only in that comparatively tiny number of communities which still used the liturgy in Latin as it had been before the Council. These groups continued to use the prayer, in a slightly toned down form, on this one day in the year.

What Pope Benedict did was not "to restore... [the] ancient prayer". Quite the opposite. He banned it.

Yes; he removed it from the liturgy.

Then he replaced it with a prayer which he composed himself.

That new prayer of his is still used, but only by the tiny minority of Catholics who use the old Latin Liturgy.

"He restored to general use an ancient prayer". He did nothing of the sort. He replaced it. And his replacement prayer is not "in general use". The prayer "in general use", that is, among those who pray in the vernacular, is still the prayer which was introduced after the Council.

Newspapers generally, I believe, employ specialist writers when it comes to, say, Music or Economics or Astrophysics or Cricket.

But when it comes to "Religion", any old ignoramus dragged in off the street is good enough specialist competence is regarded as unnecessary.


Pelerin said...

And not only newspapers! I have a book written by an Anglican vicar (Shrines of Our Lady by Peter Mullen) which states that 'the famous Cure d'Ars carried the stigmata in his palms.' A quick google would find out that the Cure d'Ars was not one of those honoured in this way.

Mullen also writes about what he calls the shrine of 'Our Lady of the PILLOW' in Chartres Cathedral. This should of course be Pillar - Notre Dame du Pilier.

More info please said...

This post as it stands is confusing for those who don't already know the liturgical texts in question or the history of their changes (i.e. for us ignoramuses).

Please add:
1. An English translation of the Latin prayer for the Jews as found in Tridentine mass in its 1962 usage as promulgated by Pope John XXIII (the text banned by Benedict XVI?). How far back does this prayer date in this form? To Trent? Earlier?
2. The English version of the prayer that replaced it in the mass approved by Paul VI after Vatican II (the prayer now in general use?).
3. An English translation of the Latin prayer for the Jews composed by Benedict XVI that is currently found in the "1962" version of the Tridentine mass as permitted by Summorum Pontificum.

John said...

Wanting the entire Jewish race to be saved isn't precisely what I had thought antisemitism was. I suppose it's a point of view; a bit of a head-scratcher, though.

How does he feel about this bit from the preces of Lauds on 31 December:

Christe, Deus et homo, qui Dominus es David et filius eius, prophetias adimplens,
-- te rogamus, ut Israel te Messiam agnoscat.

There are a few others with a similar intention but that's the one I remember.

Colin Spinks said...

I've now written twice to the BBC to inform them that Cardinal Nichols is NOT "Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales" as he is invariably described in the media. He is the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and has no jurisdiction outside of that Archdiocese. Do the b*****s listen? Fat chance!

Pulex said...

Fake news we'd wish to be true...

Matthew said...

Pelerin: I do wish people (Roman Catholic people in particular) would stop referring indiscriminately to Anglican clerics as "vicars". Peter Mullen was indeed at one time incumbent of a parish where this was his proper title, but at the time of the publication of the book in question he was or was about to become Priest-in-Charge (official title) of St Michael, Cornhill, in the City of London. If people cannot bring themselves to use the word "priest" in connection with members of the Anglican clergy, could they perhaps refer to such individuals as "clergymen"? ("Anglican minister" is another potentially offensive term, and is anyway inadequate as an identifier of a clergyman as the CofE -- like the RC Church with its "eucharistic ministers" -- has a large body of officially recognised lay ministers.)

Pelerin said...

I am sorry if I have offended anyone by referring to the author mentioned as a 'vicar.' However as I understand the definition of a 'priest' is one who offers sacrifices' and the Anglican Church does not believe in the Sacrifice of the Mass I always refer to Anglican clergymen as vicars.

I would like to add that I was brought up as an Anglican and my vicar would have been horrified to have been referred to as a priest.

Matthew said...

Pelerin: I was for many years an Anglican priest, and -- as did your late vicar -- went through a ceremony described in the Book of Common Prayer as the Ordination of Priests. It's an open question whether the Anglican Church believes that the Mass is a sacrifice -- perhaps Fr Hunwicke could enlighten us. Whether it does or it doesn't, the alteration in the 'matter' of the sacrament of Holy Order (ie the attempt to perform ordination on females) has rendered the matter of merely academic interest.

John Covert said...

It's not completely fake. The Anti-Defamation League still takes offense at the 2007 Benedict prayer for the extraordinary form, which is:

Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men. (Let us pray. Kneel. Rise.) Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

The Anti-Defamation League called the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum "a theological setback in the religious life of Catholics and a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations, after 40 years of progress between the Church and the Jewish people."

Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the ADL, reiterated its previously-stated position. Foxman wrote, "The wider use of the Latin Mass will make it more difficult to implement the doctrines of Vatican II and Pope John Paul II, and could even set in motion retrograde forces within the church on the subject of the Jews, none of which are in the interest of either the church or the Jewish people."[28] He goes on to reiterate that the problem lies with a prayer that calls for the conversion of the Jews that "was removed by Paul VI in 1970".

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr Covert

My complaint was about the FACTUAL IGNORANCE of the writer. It is quite simply not true that Pope Benedict brought the Ancient Prayer back into general use.

Talk about "the doctrine of Vatican II" is equally inaccurate. The (unsatisfactory) Vatican discussion paper of a couple of years ago itself reluctantly admitted that V2 made no DOCTRINAL changes.

Peter said...

Mr Covert may be referring to this article by ADL:
and this paragraph:
His decision to rewrite the old Latin version of the Good Friday prayer (still) titled "For the Conversion of the Jews" -- and his lifting of the excommunication of four bishops from an anti-Semitic schismatic -- were a profound disappointment. He also moved wartime Pope Pius XII one step closer to sainthood, even as the Vatican's Secret World War II archives remained closed to scholars and Holocaust survivors.

But the article is mostly full of praise for Pope Benedict concluding in part:
Pope Benedict clearly demonstrated his closeness to the Jewish people, symbolically, and in word and deed. He listened to our concerns, and tried to address them.

Lyle Dunne. said...

When I saw the headline, I thought perhaps it referred to the Pope's having offended the Jews by comparing pollution (or littering or something- hard to tell) to the holocaust.

But yes, the ignorance on this case is astonishing. Has anyone written to clarify the situation?

Lyle Dunne.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

The ADL was created to "defend" the reputation of Leo Frank (B'nai B'rith Lodge member) who, in in 1913, raped and killed a young girl who worked in his factory.

Among other things, the ADL is a domestic spying operation that has fed The FBI a ton of disinformation about The ADL's enemies.

Part of the strategy of the defense of Leo Frank was his lawyers accusing a black witness, Jim Conley, of being ... a plain, beastly, drunken, filthy, lying nigger, with a spreading nose through which probably tons of concaine have been sniffed.

One wonders which is the bigger mystery - Why Christians defend The ADL and cite it as a legitimate source, or, Why the English eat Marmite?

PM said...

If anyone wants the measure of Benedict XVI's attitude to the Jews, read his remarks on his visit to Auschwitz - one of the most powerful and haunting papal statements I can recall, and much too profound for the intellectual runts of the media to understand.

cor ad cor loquitur said...

To refer, even if indirectly as Peter does above, to the great and holy Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as an "anti-Semitic schismatic" is astounding calumny and ignorance. To be in harmony with what for 2,000 (pace Vatican II's dilution of Catholic doctrine and tradition, a compromise with the Zeitgeist now sadly and inevitably issuing into formal apostasy and idol worship in the very heart of Rome) saints and martyrs and the magisterium taught is not only valid but laudable and essential to Catholicity. Lefebvre did no more and no less. What is truly schismatic is to denounce that hollowed tradition and constant teaching of the Church for the vast expanse of Her existence regarding the need for the Jewish people to convert is they are to attain salvation---the greatest charity one could wish them. Some need to remember that the Church was not founded in 1965, painful as that may be for their modern (Modernist?) sensibilities and neurosis about not being in tune with the times.

Peter said...

Cor ad cor: I thought it useful to check whether Mr Covert had accurately identified the attitude of the organization he referred to and to see what it is about. It seemed to me that their reservations about that prayer should be set in context. I gave the reference so that readers could check for themselves. I did not indicate my own view on the texts quoted.

coradcorloquitur said...

My apologies, Peter. The absence of quotation marks threw me off and made me think the defamatory statement concerning the brave Marcel Lefebvre was yours. Coming from the ADL such calumny is not surprising: it is what they do routinely in their campaign to marginalize orthodox Christian voices and eventually make them disappear. It has been key to their mission since its nefarious genesis in the defense of a convicted rapist of a young girl, Leo Frank, in the American state of Georgia. Unless you throw a few metaphoric grains of incense to their idolatrous racial worship, why then, according to their best lights, you must be an anti-Semite. The real tragedy is that too many sentimentalized, gelded Christians are only too willing to oblige. I, for one, refuse that cowardly apostasy disguised as tolerant charity.