Jews Outraged at Vatican Prayer

Anger over call for Jewish conversion
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2008 4:15 AM CST
Pope Benedict XVI receives ashes on his head during an Ash Wednesday ceremony inside the fifth-century Basilica of St. Sabina to mark the start of the solemn Lenten season. The Vatican has angered Jews...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An updated version of a centuries-old Good Friday prayer has opened a rift between Roman Catholics and Jews. When Pope Benedict XVI reinstated the Latin mass, the Vatican promised to rewrite a controversial prayer calling for the conversion of Jews. But the new, merely toned-down version has infuriated Jewish leaders and threatens to set back decades of reconciliation between the faiths, reports Time.

The updated prayer no longer refers to the "blindness" of the Jews, and the need to "remove the veil from their hearts." But it still reads: "Let us pray for the Jews. May the Lord our God illuminate their hearts so that they may recognize Jesus Christ." The Vatican claims no disrespect was intended. "We have much in common," said a cardinal. "But we must give witness to our faith." One rabbi said the Good Friday prayer strikes Jews as "exclusivist and triumphalist."