Needless to say, the media are portraying the Pope’s liberalising measure as a victory for conservatives. Even more oddly, the Anti-Defamation League has been trying to make a fuss over a prayer for the conversion of the Jews. This is strange for two reasons. Firstly, the Mass contains no prayer for the conversion of the Jews. The prayer in question is part of the liturgy for Good Friday (when there is no mass celebrated) and the new ruling has not the slightest effect on this. So the controversy appears to be the usual combination of journalistic laziness and mischief-making by a pressure group. The second reason the fuss is strange is that I cannot for the life of me see how anyone could object to being prayed for.
If Muslims prayed regularly for the conversion of Christians (maybe they do, I don’t know) it would not cause me even the slightest raised eyebrow of concern. I would be utterly indifferent or perhaps slightly flattered. Likewise, I have no idea why the ADF or any other Jewish person would object to a prayer asking for their conversion. From Christopher Howse in the Telegraph, here’s a translation of the prayer in question:
Let us pray also for the unbelieving Jews: that our God and Lord will remove the
veil from their hearts, so that they too may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.
I might just be an insensitive bastard, but I cannot see why anyone would get their hair mussed up over this, especially as it is spoken in a language no one understands anyway.
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