Oy Vey! Such was my reaction when reading an opinion piece in the Indianapolis Star entitled “Interfaith View of the Latin Mass” by Dennis Sasso. So here goes (emphasis and comments as always.)

Catholic-Jewish relations have been tested in recent weeks. [Oy! With the notable exception of Abe Foxman’s fundraising, I didn’t think most Jews were too upset after all.] On July 7, Pope Benedict XVI authorized Catholics to celebrate Mass using the old Latin Tridentine Rite [close enough]. The rite, which harks back to 1570 [add 1000 years] after the Council of Trent, had been virtually outlawed [Outlawed you say? Celebrated exclusively by some communities and celebrated regularly in many diocese for the past 20 years. Hmmm?] by the Vatican in the 1960s. In its original form [This is how you know what the rotten anti-Semites are really thinking before they learned to cover it up], the service contained a reference to “the perfidious Jews,” [perfidies is actually faithless, ah nevermind] and on Good Friday it prayed for the “conversion of the Jews”:
“Let us pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ. Hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, and be delivered from their darkness.”[Shudder, so horrible! We pray for them, so they may know truth and love. So Horrible!]

This prayer is contrary to the teachings and spirit that emerged from the Second Vatican Council in the mid 1960s. [Umm, actually, Not] In 1970, as the Mass changed to the vernacular, the prayer was changed to reflect language that the Church deemed to be more respectful and tolerant of the Jewish faith:
“Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. Listen to your church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption.” [Same gist, wimpier language.]
The appeal of the earlier Mass for many Catholics is that they find the Latin ritual more inspiring, beautiful and mysterious than the vernacular [Yes, but it is not just the language]. As a Jew I can well understand that. While English is an important component of the modern synagogue service for American Jews, Hebrew remains central to the liturgy. It is evocative of historical, cultural and spiritual bonds that cannot be fully captured in the vernacular. [Well said] The Catholic Church would render a meaningful contribution to the Western cultural tradition if it were to teach basic Latin in its schools and churches so that Latin remains not only the prerogative of the priests and scholars.[Amen. Enough with the nicey nice. Let’s get back to bashing]

As one who cherishes the positive relations developed between Catholics and Jews since the 1960s, it concerns me that the church continue to be vigilant not to allow the old teachings of contempt for Judaism to enter the language of doctrine or prayer. Unfortunately, four days before giving the authorization for the use of the old Latin Mass, the pope reiterated a divisive statement he had made in 2000 referring to Protestant and Christian orthodoxy as not “true” Christianity.[Nope, Scratch that…reverse it] These and earlier theological castigations of Islam [Castigations of Islam? Not that ol’ song. What are the chances the Mr. Sasso has taken the time to read the entire Regensburg speech before leveling this claim? Any takers? No, apparently not if the 3rd grade level understanding of things displayed throughout this piece is to be our guide.] have made many wonder about the pope’s sensitivity to interfaith concerns. [Yes, those who think that interfaith concerns and ecumenical dialogue should have its basis in watered down language in order to obscure truth should wonder]
Father John Pawlikowski [The same guy who said the ‘Passion of the Christ’ was anti-Semitic] of Chicago’s Theological Union and president of the International Council of Christians and Jews laments that recent pronouncements emanating from the Vatican “add to a growing pattern of ill-advised statements by this papacy. The failure on the part of the Vatican to clarify the situation . . . regarding the status of the demeaning Good Friday prayers has caused confusion and anger. . . despite continued positive advancement in the Catholic-Jewish relationship at other levels.” [This adds to a growing pattern of ill-advised statements by Father John Pawlikowski.]
Benedict’s decision to allow for the Latin Mass is seen by many as an effort to reach out to members of the society of Saint Pius X, an excommunicated [nope] ultra-traditionalist French group that separated from the Vatican as a result of the Second Vatican Council reforms and the introduction of the new Mass.
Father Patrick Beidelman, director of Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, has informed me that the pope has directed that for future celebrations of the Tridentine Mass on Good Friday, the former prayer for the conversion of the Jews will be replaced by the current form which acknowledges the Jews as a people in covenant with God. [Huh? He has? Have I missed something? Besides the updated language in 1962, has there been further change?]
Let us continue to affirm our particular doctrines and traditions [as long as you respect my right not to be offended or prayed for] without denigrating the faith of others, remembering that more important than the language in which we pray are the words we say: Are they divisive, demeaning and destructive or are they humble, healing and hopeful? [That’s deep man! Words more important than language. Got it. Thanks. Once again, all I can say is Oy Vey!]