Motzaei Shabbat Musings…
Over Shabbat I saw an interesting advertisement from the John Templeton Foundation featuring a number of snippets from a series called Does the Universe Have a Purpose? There were a number of very interesting excerpts and I urge people to take a look at the above linked site. I also just read at JTA that an important U.S. Catholic Cardinal is reported to have said the following,
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter last week that he favored changing language in the Missal that calls for the conversion of the Jews, “because the intention is to be sure that our prayers are not offensive to the Jewish people who are our ancestors in the faith.”
He added: “It does work both ways. Maybe this is an opening to say, ‘Would you care to look at some of the Talmudic literature’s description of Jesus as a bastard, and so on, and maybe make a few changes in some of that?’ This is an opening for discussion. Everybody’s theological position has to be respected.”
I would hope that this Cardinal, who is apparently going to be the president of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, can tell the difference between a prayer and a text such as the Talmud which is the object of study. Maybe the Cardinal isn’t aware that many, if not all of them, have already been removed from most editions of the Talmud. Are there Jews who would profess derogatory beliefs about Jesus? I am sure that there are, but do Jews pray “Jesus is a bastard”. Find me a Jewish prayer that Catholics find offensive that refers to Catholics and hasn’t already been changed (see these articles on the censorship of Jewish books). Are some Jews asking the Church to “make a few changes” in writings of the Church Fathers? For more on the Latin Missal and the Jews see here. Maybe he’s been reading too much Peter Schäfer.
Update: Also see this post by Iyov on the Tridentine Mass.