New York, NY, February 5, 2008 …. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the Vatican's changes to the Latin Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews amount to "cosmetic revisions" and the prayer remains "deeply troubling" because it calls for Jews to "acknowledge Jesus Christ as the savior of all men."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
While we appreciate that some of the deprecatory language has been removed from a new version of the Good Friday prayer for the Conversion of Jews in the 1962 Roman Missal, we are deeply troubled and disappointed that the framework and intention to petition God for Jews to accept Jesus as Lord was kept intact.
Alterations of language without change to the 1962 prayer's conversionary intent amount to cosmetic revisions, while retaining the most troubling aspect for Jews, namely the desire to end the distinctive Jewish way of life. Still named the "Prayer for Conversion of the Jews," it is a major departure from the teachings and actions of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and numerous authoritative Catholic documents, including Nostra Aetate.
ADL wrote to Pope Benedict on January 22 expressing concern that a revised Good Friday prayer that Jews abandon their own religious identity, would be devastating to the deepening relationship and dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people.