Friday, 12 June 2009

German Jews tell Catholics what to pray for

The Central Committee of German Catholics, through their joint working group of Catholics and Jews, has recently produced a pamphlet calling for the Christian mission to convert Jews to Christianity to be abolished.

This German effort comes in the wake of last year’s decision of Pope Benedict XVI to bring back the Easter prayer’s old text. Many Jews were angered by the Church’s return to “Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of all men.” Some called for a freeze on Jewish-Catholic dialogue.

But, let us face it: according to their faith, for the whole of mankind to acknowledge that Christ is the Saviour is exactly what Christians should hope for.

Why do German Rabbis and German Jewish academics, members of this working group, co-produce pamphlets on issues of Catholic theology? If Catholics believe that their role in life is to proselytise, let them proselytise. If Catholics decide to change their view - that should be their decision. It is their religion and their business.

Fortunately, the Catholic Church no longer has the power to force anyone to convert. It is no longer necessary for Jews to appeal to the Popes to revoke anti-Jewish legislation or actions.


  1. Praying for redumption of the other puts the other inferior.

  2. You are right.

    However, you could say the same of charitable work, help to the poor, volunteering etc.

  3. I pay tribute to your tolerance in religious issues. However, we should not ignore that other people may feel embarrassed by Christian prayers that claim a Christian monopoly as to the right belief. And isn't any cooperation between Christians and Jews leading to a better understanding and to more tolerance deserving our praise and support?

  4. Very nice to read your lively column, thank you!

    Not sure that the persecution and massacre of the Jews 1933-45 was 'a direct result of anti-Jewish teaching by Christian preachers, priests and theologians'? - This says that hard core Nazis were an adjunct to an anti-Semitic church?

  5. I definitively agree with your essay. You’re absolutely right in arguing that Catholic religion is the religion of the Catholics and of no one else.

    In my opinion, there is no use in levelling faith or meaning – a problem, we nowadays also face much too often in politics.

  6. Dear Anonymus the 2nd,

    You have kindly given me an opportunity to plug my book "Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church".

    Read the chapter on the Church and Jews to see how the Church's anti-Jewish teaching has produced anti-Semitism that erupted so violently during the Holocaust.

    By the way, it was more than persecution and massacre.