Letter to Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone

His Eminence
Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, SDS
DD Secretariat of State
I - 00120 Vatican City

08 August 2007

Your Eminence,

I write in the name of the Executive of the International Council of Christians and Jews based at the Martin Buber House in Heppenheim, Germany.

At ICCJ's recent annual conference and member organizations' meeting in Sydney, the delegates voted that further communication be undertaken with your office regarding Pope Benedict XVI's recent Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass.

ICCJ is pleased to know that you have recognized the concern of those in the Christian-Jewish dialogue about the prayers in the 1962 Missal. I might add that our concern extends of course to the prayer for Jews but also the prayers for other Christians and people of other faith traditions, particularly Muslims, since we are an ecumenical organization in terms of Christian participation and also have a trilateral Abrahamic Forum.

We sincerely hope the issue of the Good Friday prayers can be resolved positively prior to Holy Week 2008. Your suggestion that in all Good Friday celebrations the same post-Vatican prayers be recited has our full support. In our judgment this change can take place prior to any full- scale revision of the Missal which would take a number of years to complete. The late Pope John XXIII removed the objectionable term "perfidious" from the Good Friday liturgy with a simple papal decree. Since the Latin version of the 1970 Good Friday prayers already exists we would strongly urge that you recommend to Pope Benedict XVI that he do the same with respect to the current objectionable prayers.

Asking God's blessing upon your work for the Church,

Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D

Copy to:
Walter Cardinal Kasper, Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews