Opus sacerdotale Amici Israel

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The Opus sacerdotale Amici Israel was an international Roman Catholic association founded in Rome in February 1926. Its purpose was to pray for the conversion of the Jews and to promote a favorable attitude towards them within the Roman Catholic Church. In the first year of its existence, this association was composed of 19 cardinals, 300 bishops and about 3,000 priests.[1] The Opus was dissolved by the Holy Office in March 1928.

Its ideas were outlined in leaflets written in Latin and circulated among the clergy. Its first request to the Church was that the word "perfidis", which described the Jews during the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews, be removed, since some believed the prayer could be interpreted as anti-Semitic.[2]

Pope Pius XI asked the Congregation of Rites for to consider the proposed reform. Cardinal Schuster, who was among the Amici Israel, was appointed to monitor this issue; his congregation authorized the proposed reform. However, the Holy Office, under its secretary Cardinal Merry del Val, objected to the change on doctrinal grounds.

The decree from the Holy Office which suppressed the association upheld on the one hand the traditional Catholic belief in supersessionism and the need to pray for the conversion of the Jews and, on the other hand, firmly condemned racist antisemitism. "The Catholic Church has always prayed for the Jewish people, depositories, until the coming of Jesus Christ, of the divine promise, regardless of their subsequent blindness, or rather, precisely because of it. Moved by that spirit of charity, the Apostolic See has protected this same people against unjust vexations, and just as it reproves all hatreds and animosities between people, so it especially condemns hatred against the people elected by God, a hatred that today is vulgarly called 'anti-Semitism'."[3]

See also[edit]


  • Elias H. Füllenbach: Päpstliches Aufhebungsdekret der „Amici Israel“ (25. März 1928), in: Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Judenfeindschaft in Geschichte und Gegenwart, vol. 6: Publikationen, ed. by Wolfgang Benz, Berlin / Boston 2013, p. 525-527.


  1. ^ "L'abolition de l'Opus sacerdotale Amici Israel", Menahem Macina Retrieved December 10, 2009
  2. ^ Hubert Wolf: Papst und Teufel
  3. ^ (French)L’Eglise catholique, en effet, a toujours eu coutume de prier pour le peuple juif, qui fut le dépositaire des promesses divines jusqu’à Jésus-Christ, malgré l’aveuglement continuel de ce peuple, bien plus, à cause même de cet aveuglement. Avec quelle charité le Siège apostolique n’a-t-il pas protégé le même peuple contre les vexations injustes ! Parce qu’il réprouve toutes les haines et les animosités entre les peuples, il condamne au plus haut point la haine contre le peuple autrefois choisi par Dieu, cette haine qu’aujourd’hui on a coutume de désigner sous le non d’“antisémitisme”., "L'abolition de l'Opus sacerdotale Amici Israel", Menahem Macina, Accessed 6 February 2017