A dozen Orthodox priests have signed a declaration asking the church to excise anti-Semitic passages from its liturgy. I'm glad that this is finally acknowledged and talked about in the Orthodox church, but I doubt any changes will come forth; the Orthodox pride themselves on being the "true holders of the faith".
The dozen Orthodox priests who signed the declaration - some in open defiance of directives from church leadership - represent five different Orthodox churches, including the Russian, Greek, Ukrainian, Georgian and Ecumenical Orthodox Churches.
"We came to the firm belief that it is high time for the Orthodox Church to correct its attitude toward Jews and Judaism," the declaration states.
Unlike the Catholic and Protestant churches, the Orthodox Church has never removed anti-Semitic passages from its liturgy, which still refers to Jews as Christ killers, said Dr. Dmitry Radyehsvky, director of the Jerusalem Summit, a conservative Israeli think tank that co-sponsored the visit.
He said the anti-Semitic passages were most conspicuous during Easter services, and included statements such as "the Jewish tribe which condemned you to crucifixion, repay them, Oh Lord," which is repeated half a dozen times, and "Christ has risen but the Jewish seed has perished," as well as references to Jews as "God-killers."
"Orthodox Christianity lives up to its name: it's extremely conservative - even more than Catholicism," Radyehsvky said.
"For them to even pose the question about the need to throw out Judophobic passages from the liturgy, which were there for 1,500 years, is a revolution," he said.