Chief Rabbi Mirvis.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has welcomed a call by Catholic bishops in the UK to update their prayer for Jews, as a “message of brotherhood and tolerance.”

The prayer has been revised numerous times, most recently in 2008 by Benedict XVI. It had previously included references to the “blindness” of Jews and their “immersion in darkness.”

But the version still differs from a version introduced after the Second Vatican Council and “reverted to being a prayer for the conversion of Jews to Christianity”, according to Archbishop Kevin McDonald, chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations.

He added: “A change would be important both for giving clarity and consistency to Catholic teaching and for helping to progress Catholic-Jewish dialogue.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “This motion is a testament to the warm and ever improving relationship between the Catholic and Jewish communities here in the UK.

“I have discussed this matter with Cardinal Vincent Nichols during my recent conversations with him and I know how personally supportive he is of this change. In the current climate of religiously motivated extremism and violence, this message of brotherhood and tolerance is enormously valuable.”