What’s with the perpetual anti-Semitic leanings of this Society?!
The head of a controversial Catholic sect says that Jews are “enemies of the Church,” but the sect has denied any anti-Semitic intentions.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, declared Jews “enemies of the Church” during a talk that aired on a Canadian radio station, the Catholic News Agency recently reported. Fellay’s remarks took place on Dec. 28 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel in New Hamburg, Ontario.
Fellay, discussing negotiations with the Vatican in 2012 concerning the Society’s future, said the following during the address: “Who, during that time, was the most opposed that the Church would recognize the Society? The enemies of the Church. The Jews, the Masons, the Modernists.”
Fellay said Jewish leaders’ support of the Second Vatican Council “shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s,” according to the Catholic Register.
The Second Vatican Council modernized the Catholic Church in the 1960s and is the reason the Society of St. Pius X split from the main body and was founded in 1970 as part of the Traditionalist Catholic movement. Some traditionalists blame Jews for the reforms that took place during the Vatican II council meetings, notes the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The Society of St. Pius X posted a press release in response to Fellay’s “enemies of the Church” comment, denying any anti-Semitic connotations. The release reads that “enemies” refers to “any group or religious sect which opposes the mission of the Catholic Church and her efforts to fulfill it: the salvation of souls.”
The release continued thus:
By referring to the Jews, Bishop Fellay’s comment was aimed at the leaders of Jewish organizations, and not the Jewish people, as is being implied by journalists. Accordingly the Society of St. Pius X denounces the repeated false accusations of anti-Semitism or hate speech made in an attempt to silence its message.
This is not the first time one of the sect’s members has spoken out against Jews.
In 1985, one of the Society’s founders, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre also identified enemies of the sect as “Jews, Communists and Freemasons,” according to JTA. In addition, traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson has denied that the Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews in the Holocaust and that no more than 200,000 to 300,000 died during WWII.
Jesuit Priest Rev. James Martin expressed his disapproval of Fellay’s comment and of the Society in general. “I cannot imagine how any further talks can continue with the group,” Martin told The Huffington Post. “Theologians have been silenced for dissenting in lesser ways from official church teaching.
Meanwhile, via the Washington Post:
The Vatican reaffirmed its commitment to dialogue with Jews on Monday (Jan. 7) after the head of a traditionalist breakaway group called them “enemies of the Church.”
The Vatican chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that it was “meaningless” and “unacceptable” to label Jews as “enemies” of the Catholic Church.
“Both Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II personally engaged in dialogue with Jews,” he said. As a sign of their commitment, Lombardi noted the two popes’ visits to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, Judaism’s most sacred site, and to synagogues in Rome and elsewhere.
The Vatican reassurance came after Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), said on Dec. 28 that “the enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons, the modernists” were opposing the group’s reconciliation with the church.
Fellay assessed the status of relations between the SSPX and the Vatican in a long speech at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario. The audio of the speech was posted on YouTube on Dec. 30.
At Benedict’s prompting, the Vatican in 2009 opened talks to repair the decades-long breach with the SSPX, focusing on the group’s rejection of the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which revolutionized the church’s relations with Judaism.
Anti-Semitic strains within the SSPX have been a major headache for the Vatican; shortly after Benedict lifted the 1988 excommunications of four SSPX bishops, it emerged that one of the bishops, Richard Williamson, was a vocal denier of the Holocaust…
On Monday, Lombardi stressed that he was not directly responding to Fellay’s words but merely restating the church’s official position on relations with Jews, which dates to the Second Vatican Council. He declined to comment on the potential impact of Fellay’s words on the dialogue between the Vatican and the SSPX.
Jews are “enemies of the Church,” the head of a radical Catholic sect said in Canada.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, made the remark during a Dec. 28 address at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario, about 90 minutes’ drive west of Toronto. He was reviewing the situation of the society, which opposes Catholic Church reforms decided by the Second Vatican Council and is not recognized by the Church.
According to an audio recording posted on YouTube two days later, Fellay spoke about the society’s three years of discussions with the Vatican over the society’s future and explained how he interpreted behind-the-scenes communications.
Apparently speaking without a text, Fellay asked, “Who during that time was the most opposed that the Church would recognize the society? The enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons, the Modernists.”
According to the Catholic News Service, Fellay added that Jewish leaders’ support of reforming Second Vatican Council “shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s.”
As of Friday, there was no response from the society’s Swiss headquarters to a Catholic News Service email request for comment, the agency reported.
The Society of St. Pius X, , was founded in 1970 as a reaction against the Vatican’s efforts to modernize. In 2009, Pope Benedict launched talks with the society and lifted excommunications imposed on its four bishops.
One of the bishops was Richard Williamson, who has denied that the Nazis used gas chambers and asserted that no more than 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died during World War II…