The controversy began on Jan. 21, 2009, when Pope Benedict revoked the excommunication of four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X.
“I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but that none of them via gas chambers,” one of the Bishops, Richard Williamson, declared a few days later.
Then Williamson raised his voice against the Jews: “The Catholic faith and Jewish power are like two weighing pans on a pair of scales: when the Catholic Faith goes up, Jewish power goes down and vice versa”.
These past weeks the Vatican is working for communion with the Society of Saint Pius X. Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, presented “the path to full reconciliation with the Church” to Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the fraternity.
European rabbis urged the Pope in vain to suspend talks with the society.
The Vatican is now trying to minimize Williamson’s words against the Jews as a mere isolate case. But this Arutz Sheva expose clearly shows that hatred for Judaism permeates the entire Catholic Brotherhood.
Last month the Italian branch of the Society chose a new head after the retirement of Father Davide Pagliarani. The successor is Pierpaolo Petrucci, whose positions on the Jews are the exact copy of those of Williamson.
Petrucci published an essay in the website of the Society stating: “About the Jews, Joseph Ratzinger calls them ‘Fathers in faith’. What does it mean? Supporting Israel’s policy despite the Palestinian question? Supporting the Jewish religion? If that’s the case, how can the Church approve a false religion which rejects Jesus Christ?”.
Another priest, Don Mauro Tranquillo, calls the Jews “morally responsible for the deicide of Christ”. In 2009 Petrucci calls the Jews “rejecters of Christ”. A year later he stated that “the Church always condemned Judaism as a false religion, praying for the conversion (of the Jews), so that they will reach salvation, seriously compromised by their superstitions”.
When Pope John Paul II made his first visit to Rome’s synagogue in 1986, the Society distributed a placard saying, “Pope, don’t go to Caiaphas,” a reference to the Jewish high priest who organized the plot to kill Jesus, according to the New Testament.
Franz Schmidberger, the right-hand man of Bishop Fellay, also asks for the Jews’ conversion: “St. Peter, the first pope, preached to the Jews and told them that ‘If you want to be saved you must do three things: You must regret your sins and convert, believe in our lord... and, thirdly, be baptized.’ We expect that every pope who claims to be the successor of St. Peter . . . should take the same stand.”
A few days after Mr. Williamson’s tirade about the gas chambers, Mr. Schmidberger wrote to German bishops to remind them of the supposed Jewish original sin. “With the crucifixion of Christ, the curtain of the temple was torn and the old alliance destroyed. The Jews are complicit in deicide, as long as they do not distance themselves from the culpability of their forefathers by acknowledging the divinity of Christ and the baptism”.
Last autumn, Régis de Cacqueray, the head of the French chapter, also accused Jews of deicide: “How can one imagine that God is pleased with the prayers of the Jews, who are faithful to their fathers who crucified his son and deny the Trinitarian God?”.
The society said the speech was published on its website with Fellay’s approval.
According to Ansa news agency, in 1997 Ugo Carandino, the head of the Italian Society of Saint Pius X community, refused the Vatican’s request of forgiveness to the Jewish people: “It’s the Jews which should ask our pardon for their usury,” he said.
Another of the bishops pardoned by Pope Benedict, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, also said that “the Jews are the most active artisans for the coming of Antichrist”.
The Pope’s unity with Lefebvre’s group is a renovation of the “Adversus Judeaos” teachings which spurred pogroms, burnings at the stake and the inquisition. If the Vatican welcomes back these anti-Semites, the Jewish leaders should immediately stop any dialogue with the Catholic authorities.