Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of St. Pius X. CNS photo

Canadian bishops denounce anti-Semitic talk by SSPX leader

  • January 25, 2013

OTTAWA - Canada’s Catholic bishops have denounced recent statements made in Canada by the Society of St. Pius X superior that “the Jews” are the “enemies of the Church.”

Bishop Bernard Fellay made the remarks Dec. 28 in New Hamburg, Ont., at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy. His speech was uploaded to YouTube shortly after Fellay made the comments.

“The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops notes that such remarks are not in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church,” said the bishops’ conference in a Jan. 18 statement.

The bishops quoted Holy See spokesman Fr. Federico Lombadi, S.J., who said in response to Fellay’s remarks: “It is absolutely unacceptable, impossible, to define the Jews as enemies of the Church.”

“The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops denounces all forms of anti-Semitism, and rejects assertions such as those reported to have been made by the superior of the Society of St. Pius X, which is a schismatic group not in communion with the Catholic Church,” the bishops’ statement said.

The traditionalist society has been in talks with Rome to bring the schismatic group back into communion with the Holy See. However, the society rejects the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which the group must accept to have its broken relationship with the Holy See regularized. Fellay also blamed the Jews for the Second Vatican Council in his Canadian talk. The society rejects the new order of the Mass, teachings on religious freedom and ecumenism.

An American Society of St. Pius X web site rejected the widespread charges of anti-Semitism, and issued a statement trying to clarify the remarks, noting Fellay had said: “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…”

“The word ‘enemies’ used here by Bishop Fellay is of course a religious concept and 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,” said the society’s American district news release.

In a gesture of goodwill in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI removed the excommunications incurred by four of the society’s bishops. It then came to light one of them, Bishop Richard Williamson, was a Holocaust denier, a fact unknown to the Vatican at the time.

In October 2012, the society expelled Williamson for insubordination. Williamson had been agitating against Fellay’s attempts to reconcile with the Holy See.


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