Richard Williamson, one of four Society bishops whose excommunications the Pope revoked, made global headlines by publicly denying the Holocaust.
Sources now say that an agreement between the Catholic Church and the Society is “imminent” and they are closer to reconciliation. The National Catholic Register put it this way: “Get ready for SSPX Pandemonium.” Yet hatred for Israel and the Jews permeates not only Williamson’s fringe, but the entire Catholic Society.
The Vatican’s unity with Lefebvre’s group would be a renovation of the “Adversus Judeaos” teachings that spurred pogroms, burnings at the stake, the Inquisition and the gas chambers. It’s the same medieval European hatred of the people of Israel which was so intense that all calamities were attributed to the Jews’ malfeasance.
The Italian branch of the Society just chose a new head, Pierpaolo Petrucci, whose positions on the Jews are the exact copy of Williamson's. Petrucci published an essay on 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?”
Petrucci calls the Jews “rejecters of Christ” and claims 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.” The Society’s bulletin, La Tradizione Cattolica, calls Judaism “a false cult” and spreads delusional material on “the Jew Karl Marx” and “the Jews sleeping in the shadow of death.”
Proto-Holocaust theologyThe Society’s US website calls the Jews “enemy of man, whose secret weapon is the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy.” The South African site claims that “Jews have come closer and closer to fulfilling their substitute-Messianic drive towards world dominion.” The Belgian site accuses Jews of “still believing they are the chosen people” while “awaiting world domination.”
This is even worse than the lunatic statements of Williamson denying the existence of Auschwitz. It’s the cornerstone of the displacement Christian myth, which rings a genocidal note. Franz Schmidberger, the right-hand man of superior Bishop Bernard Fellay, asked for the Jews’ conversion and called them “complicit in deicide.”Another bishop pardoned by the Pope, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, said that “the Jews are the most active artisans for the coming of Antichrist.”
If the Vatican welcomes back the Society, Jewish rabbis should halt their dialogue with the Church and Israeli officials should declare the Society’s leaders “personae non grata.” Any Jewish-Christian rapprochement would be not only futile, but extremely dangerous.
It is incumbent upon Pope Benedict to atone for what Christianity has done to the Jewish people by recognizing the unique role of the Jews in this world and the existence of a restored Israel as the proof that the Jewish people is not annihilated, assimilated and withering away. Otherwise, Christian anti-Semitism will remain an inextinguishable fire and Catholicism will be embracing, again, a proto-Holocaust theology.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism