Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

European rabbis urge Pope to suspend SSPX talks following Williamson remarks

October 21, 2011

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis has called upon Pope Benedict XVI to suspend talks aimed at restoring full communion between the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and the Holy See.

“There must be no rapprochement within the Catholic Church for those of its flock who seek to preach words of hate,” said Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt.

The rabbi’s comments followed recent remarks by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson, who criticized Pope Benedict for “enabling journalists to jump to the conclusion that the Jews must no longer be held responsible for deicide.”

“Only the Jews (leaders and people) were the prime agents of the deicide because it is obvious from the Gospels that the Gentile most involved, Pontius Pilate, would never have condemned Jesus to death had not the Jewish leaders roused the Jewish people to clamour for his crucifixion,” Bishop Williamson wrote. “Certainly the learned leaders were more guilty than the unlearned people, says St Thomas Aquinas, but they all cried together for Jesus’ blood to come down upon them and their children.”

“Has there ever been a race-people-nation on the face of the earth more proudly self-identifying as identical down the ages?” added Bishop Williamson. “Collectively also, meaning there are always noble exceptions, they have remained faithful to that rejection, so that they changed their religion from that of Abraham and Moses and the Old Testament to that of Anas [sic], Caiphas and the Talmud … they seem bound to choose to go on acting, collectively, as enemies of the true Messiah.”

“Bishop Williamson's remarks are further evidence that the Society of St. Pius X has no place in the mainstream Church,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Earlier this year, Bishop Williamson was fined over $9,000 by a German appeals court for public statements questioning the extent of the Holocaust.

The Roman Catechism (Catechism of the Council of Trent), issued in 1566, teaches that

sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the sufferings that the divine Redeemer endured …We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt.

And it can be seen that our crime in this case is greater in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, "None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him.


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  • Posted by: Biscjim - Oct. 22, 2011 2:29 PM ET USA

    While Bishop Williamson's comments might be outrageous, what is equally outrageous is the nerve of Jewish organizations to interfere again in the internal affairs of the Catholic Church. Just think the reaction if we were to try to interfere in Jewish affairs!

  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 21, 2011 10:37 PM ET USA

    Bishop Williamson has been "in the doghouse" not only of Jewish leaders but of Bishop Fellay. He is not among the leaders currently meeting with Vatican officials. He is not currently approved to speak on behalf of the SSPX and has actually been advised to keep a low profile. There are strongly opinionated people of various religious and political persuasions who absolutely oppose an efficacious and productive outcome to these negotiations.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Oct. 21, 2011 11:14 AM ET USA

    I hate to be even in partial agreement with Abe Foxman, but Bp. Williamson is in serious error on the role of the Jews. There's enough error within the Church already. The Holy Father should know not to let in any more. I often say that a biretta on the head does not demarcate true teaching in the heart.