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SSPX leader calls Jewish people ‘enemies of the Church’

By on Friday, 4 January 2013

Bishop Fellay, superior general of the SSPX (Photo: CNS)

Bishop Fellay, superior general of the SSPX (Photo: CNS)

The head of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X has called Jewish people “enemies of the Church”, saying Jewish leaders’ support of the Second Vatican Council “shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s”.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the society’s superior general, said those most opposed to Rome granting canonical recognition to the SSPX have been “the enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons, the modernists”.

He said these people, “who are outside of the Church, who over centuries have been enemies of the Church”, urged the Vatican to compel the SSPX to accept Vatican II.

He made the comments during a nearly two-hour talk at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada.

In it he said he had been receiving mixed messages from the Vatican for years over if and how the group might be brought back into full communion with the Church.

He said top Vatican officials told him not to be discouraged by official statements from the Vatican, because they did not reflect Pope Benedict XVI’s true feelings.

The Vatican press office declined to comment on the claims and the society’s Swiss headquarters did not respond to a Catholic News Service request for comment.

However, the US branch of the society attempted to clarify Bishop Fellay’s remark in a statement on its website.

It said: “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.

The group said “this religious context” is based on Jesus telling the Pharisees in the Gospel of St. Matthew: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

“By referring to the Jews, Bishop Fellay’s comment was aimed at the leaders of Jewish organisations, and not the Jewish people,” the statement said, adding that any accusations of the society being anti-Semitic were false and an example of “hate speech made in an attempt to silence its message”.

Pope Benedict launched a series of doctrinal discussions with the SSPX in 2009, lifting excommunications imposed on its four bishops, who were ordained in 1988 without papal approval, and expressing his hopes they would return to full communion with the Church.

In 2011, the Vatican gave SSPX leaders a “doctrinal preamble” to sign that outlines principles and criteria necessary to guarantee fidelity to the Church and its teaching; the Vatican said the SSPX leaders would have to sign it to move toward full reconciliation.

But Bishop Fellay said he repeatedly told the Vatican that the contents of the preamble – particularly acceptance of the modern Mass and the council as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church – were unacceptable.

He said the only reason he continued discussions with Vatican officials was because others “very close to the Pope” had assured him that the Pope was not in agreement with hard-line official pronouncements from the Vatican.

According to Bishop Fellay, retired Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, then president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the office responsible for relations with traditionalist Catholics, had told him in March 2009 that the society would be formally recognised.

When the bishop asked how that could be possible when recognition hinged on accepting the teachings of Vatican II, he said the cardinal replied that such a requirement was only “political” and “administrative” and that, “by the way, that is not what the Pope thinks”.

Bishop Fellay said he continued to get similar messages from other Vatican officials, even as the formal talks continued. The verbal and written messages were very credible, he said, because they came from officials who saw the Pope “every day or every two days.”

He said he wouldn’t give names, but he did claim “the secretary of the Pope himself” was among those who told him not to worry too much about hardline Vatican positions.

Even if the doctrinal congregation ruled against the society, he claimed the secretary told him, the Pope “will overrule it in favour of the society”.

“So, you see, I got all of these kinds of messages which were not fitting together,” Bishop Fellay said. “I got an official thing where I clearly have to say ‘no’ and I got other messages – which are not official, of course – but which say, ‘No, that’s not what the Pope wants.’”

The unofficial assurances were what kept him engaged in talks, he said, since the Vatican’s official demands, which carried the Pope’s approval, “would mean the end of our relation with Rome”.

The Vatican has not made the preamble public, but said it “states some doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity” to the formal teaching of the Church, including the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, and that it leaves room for “legitimate discussion” about “individual expressions or formulations present in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the successive magisterium” of the Church.

Bishop Fellay said Pope Benedict wrote to him, emphasising that full recognition required the society accept the magisterium as the judge of what is tradition, accept the Council as an integral part of tradition and accept that the modern Mass is valid and licit.

Bishop Fellay said: “Even in the Council there are some things we accept,” as well as reject, however, the group wishes to be free to say, “there are errors in the Council” and that “the new Mass is evil”.

The group will not accept reconciliation if it means no longer being able to make such pronouncements, he said.

Here we publish the full statement issued by the US district of the SSPX on Saturday, January 5:

During a 2-hour conference given in Ontario, Canada on December 28th, 2012, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society St. Pius X, commented on the relations between the Holy See and the SSPX during the last two years.

During the conference Bishop Fellay stated “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.

This religious context is based upon the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Holy Gospels: “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.” (Matthew 12:30)

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.

  • Danny

    English grammar is important to you, but the question is not.

  • indig0

    How about a comparison between John Ford and Karl Rahner?  JF was a Catholic and a vastly superior film director than KR was a theologian. In 1962 he produced a film called “The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance”. The very year that the council was launched. JF’s understanding of Western society was far more sombre and sober than the inane optimism which characterised the Council and its implementers. JF saw through the myths which underpinned much of Western Civilization not least its democratic traditions of which the Council Fathers were so enamoured. JF saw through these myths because he had contributed (brilliantly) to the narrative which confirmed their assumed superiority in the first place: “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”. JF dedicated much of his career to “printing the legend” and TMWSLV was his own personal confession to that fact. Intellectually, he was on another planet to the ludicrous Karl Rahner.

  • Sweetjae

    You totally missed my point! The contents of my post is that the former is OBJECTIVE and the latter SUBJECTIVE, in other words, Truth versus Hearsays. The Teaching Authority of a duly convened Council of the Church does not amount to mere fallible opinions or musings of the Pope or bishops BUT the very essence of the Teaching Authority of Jesus Christ himself, God-Man.

    If you don’t subscribe to such a belief, then you are outside of the Faith.

  • Sweetjae

    It’s NOT our job to convert, IT’S THE JOB OF THE Holy Spirit! Want do you want and expect after dialogue with other people of different faith? Bash their heads with the Bible?

    You are just commanded by Christ to plant seeds. If nothing happens, He said, “dust-off your sandals and moved on”, don’t you remember?

  • Sweetjae

    Yes the documents don’t carry the same weight of assent NEVERTHELESS at the end of the day, a catholic still has to give his assent (whatever level it correspond). Rejecting it is a heresy that “many” theologians would like you to believed.

    If the Text is clear, follow it. If the Text can be interpreted either X or Y, then go to the interpretation with the Light of Tradition. Simple.

  • Sweetjae

    Nice.

  • Sweetjae

    Agreed.

  • Sweetjae

    Rejecting is a heresy rather.

  • Sweetjae

    Tomas is right, Ben is siding with a recalcitrant group who believes the Pauline Mass is evil, a heresy itself. Second, he pejoratively called Vat 2 and its Authority.

  • Sweetjae

    Though i agree with you but sometimes these ‘traditionalists’ are a bit exaggerating too. Examples the use of guitars or others beside traditional musical instruments are not offense against God. Dances and display of other peoples’ culture and native customs in the Church to honor God is not affront to God, though should be done separately from the celebration of the Holy Mass.

    Old Testament is replete with these examples where God Himself was very pleased.

  • scary goat

     Thanks.

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    How can such a verbose, 3 year Council chacterised by ambiguity and vagueness of statement be given such an exalted status? Let’s cut the Holy Spirit a break!

    We, as faithful Catholics, are bound by the Council’s Teachings, as we are bound to observe the fasting days (which can be changed), the Eucharistic fast (which can be changed) and a plethora of other disciplines and non-dogmatic or doctrinal teachings which can rationalized or clarified. In other words, Vatican “III” could also be pastoral in nature and develop (clarify) Vatican II and so on.

    We are living Church and not bound by the effusions of a bunch of German mediocrities between the years 1962 – 1965.

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    Our Lord used financial metaphors and similes all the time.

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    Exactly, let’s dump this Council and “move on”.

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    Is not the HOC project itself subject to the HOC? Then is not this secondary HOC itself subject to yet another HOC and so on? Where and when do we stop with HOC? We are stuck in a World of “derivatives” with this project where the “bad” elements (debt and worthlesness) are packaged up with the “good” assets in the hope that nobody will notice them. 

  • im_soul_catholic
  • scary goat

     Hello Benedict :)
    Nearly missed this comment….I don’t know what it’s doing all the way down here.  What a mess, huh?  The sooner the Pope gets on with a bit more clarifying the better I shall be pleased.  I just wish it could all be clear and solid, no more need for arguments because we all know what it means.  He did say Nostra Aetate ignored the down-side of the other religions, so when is he going to be a bit more specific?  Soon, please.

  • Sweetjae

    Where does it say a catholic can refuse the Teaching Authority of the Council if its nature is pastoral? NONE!! Where is this idea came from? Bible? NOPE, Tradition? NOPE.

    You are ingorant of the fact that V2 has Dogmatic Constitutions (Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum etc) that demands catholics the utmost assent. Anyways, your position is so weak because the mere fact that until the disciplines are changed by the very Authority you refuse to obey, then I must say, FOLLOW IT! Refusal is considered a sin.

    Artificial Contraception is not Dogmatic, so do you have the option to refuse too?

    Anyways, your last sentence is very telling of you, we are Catholics and we are not bound by your fallible and mediocre opinion.

  • Sweetjae

    Huh? Gibberish, rubbish.

  • Sweetjae

    You are NOT the Lord and your copycat entries are not even be considered good metaphors because there is no relationship whatsoever.

  • Sweetjae

    Tradition is more than just past written Documents but rather it is LIVING AND ORGANIC, therefore always in continuity until the Lord comes however, your interpretative (hermeneutic) version hereof is NOT.

  • JabbaPapa

    For me, THE most shocking statement he made was to call the New Mass “evil” — such a statement is perfectly uncatholic.

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    Nobody is refusing anything of Vatican II. We are simply accepting that it is a failed and bankrupt project from which we need to move on. The Holy Spirit must be allowed to work and is being prevented from doing so because of V2 fundamentalism and the aggressive intolerance it has spurned.

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    “If nothing happens, He said, “dust-off your sandals and moved on”, don’t you remember?” – EXACTLY – well said!

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    Benedict Carter could see the link.The Pope himself has described the results of the Council as a disappointment. Perhaps a golfing metaphor is more suitable: ‘Carnoustie effect’, meaning the degree of trauma experienced when what is undertaken in confident spirit founders on unforeseen difficulties. The phrase is not confined to golf, but can be applied to any undertaking which goes wrong when unsuspected difficulties are encountered. Nobody denies that the 1999 British Open from where the term derives was a validly convened golfing ‘Major’ but it was still a mess of a tournament with a lasting impact on subsequent course “set-ups”. If the R & A can learn from their mistakes, why can’t we?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Correct use of English grammar is ALWAYS important. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    SSPX Statement:

    “During a 2-hour conference given in Ontario, Canada on December 28th, 2012, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society St. Pius X, commented on the relations between the Holy See and the SSPX during the last two years. During the conference Bishop Fellay stated “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.

    This religious context is based upon the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Holy Gospels: “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.” (Matthew 12:30)

    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.”

  • scary goat

     Sweet, I don’t think anyone would disagree with this.  I don’t think the pre-V II Church would disagree with this.  But can you apply this willy-nilly to every Jew ever irrespective of his views….on Christ, on God, on everything? It’s a complex issue about  “labels” and individuals and what do the labels mean?  As long as people are clear in their own minds in understanding this, there is no problem….but not everyone is a genius, not everyone even tries to think it through in depth.  A lot of people just take things at face value.  Just as it could be argued that it was a wrong understanding  of the Church’s position that pre-V II people might have been inclined to think ALL Jews were evil, which presumably the V II documents were intended to remedy, the result has been that people now are inclined to think that ALL Jews are fine, irrespective.  As I understand it, the truth lies somewhere between the 2 extremes.  This is why people are getting upset about Nostra Aetate.  It is inclined to lead to syncretism.  This may well be a misunderstanding of the document, but in practical terms this is the effect it has had….I have seen this amongst not only laity but even clergy.  I don’t think we want to go back to “the bad old days” but I feel we are in desperate need of having he position clarified.

  • Lewispbuckingham

     If this is the explanation it still sounds very bad.Hopefully it is a journalistic beat up.
     It leaves a lot of lead in the saddle in discussions with an organisation, the Catholic Church, that actively seeks to reconcile disagreements between all men, as part of its mission to build the Kingdom, as in ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done..”
     The SSPX must cut its losses and promote a better leader and spokesman.

  • scary goat

     No, I think he meant what he said.  Are you saying that the post-conciliar Church has sole rights on being against anti-semitism? That’s a bit of a mind boggling view.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    + Fellay is Pope material. 

  • scary goat

     Thankyou.  Very clearly explained. :)

  • scary goat

     So previous Popes were bigots?  Same sort of idea as Daryl Brown who in a comment below seems to think that the Church pre-VII was anti-semitic.  Has anyone actually thought through what Archbishop Muller said about “there is no rupture” and it is heresy to say that there is?  People seem to assume that it was aimed directly at SSPX but that isn’t what he said. He meant there is continuity, nothing has really changed, because if there is rupture the whole lot goes out the window.  If people see rupture either as a good thing or a bad thing it makes no difference, we cannot be seeing rupture.  What we need to do is get our heads round it and merge pre/post V II in continuity and we must understand this.  A bit of serious guidance from the top as to HOW we understand it is badly needed.  As I understand it V II was meant to “enlighten” existing teachings.  In practice it seems to have “muddied the waters” instead.  I am pretty sure this is what the Pope is now trying to address…..I just wish he’d get on with it a bit faster.  God give him strength.

  • scary goat

     Yes, and so should those who think it was a theological re-evaluation in a good way as well as a bad.

  • W Lewis513

    Yes you are correct, but I am very sorry for them.Cut off from the barque of Peter they must drift further away, like those of the 16 th Century. Here we see the two opposites who cliam they are the true church. the SSPX because nothing has changed and VAT 11 was wrong . They are like Hans Kung in that he alos belives VaT 11 was wrong ,becasue they did not acept his theology lock stock and b arrell.They both need a little humility and our prayers. A “Tranditionalist” catholic.

  • Deacon_Augustine

    It is not burying one’s head in the sand, Benedict Carter, to criticize prelates for using wildly emotive language – AGAIN WITHOUT PROPER DISTINCTIONS.

    The root of most bad theology is the failure to make correct distinctions, and the carte blanche application of the term “evil” to the New Mass is one example of such childish idiocy.  Not only does it inflame emotions on all sides and makes constructive debate impossible, but it reflects very badly on the bona fides of the SSPX and again renders them subject to ridicule by anybody who has studied theology to the level of First Holy Communion.

    Without doubt, anybody with inclinations towards orthodox Catholic belief can point out defects, deficiencies and severe shortcomings with the New Rite, particularly vis a vis the Rite which it usurped for so long.  Insofar as anything recedes from what is perfect and good, it can technically be said to be or contain evil – at least in part.  However, by the same standard, the Old Rite can also be said to contain deficiencies – different in nature of course – and hence could also be said to be “evil”.  And I dare say that if the Old Rite was imposed universally on the Church overnight – as the sole permissible rite – that would also result in massive defections from the Faith.  Would that then mean that the Old Rite was evil (as some modernists would jubilantly claim)?

    If the SSPX want to be taken seriously, it’s time they grew up, stopped screeching like hysterical Gallican women, and tried to get a proper discussion going with Rome about the specific problems of the New Rite.  But it won’t do to hurl generalist epithets of “evil” at the NO – most of it is taken from ancient Catholic Liturgies, much of it pre-dating or taken from the Tridentine Rite – its sources are perfectly orthodox. The manner in which these were cut and pasted together in committee are a large part of its inherent weakness.  The unCatholic way it is often celebrated have compounded the problems. But, at the end of the day, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ are made Really Present and offered in Holy Sacrifice in this Rite of Mass, and I would defy anybody to stand in His Presence, look Him in His Face and try to justify their label for what has just happened as “Evil”!!

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    That I can not accept. He should have resigned 2 years ago. It’s obvious he is unable to deliver the Society in a deal with Vatican. These discussions have been handled very badly.

  • JabbaPapa

    No he isn’t.

  • JabbaPapa

    Since the past 2000 years or so, ongoing.

  • Sweetjae

    He already is, don’t you that already?

  • Sweetjae

    SSPX in their website and from the writings of their founder +Lefebvre said in August 29, 1987: Pay close attention to the peculiar similarities:

    +Lefebvre: “The See of Peter and posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christ’s”.

    Martin Luther: “The Pope and his authority is of the anti-Christ”.

    +Lefebvre: “This Conciliar Church is a schismatic church because it breaks with the Catholic Church of the centuries”.

    Martin Luther: “The Catholic Church is a shismatic church who broke with Christ’s Church and Gospel”

    +Lefebvre: “All these Popes have resisted the union of the Church with the revolution; it is an adulterous union and from such a union only bastards can come. The rite of the New Mass is a bastard rite, the Sacraments are bastard Sacraments.”

    Martin Luther: “The popes of this church is adulterous union of bastards.”

    Strange? Surprised? I’m not.

  • Sweetjae

    +Lefebvre was referring to the pre-Vat2 Popes before Pope John XXIII in the last citation.

  • Danny

    Maybe we live on different planet’s.

  • JabbaPapa

    Maybe you are insensitive to God’s love.

  • Danny

    Insensitive to your Christian love.

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    Thanks for the clarification as I was hanging on your every word …

  • Sweetjae

    Do you play golf? I love the game.

  • Sweetjae

    Noticed your response is a bit of a contradiction. If nobody is refusing (therefore accepting) anything of V2 then we must move on is the cohesive answer. Yes there were “failures” as there have always been in every Councils of the Church, be it Trent or Vatican 1 etc. The fundamentalism is brought forth by radical interpretations of the documents by both the Modernist and ‘traditionalist’ groups.

  • Sweetjae

    If you are pertaining to the fruits of V2 a lot has been produced that is good: Catholics increased threefold worldwide since, conversions of former pagan countries like Korea, Vietnam and Africa; increased in vocations (except Western Europe due to their self-admiration) like Mother Theresa and Third order and missionary groups that are orthodox and faithful to the Church and Pope; increased in charitable actions, soup kitchens, health care centers, orphanages, schools etc. to educate and alleviate the sufferings of our poor brothers worldwide.

    What more can you ask? Complain your dwindling number in Europe again? It’s not the fault of V2 but in your own backyard.

  • Sweetjae

    Whatever but you are still welcome. Play golf?