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Press Release

ADL Calls Head Of Catholic Sect An “Unrepentant Anti-Semite” After He Declares Jews “Enemies Of The Church”

New York, NY, January 8, 2013 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) denounced Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Catholic traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), as an “unrepentant anti-Semite” after he referred to Jews as “enemies of the church.”

“We have many enemies, many enemies,” Bishop Fellay said, according to a recording of his speech posted on YouTube. He said that those who have been “most opposed that the church would recognize the Society” are “the enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons, the Modernists.”

“Bishop Fellay has shown his true colors as an unrepentant anti-Semite who will not hesitate to blame Jews for his internal problems with his own church,” said Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. “Fellay has made it clear that the society is a movement that adheres to centuries-old anti-Semitic beliefs, one that is training priests and teaching traditionalist Catholics to hate Jews.”

The League welcomed comments of Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi who, in response to Bishop Fellay’s speech, stated that ‘it is impossible to speak of the Jews as enemies of the Church,” and that “the Church is deeply committed to dialogue with Jews.’”

During his December 28 speech in Ontario, Canada, Bishop Fellay made clear that SSPX would never accept the historic reforms of the 1965 Second Vatican Council, which declared anti-Semitism a sin, affirmed God’s irrevocable Covenant with the Jewish people, and fostered historic positive and productive dialogue between the Catholic Church and Jews.

Bishop Fellay was explaining to church members why two years ofnegotiations with Pope Benedict XVI have failed to result in SSPX’s return as full members of the Catholic Church.

In his remarks, Fellay accused Jews of lobbying the Vatican to accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. “Interesting, isn’t it?” Fellay said. “People from outside the Church, who were clearly during centuries enemies of the Church, say to Rome, ‘if you want to accept these people (SSPX) you must oblige them to accept the Council.’ Isn’t that interesting? Oh it is. I think it’s fantastic, because it shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s. They see, the enemies of the Church see, their benefit in the Council. Very interesting.”

Fellay also vowed to continue SSPX’s fight against accepting Jews as brothers and sisters, as Popes John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have taught. “We are gaining in influence,” he said, referring to SSPX’s 510 priests and activities in 31 countries, including the United States, France and Argentina. “We know this tradition is the future of the church and so we must work so it comes back.”

More information on the Society may be found in ADL’s online backgrounder, The Society of St. Pius X: Mired in Anti-Semitism.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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Update

January 28, 2013

The Vatican’s Strong Defense of the Jews

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