New York, NY, October 19, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the Vatican to publicly repudiate anti-Semitic statements by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of a schismatic Catholic group known as Society of St. Pius X, in which he suggested that Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus.
"Bishop Williamson's remarks are further evidence that the Society of St. Pius X has no place in the mainstream church," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "It is hard for us to imagine how a congregation that does not accept fundamental church teachings against anti-Semitism, and promotes classic anti-Jewish canards, can be accepted back into the fold."
In an essay on his blog, Bishop Williamson, a convicted Holocaust denier and a member of the schismatic group, wrote that the "true Church" always taught that "the killing of Jesus was truly 'deicide'" and that there is "real solidarity between the Jews clamoring then for Jesus to be killed and that collectivity of Jews of modern times." Explicitly challenging Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Williamson concludes the blog by asking, "How can the Pope let go of such ancient truths?"
The ancient charge of deicide against the Jewish people -- which was repudiated by the Roman Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council in 1965 -- was the source of nearly 2,000 years of church based anti-Semitism.
The Vatican has recently had conversations with the Society of St. Pius X to determine if their reconciliation with the Church is possible.
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.