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SSPX and Anti-Semitism

January 5, 2013

Anti-Semitism seems to be a recurring feature among many traditionalist groups.  I have blogged about this problem before.   I recently ran across another egregious example:  Deacon Kandra had a link to this story from CNS on his blog.  Recorded speaking in Ontario in late December, Bishop Bernard Fellay superior general of SSPX, gave voice to the anti-Semitism which seems to cling to the society:

He spoke about the society’s three years of discussions with the Vatican over the society’s future and explained how he interpreted behind-the-scenes communications about the talks.  Apparently speaking without a text, he also called the 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.  Those most opposed to the church granting canonical recognition to the traditionalist society have been “the enemies of the church: the Jews, the Masons,” he said.

Reading this I have to shake my head.  Two questions immediately come to mind:

1)  Why does the Vatican continue to court SSPX given their history of anti-Semitism?  It seems clear that they are never going to assent to Nostra Aetate.

2)  More seriously, what continues to give life to this hateful ideology?  And what must we, the Body of Christ, do to combat it?

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58 Comments
  1. Jordan permalink
    January 5, 2013 9:30 am

    David, no amount of rational argument is going to convince deluded and psychopathic schismatic bishops and their followers to repent of anti-Semitism and return to the Church. The door’s always open to them, certainly. A reunion with the SSPX always has to be on the Church’s terms. That means full acceptance of all the Vatican II documents (not just Nostra Aetate) and explicit recognition that the Ordinary Form is valid.

    The typical Latin edition of the missal of 1970 is, on a whole, a significant improvement over the Tridentine missal in many respects. The liturgical rupture today centers on liturgical semiotics (such as altar orientation), Latin, and a divide over musical traditions. Two parishes near my house celebrate at least once ordinary form Sunday Mass ad orientem, with the readings and propers in English and chanted ordinary of the Mass in Latin. That was, and is, enough liturgical reform for many Catholics. If only during the 1970s and later some of the older liturgical practices were tolerated, some Catholics who have been led astray by far-right schismatics and their noxious hate might still be within the fold of the Church.

  2. Melody permalink
    January 5, 2013 10:42 am

    “…what continues to give life to this hateful ideology? And what must we, the Body of Christ, do to combat it?”
    I think the problem is that part of the belief system of this group is that the Church or its leaders have never-never-never made a mistake; at least until Vatican II came along. Therefore anti-semitism is okay, even endorsed, because it was practiced and preached by the Church in various times of the past. I think it would help a great deal if the Church as an organization was quicker to admit its mistakes. It is made up of people, mistakes are going to happen. The Church, to its credit, has rejected the blood-libel idea that the Jews were guilty of the crucifixion. If it had confronted that belief sooner, it would have been better. We have to somehow get to the point where we realize as a group that admitting mistakes doesn’t make the whole belief system come tumbling down.
    Of course this isn’t going to bring back the SSPX, probably quite the opposite. The pope has done what he could to bring them back, if they don’t want to, it’s their problem. The door is always open to individuals who want to come back, maybe we need to realize that bringing them back as a group isn’t going to happen.

    • Julia Smucker permalink*
      January 6, 2013 2:11 pm

      Good observations, Melody. I have unfortunately encountered the same axiom in Vox Nova’s comboxes that if the Church has ever condoned something, it can’t be wrong (especially here and here). This same line of thinking that dismisses Nostra Aetate does the same to Dignitatis Humanae and even to the classification of slavery as an intrinsic evil. That this is a distinctive mark of the SSPX is telling; anyone who takes it as a necessary “Catholic” position is failing to recognize its schismatic implications.

  3. Mike McG... permalink
    January 5, 2013 1:04 pm

    “Anti-Semitism seems to be a recurring feature among many traditionalist groups.”

    Tragic and deplorable but true. I endorse David’s post…hastening to note, however, that ‘many’ doesn’t equal ‘most.’ I want to push back from the inference that could be drawn(but not in any way intended by David) that there is some kind of intrinsic flaw within traditional Catholicism that leads inexorably to anti-semitism.

    That would be too easy and would impute to ‘them’ what we don’t want to see in ‘us.’ Jews I have spoken to are easily as distressed by discourse they consider as thinly veiled anti-semitism theminating from the left as they are from vile anti-semetic discourse coming from the right. I don’t exempt the Catholic left from scrutiny. The entire tradition has a sad history with anti-semitism and we are wise to be suspect of how thoroughly we’ve moved on.

    Blogdom will have matured as a forum for honest exploration when we are as quick to challenge our ideological and cultural teammates as we are to condemn the other team.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
      January 5, 2013 3:13 pm

      Mike, I happily agree. I have run across anti-Semitism far more often on the right, but I would not claim it is either intrinsic or ubiquitous. And I have run into a depressing amount of casual anti-Semitism in the broad middle as well as on the left. So the challenge is really for all of us to extirpate it from every part of the Body of Christ.

  4. Mark VA permalink
    January 5, 2013 6:11 pm

    As a Traditionalist Catholic (FSSP), fully in communion with the Catholic Church and the Pope, I readily admit that I have personally experienced occasional expressions of anti-Semitism from some of my traditionalist co-religionists. Additionally, I’m not a supporter of SSPX, since they refuse to subject themselves to the lawful authority structure established by Christ – with inevitably regrettable results.

    I consider anti-Semitism sinful, a grave subject matter for the confessional. Any remnants of it must be purged from Traditional Catholicism that is in communion with the Catholic Church. The mitigating factors here may be that such expressions, in my experience, seem to be confined to a handful of people prone to beliefs in conspiracies. Also, I have never heard anything anti-Semitic preached from the pulpit, neither did I ever hear Nostra Aetate criticized.

    I would like to compliment Mr. David Cruz-Uribe for taking a balanced view of this shameful problem.

    The Wiesenthal Center has taken note of this latest SSPX foray:

    http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=4441467&ct=12710813

  5. January 5, 2013 10:46 pm

    I reject anyone who rejects Christ, and call them devils, and dogs. But most especially those to whom so much was given. To whom the prophecies were given.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
      January 6, 2013 9:56 am

      So you reject the teaching of Nostra Aetate?

      “It is true that the church is the new people of God, yet the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this
      followed from holy scripture….We cannot truly pray to God the Father of all if we treat any people as other than sisters and brothers, for all are created in God’s image.”

    • Mark VA permalink
      January 6, 2013 4:39 pm

      “White Lilly Blog”:

      As a Traditionalist Catholic (FSSP), I’m saddened by your comment. You undoubtedly know what the Two Great Commandments are:

      “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40)

      If God grants us a neighbor who rejects Christ, even in a public and aggressive way, we are to love him in return, always repaying with kindness, forgiveness, and the readiness to offer help, for any slight or insult. I will not pretend to have always lived up to this standard, so let me offer this council for both of us: the sacrament of confession is our spiritual medicine.

      Also, a word to the wise: let not the devil manipulate our imaginations and emotions, so that we are tempted to accept hatred in the legitimate defence of our Church.

    • bill bannon permalink
      January 7, 2013 9:12 am

      White Lily types infallibilize all past encyclicals and Council canons which is not Catholicism but a form of idolatry.
      The Jews at the time of Christ rejected Christ. The Jews after that time period were under an orientation that God brought upon them whereby like Joseph’s brothers in Egypt, they talk to Joseph-Christ… but Joseph is in disguise just as in Genesis….but wills their good while he is maintaining his disguise towards his brothers until history’s end. Ergo Nostra Aetate is correct…present Jews are blameless of Christ’s death. Those trads who point to the crowd saying “his blood be upon us and upon our children” are ignorant that such canards were forbidden by God (thus not prophetic) in Ezekiel where God forbids the Jews to recite any proverbs of that ilk…chapter 18:
      1
      The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man,
      2
      what is the meaning of this proverb you recite in the land of Israel:

      “Parents eat sour grapes,a
      but the children’s teeth are set on edge”?*
      3
      As I live—oracle of the Lord GOD: I swear that none of you will ever repeat this proverb in Israel.
      4
      For all life is mine: the life of the parent is like the life of the child, both are mine. Only the one who sins shall die!

      Present Jews reject the historical version of Christ as He was presented in the behaviour of historical Western Catholic man…including e.g. the anti semetical sermons of Chrysostom, the emblems they had to wear mandated by an Ecumenical Council and the kidnapping of a Jewish boy by Pius IX’s regime, Eduardo Mortara, because he was over zealously baptized by a maid.
      How can Jews now warm to our version of Christ while Rome is breaking it’s back for years to reincorporate anti semites? This is all time the CDF could have been giving to other things. Did they work this hard to reincorporate those on the left who went off the tracks? No. Then doing so on the right means you favor the right which Jews have learned to fear.

  6. Peter Paul Fuchs permalink
    January 6, 2013 1:14 am

    Isn’t the underlying issue that many of these types accepted the visions and preachings of various visionaries like the “Seer of Bayside” Veronika Leuken, and the the “divine” or Marian opinions thereby delivered against the reforms of Vatican II. If God has spoken, and you have accepted it as such, then it is hard to go back. Strangely, it was not uncommon to find people who accepted such things, who STILL attended liturgies in the ordinary form. Go figure. Similarly, there are Catholic breakaway groups like the Old Catholic Church of North America that proclaim their use of the “Novus Ordo” related to Vatican II, and yet, the very notion of “Old Catholic” is founded in the refusal to accept Vatican I, on which of course Vatican II, and its “Novus Ordo” is premised. Therefore, I guess my point would be that one should not expect that the whole kit-and-kaboodle makes any sense. ‘Cause it clearly doesn’t

  7. J. Mikaelis permalink
    January 6, 2013 12:53 pm

    I am an American who studied at the SSPX principal seminary in Econe, Switerland in the 1980s. This was before Abp. Lefebvre had consecrated the four bishops, including Bp. Fellay. I know many of the district superiors of the SSPX as well as three of the four bishops from that time in the seminary. I certainly did run across a fair share of anti-Semitism in certain individuals there, but it was by no means the majority of the seminarians and priests that I encountered. My sense at that time, and now, is that a lot of it stems from the fact that across Europe anti-Semitism is, deplorably, much more widespread than here in the USA, and considered, very unfortunately, almost normal. It’s by no means limited to traditionalists of any stripe. Another issue is the rhetoric, which comes across far more pejorative than the SSPX intends that it be understood (see the district superior USA’s statement on their website in explanation). That is not to excuse it at all, but to try to put it into context. I agree with Mark VA’s comments above that Nostra Aetate probably does not present a problem for the SSPX to accept. They have some genuite objections to some of the documents of V-II that are more fundamental to the faith.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
      January 6, 2013 3:18 pm

      I think you are correct in providing context since there is a long history of European anti-Semitism against which the SSPX variety plays itself out. However, I think you are being a little too generous when you write that ” Another issue is the rhetoric, which comes across far more pejorative than the SSPX intends that it be understood.” This works the first time they get in hot water for something they say, but eventually, you have to ask why they continue to use rhetoric that is regarded as inflammatory in non-SSPX circles.

    • Mark VA permalink
      January 6, 2013 6:42 pm

      J. Mikaelis:

      I think you are right about some parts of Europe still indulging in this shameful activity. Take a look at the link below – the ultra leftist Der Spiegel has some explaining to do:

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wiesenthal-list-of-top-anti-semites-triggers-debate-in-germany-a-875774.html

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
      January 6, 2013 7:16 pm

      This link raises the interesting and very controversial question of what constitutes anti-Semitism. Declaring Jews the “enemies of the Church” seems to qualify. This is the proto-typical prejudice on the right. On the left, it is when anti-Israeli sentiment crosses some line. The question (for which I do not have a good answer) is where is that line? I have Jewish friends who seem to regard any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic (a priori). That seems extreme, but I have never been sure where to draw the line.

    • Peter Paul Fuchs permalink
      January 7, 2013 12:21 am

      Mikaelis’ comment that anti-semitism is “normal” in Europe, seems a bit of self-justification to me, for his having been involved in a really grossly anti-semitic cult, the SSPX. Whatever the lingering Jew-hatreds in Europe, the very fact that countries like Germany actually legally prohibit the public spreading of Holocaust denial, shows that there is nothing “normal” about it. By contrast, the SSPX is known for the spreading of such denials. The fact is that the SSPX was and is one of the very fringe groups on the extreme of this hatred. I have compassion for all former-seminarians. But I think Mkaelis has, apparently. yet to come to grips with the actual extremity of his past, and the beyond- the- pale situation or world in which he spent some of his youth. Everyone makes mistakes. Deal with it.

      • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
        January 7, 2013 7:43 am

        PPF,

        based on a discussion with a colleague who is on the philosophy faculty at the University of Vienna, I think you are downplaying the extent of anti-Semitism in Europe. In Germany, you need to balance their Holocaust denial laws against the fact that there seem to be a significant number of people who want to spread or believe such nonsense. And the rise of a variety of far-right parties throughout Europe over the past decade with explicit anti-Semitic views also suggests that anti-Semitism remains in play in Europe.

      • J. Mikaelis permalink
        January 7, 2013 11:32 am

        In response to Peter Paul Fuchs…
        You either misread or misinterpreted my statement. I never said that anti-Semitism was normal, nor did I intend to imply that it should be held as anything but despicable. What I said was that anti-Semitism “is, deplorably… more widespread…” in parts of Europe “and considered, very unfortunately, almost normal.” The fact that that is the case is absolutely inexcusable and intolerable, which I have always believed, so you and I are agreement on that point.

        But I strongly disagree with your characterization of the SSPX. I was with them and know them very well. While there are indeed some very bad apples in the organization, the vast majority are very good and sincere people. Indeed, if “holy” exists, then I certainly came to know some very, very holy individuals in that organization.

        Your suggestion that I never came to grips with them is also false. I went to them for good reasons and with a good heart, so it was no mistake of youth. While I could be faulted for not knowing more of the history of the group and the association of some it’s members with anti-Semitic views, the fact is that I was totally unaware of it until I encountered such views about a year into my time there. It was never in the forefront, and indeed it seemed isolated to a few people that I considered to be wacky and who had lots of peculiar views, generally.

        In the end I made a conscious and carefully considered choice to leave them for my own personal reasons. But I do think that overall they are well-meaning and I hold them in high regard.

      • Peter Paul Fuchs permalink
        January 7, 2013 1:56 pm

        David Cruz-Uribe,

        From basically everything I have read by you, you seem like an uncommonly kind and decent guy, which is no easy thing to accomplish in this world of ours. So I hesitate to aver that you have somehow (perhaps unconsciously) bought into a trope of anti-semitism, but I think you have. A lot of linguists have pointed out (and yes Noam Chomsky, whose ideas I normally can’t stand) that one of the ways people are made passive is by media portrayals that “it’s the same old, same old” or “the more things change the more they say the same”. Simply false. Europe has made enormous strides against the perversion of anti-semitism, in a relatively short time, after almost two millennia of fomenting it in its boundaries. This is one of the ways that the RC church has been a giant and massive proof that there can Progress, yes Progress!, in human affairs. It is to be commended in every way for dealing with its past at Vatican II in a constructive way. When one looks at it, it was almost miraculous at Vatican II. (Would that those miracles happened faster for them in other realms, but still…).

        So, this trope that things are still so bad, is one that has sub rosa been glommed onto by the lingering anti-semites in Europe. (And please you must know that Austria is not the best place to take the average “temperature” on this particular matter!) They like it because it makes it sound like it is some persistent bad case of phlegm that Europeans are given to. And the collateral idea is that maybe one should leave poor old phlegmmy guy alone as a harmless old man. See how it works??! David, I do not think you think this at all, please understand. But it is there in the Umwelt of the trope itself.

        Speaking of Umwelt, poor Mr. Mikaelis seems caught in utter delusion about his past. The very Umwelt of the SSPX was brimming with anti-semitic tropes, and especially in their specific rejection of the progress at Vatican II. (One almost wants to say: Duh!) His view of his innocence is touching and troubling. Such that it would be culturally impossible for someone to get so embroiled into it as to actually be a seminarian, and not have in some way or other have been embroiled and attracted to in that Umwelt. Strangely, his delusion seems similar to Joseph Pearce about his past. Very unfortunate.

        • J. Mikaelis permalink
          January 8, 2013 11:30 pm

          I’ve thought a lot about this stream, and it would be very easy to go into a rant. I will try not to. I hate anti-Semitism and all kinds of prejudice; I always have and I always will, full stop. Enough on that point.

          I thought the point of blogs like this was to share knowledge, information, and opinions openly and with good will for the purpose of helping others as well as myself to become more enlightened and educated about a particular subject. There are always different vantage points and experiences that inevitably color one’s position. That is simply part of the human condition in its richness, isn’t it?

          What I have found is some immediate responses that indicate a super-eagerness to pass judgement on the person offering a viewpoint or information, rather than to consider seriously what he or she has to say from experience, with an attitude of collaboration, respect and dignity that really is due.

          I’m am an educated person, not simply a dolt who longs for everything to be as it was in 1958, or 1570, or whatever year you care to pin on the likes of me. I have changed my own views considerably in the last 30 years (as well as in the 30 years before that!). Those who have responded to me on the basis of just two posts have no idea who I am, what I do, how I have developed. To presume to know whether or not I have “come to grips” with anything at all, much less to respond to my modest attempt at clarification by offering condolences to the moderator for putting up with the likes of me, referring to me in the third person as oh “poor Mr. Mikaelis” etc., do me a true injustice. Really.

          I don’t need the condescension or patronization. Nor do I care what the prevailing opinion of what what “is in the Umwelt of the trope itself.” Oh my, how can one respond to that? One doesn’t, unless one wants to be mocked even further, which I don’t care to be.

          Thus far, I think I have been the only one to contribute to this stream who has had fairly extensive personal experience from within the SSPX who has dared to try to contribute openly and honestly. I left the SSPX many years ago, but I do have a perspective, and I don’t agree that they are simply an evil hate group and beyond the pale. That is so far from the truth, though I respect your right to have such an opinion, though uninformed. But I don’t care to be mocked for my own position, so why bother with this? Some minds are already closed and clearly choose to belittle the contributor rather than have a mutually respectful exchange of ideas.

          So maybe this was a bit of a rant after all. Please excuse. I will not be back to bother you further. Thank you for your time and best wishes to you.

          Thanks for permiiting me to respond. All the best to you in the New Year.

      • elizabeth00 permalink
        January 7, 2013 4:01 pm

        I’m posting to give a data point: when I met my ordained-by-Bp-Williamson husband in 1998, the anti-Semitism of the SSPX was a real shock to me – Jews and Judaism hadn’t even been on my radar up until then. Admittedly, I was brought up in the UK, which isn’t exactly Mittel Europa.

        That said, I think it’s important to define anti-semitism before analyzing its prevalence. It can slip into pro-Palestinianism. It’s a very knotty concept, and I believe many of the arguments would be more productive with definition of terms.

        I can barely believe I’m making an argument in defense of the SSPX (not to you specifically PPF, but to the discussion in general), nonetheless, it occurred to me while reading this thread that whatever Benedict’s overtures, the initial discussions with the SSPX under Paul VI and the corresponding provisions of local bishops were niggardly at best. If the SSPX made a scapegoat of the Jews, maybe the Church should see in that now – through a metaphorical telescope – how it treated its own brothers and sisters in Christ through difficult period of change. The persecuted found their own scapegoat. Now the habits are ingrained. Children have been brought up with them and are now having their own families in an isolated counter-cultural climate. Good luck to Benedict, I say, but the sins of the fathers take time to work out. The persecutors can’t just snap their fingers and tell their victims to come home.

        @ Julian, yes these “persecuted” of mine had a history of supporting Vichy and the Ancien Regime. I’ve little sympathy with them, but again, I think the wider Church back there then is implicated in having encouraged or allowed this. The Church’s biggest difficulty is coming to terms with its own history. Shades of Eden.

        David asks what can be done to combat a hateful ideology: I say, use its prayer. I almost never hear an Extraordinary Form now, but its phrases are full of persuasive and poetic imagery. I know they call it the Mass of the Ages, but I (making a move in Rahner’s direction) would call it the Mass of the Mystics. “I will go in to the altar of God, unto God who giveth joy to my youth”: Eliot’s children in the apple tree, and Julian’s child, rising from the slime.

        @Jordan: yes, it’s true these “persecuted”

        • Peter Paul Fuchs permalink
          January 7, 2013 5:40 pm

          elizabeth,

          Thank you for your thoughtful, and I believe, realistic response. I think you have raised the right sort of question, and in that there may be a skein of defense possible for that group. Though I am not eager to find any defense for them, believe me. Namely, that the Church in Rome sorta “just changed” suddenly in the early 1960’s on that subject. Historians of RC theology will offer details of what lead up to it, and mentioning the wave that flowered into Rahnerianism (in which I was trained in the seminary, btw) as you do is right. But proving again how darn complicated life is, the Heideggarian background of Rahenrianism was later a tad too close to the very problem of anti-jewishness because of later revelations about the Rector of Freiburg in the late 80’s. And let’s not forget, that in tandem with all that is the phalanx of theologians busy trying to explain how the changes were really so consistent “with what the Church has always taught.” Kumbaya to that!

          If I read you correctly then the collateral issue is that the RC church has not done a terribly good job contextualizing what allowed it to make that momentous change. And also the why and the wherefore of people who could not make the change. And, by some lights, has been busy re-trenching anyways. Whether that last bit is true or not is not half as important than the fact that they are DEFINITELY less interested in really understanding their own history critically in recent decades.

          More on a home-spun level, it seems that life always proceeds with the pattern of “two steps forward, one step back.” I can’t prove it, but that is what I have observed in life in lots of arenas. That is how I see the recent decades of the RC church, at least naturalistically. There is still room for
          critique of course.

          ps. A little while ago I saw on EWTN a group of sweet little ladies of elder status who were nuns from a Sedevacantist convent. They were trying to describe why they decided to to “come back to Rome” No one seemed interested to dwell on the conundrum of how having believed– by Sedevacantist theory — that the See of Peter was occupied for several terms by imposters– they were now willing to acknowledge the invitation of the successor of those “imposters”. All these sweet little ladies seemed to care about was that they had “been invited”. Of course, I think that this is just another proof of the essential incongruity at the heart of the of RC Ecclesiology, and even theology itself. Yet it may more simply illustrative of that great human truth– the nicest thing is to be invited.

          critique, even if it is a natural process of the human person in some way.

        • elizabeth00 permalink
          January 8, 2013 6:43 am

          Oh dear, I meant confirmed, not ordained. Lol.

  8. Jordan permalink
    January 6, 2013 2:38 pm

    There’s another backstory to SSPX anti-Semitism which doesn’t get as much press. Marcel Lefebvre was not only an admirer of the Vichy French (Nazi puppet) regime during World War II, but also of Ancien Regime France. In radical traditionalism there’s often this severe reification of pre-modern, absolutist feudal states or modern fascist-totalitarian states, as well as a glorification of anti-Semitic leaders. Representative democracy and bills of basic human rights are certainly not valued by reactionary Catholic traditionalism.

    I don’t see a necessary link between anti-Semitism and any one political and socioeconomic regime (e.g. as David notes, forms of anti-Semitism lurk left and right in American politics). Still, I suspect that the Lefebvrists and fellow-travelers hold the postmodern democratic state, and especially freedom of assembly and expression, as truly dreadful aspects of current society. Not surprisingly Lefebvre rejected, and his followers still reject, Dignitatis Humanae almost as forcefully as they reject Nostra Aetate. I sometimes wonder if a fear of social, ethnic, and religious plurality in general girds the anti-Semitic tantrums one often hears from schismatic bishops.

    • Kurt permalink
      January 6, 2013 5:53 pm

      Nothing has changed with the Catholic Right since the Dreyfus Affair.

      • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
        January 7, 2013 8:04 pm

        Well some things have. I would note, for instance, that the SSPX feels obliged to issue a clarification now. In the old days, the right was much prouder (or at least not defensive) about its anti-Semitism. And that at least strikes me as a real change for the better. Building off of my response to PPF below: once upon a time (not that long ago) it was simply okay to say blatantly racist things in the US without fear of repercussion. People still think and say racist things, but the change in the Zeitgeist means that they must be more circumspect about it and are forced on the defensive when called on it. The right is in a similar position with respect to its anti-Semitism.

    • Mark VA permalink
      January 6, 2013 7:06 pm

      Jordan:

      Regarding the SSPX, I could never tell where the mental boundary is between their “Frenchness”, and their notion of what the Catholic Church should be. In my eye, it’s a Gallic Gordian knot of ethnicity and religion.

      I find it regrettable that SSPX, in the eyes of many unfamiliar with the Catholic Church, stands for Catholic Traditionalism. There are other expressions of Catholic Traditionalism that have little to do with the SSPX.

    • Jordan permalink
      January 6, 2013 9:00 pm

      Mark VA [January 6, 2013 7:06 pm]: I find it regrettable that SSPX, in the eyes of many unfamiliar with the Catholic Church, stands for Catholic Traditionalism. There are other expressions of Catholic Traditionalism that have little to do with the SSPX.

      I fully agree. I prefer the extraordinary form over the ordinary form and attend the EF frequently, save Passiontide and Holy Week. I am convinced that 1962 missal requires a re-evaluation of these seasons. Moderate EF adherents need to face up to the fact that the EF still contains some anti-Semitic passages. These passages could easily be replaced with just alternatives without disrupting the “flow” of the EF missal. I’m convinced that many in “mainstream traditional Catholicism” are ready for a revision of the 1962 missal and the 1961 breviary so long as the calendar, hours, and psalter aren’t modified. We can have our liturgical heritage but without the hatred.

      Certainly, any reform of the missal and breviary will perhaps permanently alienate ultra-right schismatics. If Tridentine liturgy and culture is to contribute positively to today’s mainstream Catholicism, it must practice justice towards Judaism. Pope Benedict and successor popes should stop making overtures to Msgr. Fellay, and instead make the liturgical changes that are charitable and more consonant with the Church’s postconciliar (and ongoing) reconciliation with Judaism.

      • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
        January 7, 2013 7:45 am

        Jordan,

        I thougth B XVI or JP II had ordered specific changes to the EF for this very reason. Are there more changes that are needed? If so, could you describe what you think is needed?

      • Jordan permalink
        January 7, 2013 10:10 am

        re: David Cruz-Uribe, SFO [January 7, 2013 7:45 am]: One good example is EF Passion Sunday. The Gospel reading is John 8:46-59. John 8 is, on a whole, an argument between Jesus and his opponents in which Jesus asserts that he and the Father are one (in 8:58 Jesus refers to himself as I AM). The reading closes with Jesus fleeing “the Jews” who are about to stone him.

        Scripture can’t be changed, but the readings for a liturgical day can be changed. An poorly educated or not so gifted homilist, especially one who cannot sufficiently explain John’s “the Jews” (hoi ioudaioi) in context, might lead the assembly into anti-Semitism. Better, then, to replace EF Passion Sunday with 5th Sunday of Lent year A from the ordinary form. That Gospel, John 11:1-45, the resurrection of Lazarus, communicates the same concept of “I and the Father are one” without the polemics.

        • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
          January 7, 2013 11:37 am

          Thanks! I see now what you mean.

  9. Andrew permalink
    January 7, 2013 2:38 am

    Regarding David’s question #1, I remember a piece by John Allen Jr. years ago that pointed to at least one reason for the Vatican’s continued interest in SSPX. I don’t know if you guys would agree with it, but I thought I’d put it out there for consideration. I’m actually pleased that my middle-aged brain recalled an article from 2005!

    *************************************************************************************
    [Extensive quotation edited for length since there is a link at the bottom.]

    Both John Paul II and now Benedict XVI have reached out to the Lefebvrites in ways that they have not with other “dissident” factions. This has puzzled some observers, who wonder why Rome has gone to such lengths to reconcile with the Society of St. Pius X, which, after all, has roughly the contours of a mid-sized diocese.

    I spoke with a senior Vatican official on this point on Tuesday, Aug. 30. He observed that the Lefebvrites represent the only formal schism in the church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, which creates a special set of problems. The heart of his answer has to do with the distinction in Catholic theology between the “validity” and the “licitness” of a sacrament.

    Applied to the Lefebvrites, the point is that the bishops consecrated by Lefebvre are fully valid, meaning that they have an undeniable claim to apostolic succession. The priestly ordinations they in turn perform are also valid, albeit illicit. Thus the Lefebvrites can in effect build a parallel church, the legitimacy of which the Vatican cannot challenge, even if it is outside church law.

    This is what makes the Lefebvrite situation different, according to the senior Vatican source, from other groups of disaffected Catholics.

    http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/word090205.htm

  10. January 7, 2013 9:08 am

    Mark, you are not a traditionalist Catholic, you are FSSP which means you participate in every single ecumenical abuse going down the pike in your neck of the woods. You support modernist doctrine. Regarding Nostra Aetatae, I would have to review it, but I certainly do reject any statement that says anybody anywhere does not have to love and worship Christ.

    I came back here, briefly, to say I regret hurting anyone and using such a word as hate. It’s not even accurate. I don’t hate anybody. But I do love Christ. I just wanted somehow to say it as strongly as I could. Love is incompatible with all kinds of mealy mouthed sophisms about who must do what and with whom. He is the Way. And it matters to HIM. That’s what he said.

    But there’s no one I hate and wish Christ on them. That’s love.

    • Jordan permalink
      January 7, 2013 1:18 pm

      re:thewhitelilyblog [January 7, 2013 9:08 am]: Carl Sagan (yes, an atheist and therefore an infidel roasting in the fires of hell) once wrote, “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”

      I read Latin at a postgraduate level. Once I offered to teach the parishioners of an “indult chapel” (as they were called then) just enough Latin to understand the Mass in broad strokes. The project didn’t get off the ground, partly because an educated friend who attended the chapel strongly suspected that many would vocally refuse to attend. It was as if the Tridentine Mass is a mime and mummery show that is supposed to be a “mystery”. I suppose that an uncritical and illiterate understanding of the Tridentine Mass protects certain people from the realities and rigor of faith and Christian belief.

      If you have read the documents of Vatican II instead of merely relying on your pastor or prelates to lead you through a smoke-and-mirror show, you will realize that the Council produced great advances for the Church. What you and many schismatics or crypto-schismatics call “modernism” is actually the introspective conciliar documents of a Church which has finally emerged from the chrysalis of counter-reformation paranoia. The “pilgrim church”, the vulnerable Church, no longer must suppress and hate other groups to protect “orthodoxy”. Said another way, “orthodoxy” is not a place or an item, but the collective experience of the Church as it moves through time dynamically while affirming and amplifying basic doctrines and dogmas.

      Fortress Trent cannot save. Anti-Semitism cannot save. The reforming church of Christ saves. tolle et lege, as St. Augustine heard during his conversion. “Take and read”, and the complexity of the Church’s liturgical and theological history will overwhelm the grossly distorted caricatures of the Council deliberately propagated by misguided and bigoted leaders.

  11. January 7, 2013 10:57 am

    SSPX USA District press release

    Bishop Fellay’s comment “enemies of the Church” 1-5-2013

    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.

    http://www.sspx.org/district_news/usa_district_press_release_on_enemies_of_the_church_1-5-2013.htm

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1300051.htm

    • bill bannon permalink
      January 7, 2013 11:50 am

      Lol….er….then he should have said “Jewish organizations”…. but he did not; he said “the Jews”. Translating is one thing…changing the meaning of the actual translation is bs. I went years ago to a moderately conservative Catholic event on the upper east side of Manhattan and one speaker was a famous senator but another speaker told an anti semitical joke and virtually the whole audience laughed….and those were moderate conservatives.

  12. El Mono Liso permalink
    January 7, 2013 12:33 pm

    I can only testify to what I saw as a seminarian in South America, and yes, Virginia, they are a bunch of anti-Semites. But it exists as an undercurrent in this country. While living in one of their retreat houses here, I played touch football with the editor of the magazine of the John Birch Society, as well as his kids (lovely people, really, aside from being completely crazy). In this country, the SSPX is a refuge for all sorts of nutjobs: flat Earthers, anti-Semites, people who see Freemasons around every corner, survivalists, people who take the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as gospel truth, etc. In South America, it’s even worse. Most of the people there are apologists for the old military dictatorships thinking that the Catholic Church “went soft” in its opposition to communism. The founder of the SSPX in Argentina is a Franco-Algerian pied-noir who literally sees Jews and Masons around every corner (I had to endure many a class with him beginning with his heavily accented Spanish: “Los judios y los masones…” It even became a running joke among the seminarians in La Reja). Also, you can still find holy cards among them for saints who inspired major blood libels in Europe, such as this one, if memory serves:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_of_Trent

    To be fair, especially in Argentina, the SSPX doesn’t have a monopoly on this stuff. Julio Meinvielle is a major anti-Semitic writer who influences all factions of the Catholic right in Argentina. By this, I don’t mean that all of the SSPX is anti-Semitic, but it is not the major sin that excommunicates one from polite company as it does elsewhere. The opposite is often the case.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
      January 7, 2013 12:53 pm

      Uggh…I was not familiar with Simon of Trent, but having read the article I wish I was still not familiar.

    • Commoner permalink
      January 7, 2013 10:34 pm

      Simon of Trent. Poor baby. I can’t help but think he was probably done in by a family member or fanatical anti-Semitic Catholic who wanted to further the cause against the Jews.

      And my, how well the strategy appears to have worked, for quite a long time.

    • Jordan permalink
      January 8, 2013 7:04 am

      re: Commoner [January 7, 2013 10:34 pm]: It’s also very likely that Simon of Trent never existed. Given that late 15th century Europe was for the most part a pre-modern, late feudal society, even a spurious accusation of blood libel could propel serfs to violence.

      Today, we rightly find a purposeful manipulation of the blood libel for strategic gain to be extremely morally repugnant. Snd yet, social history suggests that the Simon of Trent legend is certainly not the only instance. The great social instability on the eve of the Reformation suggests that feudal mobocracy resulted from not only individual charismatic leaders, but also the political machination of lords or even lords themselves.

      • Commoner permalink
        January 9, 2013 11:18 pm

        I hope, for poor Simon of Trent’s sake, that you are right and that he never existed.

        But given what we know about human nature the vulnerabity of children in the culture, it wouldn’t surprise me if he hadn’t been killed by a family member or local religious fanatic-pervert, and then conveniently used as the reason to murder a few more Jews.

        Either way, though, you are right: it’s repugnant, and it’s disturbing this remained on the Catholic calendar for so long.

  13. Calypso permalink
    January 7, 2013 1:03 pm

    How is what Bishop Fellay said “hateful”? Why do his claims surprise you? If he firmly believes “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church” (to quote Pope Paul VI, speaking in the aftermath of Vatican II), from whence has it come? It has long been known that the Masons are enemies of the Catholic Church. The Jews haven’t exactly been on the defending side of the Christians either, since the time of Christ.

    Also, as far as whether or not Catholics should be expected and bound to accept all of the teachings of Vatican II… what about those documents that are in direct contrast to encyclicals and ecumenical councils of previous centuries? Surely there are those of you who know more about this than I do. Some of the documents of Vatican II seem to directly oppose previous teachings of the Church – and yet, you never hear a stink today from “good” Catholics within the mainstream (i.e. regularly attending the Ordinary Rite of the Mass) complaining that we are no longer following the teachings of the great Leo XIII, St. Pius X, the Council of Trent, etc.. The Church is supposed to be One in continuity. If it is, then we should not be putting so much more emphasis on when people don’t want to accept documents of Vatican II (and Vatican II only, unless they also quote post-Vatican II documents), rather than just as much lamenting how we blow off teachings of great popes and saints of previous centuries.

    The Catholic Church didn’t start with Vatican II. Nor did it change then. And the Church’s love but lamenting of the Jews and what they lost when Christ came to teach them, has also not changed. IMHO.

    Just some food for thought.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
      January 7, 2013 1:12 pm

      A couple comments:

      First, I don’t want this thread to get sidetracked into a discussion about Vatican II in general. Please read some of the stuff from Benedict XVI about “continuity in reform”.

      “How is what Bishop Fellay said “hateful”?

      If you cannot see a blanket condemnation of “the Jews” as enemies of the Church as hateful, then I guess we really don’t have much to say to one another. How do you suppose Sts. Maximilian Kolbe and Edith Stein would respond?

      ” And the Church’s love but lamenting of the Jews and what they lost when Christ came to teach them, has also not changed. IMHO.”

      On the subject of the Jews and Catholic understanding of them, things have changed considerably. The blood libel is condemned, among other things. Our prayers in Holy Week no longer condemn “the perfidious Jew”.

    • January 7, 2013 1:41 pm

      “Some of the documents of Vatican II seem to directly oppose previous teachings of the Church – and yet, you never hear a stink today from “good” Catholics within the mainstream (i.e. regularly attending the Ordinary Rite of the Mass) complaining that we are no longer following the teachings of the great Leo XIII, St. Pius X, the Council of Trent, etc.”

      Why is it that when people talk about the great popes, they only talk about those from Pius IX onward (and then stop at Pius XII if they’re traditionally inclined)? Sure, it’s fine to admire Pius X or Leo XIII, but what about those other popes, the forgettable, regrettable sort, to paraphrase “The Simpsons”? Why no fan pages about Pope Adrian V or Julius II? No stirring hagiographies about the reigns of Pope Callixtus III or John XII? And why does Catholic history seem to leap from the Council of Trent to Pius IX for many people, as if nothing happened during the interim?

    • Rat-biter permalink
      January 26, 2013 12:21 am

      I wish ther were a “Like” button for that.

  14. Kurt permalink
    January 7, 2013 1:54 pm

    This thread has certainly convinced me that anti-semitism on the Catholic Right goes beyond SSPX.

    • Agellius permalink
      January 8, 2013 12:58 pm

      “Nothing has changed with the Catholic Right since the Dreyfus Affair.”

      “This thread has certainly convinced me that anti-semitism on the Catholic Right goes beyond SSPX.”

      David: Why would you approve comments like this? How does it further the conversation? Isn’t it basically just a slur?

      • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
        January 8, 2013 4:12 pm

        Well, I think they both make provocative points that need to be engaged with if you disagree. I challenged one of them; feel free to respond to either or both.

        • Agellius permalink
          January 8, 2013 7:03 pm

          “I think they both make provocative points that need to be engaged with if you disagree.”

          One man’s “provocative statement needing to be engaged with”, is another man’s vague generalization, I guess.

          Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s better to err on the side of liberality when moderating comments. I don’t think I’ve ever had you reject a comment of mine, and I appreciate that. Then again, I don’t go around making broad, vaguely insulting statements like, for example, “Catholic liberals don’t care about unborn babies.”

  15. January 7, 2013 5:48 pm

    As to Benedict courting these traditionalists, I have another take. It seems to me that the concessions he makes on liturgy serve merely to put the real questions back in the centre. As long as the SSPX can pretend its issues are with liturgy, all their nonsense about ecumenism etc. can be ignored. Once they have their liturgy back, they must answer questions directly. It has become clear that they won’t. My guess is that the Holy Father hopes this gives them just enough rope to hang themselves and that those Catholics with a hankering for the older rites can find a way home without their wacko leaders.

    • Mark VA permalink
      January 7, 2013 8:40 pm

      I think the Holy Father is going after the lost sheep – that simple. No ropes, only a shepherds staff.

  16. David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
    January 7, 2013 7:56 pm

    @PPF

    “From basically everything I have read by you, you seem like an uncommonly kind and decent guy, which is no easy thing to accomplish in this world of ours.”

    Flattery will get you everywhere! :-) Of course, I also remember getting beat up by you when I did a post about homosexuality and alcoholism, so I guess it all balances out in the end….

    “So I hesitate to aver that you have somehow (perhaps unconsciously) bought into a trope of anti-semitism, but I think you have.”

    I agree that Europe has made enormous strides in this area. But where I am not willing to go is in pretending that things are completely different now, when the evidence suggests that they are not. By way of analogy: Jim Crow is dead, and in the past 50 years the U.S. has made incredible strides in overcoming its profoundly racist past. But this does not mean that we have somehow passed into a post-racial America where race no longer matters and folks are judged by the content of their characters, etc. Asserting this makes me quite unpopular in many conservative and certain liberal circles, but I don’t think it is contradictory to rejoice in the many changes that have happened in America while still pointing out that racism remains a real problem. My take on anti-Semitism in Europe is similar.

  17. Peter Paul Fuchs permalink
    January 8, 2013 4:31 pm

    David,

    In my book a man’s mettle is shown in how he behaves when in adversity (like strenuously not being agreed with!), and may I say obliquely that is a guiding ethos of an organization I belong to. This is the show, not the rehearsal. So there is no flattery in saying truthfully: good show. I don’t really remember that particular literary contretemps between us, I was probably having a few glasses of wine, ironically! I will go back and look by Google.

    I concede there is a very basic sense in which all prejudice is similar, and in that sense I can also see how you would be right about lingering anti-semitism in Europe. Yet I really also conceive that is almost at the level of “true but trivial”. Because anti-semitism was always a lot more complicated than racial animus. (which does NOT mean that racial animus is any less severe or important) Basic history is the guide here. The phenomenon of the “court Jew” serving various royal powers has no real parallel in racial histories that have affected the modern world. Similarly, the very conspiratorial mindset that was built out of that “court Jew” notion and later tropes like the hoary “Jewish financier” notion came to rule Europe, literally in terms of the actions of leaders. That most Jews were neither rich nor politically connected, never seemed to bother those who spun conspiracies based on them. So my over-arching point is this—- what HAS CHANGED is that those conspiracy theories are now no longer really ruling society in the way they did in Europe in the past. Thus, it is a categorical change. Governments are clearly almost free of them in Europe in decisions they make (not so in the Middle East, of course, and that is exactly the point) . Remember, those same tropes used to guide decisions for all of society. (Down to silly things people forget about like Frederick the Great requiring all Jews to buy costly china dinner service sets from the royal porcelain manufacturer to siphon off all that excess money they supposedly had and thus putatively to keep them from getting “too powerful” in day to day society. )

    All those conspiracy theories are still around of course. But now they are in the nether-world of complete lunatics like Alex Jones who was on Pierce Morgan last night utterly florid in his dementedness. Therefore, my deepest point, is that there is a huge and almost categorical difference between “conspiracy notions that actually govern” and “fringe ideation” .

    Where I would agree with you is vis-a-vis technology. That same nether world has been given a ghostly prominence in many ways that it does not really have in the running of society anymore. And I agree it affects people. Yet not tragically the really “bad” people only , but people simply not informed enough to sort through the onslaught of information online. Thus, curiously, you often find people spouting tropes of conspiracy theories utterly detached from their basic context of animus itself. To wit, I recently had a relative visit me who started to spout detached tropes, literally, from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I sat there, in my own house listening to it with mouth agape, feeling this must be some sort of curious nadir for my life. When I countered by telling my relative they were “ignorant” based on the lack of context for their own ideas, things got worse. Lunacy destroys relationships, on micro and macro level. And btw, I do NOT think this relative has any real animus in those directions. But there it was, the flotsam of the internet invading our lives. So in that sense you are right, I would concede.

    When Obama was elected I was one of those convinced that it meant the “end’ of racism in this country. Mea culpa. My husband who is of a more skeptical disposition than myself ( believe it or not I actually have a sort of sunny disposition) did not agree with me. Mea culpa, boy was he, and you are right. Four years later, i do feel chastened. Yet I do feel justified in underscoring the differences between the two cases, and in highlighting the progress made. Because that very notion of progress itself is often scorned by those very same types who hate Jews and others in the first place. they see hate as part of the human condition itself. I don’t agree, and neither does the arc of history…..sorta. Closing the circle.

  18. Peter Paul Fuchs permalink
    January 9, 2013 11:29 pm

    Dear Mr Mikalelis,
    I will concede that talking about you in the third person is snooty and rude, and I am sorry. This is a blog though. And contrary to your kinda sanguine take on such realms they are mostly about creative posturing– at least it seems to me. If some useful information actually gets communicated, I consider that a side benefit. I think it was ever thus, for if you look at the history of pamphleteering it was just as bad, or maybe worse. At least there is a real back and forth, even if it is still posturing. I am sorry if your personal credibility felt attacked. I can only say that if you “put things out there” then you have to be ready for strong review of your ideas. But it does not matter on the fine points. You sound like a fine guy, and I am sorry for what was taken as too-direct. yet I do also feel I need to underscore that more right wing Catholic blogs are vastly more nasty and exclusive than this one. Things are actually pretty genteel here by comparison. Anyways, whatever the case, I am not into really tangling with people unless they are utter jerks, and you definitely do not sound like one. :-)
    As it happens, also, I do have some personal experience with the SSPX. But not as an erstwhile adherent. I ended up explaining this once on a fun blog called “Catholic Eye Candy” which is run by a young guy who was once a seminarian at the same College Seminary I went to in Miami. He seemed attracted to the SSPX after leaving the seminary in Miami. And I was trying to caution him with a personal anecdote. I would like to link to the
    description here:

    http://cathcandy.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/strength-against-adversity/

    • Agellius permalink
      January 10, 2013 2:22 pm

      Peter:

      I read your link. I would suggest the fact that a racist preferred an SSPX mass to others, does not imply racism on the part of SSPX. I suspect he liked that mass because most of the people there were white. I attended an SSPX chapel on a couple of occasions, a few years back. We were invited by a Filipino family, and it was far from an all-white congregation. So it’s clear to me that white racism (or white skin for that matter) is not a prerequisite for membership in the SSPX, and it’s doubtful that its even a predominant sentiment.

      I simply can’t say how anti-Semitic the SSPX is. It doesn’t surprise me that anti-Semites would be attracted to it, since it is less ecumenically minded than the mainstream Church. That doesn’t make them all anti-Semitic. They still could be, for all I know. However I would rather give them the benefit of the doubt.

      This reminds me of the idea that because most racists vote Republican rather than Democrat, the Republican Party must be a racist party. It’s simply fallacious reasoning: It’s true that most firefighters are men. But to say on that basis, “You’re a man, therefore chances are you’re a firefighter”, would be quite erroneous.

      • Peter Paul Fuchs permalink
        January 10, 2013 11:47 pm

        Agellius,

        You know, my dim memory from 30+ years ago is, again ironically, that the priest was a very “ethnic” looking and swarthy guy at that one liturgy I attended. I agree broadly that there is a lot of “fallacious reasoning” surrounding such ascriptions. But please note the worst example of it is to assume that the racist needs to somehow have a drop of consistency to still be a racist. Not so. We should stop expecting people to make sense, and judging them thereby. Judge them by what they do, or say. If they say nasty things about people just because of idiot dislike of skin color, we should simply look who they hang with. I am not a Mother Theresa fan , but for instance, i doubt they will be going to Kolkata to work with the dark-skinned poor. They will much likely be hanging out with disgruntled white people who are predictably disgruntled about all sort of things like liturgies.

        There are so many more easy answers in life than being judgmental ultimately based on silly criteria. Thus when people CHOOSE to continue with hate, we should not principally the great amount of extra effort it takes. This is what is interesting analytically to me. It takes so much more mental elbow grease to continue hating. Such that a whole raft of deductions are clearly justified just on the basis of the effort per se.

        Also, your comment jogged my memory of something else I want to mention. Our dear departed friend from years ago Charles Whittier, the distinguished religion specialist of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, had a colleague he introduced me to. this fellow was on the cusp of retirement from the the CRS, and was planning on spending his retirement being a theology professor in an SSPX seminary. I remember him saying how devoted he was to his SSPX parish. I spoke with him several times, and he was a fine guy. Though I have to add that Charles Whittier, who himself belonged to a break-away Anglican group devoted to fighting the ordination of women to the Anglican priesthood, was as an ardent liberal also, very suspicious of the SSPX. (Don’t expect people to make sense!) I think Charles Whittier’s opinion, as the Congress’ religion specialist, is informative. He identified them squarely with extremism. Though he was quite fond of his colleague, who was a specialist in something else. Go figure. Religion does have these quicksand properties in my view. And reactionaries who become more and more strict to fight that natural proclivity of religion, only sink deeper in it.

  19. Rat-biter permalink
    January 26, 2013 12:19 am

    “2) More seriously, what continues to give life to this hateful ideology?”

    ## The fact of Christianity, &, the NT itself. And also, the Tradition (or tradition ?) of the CC. The NT is an anti-Jewish book, not in all ways (perhaps), but in some very important ones. If Catholics are told, for at least 1600 years, that Jews are accursed, & Deicides, & Christ-killers, some of that is going to stick. Clerics in the SSPX are as much victims as carriers of a poisoned tradition. And to make a big fuss about one or two of them, is ridiculous – Catholics often say horrible things about non-Catholics, but they are not given the publicity two of the SSPX bishops have been subjected to. If this is not application of double standards, what is ? They are not saying anything the “Civilta Cattolica” was not used to saying.

    I think it’s a very bad idea indeed to see the SSPX as deluded or the like. They are – as it happens – far from the only Catholics who are not overly impressed by “the Jews”. So it’s very unfair to single them out – they deserve much better than that. There is far more to them than the occasional expression of distaste for Jews; just as there is more to the CC than the molestation scandals, or the violence to which non-Catholics have been subjected. The CC is not in a good position to lecture the SSPX on being “hateful”. STM humility is called for- on all sides.

    One of the problems is that “anti-Judaism” (the Palestinians whom the Jews kill are Semites too – are the Jews “anti-Semites” ?) is a term with no fixed content: one man’s mild criticism, or for that matter a respectfully-phrased theological disagreement, is another man’s “anti-Judaism”. I absolutely reject the modern Catholic rejection of supersessionism – does that make me a Jew-hater ? By some people’s standards, it does.

    I’m sorry, but whether the Jews appreciate Christ or not, He is the the Messiah, and the only Messiah on offer: Acts 4.12 is as fresh, & forceful, & relevant as when St. Peter first said it. If they fail to accept Him, with *all* that implies, that is their choice – but it is not a reason for the Church to water down its Faith by unsaying what Scripture & Tradition say of Him & His Universal, Eternal, Messianic Kingship. If “Hebrew Catholics” want to follow two religions at once, they are enemies of the Church, & not its members. Catholics are bothered by the Jews because the Church is flirting – or should that be cavorting ? – with error in order to cosy up to them. The SSPX objects (& rightly) very strongly indeed to such a deformation of the Church’s Faith – it is seeing the Church betrayed by those who should have been foremost in defending its Faith. To quote St. John Fisher: “The fort is betrayed even of them that should have held it”. Jews are welcome in the Church – but only as converts, just like all other non-Catholics. They are not special, except in relation to Christ.

  20. lionelandrades permalink
    April 8, 2013 3:43 am

    Is Vatican Council II anti Semitic ?

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    The Grand Secret : Vatican Council II says all Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Protestants etc are lost

    Vatican Council II says all Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims and Protestants are lost but this is a secret in the Church and no one is talking about it.

    Ad Gentes 7 says all need faith and baptism for salvation. We cannot name any one saved in invincible ignorance (LG 16) tc for them to be known exceptions to Ad Gentes 7.

    If you keep the text of Ad Gentes 7 and Lumen Gentium 14 before you Vatican Council II is saying all need to convert into the Catholic Church.All need to be formal, visible members of the Catholic Church.Visible Catholic Faith and the baptism of water is needed.Outside the Church there is no salvation.

    Vatican Council II is traditional on other religions and salvation.It is in agreement with the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    It is in agreement with the Society of St.Pius X (SSPX), the St.Benedict Centers,USA,the popes, Church Councils,saints and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (846,845,1257).

    While those saved in invincible ignorance and a good conscience (LG 16) are only possibilities which we accept, these cases are not exceptions to AG 7 and LG 14. They are not exceptions since they are known only to God.They are not known to us in 2013.We cannot see these persons who are now in Heaven.

    We cannot name anyone saved with the baptism of desire or elements of sanctification (LG 8).We personally do not know any exceptions, since those who are dead are not visible to us.

    Yet for many Catholics, those saved in imperfect communion with the Church (UR), seeds of the Word etc are visible and known.So Vatican Council II for them is a break with the past.

    No where in Nostra Aetate is it said that non Catholics do not have to convert in their religion or that they are saved in general in their religion.We cannot name any ‘good and holy ‘(NA) non Catholic, who is saved and is an exception to all needing ‘faith and baptism’ in 2013 to go to Heaven and avoid the fires of Hell.

    Vatican Council II is traditional. This is a grand secret.
    -Lionel Andrades

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