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  • On January 24th, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication on four men who were made Bishops by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 without Vatican approval, thus incurring excommunication. It turned out that one of the four, Bishop Williamson, had recently given and interview on Swedish television in which he denied the extent of the Holocaust, affirming (among other things) that "There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers.  It is all lies, lies, lies."  The original interview can be seen below. If the embedded version does not work, it can also be seen here on YouTube or here on blip.tv.   

  • The Jewish community has responded with pronounced concern:

A letter from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to the Holy See

  • On the morning of January 30th I spoke on EWTN radio about the affair.  The short audio clip (7 minutes) may be heard here:

Listen now


  • When the story broke, the head of the Society of St. Pius X (or "SSPX), to which the four Bishops belong, condemned Bishop Williamson's statements, and ordered him not to speak on historical matters, emphasizing that the Society can only speak authoritatively on matters of "faith and morals."  His response can be found here (pdf file -- official SSPX press release)

  • However, most distressingly, it is precisely in those matters of "faith and morals" in which the Society professes to be authoritative that the Society presents some of its most virulently anti-Semitic teachings.  The following articles from its website purport to represent authentic Catholic teaching on the Jewish people:

The Mystery of the Jewish People in History

The Jews Guilty of Deicide

What Really is Anti-Semitism

(When this page was originally put up the links were to the articles at www.sspx.org itself, but in response to the controversy they have been taken off the site, so these links are now to archived copies. Needless to say, taking the articles off the website to avoid attracting attention to them does not constitute repudiating the views.)

Here are a few short extracts from the rather lengthy article "The Mystery of the Jewish People in History".  They are word-for-word quotes, not "out of context":

"The Jewish people, once a mystery of goodness, is now changed into a mystery of iniquity. It is no longer Isaac, but Ishmael. No longer Jacob, but Esau. No longer Abel, but Cain.

Just as in the kingdom of goodness the Jewish people had and still has the first place?, so also the first place in the kingdom of evil must go to it. The other peoples, if wishing to do the work of evil, follow the example of the carnalized, unrepentant Jewish people. If the Gentiles want to be carnal, they must judaize.

Judaism is inimical to all nations in general, and in a special manner to Christian nations. It plays the part of Ishmael who persecuted Isaac, of Esau who sought to kill Jacob, and of Cain who put Abel to death.

It is an enmity disposed by God. The Jewish people, if it has not converted to Christianity, will, even if it does not wish to, seek to ruin Christianity.

Catholics are not to enter into commercial, social, nor political relations which are bound hypocritically to seek the ruin of Christendom. Jews must not live together with Christians because this is what their own Jewish laws ordain and also because their errors and material superiority have virulent consequences among other peoples.

If the unrepentant Jewish people are disposed by God to be a theological enemy, the status of this opposition must be universal, inevitable, and terrible.

Christendom and Jewry are destined inevitably to meet everywhere without reconciliation or mixing. It represents in history the eternal struggle of Lucifer against God, of darkness against the Light, of the flesh against the spirit.

While Capitalism fulfills its promises and is unquestionably of incomparable material greatness, it compromises the work of millions of Christians for the benefit of a much smaller number of the Jewish people.

The Catholic Church?s teaching is that [the Jews] should neither be eliminated from among us?nor given equality of rights.

1. The Jewish people persecute Christendom.

2. The Jewish people conspire against the Christian State.

3. The Jewish people win control of property by usury.

4. Jews are known to kill Christians.

Already St. Justin (3rd century) said so. The Talmud allows it. History confirms it. It is certain that lives of Christians have been taken: St. William of York, 12 years old (1144); St. Richard of Paris (1179); St. Dominic de Val, crucified at Saragossa, Spain (1250); Bl. Henry of Munich (1345); Bl. Simeon (1475); the controversial martyrdoms of Fr. Thomas of Cangiano and his aide (1840) in Damascus.

As grisly as they are, these four accusations can be documented in every period and country where Jews live with Christians.

The Catholic Church perceives the deep desire of the Jewish people to impose its material superiority and the guilt of Catholics who seek this people to get material gain. The enslaving of Christians and Christian nations began by the fault of Christians.

If Christians wish to remain free, let them avoid entanglements with the Jewish people. It dominates in every branch of commerce and finance, in philosophy and the universities?If the Gentile people wishes for a civilization based on economic greatness and the comfortable life?then it can have it, with the Jewish people as master and the all the rest as slaves."

  • There are other disturbing aspects of anti-Semitism in the Society of St. Pius X.  The Society priest in charge of Northern Italy gave an interview on January  which also displays aspects of anti-Semitism.  The following link is to a copy of an article is that appeared in the National Catholic Reporter:

"Italian Lefebvrite priest questions Holocaust"

As of now the article is still available in the NCR archive.

I hope this sheds some light on the underlying situation.  Let us all pray that the Church be pure from all unGodly sentiments and beliefs against the Truth, and that the Church's authentic love for and understanding of the Jewish people lead many to come to a full knowledge of their "own" Messiah, Jesus Christ!