Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bishop echoes vatican spokesman's comments on Catholic-Jewish relations

Catholic News Service
US Catholic
January 16, 2013

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs agreed with the Vatican spokesman that derogatory comments about Jews by the head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X were "unacceptable" in a letter to members of the USCCB Catholic-Jewish dialogues.

Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore said in his letter Jan. 15 that comments by Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the society, who called Jews "the enemies of the church," were contrary to church teaching.

"I wish to assure you as both colleagues and friends that the Holy See and the USCCB find the statements of Bishop Fellay both false and deeply regrettable. His remarks are not only prejudiced, but also hurtful. Comments that cause pain to our Jewish partners are painful to us as well," Bishop Madden wrote.

Bishop Fellay's comments were posted on YouTube Dec. 30. They were made during a nearly two-hour talk Dec. 28 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario.

Bishop Fellay said that Jewish leaders' support of the Second Vatican Council "shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the church's."

The Society of St. Pius X has rejected the Catholic Church reforms that emerged from Vatican II including the document "Nostra Aetate," which described Christians and Jews as having a common heritage and a profound spiritual bond, and denounced any form of contempt of the Jews.

In his letter, Bishop Madden cited comments by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, who said, "It is absolutely unacceptable, impossible to define Jews as enemies of the church." Bishop Madden also pointed to the work of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to extend the teachings of "Nostra Aetate throughout the Catholic Church and to condemn anti-Semitism.


The society's U.S. district published a press release on its website Jan. 5 saying Bishop Fellay's characterization of "enemies" was "a religious concept .....

"By referring to the Jews, Bishop Fellay's comment was aimed at the leaders of Jewish organizations, 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."

original article at US Catholic

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