Monday, January 7, 2013

Vatican reaffirms dialogue with Jews after SSPX denouncement

Alessandro Speciale
 Religion News Service
 Jan. 7, 2013

 The Vatican reaffirmed its commitment to dialogue with Jews on Monday after the head of a traditionalist breakaway group called them "enemies of the Church."

 The Vatican chief spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, said it was "meaningless" and "unacceptable" to label Jews as "enemies" of the Catholic church.

 "Both Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II personally engaged in dialogue with Jews," he said. As a sign of their commitment, Lombardi noted the two popes' visits to Jerusalem's Western Wall, Judaism's most sacred site, and to synagogues in Rome and elsewhere.

 The Vatican reassurance came after Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, said Dec. 28 that "the enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons, the modernists" were opposing the group's reconciliation with the church

. Fellay assessed the status of relations between the SSPX and the Vatican in a long speech at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario. The audio of the speech was posted on YouTube on Dec. 30.

 At Benedict's prompting, the Vatican in 2009 opened talks to repair the decades-long breach with the SSPX, focusing on the group's rejection of the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which revolutionized the church's relations with Judaism.

 Anti-Semitic strains within the SSPX have been a major headache for the Vatican; shortly after Benedict lifted the 1988 excommunications of four SSPX bishops, it emerged that one of the bishops, Richard Williamson, was a vocal denier of the Holocaust. Entire article at the National Catholic Reporter

Full article at the National Catholic Reporter

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