Simon Wiesenthal Center on Benedict’s Motu Proprio

Good points are raised by a press release from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The real concern is the antisemitism of the SSPX–that’s the elephant in the living room.

Against the backdrop of Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio that invites greater use of pre-Vatican II Latin Mass liturgy, the Wiesenthal Center reiterated its grave concerns over the theologically-based Jew hatred of a prominent schismatic church, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), specifically mentioned in the Pope’s letter to Bishops that accompanied his ruling. The Switzerland-based SSPX insists that many Vatican II changes are inauthentic and illegal. “Their view of New Testament Scripture holds the Jews “directly responsible for the crucifixion,” and all subsequent generations of Jews cursed with the ‘blindness to things of G-d and eternity,’ ” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. SSPX teaches that Jews as a people stand “in entire opposition with the Catholic Church.” Further, it asserts that “Christendom and Jewry are designed inevitably to meet everywhere without reconciliation or mixing. It represents in history the eternal struggle of Lucifer against G-d, of darkness against the Light.” Jews, SSPX insists, “should neither be eliminated from among us…nor given equality of rights.” “Jews are known to kill Christians.” SSPX reportedly sells copies of the infamous forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and its Bishop of Canada defends the libelous work on their website

“Thankfully, SSPX’s antisemitism is not characteristic of other Traditionalists. However, we hope that the Church will condition any rapprochement with this group to the abandonment of their open theological hatred for Jews, which stands in defiance of Church teaching,” Cooper added.

Earlier, the Wiesenthal Center and other Jewish groups expressed concern that a 1962 Good Friday Latin Mass, predating Vatican II, includes prayers “even” for the Jews who live with a “veil of blindness,” and for their conversion, as well as one for the “heathens,” i.e. Muslims. “These words, taken alone could be seen as stepping back from the current Good Friday Mass which underscores the eternity “of the promise to Abraham and his posterity,” he concluded.