Thanks to one of my UK Catholic readers for sending me this link to Britain’s Catholic Herald: Lefebvrists face crisis as bishop is exposed as ‘dangerous’ anti-Semite.
A senior bishop of the Lefebvrist Society of St Pius X (SSPX) has endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Semitic forgery that enjoys widespread currency in neo-Nazi circles.
Richard Williamson, one of four bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, told The Catholic Herald that the document – which supposedly reveals a Jewish plot to dominate the world – was authentic.
He is also on record as saying that the Jews are fighting for world domination “to prepare the Anti-Christ’s throne in Jerusalem”. The SSPX has refused to condemn English-born Bishop Williamson and says it has “no policy” on the authenticity of the Protocols, a Russian Czarist forgery that has been described as “a manual in Hitler’s war to exterminate the Jews”.
The Society’s support for Williamson – who also believes that the Americans planned 9/11 – is likely to end any chance of full reconciliation between the SSPX and Rome.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a Jewish human rights organisation, said this week that it is planning to take action against Williamson.
The facts are right–Williamson is an antisemite–but the article is wrong on its interpretation. The SSPX is not facing a crisis over this, and this is not some new discovery that will now suddenly cause problems for reconciliation for Rome.
Why isn’t this a crisis for the SSPX? Simply because Williamson is not exceptional. This is the sentiment of SSPX members. I’ve noted this on this blog many times over the past years. I have noted that the SSPX bookstore south of Houston has sold many classic antisemitic texts. I have drawn attention to Williamson’s views, as in this post from 2003 (another blogger’s comments):
While reading through the “Father Feeney Archive,” I came across a link to a letter by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson, May 1, 2000, which says, “God puts in men’s hands the ‘Protocols of the Sages of Sion’ and the ‘Rakovsky Interview’, if men want to know the truth, but few do.” Williamson is also quoted as saying, “There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel.”
Now, will the antisemitism of the SSPX cause a problem in the attempts of Benedict to reconcile? That is indeed the million dollar question, because no Vatican spokesperson has ever mentioned these problems. These are not incidental to the SSPX–Lefebvre’s argument with Vatican 2 was not about Latin vs. modern languages in the liturgy; rather, he rejected that council’s teachings about the Jews, religious liberty, and the drastic revisions that took place not just in the liturgy for mass but the liturgy for the ordination of bishops and priests. And the Vatican has never come out and called the SSPX on their teachings on the Jews.
I congratulate the Simon Wiesenthal Center for shining a light on this subject and trying to get a response.
Here are some links I had posted at the end of an article about Antisemitism and the Catholic Right.
SSPX articles on the Jews
- Are the Jews Guilty of Deicide?
- Beaumont, Michael. Jewish-Catholic Dialogue against the Catholic Faith. The Angelus, June 2003.
- Beaumont, Michael. Syllabus of Errors Taken from the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue. The Angelus, June 2003.
- Cipriani, Albert. American Bishops and Judaism. The Angelus, November 2002.
- Crowdy, Michael and Kenneth Novak. The Mystery of the Jewish People in History.
- Fahey, Denis. A Brief Sketch of My Life Work. The Angelus, January 2001.
- Fahey, Denis. What Really Is Anti-Semitism?
- Fr. Denis Fahey on Anti-Semitism. The Angelus, January 2001.
- Laurigan, Michel. The Law of Noah: One World Religion? The Angelus, February/March 2004.
- Sharpe, John. Judaism and the Vatican. The Angelus, June 2003.
Books I’ve seen for sale at an SSPX bookstore
- Ford, Henry. The International Jew [these links go to places where you can read the book on-line, not necessarily to SSPX sites]. Summary at the webpage of Jewish Virtual Library of Ford’s multivolume work, which is on-line in various places.
- Fry, Leslie. Waters Flowing Eastward: The War against the Kingship of Christ. Edited and revised by Fr. Denis Fahey. “Authentication of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” (“Leslie Fry” is a pseudonym for Paquita de Shishmareff, who worked with Ford on The International Jew).
- Pinay, Maurice (pseudonym). The Plot against the Church. Depicts Vatican 2 as the result of a conspiracy involving Communists, Freemasons, Protestants and Jews.