WIESENTHAL CENTER: HOLOCAUST DENIERS AND JEW HATERS SHOULD NOT HAVE POPE BENEDICT’S SANCTION

January 23, 2009                          

                                   

WIESENTHAL CENTER : HOLOCAUST DENIERS AND JEW HATERS  SHOULD NOT HAVE POPE BENEDICT’S SANCTION

 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to declare that the group known as the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) cannot function within the Catholic Church while mocking Church doctrine on anti-Semitism. 

 

Pope Benedict, a champion of Church unity, has lifted the excommunication of four bishops from the Society, which had been operating outside the authority of the Vatican. While the group, which has tens of thousands of Catholics followers worldwide, has apparently agreed to accept the authority of the Pope, its teachings remain completely at odds with the positions of openness and improved ecumenical relations that were born out of the Church’s Second Ecumenical Council. One of the landmark rulings from the Council, also known as Vatican II, denounced anti-Semitism as a sin. Pope Benedict, then Father Joseph Ratzinger, was one of the theologians involved in drafting these new positions.

 

“According to media reports, Bishop Williamson, one of the Society’s leaders, gave an interview just last week denying Jews were murdered in gas chambers, hardly an indication of a change of heart or mind”, charged  Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of  the Wiesenthal Center. “Beyond the Holocaust denial of one bishop looms the larger issue of the virulent anti-Semitism of the group as a whole,” he added.

 

Postings on the Society’s website (www.sspx.org) proclaim that:

-         Jews are “directly responsible for the crucifixion,” Jews are cursed with the ‘blindness to the things of G-d and eternity;’

-         Jews as a people stand ‘in entire opposition with the Catholic Church.;’

-         ‘Christendom and Jewry are designed inevitably to meet everywhere without reconciliation or mixing;’ that Jews ‘should neither be eliminated from among us … nor given equality of rights.’

 

“The differences between accepted Church teaching and this group of Latin-speaking extremists are not subject to reconciliation,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Director of Interfaith Relations. “The Pope must make clear to the world – especially in the midst of the wave of  Islamist anti-Semitism engulfing Europe – that SSPX cannot teach medieval hatred while seated amongst the leaders of the Church.”

 

 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

 

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.