Report: Vatican readmits society that propagates anti-Semitism
Web site of Society of St. Pius X describes Jews as 'the enemy of man;' society excommunicated in 1988.
In lifting the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson who has been accused of Holocaust denial last month, the Catholic Church also readmitted a priestly society that openly propagates virulent anti-Semitism, according to a probe by a Belgian Jewish newspaper.
The Roman Catholic Church excommunicated The Society of St. Pius X in 1988 along with Williamson and three other member priests, declaring their consecrations were "unlawful" and "schismatic."
In January of this year the Vatican lifted the excommunication. On the same day, a Swedish television station aired an interview with Williamson in which he denied the existence of gas chambers during the Holocaust.
In a research performed after the readmittance, a team of journalists from Joods Actueel, an Antwerp-based Jewish news publication, found what they describe as "a slew of anti-Semitic content" on the society's Web sites in five languages.
The probe whose results were made public on Thursday, found that the society's official U.S. Web site described Jews as "the enemy of man, whose secret weapon is the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy," adding that "heads of Jewry have for centuries conspired methodically and out of an undying hatred against the Catholic name."
The South African site said that "Jews have come closer and closer to fulfilling their substitute-Messianic drive towards world dominion." The Irish site asks whether "the Jews are guilty of Deicide," answering: "We must say yes."
The site from Germany, a country with strict limitations on anti-Semitic speech, clarifies that "contemporary Jews are for sure guilty of the murder of God, as long as they don't recognize Christ as God."
The Belgian site accuses Jews of "still believing they are the chosen people" while "awaiting world domination." The Austrian site warns that the Jewish organization B'nai Brith is "found everywhere" and "commands the entire world."
Michael Freilich, editor-in-chief of Joods Actueel, told Haaretz that anti-Semitic content was being pulled offline even as the team of four journalists were documenting and saving the material ? which Haaretz obtained from Joods Actueel.
Noting that The Society of St. Pius X is believed to have between 600,000 and a million followers, Frielich said: "Williamson's Holocaust denial has attracted much attention, but this anti-Semitic content is in many ways worse because he is a lone fool and not taken seriously by the masses, whereas here we are talking about an entire society spreading hatred around the world."
Freilich added that "while Williamson's lies negate the past, what we have uncovered here is preaching of lies and hate against Jews today."
The Society of St. Pius X was founded in 1970 by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Experts on the Catholic Church such as Dirk Verhofstadt - brother of the former Belgian prime minister - have said that in addition to expressing these positions on Jews, society members have also disavows the Nostra Aetate - a document whereby the Church says Jews were not responsible for the death of Christ.