Top Menu

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Head Of Traditionalist Catholic Sect, Says Jews Are ‘Enemies Of The Church’

A new priest receive insignia from Bisho

Robert Spencer is yet to condemn this. Does this mean that Catholicism is inherently predisposed to antisemitism? Of course we don’t think so, but those opposed to the second Vatican such as Spencer are silent on the matter.

What if they were Muslim? (h/t: JD)

Bernard Fellay, Head Of Traditionalist Catholic Sect, Says Jews Are ‘Enemies Of The Church’


The head of a controversial Catholic sect says that Jews are “enemies of the Church,” but the sect has denied any anti-Semitic intentions.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, declared Jews “enemies of the Church” during a talk that aired on a Canadian radio station, the Catholic News Agency recently reported. Fellay’s remarks took place on Dec. 28 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel in New Hamburg, Ontario.

Fellay, discussing negotiations with the Vatican in 2012 concerning the Society’s future, said the following during the address: “Who, during that time, was the most opposed that the Church would recognize the Society? The enemies of the Church. The Jews, the Masons, the Modernists.”

Fellay said Jewish leaders’ support of the Second Vatican Council “shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s,” according to the Catholic Register.

The Second Vatican Council modernized the Catholic Church in the 1960s and is the reason the Society of St. Pius X split from the main body and was founded in 1970 as part of the Traditionalist Catholic movement. Some traditionalists blame Jews for the reforms that took place during the Vatican II council sessions, notes the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The Society of St. Pius X posted a press release in response to Fellay’s “enemies of the Church” comment, denying any anti-Semitic connotation. The release reads that “enemies” refers to “any group or religious sect which opposes the mission of the Catholic Church and her efforts to fulfill it: the salvation of souls.”

The release continued thus:

By referring to the Jews, Bishop Fellay’s comment was aimed at the leaders of Jewish organizations, and not the Jewish people, as is being implied by journalists. Accordingly the Society of St. Pius X denounces the repeated false accusations of anti-Semitism or hate speech made in an attempt to silence its message.

This is not the first time one of the sect’s members has spoken out against Jews.

In 1985, one of the Society’s founders, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, also identifiedenemies of the faith as “Jews, Communists and Freemasons,” according to JTA. In addition, traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson has denied that the Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews in the Holocaust and that no more than 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died during WWII.

Jesuit Priest Rev. James Martin expressed his disapproval of Fellay’s comment and of the Society in general. “I cannot imagine how any further talks can continue with the group,” Martin told The Huffington Post. “Theologians have been silenced for dissenting in lesser ways from official church teaching.”

, , , , ,

  • Sam Seed

    Exactly the point.

  • Pingback: Bishop Bernard Fellay, Head Of Traditionalist Catholic Sect, Says Jews Are ‘Enemies Of The Church’ |

  • Just_Stopping_By

    I’m not sure that I follow that argument that if Jews accepted that Jesus was “a good man” they would have to admit that he was either a prophet or divine.

    I have read the New Testament and find many of Jesus’ teachings quite positive and have no reason to doubt that he was a good man in general. As to whether he claimed to be a prophet or divine or whether those are later associations applied to him, it does not matter to me, as I believe that there are many good men and women who espouse positive teachings while being neither a prophet or divine.

    And if Jesus made statements about being a prophet or being divine, I have no problem believing that he was right in some other teachings but was wrong in those beliefs about himself, and it doesn’t bother me if others take a different view.

    I also don’t think that Jesus or anyone else should be or should have been killed for espousing a viewpoint, even if it appears blasphemous or seditious to others. With regard to SGP’s argument, I condemn the killing of anyone for merely expressing a point of view. To paraphrase another good teaching, there should be no compulsion in religion or in other beliefs or points of view.

  • Ilisha

    Right, and then once the Jews have accepted Jesus as a “good man,” do we need to insist the Jews and Christians accept Muhammad as a “good man” and the last prophet? Why not just insist everyone convert to Islam, if that’s the reasoning?

    Also, if we openly declare Jews enemies (of what exactly?), that doesn’t set the stage for them to be treated well, even if we say you should forgive them and pray for them. A mixed message like that doesn’t make much sense.

    The idea that Jews should be judged based on the behavior of their ancestors seems alien to Islam. References to Jews in the Qur’an apply to specific contexts, which is why people often read detailed commentary before drawing conclusions. I think pre-existing ideas influence his interpretations.

    I can think of many counter arguments to some of his points, but it would take time to build a case, complete with documentation. If I thought in the end SGP would be convinced, it might be worth it. I just don’t think it would make a difference.

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    Even if I did find stevens arguments convincing ( and I dont ) if jews accepted that jesus was ‘ a good man ‘ they would have to admit his teachings had merit therefore he was either a prophet or devine making them not jews but muslims or christians. So its a no win game for them.
    Sir David

  • CriticalDragon1177

    I hope you’re right about not many people finding his arguments convincing. I think that just about the only people that will, will be people who already thing the way he does.

  • Ilisha

    I’m not sure how to counter, and I’m not sure it’s worth it. I don’t think you’ll be convinced.

    You’re mixing things from the Bible and the Qu’ran, so that makes it hard for me. I don’t know enough about the Bible to debate with you on those points, and besides, Christian scholars have already refuted these notions and they haven’t managed to convince you.

    It doesn’t seem worth the time and effort for me to try to address your points with regard to Islam. I suspect you won’t buy my arguments either.

    Fortunately, I don’t think very many people will find your arguments convincing, especially if the response here is any indication. I’m not even sure I understand some of your arguments, so I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  • Stephen G. Parker

    Thank you for your reply, llisha. I am not familiar with the story of Zaineb’s poison to which you referred (or at least I don’t remember it). I tried to look it up with a web search, but was not able to find anything; so I don’t know whether or not I would find it relevant.

    At any rate, it really does puzzle me that you and others should find ‘novel’ the idea of collective unity and generalizations concerning collectives. In my reading of the Qur’an I find it to be a consistent practice to refer to collective peoples rather than just individual persons: the Jews, Christians, Lot’s people, Noah’s people, etc. We are told over and over of whole communities punished by God – the teaching being that the whole community was guilty of sin, except for a few individuals who were spared from the punishment.

    With the Jews specifically, both the Bible and the Qur’an testify to the obvious fact that the Jewish people were not in fact completely destroyed by any of God’s punishments; and they continue as a people (though dispersed throughout the nations) to the present day. But there is nothing at all ambiguous in the statements given to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be with him and his family) that he would always find all but a few of them to be treacherous; and that God would send suffering on the Jewish people by means of other peoples “until the Day of Resurrection” because of their sins. It’s possible that my interpretation is ‘novel’ that this warning was conditional – if the Jews collectively repent, then the warning of continual suffering will no longer apply. If it’s not conditional, then we’re simply left with an unavoidable promise that the Jews will suffer God’s retribution “until the Day of Judgment”. You decide for yourself whether you believe the ‘threat’ is conditional.

    In Sura 4, in the famous passage in which the assurance is given that the plots of the Jews to kill Jesus were thwarted by God, it is said that the all the People of the Book must believe on Jesus – and Jesus will bear witness against them on the Day of Judgment. There are several interpretations of verse 159; but in general they all come to the conclusion that there is a continuing responsibility for the People of the Book (and the Jews are being specifically referred to here) to believe on Jesus, and that they will be judged according to whether or not they do so. One or two of the interpretations say that the Jews WILL believe on Jesus – either at the time of their death, or before Jesus dies after he returns – but then according to Qur’anic doctrine it will be too late for them. The interpretation I find most satisfactory is that all Jews are required to believe on Jesus before they themselves die; and Jesus will bear witness against them if they fail to do so.

    As to this question: “In any case, even if we accept your novel interpretation, what should we do? Hate Jews? Curse them? Force them to convert?” – surely you’re not implying that what I have said leads to such a response! I also pointed out, I believe in the first of my comments, that Jesus Christ (peace be with him) told his followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. I also pointed out that the instruction to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be with him and his family) to forgive them and overlook their misdeeds was the equivalent of the exhortation of Jesus Christ to love and pray for them.

    As we no doubt all know, such love and forgiveness is extremely difficult to our human nature; so those who wish to follow the teachings of those Prophets will find themselves driven to God and His gracious power to enable them to fulfill those exhortations.

    All I’m saying – and I believe it’s the same thing as what the Bishop was saying – is that love and forgiveness does not mean being unrealistic and trying to pretend that our enemies are not really our enemies. If we’re to love our enemies, then we have to recognize that we have enemies. If we’re to forgive wrongdoings done to us, we must admit that people have done wrong to us.

    At any rate, I’m not inclined to hate, curse, or persecute anyone whom I consider to be my enemy – whether it’s Jews who consider me an anti-Semite; or Muslims on Loonwatch who say I’m misrepresenting or perverting Islamic teachings; or Christians who consider me ‘apostate’ and a ‘heretic’ because I deny many of the fundamentals of ‘traditional’ or ‘orthodox’ Christianity. And I certainly don’t believe it would be right to seek to ‘force their conversions’. Any conversion not willingly made is not true conversion anyhow. There is nothing wrong (and everything right) in seeking to point out what I believe is wrong or ‘wrong headed’, and exhorting people to change. But I have neither responsibility nor right to force the change I believe is needed. And I am exhorted by both Jesus Christ and Muhammad (peace be with them both) to love, pray for, and forgive my enemies/people who are ‘treacherous’.

  • Pingback: Bishop Bernard Fellay, Head Of Traditionalist Catholic Sect, Says Jews Are ‘Enemies Of The Church’ | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper()

  • Ilisha

    I was being tongue in cheek about the comedic absolution, though I found it odd you bolstered your case on such a serious matter with a stand up comic clip.

    The verses you mention in the Qur’an refer to a specific context. I don’t agree with your interpretation, and I don’t think that is way it has been viewed historically. Muslims have not taken up the torch when it comes to collective guilt in perpetuity, and I think you’re imposing rather than gleaning that meaning in your reading.

    Are you familiar with the story of Zaineb’s poison? Please consider that precedent, which seems quite relevant to me.

    In any case, even if we accept your novel interpretation, what should we do? Hate Jews? Curse them? Force them to convert?

    God will ultimately decide between us when it comes to matters of faith, and He will reward or punish us for our deeds. We shouldn’t fight among ourselves, usurping God’s role.

    In fact, at the end of the verse you mentioned (5:13), it reads:

    ….But forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds). Verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (doers of good).

Powered by Loon Watchers