Bishop Williamson and good old fashioned Catholic antisemitism.
It lives on even amongst so-called 'Novus Ordo' Catholics - so it's not just an SSPX thing. A few years ago while I was visiting a priest-friend, now deceased - although still alive in his rectory at the time. He was looking out the window as we talked and beckoned me to move closer to see two Hassidic Jews walking down the street, scoffing: "J---- C-----! Look at those two ____, dressed like that! Sheesh" (They were dressed in black, black hats, black coat, with the tallit strings hanging, and wore long beards and side-burn curls.)
I have a couple of other examples as well, but I've probably already written about them on this blog in the past: Like the nun who said the Jews brought the holocaust on themselves, and another priest - a historian no less, agreed. It is ingrained in some Catholics heritage, just like the racism between blacks and whites. People struggle with their prejudices. Although Bishop Williamson doesn't seem to struggle at all - since he appears to believe he has all the answers, being more Catholic than the Church and all...
The Lefebvrist Bishop, Richard Williamson, tries again. On the eve of the Interrelligious meeting convened in Assisi by Pope Benedict XVI - where the participation of the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, is already in doubt - and while the congregation to which he belongs, the Society of Saint Pius X, discusses whether to accept the conciliation proposal from the Vatican, the traditionalist bishop makes himself heard once again, and takes aim at one of his perennial targets: the Jews.
They are guilty of "deicide" and "continue to act collectively as enemies of the true Messiah," he writes in the latest edition of his weekly newsletter, the Eleison Comments. "How can the Pope to abandon these truths that are so ancient?", asks the Lefebvrist Bishop.
Bishop Williamson – a former British Anglican who converted to Catholicism and was ordained a bishop by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, along with three other brothers in 1988, a schismatic act sanctioned by Pope John Paul II with excommunication - made headlines in January 2009, when the Swedish television SVT aired an interview in which, among other things, he denied the existence of gas chambers and the death of six million Jews during the Holocaust.
His words took on global notoriety because in those days Pope Benedict XVI, moved by the desire to heal the schism of Archbishop Lefebvre, had decided to lift the excommunication imposed on four traditionalist bishops, including Bishop Williamson. This created a global diplomatic crisis and a wound in relations with those whom the last two popes have called the "elder brothers" of Christians, that has yet to heal completely.
At the origin of Bishop Williamson's new attack is something written by Pope Benedict XVI in his book "Light of the world": that the Jews can not be held responsible for 'deicide', or the death of Jesus on the cross. Words that the Lefebvrist bishop coupled with those of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, whose responsible for ecumenical dialogue, Father James Massa, last May 17 reminded the faithful that anyone who makes this accusation against the Jews, at any time in history, automatically put himself outside the Catholic Church.
For Williamson, first of all, the death of Jesus on the cross was really "deicide", because Jesus was killed, "the second person of God," and therefore, "God was killed."
Then, even if Jesus died on the cross to save all humanity, "only the Jews (the people and leaders) were the primary agents of the deicide because it is clear from the Gospels that the Gentile who was most involved, Pontius Pilate, would never have condemned Jesus" if the Jews had not asked for "blood".
Finally, according to the Lefebvrist bishop, at least one modern pope, Leo XIII affirmed the "solidarity" between the Jews "who clamored for the killing of Jesus" and Jews of today, in the act of consecrating the world to the sacred heart of Jesus, with the Encyclical Annum Sacrum of 1899.
Although Williamson's positions are extreme even within the traditionalist world, they are certainly not isolated even within the Lefebvrist community itself. Just a month ago, the superior of the French province of the Society of St. Pius X, abbot Regis de Cacqueray, repeated the charge of 'deicide' against the Jews in a document condemning the next inter-faith meeting in Assisi. "How can one imagine that God is pleased with the prayers of the Jews, who are faithful to their fathers who crucified his son and deny the Trinitarian God?", wrote the Lefebrist superior. Vatican Insider
I wonder what Susan Sarandon would say? (No I don't.)