OTTAWA – Canada's Catholic bishops have denounced recent statements made in Canada by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) superior that "the Jews" are the "enemies of the Church."
Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the SSPX, made the remarks Dec. 28 in New Hamburg, Ont., at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy.
"The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) notes that such remarks are not in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church," the bishops said in a Jan. 18 statement.
The CCCB quoted Holy See spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombadi, who said in response to Fellay's remarks: "It is absolutely unacceptable, impossible, to define the Jews as enemies of the Church."
"The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops denounces all forms of anti-Semitism, and rejects assertions such as those reported to have been made by the Superior of the Society of St. Pius X, which is a schismatic group not in communion with the Catholic Church."
The CCCB pointed to the Second Vatican Council's teachings in Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions that says: "God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their fathers; he does not repent of the gifts he makes or of the calls he issues – such is the witness of the Apostle [Paul]."
The decree also decries any hatred, persecution or displays of anti-Semitism "directed against Jews at any time and by anyone," the bishops note.
The Canadian bishops said both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have reiterated this teaching "time and time again."