(JTA) — A bishop for a traditionalist Catholic breakaway group said the relationship between Jews and Christians is a fundamentally antagonistic one.
Jews “see in Christianity the cause of their situation today,” Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Society of St. Pius X’s superior general, told the Catholic News Service this week.
“If you think of what happened to them during World War II, they claim that the fault or the cause is Christianity, which we claim is wrong,” Finlay said.
He said that while Jews blame Catholics for the antagonism, he believes Jews are at fault.
The bishop said that he did not attribute such an attitude to “every Jew, as people,” but to “the religion, Judaism, which is something different.”
The Vatican, meanwhile, is continuing reconciliation talks with the society, which has not accepted the 1965 declarations that changed the Catholic Church’s relationship with Judaism.
It is unclear whether the society’s attitude is in line with Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Vatican II declaration that Jews are not responsible for the death of Jesus and said that Jews “should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God.”
In early May, according to CNS, journalists visiting the society’s international seminary in Econe, Switzerland, saw copies of a French edition of “The Jew in the Mystery of History” on display near the book shop. The book describes the Jews as historic “enemies of the Gospel,” moved by a “satanic hatred” of Christians.
Bishop Bernard Williamson, another of the society’s four bishops, has denied the Holocaust and made anti-Semitic statements.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Wednesday that Williams’ statements would require discussions separate from those of reconciliation with the society as a whole, CNS reported.
Pope Benedict XVI last week told a Jewish delegation that Nostra Aetate continued “to be the basis and the guide for our efforts towards promoting greater understanding, respect and cooperation between our communities.”