(JTA) – The Vatican rejected comments by the head of a breakaway traditionalist group calling Jews “enemies of the church” and reiterated that it was committed to dialogue with the Jewish world.
"It is impossible to speak of the Jews as enemies of the Church," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Monday. He said the Catholic Church “is deeply committed to dialogue with Jews" and stressed that the Vatican’s position on this was "clear and well-known."
Lombardi called Bishop Bernard Fellay’s remarks "meaningless" and "unacceptable."
Lombardi was responding to comments made by Fellay, superior of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, during a Dec. 28 address at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario.
According to an audio recording posted on YouTube two days later, Fellay spoke about the society’s three years of discussions with the Vatican over the society’s future and explained how he interpreted behind-the-scenes communications.
Fellay asked, "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."