Vatican reiterates church support for Jews despite St. Pius controversy

( The chief official responsible for Vatican-Jewish relations said that the Catholic Church will not go back on its “Nostra Aetate” declaration, which says that Christians and Jews have a close bond.

Cardinal Kurt Koch made that statement prior to the Day of Jewish-Christian Dialogue in Italy on Jan. 17, and in response to concern that the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) does not accept the 1965 declaration. The society’s Bishop Bernard Fellay recently referred to Jews as “enemies of the church.”

According to the World Jewish Congress, Koch told the Italian religious news service SIR that the SSPX does not “accept ecumenical dialogue, relations with Jews or religious freedom.”

“But these are central to the Holy Father’s teaching and if a group does not accept the Council and does not accept a magisterium, they need to ask themselves how they see themselves as Catholic,” Koch said. “This is the fundamental problem.”

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, had already called Fellay’s comments “absolutely unacceptable.”

Posted on January 16, 2013 .