The spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said that it is “absolutely unacceptable” to “define the Jews as enemies of the Church.” The remark was made in response to Bishop Bernard Fellay, who made the statement in a two-hour talk Dec. 28 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario, which was later posted on YouTube. In addition to Jews, Fellay identified Masons and the modernists as “enemies of the church” because those groups oppose the Society’s canonical recognition by the Church.
The Society later published a clarifying press release, stating, “The word ‘enemies’ used here by Bishop Fellay is of course a religious concept and refers to any group or religious sect which opposes the mission of the Catholic Church and her efforts to fulfill it: the salvation of souls. By referring to the Jews, Bishop Fellay’s comment was aimed at the leaders of Jewish organizations, and not the Jewish people.”
Lombardi told Christian News Service that the Second Vatican Council document “Nostra Aetate,” which describes Christians and Jews as sharing a common heritage, and other Papal documents show the Catholic Church’s desire for “dialogue and deepening relations” with the Jewish people.