You may have been following the news of Pope Benedict lifting the excommunications of the four bishops illicitly ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve back in the late 1980s. Lefebrve, now deceased, was the founder of the schismatic Society of St. Pius X. He and his following believe the Second Vatican Council was illegitimate. They see their mission as preserving the true faith from the heresy of modernism.
In what is seen as an attempt by the Pope to reach out to this group and reconcile them to the Church, he lifted the excommunications of four bishops that were automatically imposed when they were ordained twenty years without papal permission.
Benedict a number of months ago also loosened the rules about celebrating the Tridentine Mass. Again, it would seem in an effort to bring these schismatics back into the fold.
One of these bishops, Bishop Williamson, on Swedish television, recently said that he did not think six million Jews were sent to the gas chambers by Hitler’s regime during the Second World War. This speaks either to his significant ignorance of history, or to an anti-semitism lurking in his world view. His interview has resulted in a backlash of protests from the Jewish community and others, protests directed toward Williamson and toward the Pope.
The Pope has strongly affirmed his solidariety with all of the Jewish faith. Even the SSPX has criticized the comments of Williamson.
Perhaps it is time for the Society of St. Pius X to make their own sincere gestures of reconciliation toward the Church. Perhaps it is time for them to take a good look at their theology, their practices, and reflect on the virtue of obedience to the voice of Jesus. One cannot be a true Christian and be anti-semitic. One cannot develop an ecclesiology or a sacramental theology without an accurate understanding of Church and world history.