I was a little philosopher in the making when I was a kid. Jewish, attending Catholic school, yet going through the Catholic system as a Catholic -- baptism, first communion, confirmation, (so I wouldn't feel "left out" my mother told me) gave me the appreciation and fondness I have for Catholic culture. As I've stated on this blog many times, and it's in the menu on the left, I am not a Christian, or religious, and don't subscribe to any mainstream religious dogma.
Richard Williamson, who has previously denied the existence of gas chambers and the murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, accused the Jews of killing Jesus, a charge that divided the two faiths for centuries until Pope Benedict XVI declared this year that Jews could not be held responsible for Jesus's death.
In his weekly post, Williamson wrote that "the killing of Jesus was truly 'deicide' " and that "only the Jews (leaders and people) were the prime agents of the deicide because it is obvious from the gospels that the gentile most involved, Pontius Pilate, … would never have condemned Jesus to death had not the Jewish leaders roused the Jewish people to clamour for his crucifixion."
His comments have angered Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors, who are urging Rome to cease reconciliation talks with the ultra-traditionalist splinter group to which Williamson belongs, the Society of St Pius X. Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt of the European Council of Rabbis said: "We call upon the Catholic church to suspend negotiations with extremist Catholic tendencies until it is clear that these groups show a clear commitment to tackling antisemitism within their ranks."
Last month, Régis de Cacqueray, the head of the French SSPX chapter, also accused Jews of deicide. To the despair of Jewish groups, there has been increased dialogue between the Vatican and SSPX.
But I remember this very well, of being harassed by others, including many an adult, that "you killed Jesus." I wondered and even made the horrendous mistake of asking about it in class (as I questioned many a religious story in the naive assumption discussion was invited and appreciated; something my Jewish culture welcomed.) I asked why it was that the Jews were blamed, but after all, God, that is, daddy God the father of Jesus, intentionally sent his son to earth with the knowledge he was going to be sacrificed. God set Jesus up. So wasn't God responsible for the death of his son? The usual responses I got to that varied from "What do you expect from the poor girl, she's Jewish and a convert, we just have to try harder" to "You're don't have enough faith, you need to pray harder and ask for forgiveness."
In the case of Bishop Williamson, the Vatican says it wasn't aware of his views, even though he was excommunicated in the 1980s.