The Catholic Church’s relationship to Judaism as taught by the Second Vatican Council and the interpretations and developments of that teaching by subsequent popes, “are binding on a Catholic,” said the Vatican official responsible for relations with the Jews.
Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, spoke to reporters May 16 after delivering a speech on Catholic-Jewish relations in light of Vatican II’s declaration “Nostra Aetate” on the church’s relations with non-Christian religions.
The afternoon speech followed Cardinal Koch’s participation in a meeting of the doctrinal congregation to examine the latest progress in the Vatican’s reconciliation talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.
“There are questions to clarify in discussions with this community. I can’t say more than that,” he told reporters, echoing a Vatican statement saying the reconciliation talks are ongoing.
In addition to the highly publicized position of Bishop Richard Williamson, an SSPX bishop who denies the Holocaust, public statements by the society’s superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, leave in doubt whether the society as a whole accepts the entirety of “Nostra Aetate,” including its condemnations of anti-Semitism and of the idea that the Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus.
“All the doctrinal decisions of the church are binding on a Catholic, including the Second Vatican Council and all its texts,” Cardinal Koch said when asked if the SSPX would be expected to accept all the teachings of Vatican II. “The ‘Nostra Aetate’ declaration of the Second Vatican Council is a clear decree and is important for every Catholic,” he added. [More]