Anti-Semitism and Traditional Catholicism

I have been finding that some, not all, traditional Catholics seem to have negative views of Israel, the Jewish people, zionism etc. Some go so far as to downplay the holocaust and deny that gas chambers were ever employed against the Jews.
With anything else, there is a wide spectrum of traditional Catholicism from those who enjoy the TLM and the devotions of traditional Catholicism all the way to those in actual schism with the Church. I am perplexed that those who seem most devout do not seem moved by Pope Paul’s comments in Nostra Aetate.
How prevalent is anti-semitism in traditional Catholicism? Do I have a legitimate reason to be concerned? Has anyone else come across this? Thanks so much

Negative views of Israel or zionism =/= antisemitism.

Like I often say; I wouldn’t let the actions of a couple misguided folks paint the picture of a whole movement.

With Pius IX - much beloved by some Traditionalists on this board - having re-instituted the Jewish ghetto of Rome in the mid 1800’s and decreed a number of restrictions on the Jewish community at that time, I find it a little tough to attribute traditionalist anti-Semitism to a “couple misguided folks.” History records that the Jewish ghetto of Rome was the last one in Europe until Jewish ghettos were re-instituted by the Nazis.

I’m not sure a negative view of Israel is the same thing as a negative view of zionism.

I didn’t get the impression that Catholics are zionists although some Evangelicals are.

That’s swell, so you’re going to bass everything off of the practices that one man did. My preference is to look at the wider picture, and that is I don’t see anti-Semitism as being widespread in traditionalist circles.

It is possible to admire some things about a Pope but not everything. :slight_smile:

There are also traditionalists who don’t have high opinions of black people. In every group you’re going to find bad elements.

I agree. One does not follow the other. That’s like saying that being in favor of a secure border means your racist against Hispanics.

I just realized I read the “not equal” sign as an equal sign.

Dear Op

I think your concerns are coming from a legit place. I seem to remember that there were a few SSPX bishops who were holocaust deniers. However, I’ve never know there to be an extensive movement of anti semitism among traditional catholics any more than any other group. Honestly there are going to be bad people in every group. Doesn’t mean the group itself is bad

But before that, Rome was a refuge for Jews who had been driven out of most of the rest of Western Europe.

Rome’s relationship to Jews is complicated. Even Pius IX’s story is complicated–as you say, he “re-instituted” the ghetto. Who had “de-instituted it” a few years earlier? Why, the same Pius IX. . . .


But before that, Rome was a refuge for Jews who had been driven out of most of the rest of Western Europe.

Rome’s relationship to Jews is complicated. Even Pius IX’s story is complicated–as you say, he “re-instituted” the ghetto. Who had “de-instituted it” a few years earlier? Why, the same Pius IX. . . .

But you’re certainly right that one can’t reduce Traditionalist attitudes to Jews to a couple cranks–they are indeed continuing a longstanding Christian attitude.

A couple of distinctions:

Most scholars use “anti-Semitic” to refer to racial prejudice against Jews. Religious opposition to Judaism is “anti-Judaism.” Christianity is traditionally bitterly anti-Jewish but not anti-Semitic, though the line has certainly been blurred at times.

Also, as several folks have pointed out, opposition to Zionism is not anti-Semitic, though many folks (both Jews and Zionist Gentiles) will try to persuade you that it is.

However, when you combine a truculently old-fashioned religious anti-Judaism with a paranoid, extreme version of anti-Zionism, you do have something very disturbing for which the label “anti-Semitism,” if not correct in the narrowest sense, is certainly understandable.

When you see a “Jewish conspiracy” under every bush and accuse mainstream Catholicism of having succumbed to this conspiracy, then the fact that you insist that there’s nothing bad about Jews racially (while certainly admirable as far as it goes) isn’t enough to let you off the hook.


Wait, ghettos are a sign of “anti-” something now?

I consider them a simple matter of prudence. When you have a subculture that is in large part incompatible with the dominant culture, the proper response is to quarantine it. We do this nowadays, by the way, it’s just largely “voluntary.” Hence you get middle-class white liberals saying “I don’t hate black people, honest! I just really like the school system here in Whitecracker Falls.”

Ghettos are certainly a superior solution to segregation. They allow the quarantined subculture to maintain their cultural identity, vitality, and distinctiveness. They preserve the cultural, artistic, family, religious, etc. structures of the quarantined subculture. They recognize at least some dignity and status for each parties. And they are certainly preferable to forcing the subculture to obliterate its identity by assimilating into the majority. What would have been the “right thing” for the Pope to do, I wonder? Forcibly break apart their understandably deep connections binding the Jewish people together in order to subsume them under a culture they hate, oppose, and want nothing to do with?

The Nazi comparison is uncouth. Unless you’re actually suggesting that Pius IX set up the ghetto with the intention to murder the Jews, it’s uncool. If you weren’t, why make it? The objectionable thing the Nazis did wasn’t set up ghettos (which, after all, virtually everyone everywhere had until a few decades before). It was setting up ghettos as foyers to extermination camps.

What prompted this was finding that a well known internet Catholic personality had recently aligned himself with an individual with a strong history of anti semitic statements. With the constant prejudice and media attacks the Church faces daily, I can’t fathom how being affiliated with anti semites is prudent.

Our Israelitish Brethren
By James Parton
OCTOBER 1870 ATLANTIC MAGAZINE (excerpt concerning Jews of Rome under Papal State rule)

"Without troubling the reader with a catalogue of similar facts, I can convey some idea of the scorn in which Jews were once held in a more convenient manner by showing how they are now treated in the city of Rome,—Rome being a fragment of the Past preserved, like an Elgin marble, for the inspection of the moderns. In 1860, when there was talk of a congress of European powers for the settlement of international questions, the Jews of Rome prepared a petition for presentation to it, in which some of their grievances were stated. From this paper we learn that no Jew in Rome can be an artist, nor be a pupil in a school of art, nor frequent a public gallery for practice in art. No college, medical school, law school, or scientific institution can receive a Jewish student. No Jew can exercise a mechanical trade, except cobbling shoes. Cruellest and absurdest of all, no Jew, fond as he is of music, and gifted as his race is in music, can sing in public or play on an instrument. “Woe to the Hebrew,” says the petition, “who dares sing or play in public; for the police and the Holy Office immediately pounce upon him and punish the offence with severe penalties.” This is the more abominable, because nature has signalized this people, not so touch by superiority of understanding, as by talent. The gifted among them are formed to sing, to play, to compose, to carve, to paint, to personate, to excel in all those arts by which human nature is enchanted and exalted by being exhibited to itself.
Edmond About’s report of the condition of the Jews in Rome is fresh in the recollection of many. He glances backward at the time, not remote, when every evening at the hour Christians go to the theatre the gates of the Jews’ quarter were locked for the night; when on days of holy festival Jews were made to run races for the amusement of Christians; when every year a city official gave them a representative kick, an honor for which they had to pay four thousand francs; when they were compelled to present publicly to every new Pope a Bible; when they were obliged to pay the salary of a Christian priest employed to preach a sermon to them every Saturday, and they could only avoid attending this service by paying a fine; when their Ghetto bred such deadly pestilence, that some of them almost lost the semblance of humanity, and “they might have been mistaken for beasts, if one had not known them to be intelligent beings, apt for business, resigned to their lot, simple in their requirements, kind-hearted, devoted to their families, and irreproachable in their conduct.” Such was their condition in Rome. M. About tells us what it is. The present Pope, he reminds us, has indeed taken away the gates of the Ghetto, so that Jews can go about the city after dark; he has dispensed them from the annual kick and its annual price, and he has closed the church to which they were required to go on Saturdays to be converted.

But the author adds; “I secretly questioned two well-known inhabitants of the Ghetto. When they understood why I concerned myself with their affairs, the poor men exclaimed; 'For Heaven’s sake, do not publish that we are wretched; that the Pope actively regrets his concessions of 1847; that doors invisible, but impassable, close the Ghetto, and that our condition is worse than ever. All that you might say in our behalf would be visited upon us, and instead of benefiting you would injure us.”’ The inquirer visited the Ghetto, in the low ground near the Tiber, and found it “the most horrible and neglected quarter of the town,” in which not the humblest of the thousand prelates about Rome would set his foot, any more than as Indian Brahmin would cross the threshold of a Pariah’s hovel. "I learned,” says this author, “that the most humble employment in the most humble office would as soon be given to a beast as to a Jew; that for a child of Israel to ask in Rome to be employed as a commissary, would he more absurd than for the giraffe of the Jardin des Plantes to ask for an under-prefectship in Paris.” No Jew can own a foot of land in the papal dominions, nor cultivate one, unless in the name of a Christian; and if a Jew, using this artifice, ventures to cultivate a garden or a farm, his harvest is safe from pillage only so long as the legal device remains a secret. Let but the Christians around learn that the harvest is the property of an Israelite, and “a rage for plunder” seizes them, which leaves the hapless proprietor with desolated fields.

This is the testimony of a witness who is prejudiced, as all modernized minds are prejudiced, against government by priests. Let me summon another witness, a Christian who writes to L’Ami d’Israel an account of his visit to the Roman Ghetto; “It is situated on the borders of the Tiber, in a place subject to inundations; the population is confined in narrow, dirty streets; and although the Jews are much too numerous for this small quarter, they are not allowed to take up their abode beyond the limits of the Ghetto. The closing of the gates is discontinued, but the prohibition as to residence remains the same. I was struck with the activity and industry of the Jews; for while one sees a great many idlers and crowds of beggars in Rome itself, in the Ghetto every one is at work, and there is not a beggar visible.” The struggle for life, this writer remarks, is so severe, that out of a population of more than four thousand, two thousand five hundred are extremely poor, and in part dependent upon the charity of their neighbors"

It’s a modern day brainwashing. If you don’t agree with Zionism you’re labeled antisemitic. If you hold theological views that offend Jews you’re labeled antisemitic. But if Jews fight to have Nativity scenes removed or Jews oppose Christmas being said in stores or if Jews slander Jesus in entertainment like that filthy Silverstein woman then you can’t say anything or else you’re antisemitic.


The Nazi’s believed that Jews were subhuman fit only for slaughter.

The Nazi’s burned Jewish books.

The Nazi’s made Jews live in ghettos, forcibly removing them from their homes, made areas “Jew free” and confiscated and stole Jewish property.

The Nazi’s had blood purity laws that deemed you a Jew even if say only one grandparent had been Jewish.

The Nazi’s made Jews wear special clothing marking them as Jews.

The Nazi’s passed laws that denied Jews basic civil and legal rights, including the right to freely engage in occupations and professions and the right to education.

The Nazi’s passed laws that cut off Jews from any social interaction with non Jews.

The Nazi’s viewed Jews as a detrimental force to society.

Who could even come up with such ideas?:shrug:

Who could even come up with such ideas

Our fellow humans, who have visited such evils on each other since time immemorial.


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