...I received an unsolicited email from a "Catholic traditionalist" newsletter, excoriating the Holy Father for visiting a synagogue. Its tone was horrid, its style pompous and self-important, its underlying message worrying.
Now the Holy Father has made a new initiative: recognising that there are numbers of good people who go to Lefebvrist churches because they seek the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, he wants to bring them into the Church, and has taken the risky path of announcing the lifting of the excommunication on the four Lefebvrist bishops.
This is the same Pope who went to the Synagogue in Cologne - and again in New York - and was well received, and who has specifically amended an old prayer in order to make it less offensive to Jewish people. It would be a hopeful sign if some Lefebvrist voices were raised in affirmation of his warmth and friendliness towards the Jewish people, if regrets were expressed for any offensive anti-Jewish sentiments expressed under a "traditionalist" banner, and if a clear indication of loyalty to the Pope were to be given at least in this one matter even before other more contentious issues were to be discussed.
Incidentally, I know of many good people who regard themselves as traditionalists and who are not remotely anti-semitic and probably as baffled as I am by the possibility that any Catholic could be. The plain fact is that we are not Catholics because we believe in some sort of anonymous thing called "Tradition" but because we believe in God and his laws, taught through his Church. Chief among these is the command (not request!) that we love our neighbours. Jewish people are our neighbours. We will be judged on whether or not we obeyed God's commandments.