Society of St. Pius X at Center of Radical Traditionalist Catholic, Anti-Semitic Movement

Traditionalist Catholic groups are scattered around America and the world. But only a handful preach anti-Semitic hatred.

John Maffei

Broomhall, Pa.

Established in 1999, Catholic Counterpoint, a publishing enterprise that specializes in the most extreme radical traditionalist materials, is run by John Maffei, who worships at a Society of St. Pius X chapel. An example of the material he produces and sells is a video, entitled "Synagogue of Satan," by Father John O'Connor, an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. The video, Maffei writes in his promotional materials, includes "all [O'Connor's] presentations on the Zionist movement and how it controls the U.S. thru [sic] the banking system … and their bringing us into two world wars. … Few have the courage to speak the truth about the six million Jews that supposedly died in the concentration camps of Germany. This is a history course that will set you free." Maffei is also a big fan of Hutton Gibson, the anti-Semitic father of actor Mel Gibson. His Web site is filled with photos of the elder Gibson, and Maffei sells Gibson's books at the many radical conferences he attends. At one such event, put on by Catholic Family News (CFN) in 2003, Maffei told a participant that CFN head John Vennari, who has also attacked the Jews in his own writings, wouldn't let him sell Gibson's materials because they were "too extreme." Maffei had better luck at the 2006 conference of The Barnes Review, a journal specializing in Holocaust denial published by radical anti-Semite Willis Carto, where he sold those materials and more. Maffei also sells writings by Father Charles Coughlin, a leading American anti-Semite of the 1920s and 1930s, and even a book by neo-Nazi Artie Wheeler that outlines a complicated 9/11 conspiracy theory. Maffei, who also sells alternative health products including "miracle soap" and a book on how doctors actually make people sick, told the Intelligence Report in 2006 that "unknown forces" destroyed his car and blew up his garage after he conducted an interview with Wheeler.

Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Catholic Family Ministries, which publishes the monthly Catholic Family News (CFN), is run by John Vennari, a former monk at the Holy Family Monastery in Berlin, N.J., who says he is now part of the official Vatican press corps. Vennari is a contributor to the radical traditionalist book We Resist You to the Face, whose last sentence tells reader that the Catholic Church is afflicted with "Jewish errors." In his CFN newspaper in 2003, Vennari called Judaism "part of the Kingdom of Satan" and accused the Talmud of "teaching of contempt" for Christ. His newspaper also regularly publishes columns by Joseph Sobran, who was fired by the conservative National Review over his anti-Semitism and has written for the Journal of Historical Review, a leading Holocaust denial publication. Vennari has also accused the church of being overrun by homosexuals. But he is probably best known for his exposition of the so-called Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theory, which claims that Jewish Masons have been infiltrating the church since the 1700s in order to destroy the institution and install a puppet in the Vatican. Vennari's booklet on this topic, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita, is essential reading in radical traditionalist circles. CFN holds yearly conferences that feature prominent Catholic extremists including American Catholic Lawyers Association head Christopher Ferrara (see The New Crusaders), Father Nicholas Gruner, and Michael Matt. At the 2003 CFN conference, Vennari decried Vatican ecumenical outreach as "pandering to other faiths, especially Jews." Vendors at CFN conferences have sold wildly anti-Semitic books including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Hilaire Beloc's The Jews.