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.

E. Michael Jones

South Bend, Ind.
E. Michael Jones, a former hippie who says he spent his honeymoon stuck in traffic while trying to reach the 1969 Woodstock Festival, started down the road of radical traditionalism in 1981, when he founded Fidelity magazine after being fired as a professor at South Bend's Catholic women's college, St. Mary's. According to religion scholar Michael Cuneo, Fidelity was devoted to exposing wrongdoing in the church with a special emphasis on sex, a topic Jones seems obsessed with. Jones developed a reputation for his frequent clashes with other radical traditionalists, notably Father Nicholas Gruner. (For his part, Gruner told Cuneo that Jones was "secretly a Jew.") In 1996, Jones changed the name of his magazine to Culture Wars, and he has increasingly focused on the alleged evils of the Jews as he adds to his "continuing series on the Jews." The magazine's cover stories over the last year or so are instructive: "Judaizing: Then and Now," "John Huss and the Jews," "The Converso Problem: Then and Now," "The Judaism of Hitler," "Shylock Comes to Notre Dame" and so on. Jones runs through all the usual anti-Semitic canards -- the ideas that "Jewish media elites" run the country, that Jews are "major players" in pornography, and that Jews are behind Masonry and the French Revolution -- but that's only the start. He also accuses Jews of poisoning society with thinkers such as Karl Marx (a devotee of Satan, says Jones) and Sigmund Freud (who set off an epidemic of sexual sin, he says). And he describes the World War II Nazi genocide of the Jews as "a reaction to Jewish Messianism (in the form of Bolshevism)." Last April, in an article raging about a new president of Notre Dame University, Jones charged that anyone who went to a mainstream university would emerge "with a Jewish world view … and maybe a Jewish spouse." Jones, who has written nine books and hundreds of articles, regularly cites extremist sources, especially the American Free Press run by veteran anti-Semite Willis Carto. He also has taken up race, most obviously in his "Rooted Culture" conferences that include a trip to Germany. The 2005 trip theme would be familiar to any neo-Nazi -- "the continuing deracination in Germany." Jones has one other line of business that would be familiar to the racist right: the "neo-ethnic songs" he sells as part of a bid to create what he calls a true "Volk" music.

Constable, N.Y.
The International Fatima Rosary Crusade, known popularly as the Fatima Center, takes its name from Fatima, Portugal, the place where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three peasant children in 1916 with a series of revelations. The center was founded in 1977 by Father Nicholas Gruner, a Canadian who became obsessed with Fatima after an Italian priest told him that he had a special calling to promote devotion to the Virgin Mary. The following year, Gruner launched The Fatima Crusader, a quarterly that Gruner claims now has some 1 million readers. The publication has carried anti-Semitic articles such as the 1992 piece, "The Program of Christ Against the Plans of Satan," which denounced what it saw as Jewish "naturalism" and blamed Jews for putting "the Christian state in danger." The Crusader also has staunchly defended the work of Father Denis Fahey, a hard-core anti-Semite whom it called "brilliant." In an interview with Catholic scholar Michael Cuneo, Gruner accused a fellow radical traditionalist, E. Michael Jones, of being "secretly a Jew" who was "planted in the American Church to confuse Catholics and sow hatred against people like myself." The Fatima Center heavily promotes a conspiracy theory about the Vatican allegedly working to hide the so-called "Third Secret of Fatima" from the faithful. (Among other things, the theory accuses Pope John XXIII of making a blasphemous pact with Moscow that prevented the Vatican from denouncing communism and has resulted in Satanism flourishing "inside … the Vatican itself.") In 1995, Gruner was ordered to report to his bishop in Italy, but did not; as a result, the Vatican suspended Gruner from his priestly duties in 2001 (a lesser sanction than excommunication). Gruner owns a share of Catholic Family News, helped publish the schismatic book We Resist You to the Face, and is a regular speaker on the radical traditionalist circuit. In 2005, for instance, Gruner told an audience at the annual St. Joseph's Forum conference that Masons -- by which he meant the Jews -- "sacrificed their babies to the pagan gods." Gruner also rubs shoulders with hard-line Holocaust deniers, selling his wares at a 2006 conference of the anti-Semitic Barnes Review.