01/17/2007

'Radical Traditionalist Catholics' Comprise Major Anti-Semitic Movement

The growing number of "radical traditionalist Catholics," men and women who angrily reject many of the Vatican's core teachings, may form the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in America, according to a report, The New Crusaders, released today in the latest issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report.

With more than 100,000 U.S. followers, famously including actor Mel Gibson's father Hutton Gibson, the radical traditionalist movement embraces a series of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, has significant financial and publishing resources, and, in a growing number of cases, is interacting with white supremacist and Holocaust denial extremist groups. Movement leaders routinely pillory the Jews as "the perpetual enemy of Christ" and worse.

"Most Americans know very little about the world of radical traditionalist Catholics," said Mark Potok, editor of the Intelligence Report and director of the Center's Intelligence Project. "But the reality is that it is a grossly anti-Semitic movement that is thriving despite the fact that mainstream Catholics entirely reject its teachings and the Vatican has excommunicated many of its leading activists and ideologues."

The report, the result of a three-year investigation by the Intelligence Report, identifies as hate groups a dozen radical traditionalist Catholic institutions in California, Indiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

Also in the new issue of the Intelligence Report:

  • L.A. Blackout The powerful, prison-based Mexican Mafia has given a "green light" to the many Latino street gangs under its control to harass, assault and even murder blacks in a Southern California "ethnic cleansing" campaign. Shortly after this issue went to press, Latino gang members allegedly randomly murdered a 14-year-old black girl in Los Angeles in what was apparently the latest manifestation of this phenomenon. 
  • Indian Blood Racially motivated hate crimes against American Indians and Alaskan Natives are running at about double the rate expected for the size of their population. A recent hate crime in New Mexico throws new light on this pervasive problem. 
  • 'Christian' Nativism Leaders of the Christian Right seem to be increasingly embracing nativist attacks on illegal immigration into the United States. That could put serious roadblocks in evangelists' efforts to reach out to Hispanic Americans. 
  • One More Enemy A prominent member of a group pushing "conversion therapy" for gays has set off a firestorm with an essay arguing that Africans were "better off" as slaves.