A MELBOURNE private school has apologised for comments made by its chaplaincy repeating the canard that Jews had killed Jesus.
The online comments – appearing on a Chaplain’s Corner page of the Carey Baptist Grammar website dated December 5 last year – were in a Christmas message by the Carey chaplaincy to the senior school, which has since been taken down.
In his online reflection, Carey’s senior-school chaplain Reverend Gerry Riviere, gave a portrayal of Judea at the time of Jesus, stating “Whilst Rome was the dominant political power, the religious power within Judaism belong[ed] to those in leadership … The religious leaders were intoxicated with the power their system afforded them. Thus, neither the political nor the religious systems gave the people any hope.
“Jesus entered that environment to bring a message of hope and love. He challenged the thinking and actions of the religious leaders who, rather than accepting they were wrong, constantly challenged him, and finally, in an attempt to silence him, placed him upon a cross.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich stated, “This post unambiguously negates the teachings of the 1965 Second Vatican Council document Nostra Aetate and Pope Benedict XVI who specifically stated that the Jewish people as a whole cannot be held responsible for the death of Jesus.
“The chaplain also breathes new life into doctrines that demonised Jews for centuries.”
He added, “Such sad episodes threaten to undermine the warm and respectful friendships that exist between Jews and Christians here, and the good work they have carried out in correcting such warped misinterpretations,” Abramovich said.
Reverend Riviere stated on the school’s website, “I have reflected on my piece and would like to retract this message. I unreservedly apologise for any offence or hurt that it has caused members of the Jewish community. It was not my intention to condemn or upset anyone with my words.”
Carey’s principal Jonathan Walter stated online that the school “retracts without reservation the Christmas message written by the school chaplain … We fully acknowledge the pain these words have caused members of the Jewish community.
“The school accepts that the opinion represented was wrong. Carey does not support ideologies or commentary that are discriminatory or antisemitic”.
A Carey spokesperson told The AJN the school is reviewing its editorial processes.