Council President Charlotte Knobloch expressed her “disappointment” that Benedict failed to distance the Catholic Church from the traditional Pius Brotherhood sect, “who still consider us Christ killers,” and their Good Friday prayer calling for the conversion of Jews.
“This would have been the place to take a stand on this topic,” she told public broadcaster ARD on Monday evening.
She praised Benedict's call for Christians and Jews to fight anti-Semitism together, but said there was still a “divide between the Jews and the Vatican” following his controversial decision to rehabilitate Pius Brotherhood member and Holocaust denier Richard Williamson earlier this year.
Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the German Jewish Council, also criticised the pope for not taking firmer action against Williamson.
“What's there to say about a public call to fight anti-Semitism when he doesn't take action himself and there are no consequences,” Kramer told Dortmund daily Ruhr Nachrichten on Tuesday.
Kramer also told news agency DDP that Pope Benedict had a “credibility” problem because of how the Vatican handled the Pius Brotherhood issue.
“There's a huge gap between what he says and what he actually does,” said Kramer.