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Thread: Vatican priest compares the uproar over sexual abuse to the Persecution of Jews

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    Gold Member Pippin69's Avatar
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    Default Vatican priest compares the uproar over sexual abuse to the Persecution of Jews

    At Vatican Service, Persecution of Jews Is Invoked

    By DANIEL J. WAKIN and RACHEL DONADIO

    Published: April 2, 2010

    ROME — A senior Vatican priest speaking at a Good Friday service compared the uproar over sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — which have included reports about Pope Benedict XVI’s oversight role in two cases — to the persecution of the Jews, sharply raising the volume in the Vatican’s counterattack.
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    L'Osservatore Romano, via European Pressphoto Agency

    Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household since 1980, giving a service at the Vatican on March 5.

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    The remarks, on the day Christians mark the crucifixion, underscored how much the Catholic Church has felt under attack from recent news reports and criticism over how it has handled charges of child molestation against priests in the past, and sought to focus attention on the church as the central victim.
    In recent weeks, Vatican officials and many bishops have angrily denounced news reports that Benedict failed to act strongly enough against pedophile priests, once as archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1980 and once as a leader of a powerful Vatican congregation in the 1990s.
    Benedict sat looking downward when the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who holds the office of preacher of the papal household, delivered his remarks in the traditional prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica. Wearing the brown cassock of a Franciscan, Father Cantalamessa took note that Easter and Passover were falling during the same week this year, saying he was led to think of the Jews. “They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms,” he said.
    Father Cantalamessa quoted from what he said was a letter from an unnamed Jewish friend. “I am following the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful by the whole word,” he said the friend wrote. “The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt, remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.”
    The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi stressed that Father Cantalamessa’s sermon represented his own private thoughts and was not “an official statement” from the Vatican.
    He said it was incorrect to interpret the remarks as comparing recent criticism of the Catholic Church to anti-Semitism, but should instead be read as a sign of “solidarity” by Father Cantalamessa’s Jewish friend.
    Father Lombardi said that he personally did not think that criticism of the church could be compared to anti-Semitism.
    “I don’t think it’s an appropriate comparison,” he said. “That’s why the letter should be read as a letter of solidarity by a Jew.”
    “It is not meant as an attack on the Jewish world, anything but,” Father Lombardi added. He said that Benedict had no role in the sermon.
    Even as the priest spoke out against attacks on the church, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, head of the German Bishops Conference, said that sex abuse victims were not helped enough “out of a misplaced concern for the reputation of the church.” The church, he said, was shaken by “the suffering inflicted on the victims, who often for decades could not put their injuries into words.” Bishops around Europe have been offering similar remarks in recent days, following up on a major statement on molestation in the Irish church by the pope.
    Father Cantalamessa’s comments about the Jews came toward the end of a long talk about scripture, the nature of violence and the sacrifice of Jesus. He also spoke about violence against women, but gave only a slight mention of the children and adolescents who have been molested by priests. “I am not speaking here of violence against children, of which unfortunately also elements of the clergy are stained; of that there is sufficient talk outside of here,” he said.
    Disclosures about hundreds of such cases have emerged in recent months in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and France, after a previous round of scandal in the United States earlier this decade.
    A leading advocate for sex abuse victims in the United States, David Clohessy, called comparing criticism of the church to persecution of the Jews “breathtakingly callous and misguided.”
    “Men who deliberately and consistently hide child sex crime are in no way victims,” he said. “And to conflate public scrutiny with horrific violence is about as wrong as wrong can be.”
    The comments could cause a new twist in Vatican-Jewish relations, which have had ups and downs during Benedict’s papacy.

    Rabbi Riccardo di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, who hosted Benedict at the Rome synagogue in January on a visit that helped calm waters after a year of tensions, laughed in seeming disbelief when asked about Father Cantalamessa’s remarks.
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    “With a minimum of irony, I will say that today is Good Friday, when they pray that the Lord illuminate our hearts so we recognize Jesus,” Rabbi Di Segni said, referring to a prayer in a traditional Catholic liturgy calling for the conversion of the Jews. “We also pray that the Lord illuminate theirs.”
    In 2008, Benedict ruffled feathers with Jewish groups when he issued a ruling making it easier to use the Latin Mass including that Good Friday prayer, which had fallen out of widespread use after the liberalizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council. In January 2009, he stirred outrage when he revoked the excommunication of four schismatic bishops, one of whom turned out to have denied the scope of the Holocaust.
    The legacy of the wartime pope, Pius XII, has been another sticking point. Some say he didn’t do enough to save Jews during the Holocaust; on a visit to the Rome synagogue in January, Benedict said that the Holy See had “provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way,” to help Jews.
    Father Cantalamessa’s remarks come after weeks of intense scrutiny of Benedict, which some Italian media have seen in conspiratorial terms. Last week, the center-left daily La Repubblica wrote, without attribution, that “certain Catholic circles” believed the criticism of the church stemmed from “a New York ‘Jewish lobby.’”
    Father Cantalamessa is a longtime fixture in the papal household, having been its official preacher since 1980. It is an ancient role, established by Pope Paul IV in the middle of the 16th century. The job is reserved for a member of the Franciscan Order of Capuchin Friars Minor. The apostolic preacher, as he also is called, gives meditations — especially during Advent and Lent — for the pope, cardinals, bishops and leaders of religious orders.
    Father Cantalamessa was also tasked to deliver a meditation on the problems facing the church and need for careful consideration to the college of cardinals shortly after the death of John Paul II, as they prepared to elect his successor. Their choice was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict.
    Later in the evening, Benedict was to move on to the Colosseum, to take part in the Way of the Cross procession marking Jesus’ final hours and his crucifixion.

    At Vatican Service, Persecution of Jews Is Invoked - NYTimes.com
    "Just because I walked into a turd supermarket doesn't mean I have to buy anything." - John Oliver

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    are you for fucking REAL
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Keep digging boys. The hole is just getting deeper.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    the hitler youth pope sees himself as a persecuted jew?

    that takes cojones.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    A group of people being persecuted simply because of who they are compared with public outrage against the Catholic Church's systematic cover up and endorsement of child abuse. Yeah, that'll fly.

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    They are such assholes.

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    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    They are so dumb. They really need to hire some Hollywood publicists to show them how winning the public opinion is really done.
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    Keep digging boys. The hole is just getting deeper.
    Interesting non-use of a comma.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Incredible. I think this series of scandals is really freaking them out...mainly because they've got something to hide.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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