April 3, 2010

Oh, how right on the mark South Park was about Bill Donohue. Apparently his thuggery and vile language that he uses has clearly seeped into the Vatican.

This is indefensible.

A senior Vatican priest, speaking before Pope Benedict XVI at a Good Friday service, compared the world’s outrage at sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church to the persecution of the Jews, prompting angry responses from victims’ advocates and consternation from Jewish groups.

The Vatican spokesman quickly distanced the Vatican from the remarks, which came on the day Christians mark the Crucifixion. They underscored how much the Catholic Church has felt under attack from recent news reports and from criticism over how it has handled charges of child molesting against priests in the past.

The pope and his bishops have denounced abuses in the church, but many prelates and Vatican officials have lashed back at 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 the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Vatican has denied that he was at fault, and Vatican officials have variously described the reports as “deceitful,” an effort to undermine the church and a “defamatory campaign.”

Speaking in St. Peter’s Basilica, the priest, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, took note that Easter and Passover fell during the same week this year, and said 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,” said Father Cantalamessa, who serves under the title of preacher of the papal household.

Let me see if I've got this straight: A Vatican priest tried to equate the uproar the world is articulating over the horrors their own child-molesting priests have inflicted through the years (and which was covered up by the church hierarchy) with the systemic genocide practiced against the Jews. It leaves me numb.

This is something Bill Donohue would say on cable TV--although he has a reputation for attacking Jews himself. Every day that goes by, these men of the cloth disgrace the religion they represent. How dare they? I guess Father Cantalamessa couldn't utter a word of remorse at his Mass for the hundreds and hundreds of children that have been irrevocably damaged by the sexual violence priests have brought upon their lives. He did offer up a tepid mention of them, though.

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 at length about violence against women, but gave only slight mention of the children and adolescents who had 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.

Here's a list of some of the sins of the church just as a reminder to Father Cantalamessa as he makes his absurd claims on Good Friday.

Here's just a little reminder of the history that makes this comparison particularly distasteful:

The Crusades

Pope Urban II, anxious to assert Rome's authority in the east, sent a military expedition in 1095 to reconquer the holy land. The crusaders ravaged the countries they passed through and massacred the Muslim, Jewish and even Christian population of Jerusalem after capturing it in 1099. After 200 years of conflict Muslim armies drove them out for good, but the crusaders' symbol of the red cross remains provocative.

The Inquisition

The attempt to combat suspected apostates, Jews and Muslims at the time of the Reformation spawned tribunals in Europe and the new world that tortured and executed thousands. Ecclesiastical queasiness about flowing blood led to the use of racks, thumbscrews and red-hot metal instead of blades; 2,000 people were burned at the stake during the tenure of Spain's first grand inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada.

The Holocaust

Pope Pius XII never publicly condemned the Nazis' persecution of Jews, even when they were being rounded up and deported from Rome. His silence is partly blamed for the failure of Germany's Catholics to resist Hitler. Anti-Jewish Catholic doctrines such as the claim that the Jews murdered Christ were said to have ideologically underpinned nazism. Vatican officials allegedly helped Nazis escape Europe after the war.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.