Today, Good Friday, a monk named Father Cantalamessa preached to Benedict XVI. He is the pope's "house preacher." He likened accusations against the pope in the sex abuse scandal to violence suffered by the Jews.
Are you surprised that the reaction has not been favorable?
Stephan Kramer, general-secretary of Germany's Central Council of Jews, said Cantalamessa's remarks were "a so-far-unheard-of insolence."
"It is repulsive, obscene and most of all offensive toward all abuse victims as well as to all the victims of the Holocaust," Kramer said. "So far I haven't seen St. Peter burning, nor were there outbursts of violence against Catholic priests. I'm without words. The Vatican is now trying to turn the perpetrators into victims."
Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, U.S. director of interreligious relations for the American Jewish Committee, called the comments "an unfortunate use of language."
"The collective violence against the Jews resulted in the death of 6 million, while the collective violence spoken of here has not led to murder and destruction, but perhaps character assault," Greenebaum said.
These grumbling priests, bishops and cardinals just don't understand. Repentance, contrition, penance, accountability and willing self-presentation to judgement for crimes and sins is the only response that makes sense. Anything else is disgusting.
So much tarnish on everything in the Vatican.