Let's try this again: the preacher of the papal household - that's Rev. Cantalamessa's title - equated criticism of the Church for criminal acts committed by its priests to the persecution of a religious group that saw some 6 million of its members murdered in a short period during the last century.
Let's try once more: criticism is being equated with murder.
And once more again: criticism of the church hierarchy for very specific acts is being equated with systematic persecution of a whole people.
I don't see the tumbrils coming for the Pope and the College of Cardinals. I don't see any gas chambers waiting for them. Here's the worst I've seen:
- Criticism of the cover-ups
- Criticism of the church's preference for transferring priests known to be abusers over, say, reporting criminal acts to the authorities
- Criticism of denial that anything abusive was going on
- Criticism of various pronouncements by the Pope and other Catholic clergy
Criticism isn't the same as murder. No institution is immune to criticism, and given the 60-year history of cover-ups, more than a little criticism is in order. The Catholic hierarchy concealed criminal acts against children by individuals under its supervision; sexual abuse by priests and, from what I've read, various kind of emotional and physical abuse by nuns and priests, especially in Ireland.
What we're seeing now is more of what we've been seeing: the Catholic hierarchy is protecting its own, rather than repenting, contemplating sin and redemption, and seeking healing for the victims of these crimes. At the same time that the Vatican backpedaled mighty fast about Rev. Cantalamessa's speech, saying "it's his personal opinion," it published his sermon in the official Vatican newspaper.
Guys, you don't just get it. You might try listening to what the chief rabbi of Rome had to say:
Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, who was host to 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.“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 the traditional Catholic liturgy calling for the conversion of the Jews. “We also pray that the Lord illuminate theirs.”