Back it up, Reverend: The pope’s preacher, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, has sparked angry reactions for his Good Friday comments about persecution.
Note to the Vatican: Adopting the mantle of victimhood in the face of accusations of sexual abuse by clergy members and attempted cover-ups by other church officials is not bound to go over very well with the public—especially if parallels are drawn to the persecution of the Jews. However, that very note was played by Pope Benedict XVI’s own preacher, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, during his Good Friday sermon at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Meanwhile, Gawker has put together a handy list of justifications (and scapegoats) the Catholic church has attempted to use recently. —KA
Pope Benedict’s personal preacher has compared criticism of the pontiff and Church over child abuse to “collective violence” suffered by the Jews.
The Rev Raniero Cantalamessa was speaking at Good Friday prayers in St Peter’s Basilica, attended by the Pope.
In his sermon, he quoted a Jewish friend as saying the accusations reminded him of the “more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism”.
His comments angered Jewish groups and those representing abuse victims.