Church Sex Abuse Fallout Compared to Anti-Semitism

Pope Benedict's personal preacher defends pontiff against attacks
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2010 4:06 PM CDT
Church Sex Abuse Fallout Compared to Anti-Semitism
Pope Benedict XVI presides over the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession on Good Friday in Rome, April 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

A high-level Vatican official who serves as preacher to the papal household is under fire for saying in his Good Friday homily that criticism of the way the pontiff has handled the child sex abuse scandal is comparable to "the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism." The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said he was quoting a letter he had received from a Jewish friend.

" The Vatican is entitled to defend itself but the comparison with anti-Semitic persecution is offensive and unsustainable, " an American Jewish leader told Reuters. The Vatican quickly scrambled to distance itself from Cantalamessa's remarks. A spokesman contacted the AP to say his speech was "not an official position of the Catholic church."
(More Pope Benedict XVI stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.