• Germany's news in English

Jews slam Catholic anti-Semitism remarks

AFP · 3 Apr 2010, 11:38

Published: 03 Apr 2010 11:38 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"It is impertinent and an insult to the victims of sexual abuse as well as victims of the Holocaust," the council's secretary general, Stephan Kramer, said.

The parallel was made in a Good Friday service by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the pope's personal preacher, who said he received a letter from a Jewish friend criticising the attacks against the pope and Catholic Church over the response to predator priests.

"The stereotyping, the transfer of personal responsibility and blame to a collective blame, reminds me of the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism," the friend wrote, according to Cantalamessa.

The remarks have triggered a chorus of criticism from Jewish groups and those representing victims of abuse by Catholic priests.

The Vatican "is falling back upon the regular methods it has used over the decades to suppress and hide any affairs which compromise" the Catholic Church, said Kramer.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi later said the comments were from "a letter read by the preacher and not the official position of the Vatican."

But Kramer said he finds it highly unlikely the pope's preacher would make such a statement without Vatican approval.

Story continues below…

"It was a step taken at a high level to relativise anti-Semitism and the Holocaust," he said, adding that such remarks make religious dialogue between Jews and Catholics impossible.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has also criticised a German bishop for comparing the criticism by the press of the Church over the predator priest scandal to Nazi methods.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:18 April 3, 2010 by rosenthalenglish
The Vatican made it quiet clear that the personal comments of The Priest were not the official Catholic position .So why the misleading headline?
13:35 April 3, 2010 by Heinz-Reg
Those who do not forgive will NEVER find peace!!!!!
14:29 April 3, 2010 by dcgi
@Heinz-Reg: please go spout the pseudo-religious mumbo-jumbo elsewhere.
14:59 April 3, 2010 by Heinz-Reg
Wow, but I suppose our cultures must forgive,and even forget what was written in the bible??? Why are some cultures forced to forgive, and others are not???Israel is calling the Jewish people home to Israel, so why don't they go??? Then they wouldn't have to worry about being around all the Nazi, Anti-Semities of the world.
15:09 April 3, 2010 by The-ex-pat
Interesting analogy that criticism and shaming of catholic religious sex offenders is the same as the persecution suffered by Jews. However one thing comes to mind...............Can't remember the last time a single Rabbi was on the front pages of a the rags for kiddie fiddling let alone one or two a week with the catholic's. If the shoe fits......

Life is so much easier as a devout ambivalent atheist!!
21:22 April 3, 2010 by wood artist
I'm neither Catholic nor Jew, so I have no personal axe to grind. However I have grown tired of the continual denials that the Church did nothing wrong.

It is obvious to anyone reading recent news that two things are true.

First, the church has had a significant problem with priests that abused the children with which they worked. Even if 80% of the claims were false, there's still a significant problem, and I doubt 80% are false.

Second, the church has taken many steps to prevent the legal system from functioning properly. They have conducted "church trials" though never disclosed their actions. They have shuffled priest from here to there, somehow believing that a change of scenery will cause a change in behavior. They have pretended the problems weren't real. They have sent priest to "therapy" and then declared them rehabilitated, only to see them continue the same behavior. Never once have the turned over the criminal to the police.

Like many others, the leaders have individually denied any knowledge or responsibility for any of this, hiding behind the "I didn't know" or "It wasn't my decision" tropes. I think I recall one exception (sorry, I can't recall his name) and he took responsibility for something, simply to protect the Pope.

For those old enough to remember, I suggest this sounds exactly like the great Watergate scandal that took down Richard Nixon as US President. Each time something new comes out, there's a revision to the official story, every time suggesting that "we've now heard everything." It wasn't true then, and I doubt it's true now.

When does the church open up and finally admit what everyone knows? I'm sure many in the organization didn't know, and have no culpability. I'm also pretty sure that a lot did know, and are playing the game even as we read today's news.

This has nothing to do with religion, and certainly nothing to do with the Jews. The earlier post listing all the Jews who had been caught points out just one significant difference. That difference is that they were subject to legal prosecution, not hidden by their church. As I say, that there have been others, in other religions, who had problems, isn't the issue here. Any large organization will likely have some bad actors. What matters here is that there has obviously been a systematic cover-up of illegal activities by an organization that self-proclaims its' moral rightousness. The word for that is hypocracy!

22:57 April 3, 2010 by sixmillionbook

Rev. Cantalamessa, you really messed up today. I know you didn¦#39;t mean to insult anyone when you compared the current attacks on the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict with the persecution of the Jews, but you did, and you did it big time. It seems that you are ignoring a few important points: first of all, there is no comparison because the Church persecuted the Jews for no other reason than their Jewishness, which the Church found intolerable, while the current attacks on the Church and the Pope-I wouldn¦#39;t quite call it ¦quot;persecution¦quot;-are well deserved as the Church seems to have an endemic child abuse problem compounded with on obstruction of justice problem. This is not the first time this happens. It¦#39;s best to not even talk about the Middle Ages. Hopefully the Pope will make use of his power and swiftly remove any offenders from the Church and hand them over to the civil authorities for prosecution, as would be the case with any child molester. The attacks on the Pope are well deserved too. He was responsible for some of these cases before he became pope and he not only did not punish these priests, he moved them to other places where they were able to molest children again! So, it¦#39;s hard to feel sorry for the Church or the Pope these days. You also seem to have forgotten that of the 365 days of the year, this is the least appropriate day to make such comparison with the persecution of the Jews. Should I remind you of the forced conversion of the Jews, instituted by the Church centuries ago? Should I remind you of the incitement to violence in the faithful every Good Friday after sermons and Passion Plays? Should I remind you of the accusation of deicide which prompted countless acts of Christian violence toward Jews? Or the Good Friday prayer which asked God to lift the veil of the blind, perfidious Jews?

It makes me wonder about your boss, Pope Benedict, too, because one needs to ask oneself the uncomfortable question of why he didn¦#39;t stand up as you were making this innapropriate comparison and distance himself and the Church from your comments. But then, maybe one should not be so surprised about this given his recent track record.

To wrap it up, Rev. Cantalamessa, as the sole and direct preacher to the pope I think you yourself need some advising. I would encourage you to think about these things, and next time you sit with Pope Benedict advise him better.

Gabriel Wilensky


Six Million Crucifixions:

How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust


Become a Fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SixMillionCrucifixions
19:14 April 5, 2010 by kinggeorge629@gmail.com
Heinz-Reg "No" your wrong, it's those who keep it going that are the cause of no peace. This hate for Jews is also the reason Israel has to stay on it's feet.
01:23 April 6, 2010 by janreg58
When Moses was in the mountains after he freed the Jews from slavery, they became impatient waiting for him to return, that they made a golden cow and began worshiping it and sacrificing their own for this cow. They had orgies and ran around naked. When Moses came back with the 10 commandments, they wanted to kill him. When it came the time to decide if they should pick between a poor, forgiving, loving man, they picked a thief and a murder instead. What does this tell you about these "Chosen" people?! What were they chosen for? I'm tired of hiding how I feel about all this! Why aren't we allowed to point out their wrongs! Jesus said" If you are slapped, turn the other cheek, and that only the son of man can forgive! Love your enemies, and to treat others how you would like to be treated! Doesn't anyone read the bible anymore? It's time for all of us of all religions and races to forgive our enemies! NO RELIGION OR PERSON IS PERFECT!
03:55 April 6, 2010 by Roman Odessa
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd