Vatican Compares Catholic Priest Pedophiles to Holocaust Victims

The latest "we're the victims" statement from the Catholic Church is astonishing.

Popeb  The AP reports: "Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher is likening accusations against the pope and the church in the sex abuse scandal to 'collective violence' suffered by the Jews.
The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said in a Good Friday sermon, with the pope listening to him in St. Peter's Basilica, that a Jewish friend has said the accusations remind him of the 'more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.'
The remarks came in a prayer service at the Vatican a few hours before Benedict XVI was scheduled to take part in a Colosseum Way of the Cross procession commemorating Christ's suffering before his crucifixtion."


  1. veg says

    The Pope and the Catholic Church = war criminals, and the war is against women and children.

  2. Wes says

    Heavily ironic considering Catholicism’s historical anti-semitic alliance with fascism.

  3. says

    the catholic church as a victim, the catholic church is the victimizer and has been for centuries. this insults jews and the church’s victims.

  4. TANK says

    This is great. I hope it’s going down for good this time. Once catholicism is done, christianity as a real political and social force is over. And then…it’s just islam to contend ourselves with.

  5. coolbearinmd says

    Ah yes, the “more shameful aspects of anti-semitism.” As opposed to the perfectly understandable, theologically justified aspects, like hating Jews because they killed our Lord.
    I’d like to see this go all the way, with sermonizing priests reminding us that after all it was Jesus who suffered the little children to come unto him–or was it cum all over the little children?

  6. jaragon says

    Lets leave poor Jesus out of this latest repugnant episode. His message has been distorted by an institution who now seems to be reaching an all time low. Blame the gay priest! Blame the kids! I’m surprise the Pope has not appeared on Fox news to blame Obama!

  7. Gridlock says

    The Nazi pope compares himself with a persecuted Jew?

    Is there some term for hideous, ridonkulous irony combined with serious cojones?

  8. DC says

    I’m no fan of the pope — but the photograph used to accompany this posting seems extremely unfair and salacious.

  9. MiloTock says

    I see . . . so an organization which itself was responsible for one of history’s most egregious examples of collective violence against Jews (the Inquisition) is comparing the outrage being expressed at it for decades of child abuse and cover-ups to the actual violence done to Jews throughout time due to anti-semitism. How is it possible that anyone could continue to take seriously any claims to moral authority the church might ever have had??

  10. GOD says

    It is the Catholic Church’s virulent antisemitism that culminated in the murder of 6,000,000 jews by Hitler’s catholic fascist regime. His birthday was celebrated by the Catholic church every year until the very end, the Pope at the time, the alleged Vicar of Christ on earth, was staunchly pro-Nazi and to this date this evil despicable morally bankrupt cult has not excommunicated a single Nazi. Not only. Wait, one. Goebels, for marrying a protestant… those child fuckers have their priorities.

  11. alguien says

    i would say that’s bald face lie on rev. cantalamessa’s part. no self-respecting jew would EVER make a comparison like that, EVER.

    all i can say is “FUCK YOU VATICAN!”

  12. walter says

    ratzi the nazis is being persecuted like the
    jews in germany. maybe he now knows how they felt when he and his brown shirted associates did it. this an old defense tactic attack everyone and create a smoke screen.hopefully people forget the central issue. and i think the picture is very appropriate. remember the offense are against children.

  13. Craig says

    Quite frankly, the moment I heard this today, I lost what few shards of respect I still had for this pope and the Catholic church in general. It was precious little already.

    That idiot Bill Donohue from the Catholic League pretty well vaporized what little I still had left before that.

    They’ve just proven to me beyond a shadow of doubt that every allegation made against this church is in fact true. What disgusting self serving bastards would dare dismiss the genuine terror their actions had unleashed upon thousands upon thousands of innocent children, and then can’t even be man enough to apologize? This is thoroughly disgusting to watch.

    Never again will I donate a single penny to any Catholic charity. Not one.

  14. jexer says

    I agree with Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa
    “somewhat” an irrational witch-hunt is not the right response.

    As a reviled ex-Catholic, I’m NO fan and I would love to see the church’s priggish underhanded, dishonest and hypocritical practices ended.

    But accusers need to be wary of using the same vile tactics the church has used lest they become the same evil we’re trying to be rid of.

  15. missanthrope says

    This is just beyond sicking. If they keep going at this rate, in fifty years the Catholic Church will be no more.

  16. says

    OK, I’m a Christian, but the church and religious zealots think that they are above reproach…In other words: it’s everyone’s fault except theirs and quit picking on us.

  17. veg says


    You said “The same vile tactics”?

    We’re talking about CHILDREN here and their systematic sexual brutalization, molestation, rape, and abuse!

    We’re talking about a massively wealthy international cartel run entirely by MEN in the most SEXIST manner possible, excluding women based on pernicious LIES and falsehoods of reason supposedly put into the bible and advanced by “church fathers”!

    We’re talking about VIRULENT homophobes who blame child predators and their enablers on homosexuals when homosexuality has NOTHING whatsoever to do with child sex crimes!

    Come on!

    These men–these sick, old, mostly white European men (along with their viciously conservative African and Latin American counterparts)–who control the Catholic Church and its wealth say that *they* are the victims!

    It’s sick!

    I think those of us who were abused by these SICKOS need to get a lot more vile and sue these fiends in international courts and keep railing for great discovery of their dark processes and criminal acts!

    God! The Pope needs to be tried and CONVICTED for aiding and abetting crimes in open court across the globe, and most of the Cardinals and some of the Bishops too!

    Then we go after their shocking wealth and distribute it amongst victims and survivors.

    Also, ALL orthodox religions, including Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, and many Protestant Sects, Mormonism, Scientology, Christian Science–all of these IRRATIONAL and frequently HATEFUL and controlling orthodox belief systems and organizations are FRAUDS perpetrated against reason.

  18. GOD says

    Religion is utter bullshit and catholicism is particularly retarded and it would be hilarious with the smoke and the silly incantations and the robes and dresses and pointy hats and red prada shoes…if it didn’t involve the little inconvenient child-fucking across the globe for decades and subsequent cover up and blame the victims part…
    I mean what sane human being would want to be a member of this idiotic cult??? Oh and yes I AM anti-catholic. Accusing me of being bigoted against catholicism would be like accusing an oncologist of being bigoted against cancer.

  19. Michael says

    This is what happens when any institution declares itself as infallible and incapable of doing wrong by their own beliefs. No accountability, no apology, and certainly no reform.

    The Vatican has a long and twisted history with their involvement in war crimes, persecution, and killing all in the name of a deity they worship. Sounds awfully familiar to me.

    If people want to continue to be Catholic then more power to them, but for all that they consider holy please make your leaders accountable and adherent to their faith.

  20. TANK says

    Which protestant sect isn’t a fraud perpetrated against reason, veg? Or wouldn’t you care to defend those jesus magic sects against rationality?

  21. Brian says

    For nearly 2000 years, the Church has been about the Church and the Church only. Popes have fathered bastard children, murdered (or have had murdered) those who oppose them and lied to the believers about it. Their anti-gay, anti-birth control stance has always been about producing more people they can control and take money from, and has for too long not been about the words and teachings of Yeshua. Now that the crap has hit the proverbial fan, they are saying and doing anything they can to make themselves out to be victims in an effort to garner sympathy form the few people they can still fool. Just Church business, as usual. Organized religion is a scam, and the sooner people wake up to that fact, the better off we will all be.

  22. Jay Croce says

    Ratzenberger is, was and always will be a Nazi pedophile. That explains why the Vatican doesn’t seem to know the difference between Prosecution and Persecution. I would love to personally explain to the Pontiff that Jews were persecuted, Pedo Priests are being PROSECUTED. One is justice, the other is evil. But then, I don’t expect a Nazi to understand the concept of either one.

  23. everette says

    i just hope that finally this canker on the butt of humanity is scraped off for good. it’s been a long time coming, and that disgusting institution will never be able to repay the damage they’ve done to humans across the globe over the centuries. i, for one, am making popcorn.

  24. jexer says

    Veg- My only point is that accusing THE ENTIRE CATHOLIC CHURCH of being pedophiles or knowing accomplices is just as unfair as the crap the church has been dishing out.

    It’s not “justice” if it’s built on exaggerations and fabrications.

    Prosecute individuals for their and attack policy for being wrong…
    but if we resort to generalizations against individuals, that’s nothing but a smear tactic.

    If we can’t fight clean, we’re no better than they are.

  25. jexer says

    … sorry left out the word “crime” after “prosecute individuals for their”.

  26. says

    “My only point is that accusing THE ENTIRE CATHOLIC CHURCH of being pedophiles or knowing accomplices is just as unfair as the crap the church has been dishing out. . . . If we can’t fight clean, we’re no better than they are.”

    We ARE better than they are, whether we fight “clean” or not. We are not molesting children and young men and then going to great lengths to cover it up before blaming others for our crimes. That is what they are doing.

    Criticizing the Catholic Church, even unfairly criticizing them (tho hard to be too unfair given their detestable actions), in the media or on a blog is not the equivalent of what they have done. It’s not even remotely in the same ballpark of despicable deeds. That’s exactly the type of propaganda the Vatican is hoping the world will buy, but most of us aren’t.

  27. patrick nyc says


    Fox News has just signed the Pope to host his own show, right after Sarah Palin. His first guests are St. Peter, dead from St. Peter’s Square. Next, Hitler, his first boss. Closing with an exclusive with Palin, on how they both are so full of shit and how their followers are totally clueless.

  28. GOD says

    IT IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AS AN INSTITUTION that is not only morally bankrupt but also criminally culpable. Thousands of children have been raped for decades around the globe by hundreds of priests and those child fuckers were reassigned by the hierarchy of the church, including Ratzinger, so they can fuck more innocent children. Who is this idiot complaining about being “unfair” to the church? Are you kidding me? If this had been a secular organization, running day care centers for example, it would have been banned and forgotten by now if its CEO had covered up child rape and failed to report the rapists in order to save the “reputation” of his organization.

    It is only Ok because they hide under the veil of “religion” which is somehow supposed to give them automatic respect! Well, NO. No respect for anyone who still considers himself a member of this fucking cult supporting child rapists and their enablers.

  29. GOD says

    And not to pile on (well actually, yes, let’s do it!) but even in the absence of child fucking, this church should be held responsible for tens of thousands o f deaths in Africa where priests teach evil catholic dogma sanctioned by the “infallible” pope telling uneducated and gullible people in AIDS ravaged sub-Saharan countries that condoms INCREASE the chance of getting AIDS. INCREASE. It is criminal stupidity beyond belief and the fucking sheep in the West who go to their masses and services and listen to these charlatans dispense “moral advice” should be utterly ashamed of themselves for supporting such a truly evil organization.

  30. Chitown Kev says

    I’m not even Jewish and I find this statement by the Vatican to be horrifically offensive.

  31. veg says


    What is wrong? Did you read what I said!? I went out of my way to criticize a range of orthodox religions:

    “Also, ALL orthodox religions, including Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, and many Protestant Sects, Mormonism, Scientology, Christian Science–all of these IRRATIONAL and frequently HATEFUL and controlling orthodox belief systems and organizations are FRAUDS perpetrated against reason.”

    PUHLEEZ: are you telling me you don’t know Protestant Sects like Jerry Fallwell’s hateful church, a host of Baptist fraudsters, and many more that are just as wayward and corrupt as the Catholic Church! PLEASE! Most (yes, MOST) of these religions are hateful, hypocritical frauds.


    The Catholic Church preaches FULL, centralized, and UNQUESTIONING allegiance to the principles of the Vatican and Canon Law. The pope, the cardinals, and the bishops are CEOs of a bottomlessly wealthy state-centralized global corporation.

    Given this, YES: the ENTIRE CHURCH needs to be criticized, the WHOLE BUSINESS, meaning the hierarchy, top-to-middle managers, need to be held accountable as ACCOMPLICES in crimes based on well-documented EVIDENCE!

    If you failed to report a priest who abuses kids, if you moved the perp around, if you failed to work with law enforcement to imprison the perp, if you hid documents, if you hide behind confessions to protect perps–if you do all of these things that the church ENDORSES and that church leaders INCLUDING THE POPE have done then you are an accomplice to the worse of crimes.

    That you don’t see this, that you can’t understand the point of view of ABUSED CHILDREN really makes me doubt your humanity.

    What is WRONG with you?!

    I’m not talking about exaggerations or jailing innocent people.

    I’m talking about holding the church as an institution and MANY of its leaders, including the POPE, ACCOUNTABLE as KNOWN and DOCUMENTED accomplices.

    If they were anything but a church then they’d be in jail or in serious litigation as accomplices.

    Why should churches be exempt!?

  32. romeo says

    A few years ago I was on a jaunt to Rome with a Jewish friend. We went over to take a look at the Vatican. We walked into St. Peter’s Basilica and got about a quarter of the way down, she looked up at the vast expanse, ahead at the vast expanse, and then to the right at the Pieta’. Then she leaned in to my ear and whispered, “I’ve got to get the fuck out of here. I feel like I’m disappearing!” LOL I explained to her that that was the whole idea, to make you feel insignificant. The Church is major at bullshit. Incidentally, you don’t know what gay is until you’ve seen the Vatican. All of its killer spectacle is gay designed and decorated.

  33. says

    The Vatican has a long and twisted history with their involvement in war crimes, persecution, and killing all in the name of a deity they worship. Sounds awfully familiar to me.

  34. TANK says

    “What is wrong? Did you read what I said!? I went out of my way to criticize a range of orthodox religions:

    PUHLEEZ: are you telling me you don’t know Protestant Sects like Jerry Fallwell’s hateful church, a host of Baptist fraudsters, and many more that are just as wayward and corrupt as the Catholic Church! PLEASE! Most (yes, MOST) of these religions are hateful, hypocritical frauds.”

    No, you said most protestant religions are frauds perpetrated against reason. I say all of them are. There isn’t a religion on this earth this isn’t an assault on reason and rationality, and simply cannot justify the beliefs held by its members. Even a religion as harmless as jainism is an epistemic joke.

    Child molestation is found in all sects of protestantism, and at the rates found in the catholic church. THe coverup (though it exists within protestant churches like the baptists) isn’t as broad based. I want all toxic faith (and christianity is a toxic faith) to disappear. And the catholic church is definitely a faith that should go away forever.

  35. Gray Fox the Elder says

    It is a shame that we need to aggressively seek to blame another, when we should be asking What brought this caliber of degradatio into our system of human existence. The same question goes for the Holocaust what caused the system of extreme degradation to enter the developing journey of the Jewish people? Did both break the basic law set by the one true Creator? According to Deuteronomy both and many others have broken the Creator’s law set before their human faces and these are the consequences of their hidden actions. Proverbs 16:2 and 29:18, Did the nation Israel lose the true (original) vision? According to the recording in the Old Testament, they did many times and they suffered the consequences. The Catholic church has committed many atrocities since their origin, are they just starting to suffer the consequences of their past actions? The shield of vanities is a very weak shield it is created and defended by the human, not by the one true Creator. Don’t blame the present day humans (they are only after pawns), look at the events (foundation or path of development) before the consequences came about. Look to identify the empowerment that both had entered into before their degrading consequences came about. There you find the root cause and its working structure within the human framework, therefore its pattern of development in the human daily existence. If you can discern correctly (honestly). I’m a Catholic and I studied my own church history, it is not pretty and its foundation has an Achilles’ heel. Vanity hides it, but the one true Creator will expose it, like the one true Creator did with the nation Israel many times. No man, woman or child can hide from the Spirit that is Sacred of the Lord Jesus the King of kings. It is impossible, only fools think they can through shields of vanities.

  36. jexer says

    I’m not talking about exaggerations or jailing innocent people. – Veg

    Which is fine, but there are times when it sounds like you think *all* clergy should be “put to the question” using barbaric inquisition-style itimidation tactics.

    That you don’t see this, that you can’t understand the point of view of ABUSED CHILDREN really makes me doubt your humanity. – Veg

    That was seriously uncalled for. As one, I shared your rage in the past. I grew tired of letting it ‘define me’ as a person and eventually, I set the rage aside and got on with my life.

    I wouldn’t have listened when I was in that frame of mind, and shouldn’t have expected you to either.

    Good luck on your crusade.

  37. veg says


    You said “it sounds like you think *all* clergy should be ‘put to the question’ using barbaric inquisition-style [intimidation] tactics.”

    NO! Of course I don’t think ALL clergy should be prosecuted! Stop thinking my words “sound like” something and JUST READ THEM.

    I *DO* think the Pope, many cardinals, many bishops and much of the church hierarchy needs to resign and be forced out for clear evidence of abetting deeply criminal sex crimes against CHILDREN.

    And yes: when you keep APOLOGIZING for the Catholic church, I become quite concerned about YOU! Whose side are you on?! Are you defending innocent children?

    I wish you had as much PASSION and ZEAL to fight exaggerations, lies, hidden evidence, and secret inquisitions on behalf of victims and survivors of abuse as you seem to have for church clergy!


    Sorry but there are gay Christian churches and liberal Jewish communities and many progressive religions around the world. Not all religion is bad, just many of the Orthodox ones. That you think otherwise shows your own biases and prejudices and inabilities to differentiate between things. Just because you believe in God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha or audits doesn’t make you a corrupt person. It’s how you approach your faith, it’s whether you are dogmatic and hateful, etc.

  38. TANK says


    Sorry but there are gay Christian churches and liberal Jewish communities and many progressive religions around the world.”

    You asked for it, pal, Anyone that defends faith on epistemic grounds has conceded defeat before even beginning. There isn’t a shred of evidence to support any supernatural belief whatsoever. There is absolutely no good reason to believe in any religious tenet. None. Christianity isn’t justified in terms of ethics, either, given the euthyphro dilemma which utterly trivializes all abrahamic faith’s claims to practicality.

    You obviously don’t care a wit about the truth value of religious propositions. First, there is no such thing as a true christian, jew, or muslim. Now, I will say that any christian cult/sect that affirms the bible IS explicitly endorsing it as a moral authority. Now this provides indirect support to extremists within the christian faith who also affirm the bible as a legitimate moral authority. THey are both defending the bible as a legitimate moral authority, but disagreeing about interpretation or its meaning. And this defense of the bible as a legitimate moral authority aids the fundamentalists/extremists, as their disagreement with the more liberal factions is merely one of scriptural interpretation. The moderates have more in common with the extremists than they do with secular humanists. WHere are the moderates when the extrmists condemn homosexuality, or commit acts of terrorism? Where are they? They NEVER STEP UP TO THE PLATE WHEN IT MATTERS. Religious moderates are the most useless fucking people on the face of the earth in terms of combating toxic religious faith. USELESS. That’s because they share common ground with the extrmists, and will never go far enough in criticizing them.

    “Not all religion is bad, just many of the Orthodox ones.”

    All religion is an affront to REASON. As I said, you don’t care at all about the truth values of religious claims (you seemed to in your previous screed against catholicism). I do. I think you want to preserve religious faith while attacking catholicism…and that’s not going happen here. There is no reasonable defense of unreasonable beliefs, and every religious belief is a supernatural belief, and therefore unreasonable. People who want have a serious conversation about justification of religion do care about the truth value of the claims that religious people make. But yeah, jainism is not a toxic religion. In fact, there is no religion on the planet more neutral in terms of what it causes than jainism; it’s the most peaceful religion there is. The claims it uses to justify belief in it are an absolute joke, however. THey are not epistemically legitimate, rational–and don’t pass the straight face test. ANd neither do the hocus pocus beliefs of any of the so-called “progressive faiths”. We don’t call balancing the humors progressive medicine, so why do we call religions that aren’t explicitly hateful progressive? Their models/explanations of reality and the universe are flatly false.

    “That you think otherwise shows your own biases and prejudices and inabilities to differentiate between things.”

    You’re a fuckin’ fool, you know that? A complete fuckin’ fool. If you don’t think that so-called progressive religion is epistemically vacuous, you don’t have an active brain cell in your silly stupid little head. Secondly, if you think that progressive christian denominations are in any way helping to alleviate human suffering and silence religious extremism, you are just wrong. THis is a false belief of yours. Religious moderates provide support to extremists by affirming the same fucking book that they do, and the same faith. THeir disagreements are minor compared to their agreements.

    “Just because you believe in God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha or audits doesn’t make you a corrupt person.”

    No, but you do have blood on your hands. If anyone kills another in the name of jesus alone…you, who affirm jesus as your savior…share some of that some of that blame. Responsibility isn’t a third grade kind of deal…it never ends…

    “It’s how you approach your faith, it’s whether you are dogmatic and hateful, etc.”

    Religious moderates are useless in combatting the toxic elements of their own faith, and provide succor to the enemy. Period.

  39. jexer says

    Veg- At one time I had that passion and zeal, and it has run its course. It’s your turn now.

  40. TANK says

    I will say I’ve never had a serious conversation about theism on any gay blog. Some of the commenters are familiar with dan dennett and sam harris (but only tangentially), but don’t really get the arguments…and when it comes to modern apologetics, they don’t know alvin plantinga, marilyn mccord adams (one of the smartest academic theists alive), or william lane craig (not a philosopher), peter van inwagen, etc. And forget about maimonides, aquinas, etc. I mean, I have argued with people on gay blogs who though Spinoza was a fucking theist…unfuckingbelievable. THey don’t know about the logical problem of evil, or the evidential problem of evil disproving the existence of a 3-O world creator (or at least making it highly unlikely that such a thing exists)…and almost none have ever read Hume… Come on, guys…if you want to argue atheism, at least acquaint yourself with the opposition, and moreso…atheist arguments.

    Raise the motherfuckn’ bar.

  41. Come On says

    Tank…you come across as a pompous windbag. I kind of defended you on another thread’s comment section not knowing why people were so quick to jump on you. Now I know why, and I am sorry I ever did.

  42. TANK says

    I’m sorry you did, too, cunt. I don’t need the “defense” of lesser mortals. Fuck off and die.

  43. Come On says

    Wow! You have got some issues there bitter boy. How sad that you apparently sit around with nothing better to do waiting to post your responses and get into arguments with people on a comment section of a website. Do you have any friends or is this all you do? Seems like you alienate a lot of people, so one has to wonder….

    It must be a very lonely life walking amongst us mere mortals.

  44. Paul says

    Don’t they know that the Holocaust is Israel’s get-out-of-jail-free card, and not permissible for anyone else’s use?

  45. veg says


    Go on and fight your anti-religion battle. All I said was that there are some progressive religions. I don’t give a damn about the epistemic, ontological grounds of religion. I didn’t ask for anything from you, and given your long-winded screed against religions, the only thing that I would want (for you to actually read statements instead of putting words in others’ mouths) is impossible to get.

    So as you said at the end of your comment: PERIOD. End of debate. We share no common ground so f’get it.

  46. TANK says

    I know you don’t care about the ontological and epistemic grounds of religion, veg. That’s because you’re a christian…the truth of your beliefs doesn’t matter to you (it does…but you’ll never argue them). Look, am I’m saying is that a true believing christian like you doesn’t care about the suffering caused those children by catholic priests. Yours is an axe to grind that has nothing to do with that…you’re a protestant…and don’t like catholics. It’s much more ethnic/racial than it is justifiable…you have no credibility. GO away. A christian criticizing a catholic is like a serial killer criticizing a rapist.

  47. TANK says

    That is, you just hate catholicism…and any way you can attack it will suffice. You couldn’t give a damn about the pedophile priests and their victims. You just hate those dirty catholics compared to your dogma, and this scandal is purely superficial to your real agenda. No credibility from you.

  48. TANK says

    I don’t like how observant I normally am. It’s quite painful, actually. I know what most people are thinking before they’re thinking it.

  49. says

    I’m with you Brian : this rears it’s ugly head every few years and somehow the whole thing just goes away..again. Very sad.

  50. veg says

    TANK: what an absolute TROLL you are. I never, ever said that I am a Christian and I am NOT a Christian. I am a secular humanist. I see no reason to bash religious people like you do. I have wonderful, progressive religious friends.

  51. TANK says

    VEG, you’re a liar, too. You are a christian. And you don’t understand toxic faith or the role of religious moderates in propping it up…you’re just anticatholic. It’s pathetic.

  52. says


    Rev. Cantalamessa, you really messed up today. I know you didn’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’t quite call it “persecution”—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’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’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’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 regarding the sexual predator priests, or his treatment of the whole Bishop Williamson affair, or his reinstating the Good Friday prayer referenced above, or his rush canonization process for the problematic wartime Pope Pius XII. In a way, seeing Pope Benedict looking at the floor today as you uttered those words reminded me of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who also stood silently by the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in 2001 as Assad let loose an antisemitic rant that was broadcast in the entire Christian world. Assad, like the Catholic Church before him, presented Jews as enemies of God. Also like Christians before him, Assad used the Christian blood libel of Jews as Christ-killers. Pope John Paul II did not see fit to stop him right then and there and thus appeared to implicitly accept Assad’s vitriolic statements.

    Perhaps this issue of silent popes is also endemic in the Church. After all, Pope Pius XI and his successor Pope Pius XII both stood by silently as the Nazis slowly and inexorably dehumanized, demonized, and exterminated millions of Jews during the Second World War.

    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
    Follow me on Twitter at
    Become a Fan on Facebook at

  53. former catholic says

    I’m afraid the child abuse associated with the Catholic church and its priests is not a new phenomenon, nor merely decades old – it is in fact centuries-old, and has always been an integral part of its “culture.”

    For its priests, there’s really nothing better than giving a 10-year old boy his very first blowjob, unless its getting one in return. “Do this in remembrance of me.”