Anti-Semitism is a hatred that tars all Jews for the actions of a few, a virulent strain of irrational ideology.
There is utterly no comparison between anti-Semitism and reasonably demanding that the Catholic Church, an organisation that has spent decades hiding child rapists and torturers, finally takes responsibility for its actions. The Pope is complicit:
A Jewish group and victims of Catholic clergy abuse have expressed alarm over a Vatican official who they said hurled a provocative insult by equating the church paedophilia scandal with anti-Semitism.
In a Good Friday service, Vatican preacher Father Raniero Cantalamessa read aloud a letter from a “Jewish friend” who wrote that the “collective blame” involving stereotyping and transfer of personal responsibility to the church over the sex scandal reminded him of the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.
“It’s heart-breaking to see yet another smart, high-ranking Vatican official making such callous remarks that insult both abuse victims and Jewish people,” executive director David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the largest and most active of such groups in the United States, said in a statement.
Cantalamessa read out the letter – in which the unnamed friend said he “followed with disgust the violent attack … against the Church (and) the pope” – during the ceremony at St Peter’s Basilica, as Pope Benedict XVI looked on.
SNAP said it was beyond the pale for Cantalamessa to link those who “thoughtfully question the Catholic hierarchy” with anti-Semitic physical violence.
“It’s morally wrong to equate actual physical violence and hatred against a large group of innocent people with mere public scrutiny of a small group of complicit officials,” Clohessy said.
Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, US director of interreligious relations for the American Jewish Committee, said it was “unwise” for Cantalamessa to suggest any link between the criticism of the Vatican over the paedophilia scandal and anti-Semitism, which resulted in the deaths of six million Jews in the Holocaust.
“This is not an apt comparison, and this is pretty obvious and pretty clear to most people,” Greenebaum told AFP.