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Friday, April 02, 2010

Jewish reaction to the papal Good Friday liturgy

From Haaretz:
"Shame on Father Cantalamessa," said Elan Steinberg, vice-president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

"The Vatican is entitled to defend itself but the comparison with anti-Semitic persecution is offensive and unsustainable. We are sorely disappointed," he told Reuters.
And from the Jerusalem Post:
Stephan Kramer, general-secretary of Germany's Central Council of Jews, said Cantalamessa's remarks were "a so-far-unheard-of insolence."

"It is repulsive, obscene and most of all offensive toward all abuse victims as well as to all the victims of the Holocaust," Kramer said. "So far I haven't seen St. Peter burning, nor were there outbursts of violence against Catholic priests. I'm without words. The Vatican is now trying to turn the perpetrators into victims."

Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, US director of inter-religious relations for the American Jewish Committee, called the comments "an unfortunate use of language."

"The collective violence against the Jews resulted in the death of 6 million, while the collective violence spoken of here has not led to murder and destruction, but perhaps character assault," Greenebaum said.[...]

Peter Isely, the Milwaukee-based director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, denounced the anti-Semitism analogy as "reckless and irresponsible."

"They're sitting in the papal palace, they're experiencing a little discomfort, and they're going to compare themselves to being rounded up or lined up and sent in cattle cars to Auschwitz?" he said. "You cannot be serious."

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