What Did He Actually Say?

I read the news stories about the priest who gave a homily in which he compared the troubles of the church today with the troubles of the holocaust.

Wow, I thought. That was sure stupid. The things the church is going through today are hardly comparable to the Holocaust. What are those nuts in the Vatican thinking?

But, as always, my fault was trusting the MSM to tell me anything.

The New York Times:

A senior Vatican priest, speaking before Pope Benedict XVI at a Good Friday service, compared the world’s outrage at sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church to the persecution of the Jews, prompting angry responses from victims’ advocates and consternation from Jewish groups.

Here is the quote from the sermon. It comes at the very end of a long sermon, and is hardly what the media twisted it to be:

By a rare coincidence, this year our Easter falls on the same week of the Jewish Passover which is the ancestor and matrix within which it was formed. This pushes us to direct a thought to our Jewish brothers.  They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms. I received in this week the letter of a Jewish friend and, with his permission, I share here a part of it.  

He said:  “I am following with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful by the whole world. The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.  Therefore I desire to express to you personally, to the Pope and to the whole Church my solidarity as Jew of dialogue and of all those that in the Jewish world (and there are many) share these sentiments of brotherhood. Our Passover and yours are undoubtedly different, but we both live with Messianic hope that surely will reunite us in the love of our common Father. I wish you and all Catholics a Good Easter.”

 And also we Catholics wish our Jewish brothers a Good Passover. We do so with the words of their ancient teacher Gamaliel, entered in the Jewish Passover Seder and from there passed into the most ancient Christian liturgy:

“He made us pass

From slavery to liberty,

From sadness to joy,

From mourning to celebration,

From darkness to light,

From servitude to redemption

Because of this before him we say: Alleluia.”

This could be called wrong, but only because he should have known the media would tear into this. What did he say? Nothing – he read a statement from a Jewish friend, who thought that the hysteria the media is trying to whip up is kind of like the hysteria that anti-Semites seek to whip up against Jews.

It was perhaps not the most apt thing to say, but neither is it as harsh as the dirty media have portrayed.

 

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