Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


Is Christopher Hitchens doing Vatican PR?

posted by Rod Dreher

concentrationcamp.jpgCardinals1.jpg
How not to defuse a public relations crisis:

ROME — A senior Vatican priest speaking at a Good Friday service compared the uproar over sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — which have included reports about Pope Benedict XVI’s oversight role in two cases — to the persecution of the Jews, sharply raising the volume in the Vatican’s counterattack.
…Benedict sat looking downward when the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who holds the office of preacher of the papal household, delivered his remarks in the traditional prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica. Wearing the brown cassock of a Franciscan, Father Cantalamessa took note that Easter and Passover were falling during the same week this year, saying he was led to think of the Jews. “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,” he said.
Father Cantalamessa quoted from what he said was a letter from an unnamed Jewish friend. “I am following the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful by the whole world,” he said the friend wrote. “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.”

Who on earth could possibly think making this comparision was a smart idea? The mind boggles. Good grief, these guys are their own worst enemies.



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CatherineNY

posted April 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm


Look, it’s not something I would have said by any means, but it was a Jewish friend of the priest who made the comment in the first place, and he did not compare what it going on in the Church to the Holocaust, but to anti-Semitism more generally. There’s a big difference between being prejudiced against a group of people, and trying to eradicate them through violence. Neither is right. I do think that there is a lot of piling-on going on by people who are strongly prejudiced against the Catholic Church. Have you read some of the stuff Andrew Sullivan has been posting — e.g., a note from a reader asking if Andrew thinks St. John Bosco abused the children he helped? Andrew’s description of the Pope as a “control queen”? I’ve seen stomach-turning satirical videos posted on other blogs. I don’t even want to describe them hear. Hatred for the Church is pouring out of some of these sites. The abuse scandal was horrible. It was handled in a way that I cannot begin to understand. As a Catholic, I veer between shame and rage at reading many of the stories about how members of the hierarchy have dealt with the crimes committed against children. But that doesn’t mean that some of the attacks on the Pope and the Church arent’t fueled as much by prejudice as they are by real moral outrage.



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Jam

posted April 2, 2010 at 6:36 pm


Nobody’s been killing Catholic bishops. Or even beating them up and tagging their property or refusing to do business with them. No government is forcing Catholic bishops to move.
OH YEAH and some of those bishops are guilty of serious sin…
yeah, no. I don’t see the analogy either.



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Lee Podles

posted April 2, 2010 at 6:44 pm


Although he is a complete idiot, Cantalamessa’s point was not totally irrational. Anti-Catholic prejudice can be like anti-Semitic prejudice. But: To say that on Good Friday! To try to portray the hierarchy as the real victim! To forget abuse victims, some of whom committed suicide! And not to realize that the subtlety of the comparison would be lost and everyone would think that in the eyes of the Vatican – New York Times criticism of Pope = Holocaust!
Also, I hope that Jewish friend is not an imaginary friend.



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Rod Dreher

posted April 2, 2010 at 6:51 pm


Catherine, I agree with you that Andrew has gone way, way, way over the top in this matter, and I’ve no doubt that the nitwit complaints of Maureen Dowd, and the more sinister broadsides of Hitchens, come out of a general maliciousness toward this pope, and the magisterial Church in general.
My point here is that it was just crazy for the pope’s personal preacher to compare criticism of the Church over this scandal to anti-Semitism. Even if the Jewish friend really exists, and really did write that letter, it was nuts to quote it in such a sermon, at this time. I first heard about it when a New York Catholic priest friend e-mailed it under the sarcastic title, “Oh, this is just wonderful, very helpful,” or something like that.
Is there anti-Catholicism, or at least anti-Ratzingerism, in some of these attacks? Absolutely (and the anti-Ratzingerism is coming primarily from dissenting Catholics, as far as I can tell). But to attack the motive of those making the complaints is not the same thing as answering legitimate complaints.
I thought it was pretty obnoxious too for the Father to say that the entire Church is under attack. That’s not remotely the case. It’s the pope and the bishops, not the laity, and not even the lower clergy. I know they’d like for all Catholics to think they are being slammed, but it’s just not true.



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BobSF

posted April 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm


From a future edition of Saints of the Catholic Church:
Saint Raniero
Patron saint of public relations officers.
Canonization: 2073.
Martyrdom: self-inflicted gunshot to the lower extremity.



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BobSF

posted April 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm


In another thread, Rod asked how one can admit being wrong. Imagine if the Pope, upon hearing these words, had lifted up his head, gotten up, and walked out of the mass.
A missed opportunity.



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Cecelia

posted April 2, 2010 at 7:11 pm


well past obliviousness. beyond idiocy. They were wrong – they facilitated great evil – they need to deal with that and they should know exactly how to do that – confess, repent, do penance.
Shame on Father Raniero.



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justin

posted April 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm


Children were molested and people in positions of power in the Vatican new about it and did nothing. End of story. Guilty.
If one looks at the history of anti-semitism it becomes very clear, very quickly that the Roman Catholic Church is the very top offender. The popes of yore were brutal in their oppression of Jews and let us not forget that the Vatican endorsed the Final Solution.
This is a sick institution and has been for a very long time.
[Note from Rod: Hey, what are we Orthodox and our tsars, chopped liver? Besides, on the question of anti-Semitism, I do believe the National Socialist German Workers Party has a bit of a lead over either the Roman or the Orthodox churches, or any of the Protestant confessions. Just sayin'... -- RD]



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steve2

posted April 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm


” confess, repent, do penance.”
No. These were crimes. This should be handled by the police, not the Church. If a WalMart employee rapes a 9 y/o, do we let WalMart investigate and decide the punishment? The Church has a history of hiding and denying problems. They have no credibility here.
Steve



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Jillian

posted April 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm


Who on earth could possibly think making this comparison was a smart idea? The mind boggles. Good grief, these guys are their own worst enemies.
It’s actual an improvement on their first effort, which was that the RCC is victim of a demonic homosexual conspiracy within its clergy. That got trial ballooned in various places, including here, a few days ago.



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michael

posted April 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm


Yes, criticizing abusers of little kids is like persecuting the Jews. These people are just vile. I hope faithful Catholics can somehow restore decency in the leadership.



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Hector

posted April 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm


re: If one looks at the history of anti-semitism it becomes very clear, very quickly that the Roman Catholic Church is the very top offender
For the record, Martin Luther had a record of raving anti-semitism that none of the Popes of Rome at their very worst could hold a candle to. Luther pretty much called for the Jews to be wiped out of Europe (which authoritative Catholic teaching never did). With all due respect to Lutherans nowadays, most of whom are in my experience quite nice people.
That said, this is awful. Leaving aside the outrageousness of trying to evade well-deserved criticism, and the outrageousness of comparing the persecution of Jews to the persecution of people who, you know, actually concealed crimes against children, Good Friday is a time for penitence. And repentance. And for meditation on our sins- which are as red as blood, and every one of which made it necessary for Jesus to be nailed to the cross.
It’s not a time for excuse-making or for self-justification, and the one sentence we should not be hearing on Good Friday is ‘It’s not my fault’.
Does a priest of the Roman Catholic Church really need to be told this?



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Julie

posted April 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm


Why does everybody forget that 3 million Catholics also were murdered in the Holocaust? With all of the viciousness directed at the Church right now, as a Catholic, it has crossed my mind that hate crimes might start happening against us. I have had, maybe irrational, thoughts that I might have to die for the faith. I do however think that a comparison to the persecution of Jews was uncalled for here, but I think there was no intent to downplay what the Jews have endured and in many cases still endure. The newspapers in Nazi Germany did mock and insult and lie about the Jews like what is happening to the Catholics. Yes, we are suffering now a very, very small fraction of what the Jews suffered. And yet, please don’t forget, a huge number of Catholics also were persecuted and killed by the Nazis.



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Scott R.

posted April 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm


And yet, please don’t forget, a huge number of Catholics also were persecuted and killed by the Nazis.
Not because they were Catholic. Because they were Poles. Or against the Nazis.
We died because we were Jews. No other reason?
And on Good Friday? Really?! The day that we used to have to hide in our homes after priest riles up the their congregations to avenge Jesus’s death after the reading of the Passion. Really?!



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Julie

posted April 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm


Scott, I apologize. But did you read what you just wrote? I’m a bit horrified. Please don’t downplay the Catholic deaths in the Holocaust. And please read up on history. Oh my gosh.



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melvin polatnick

posted April 2, 2010 at 9:49 pm


Claims by the media that the cries of pain by altar and choir boys were ignored by the pope have not been proven. The truth would be revealed if an international hotline was open for those that were sodomized by members of the clergy. The phones must be manned by impartial volunteers to avoid censorship. If enough victims would come forward and voice their anger in Saint Peters Square, the need for altar and choir boys would come to an end.



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John E. - Agn Stoic

posted April 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm


Honestly, it seems as if the Catholic hierarchy is trying to make the general public despise them with this latest balloon.



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Scott R.

posted April 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm


Julie,
We died for the crime of being alive. That was all we were guilty of. I’m horrified by every death at the hands of the Nazis. But if most any of those other people had kept their heads low and hadn’t make trouble, they would likely have not been killed. But there was nothing we could do.
I don’t need to read up on history (besides the fact that I have a doctorate in European history). I know history. I grew up without a family because of this.
These “priests” raped children. They are rapists. They are the worst sort of criminals. Damned right the public is enraged. And this priest compares their troubles to ours? On Good Friday?! Give me a break.



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Julia

posted April 2, 2010 at 11:06 pm


Oh, good God. They really don’t get it, do they? Playing the victim card? Comparing themselves to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust? I would think, particularly in this tumult, that someone would read the sermon before it is delivered.
I was thinking that instead of the pope washing the feet of priests during the Maundy Thursday liturgy, it would have been very poignant for him to wash the feet of some of the abuse victims. Apparently, that sort of humility wouldn’t occur to this lot, either.



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Chuck Bloom

posted April 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm


As a Jew, who knows scores of Catholics, but who also had to duck and cover during his childhood, living down the street from a Catholic church in the middle of a half-Jewish neighbrhood and was called “Christ killer” most of his youthful days, I have a different reaction.
This smells FAR too much like the Nixon White House – in that it’s sounding like a “bunker” mentality. Attack the press! But don’t actually refute the reports!
Someone HAS to be responsible for allowing this kind of symstemic behavior to continue. If it is the bishops, say so! If the hierarchy knew, say so. But say SOMETHING other than how much you cannot stomach the New York Times, etc.
The more that remains hidden, the more trust is lost … and that applies to almost any institution – not just the Roman Catholic Church.
It sadly tars those faithful practitioners who believe in the Gospel and try their best to fulfill its teachings daily. Repentance should be done for them, and for the victims, without worrying about playing CYA for the administration.



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Mere Catholic

posted April 2, 2010 at 11:38 pm


“Good grief, these guys are their own worst enemies”
And the longer they allow this to continue, they are the Church’s worst enemies.



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AnotherBeliever

posted April 3, 2010 at 12:40 am


Seriously unwise choice of comparisons there. But the commentary will go over much worse here than most of the rest of the planet, outside Israel, due to our large Jewish population compared to Europe.



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praesta

posted April 3, 2010 at 1:50 am


Pope Benedict should’ve grabbed the mic out of Fr. Cantalamessa’s hand. I know Pope Benedict was tired, but still … he could have told Cantalamessa off subtly and dumped him on the street the next day.
What worries me about the Fr. Cantalamessa incident is the way in which some Catholics have defended such ignorant and volatile comments. For some Catholics any analogy, even a deeply prejudiced one, is justifiable because of the “attacks on the Church”. Instead of intelligent defense, some Catholics will do anything to absolve the Church. Instead of washing off the grime on the hands of the prelates, such Catholics merely heap dirt into their hands.



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Your Name

posted April 3, 2010 at 5:40 am


I am amazed that people on here don’t realize that of course Benedict knew what Fr C was going to say. Much about the Vatican is trickery that some would call magic! The collective world subconscious has been deeply programmed for over 50 years not to be anti-semitic. To link the many Vatican abuses, of which child abuse is just one of them, to the Jewish condition is an act of devilish genius…because, for many complex reasons I wont go into now, concerning how the subconscious mind works… it WILL WORK to silence their critics! The media fuss will ‘blow over’ but the subconscious message will remain!



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Goodguyex

posted April 3, 2010 at 7:08 am


To the extent that it is about dispelling “collective guilt” it is indeed valid even if it is not appropriate.
Did the pope say about the pederist priest “may their guilt and shame be upon us and upon our successors?”
HE IS RISEN!!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!



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Athelstane

posted April 3, 2010 at 7:56 am


Fr. Cantalamessa has, unfortunately, always been something of a loose cannon – and I can’t say I’m completely surprised that he would make such an imprudent (to put it mildly) remark.
Normally the Pope doesn’t vet these homilies, and it is certainly not Pope Benedict’s style to do so. And I imagine he cringed when he did hear it. But going forward he is going to have to start doing so.
Even in the mouth of a Jew, it’s not a comparison one wants to make, not least because the way he did it even suggests that Christ is not necessary for the salvation of the Jews.



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Richard

posted April 3, 2010 at 8:18 am


Like many of you, I wonder what was going through peoples’ minds. Did Vatican officials really think this offensive comparison would make the pope look more sympathetic? Really? It struck me – plain and simple – as a rather plodding attempt to throws up a smokescreen. May or may not be true, but it was (and is) my reaction.
Julie, you’re just wrong. Catholics were never systematically victimized by the Nazis. Many Catholics were killed as were Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc. Lots of Catholics in Poland were murdered, but because they were Polish, not because they were Catholics. Those who resisted the Nazis were also killed, but that number includes as many Protestants (e.g. Dietrich Bonhoeffer) as Catholics.
You can look at the history and the documents at the US Holocaust Museum.



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Michael C

posted April 3, 2010 at 8:33 am


They just don’t get it….after all this time, they just don’t get it.
I defy you to read this and not weep
“51. It is hard to convey the sheer weight of the testimony we have received. It is impossible to resist the conclusion that some of what was done there was of a quite exceptional depravity, so that terms like ‘sexual abuse’ are too weak to convey it. For example, those of us who heard the account of a man who as a boy was a particular favourite of some Christian Brothers at Tardun who competed as to who could rape him 100 times first, his account of being in terrible pain, bleeding, and bewildered, trying to beat his own eyes so they would cease to be blue as the Brothers liked his blue eyes, or being forced to masturbate animals, or being held upside down over a well and threatened in case he ever told, will never forget it. But if it were one account it could perhaps be dismissed as exceptional—unfortunately adult after adult described their suffering as children.”
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmselect/cmhealth/755/75507.htm



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Hunk Hondo (C.H. Ross)

posted April 3, 2010 at 10:20 am


If there’s one thing that honorable Catholics have learned from the progress of the Great Horror, it’s that it’s never safe to say “Oh, well, at least it can’t get any worse.” Every time you do, something like this is sure to happen. And these clods appear genuinely convinced that they are protecting the Church by uttering these obscene idiocies.



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Kate

posted April 3, 2010 at 11:26 am


Christianity began with the very Jewish teachings of Jesus about loving God and treating others the way one would want to be treated.
In the decades shortly after Jesus walked on earth, various disagreements arose among his Jewish followers. This included writers of the Gospels who were Jews themselves and who sometimes referred negatively in their writings to “the Jews”, meaning those other Jews with whom they, as Jews themselves, had theological disagreements.
Time passed and the majority of Jesus’ followers were no longer Jews, but people from non-Jewish backgrounds, to whose minds the often very negative Scriptural references to “the Jews” simply meant Jews as an entire people. And nobody corrected their thinking…
And so two thousand years of an awful history of anti-Semitism was begun. It has assumed many forms, from vast misunderstanding and large and small injustices through hatred and horror.
It was institutionalized in Christianity, from Catholicism into
Orthodoxy and Protestantism. Today at Easter Vigil, Catholics will keep the churches dark while the Hebrew Scriptures are read. The Christian Scriptures will receive the welcome of a fully lighted church.
In these, our times, Scripture passages with those old, familiar negative references to “the Jews” will be continue to be read in churches without any remarks that explain or contextualize them. Christians are so used to this way of thinking and talking that they may not even notice. It might be good to think about how it would be to hear that same passage read if a Jewish person happened to be sitting next to you in church.
Hitler chose “the Jews” as his target because they were culturally such a familiar one…familiar from all those centuries of Christian
anti-Semitism.
This is a tragic history. Jesus, a Jew, asked us to love God and treat others as we’d want to be treated.
as we’d



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sigaliris

posted April 3, 2010 at 11:44 am


Here’s an article from Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, on “Shame and Fear: Inside Germany’s Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal.” It’s from February, so not entirely current, but it gives you an idea of what we have to look forward to when more news about this not-so-American problem comes out in Europe.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,676497,00.html
In Germany, a hotline opened for victims of sexual abuse to call had to be shut down after receiving 4,459 calls on its first day of operation. Possibly not all those calls were from individual victims. Still, it gives you some idea of what is happening as the floodgates open. From the Telegraph, “Catholic Church Hotline in Meltdown Over Paedophile Priests.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/7547557/Catholic-church-hotline-in-meltdown-over-paedophile-priests.html
Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn’t prepared for “that kind of an onslaught.”
On the same day as the hotline was launched came allegations of serial abuse perpetrated against children by Bishop Walter Mixa – an ally and friend of the pope – when he was a priest overseeing a Catholic childrens’ home in the 70′s and 80′s.
An Austrian victim support group, Platform for the Victims of Violence by the Church, received reports of 174 more cases in the two weeks since they set up a hotline.
“We are learning daily about the methods of education in Catholic institutions in Austria during the 1960s and 1970s,” Holger Eich, a psychologist from the group, told a press conference alongside a victim.
“They can be summed up in one word – sadism.”
This isn’t going to go away.



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Charles Cosimano

posted April 3, 2010 at 11:52 am


All this is going to confirm what I learned growing up as a good Protestant in the 1950s. Never take anything a Catholic Bishop says seriously.



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Richard

posted April 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm


Kate, what you say is true, but it’s not like Jews were venerated or even respected by many ancient civilizations. Like Rome, for instance. Regrettably, anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in European civilization, but it is also just as implacable in many middle-eastern countries.
In short, while we Christians have often behaved despicably towards our fathers in the faith, anti-Semitism is hardly a Christian phenomenon.



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Margaret

posted April 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm


1. To people who say, “He was only repeating a comment made by a Jewish friend”: Maybe the remark comes off a little differently when it’s said by a Jewish person than by a Catholic priest. You know how African-American comedians can–sometimes, in the view of some people–pull off a joke that contains the N-word? But if a white comedian tried the same joke, no one would be amused. Father C. needs to learn that lesson. He’s not Jewish and he’s not allowed to put the Holocaust in perspective.
2. I keep wanting to ask a question: Isn’t the current scandal just a continuation of a major problem that Catholic Church has had since the Middle Ages (or, arguably, earlier than that? Namely, the question of civil vs. church law and how it applies to the clergy: In the Middle Ages, if a priest stole chickens, he was tried by the Church and given much more lenient treatment than if a peasant had been tried by civil authorities. I think there’s still a holdover of some of that problem now: the Church wants to “take care of its own” (I.e., priests, not laity) and remains kind of reluctant to turn these criminals over to the state authorities.



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kenneth

posted April 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm


The institutional church is loosing whatever feeble grip of reality remains. You will notice that at NO point, ever, in this whole mess have they shown the slightest hint of unforced or sincere contrition, or even acknowledgment of failing. They have gone from pure denial to a place which can ONLY come from either black-hearted cynicism or paranoid persecution fantasies. By next Good Friday, they will be passing out the cyanide Kool-Aid to whatever true believers remain.



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Roland de Chanson

posted April 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm


Let us pray.
Let us kneel.
Arise.
Let us pray also for the perfidious priests and bishops: that our God and Lord remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Almighty and everlasting God, who drivest not even perfidious clergy from Your mercy, graciously hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of those bishops and priests; that, acknowledging the light of Your Truth which is Christ, they may be rescued from their darkness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.



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sigaliris

posted April 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm


Ah yes, I remember it well.
Oremus.
Flectamus genua.
Levate.
Did I spell that right? I feel almost as if I’ve been to church.



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Roland de Chanson

posted April 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm


Exactly, Sig. Not many places to hear it anymore. I still read the old rites even though I seldom attend them (when they can even be found). And I avoid the novus ordo like the plague it is.



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Janice Fox

posted April 3, 2010 at 9:46 pm


Justin: I know that the Vatican is guilty of a lot of violence against people as in crusades, inquisitions, and witch hunts. However, I have never heard that anyone in authority there had endorsed the Final Solution. Can you back up this statement with facts?



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Peter

posted April 4, 2010 at 6:05 am


Maybe the church should hire Max Clifford. He probably would have told them that calling allegations of child abuse petty gossip wasn’t a great idea.
“Holy Father, the people of God are with you and will not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials that sometimes assail the community of believers,”



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Marian

posted April 4, 2010 at 10:48 pm


How long does B15 expect the few practicing Catholics in Western Europe to stick around at this rate?



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Athelstane

posted April 5, 2010 at 10:52 am


P.S. I have to say I agree with Mark Shea on this, Rod, in that you’ve taken a cheap shot in throwing those pics up. You *should* know better.
Was Cantalamessa the wrong man to make that argument? Sure. Was that the wrong time and day to make it? yes. Was it imprudent? Yeah. But even as I critical as I am of Cantalamessa – I have been critical of much of his theology and other tendencies for some years – even I, like Lee Podles, grasp what he was trying to say, however clumsily, and that there is a valid point lurking in there about the danger of assigning collective guilt by popular enthusiasms such as what we are seeing now.
I do get where you are coming from on this stuff, Rod. I do. But this is one of those times where I think it would have helped to hold off hitting the “submit” button for a little longer. I think there were less inflammatory (and more just) ways to critique what happened here.



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Rod Dreher

posted April 5, 2010 at 11:02 am


I disagree, Athelstane. The self-pity of the hierarchy in this latest round of scandal — you saw, I take it, Abp Dolan comparing people criticizing Benedict to the mob calling for Jesus’ death — is pretty appalling. We know what anti-Semitism leads to, and has led to, within living memory. Nobody is burning Catholic churches, or beating up Catholic priests for being priests. The comparison was almost entirely without merit — and to be made on Good Friday, too!
A few years ago, a feminist group desecrated the cathedral in Montreal. That’s the kind of thing that merits a comparison with anti-Semitism, but even then I would think a pastor would hesitate to make it. Criticism of the hierarchy over the way they’ve handled the sexual abuse of children by priests, however intemperate it has been, is not in the same moral universe as anti-Semitism. The bishops have tried to make it sound like these critics are damning all Catholics. Nonsense. This is transparently an attempt to appeal to tribal solidarity in an effort to take the heat off themselves. For the pope’s personal preacher to address the scandal by claiming the mantle of the persecuted Jew takes some, um, chutzpah.



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Athelstane

posted April 5, 2010 at 11:14 am


Hello Rod,
I would ask: Is it possible to make some just criticisms of how Fr. Cantalamessa made his point (as I have) without throwing up a highly inflammatory juxtaposition of photos like you did here?
I would like to think so. I would like to think that your post casts more heat than light. And I know that (unlike, increasingly, Dawkins or Sullivan) you’re highly capable of shining a bright light.



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Athelstane

posted April 5, 2010 at 11:20 am


Hello Peter,
Maybe the church should hire Max Clifford. He probably would have told them that calling allegations of child abuse petty gossip wasn’t a great idea.</i.
Go back and read that homily by the Pope again.
It had nothing to do with sex scandals. Nothing. That line was yanked completely out of context. The speech is right here: http://www.zenit.org/article-28783?l=english
Don’t just accept what the New York Times tells you.



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Peter

posted April 5, 2010 at 11:42 am


How can you be sure the quote is out of context when you attribute it to the wrong person. The quote is from Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Feel free to post a link to the complete speech.



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Athelstane

posted April 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm


Hello Peter,
No, the speeches are distinct.
Pope Benedict referred to “gossip” (the translations vary) in his Palm Sunday homily I linked. That speech had nothing to do with the scandals. But before long you had aggrieved victims advocates criticizing the Pope last week for dismissing their charges as “gossip” because all they read were the press reports.
Sodano explicitly criticized the attacks on the Pope as “petty gossip” over this last weekend. That was another speech.



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Alicia

posted April 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm


I keep hoping that Pope Benedict will prove that the Catholic Church is not irredeemably corrupt by taking actual responsibility for his part in this situation. And am reminded that Lord Acton’s famous statement, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” was made about the Papacy. By a man who was a prominent Catholic in his day.
The commenter who compared the Catholic Church’s response to this crisis to the Nixon White House was not far wrong. Only I think this is worse. We are talking about people who looked the other way about the rape of children because protecting the institution is more important than protecting children. Apparently, protecting the institution, the hierarchy and the Pope is still more important than protecting the children or giving justice to the victims. That is how I define “irredeemably corrupt.



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Palapala

posted April 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm


Where’s the outrage for the innocent children that were raped and molested by priests and nuns? Instead of trying to protect a grown man who refuses to take radical action to erradicate the people involved in the scandals, even if it includes himself, the Pope is chosing to change the subject and turn the blame around to the critics of the church.
This problem, no doubt, has been going on for far longer than we are currently aware. The Church and its hierarchy can no longer sweep it under the rug or ignore it. There’s not enough money in the entire world to make this right for the victims or change their pain, suffering and anguish.
An organization is only as good/strong/honorable as the people that head it. If it’s rotten at the head, it’s rotten to the tail end.
Sadly, their is far too much attention being paid to the corrupt heads of state within the church. They should and need to be held criminally accountable for what’s gone on. If the pressure is too great, or they refuse to take responsibility…….they should be impeached and removed. If not, the church should not be allowed to continue without losing their exempt status in this country.
I was born into the Catholic faith, attended 12 years of
Catholic school. I left the church years ago because of the hypocrocy, racism, double standards and phonyness. My faith in God was not damaged, thankfully, because I was smart enough to know that God does not exist where there are lies, dishonest and hurtful practices.
I hope that this is the beginning of the end for the leadership of the Catholic Church.
I was taught that priests and nuns are automatically assured a place in Heaven next to the Father. I think not!!!!!



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