Anti-Semitism card & the Vatican defense circus for Benedict XVI the guilty despot of 1.2 billion Catholics the people in denial
The secular media guillotine is after Benedict XVI’s papal head and during this Holy Week, the Vatican sent out its defense circus in full force. The infallible Pope and the Vatican showed their true colors of callousness and heartlessness towards the suffering victims by branding as “petty gossip” the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army erupting all over Europe and making light and trivial the personal cover-up by Cardinal Ratzinger of a Wisconsin pedophile priest who abused 200 deaf boys.
It is time for the French Revolution at the Vatican: Benedict XVI must resign, Cardinal Bernard Law et al must resign …Shut-down the Vatican. Napoleon said, "“Religion is what keeps the poor man from murdering the rich. Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet”. The Catholic Church teaches people to be “meek and humble” like Jesus see http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/it-is-time-for-french-revolution-at.html
Catholics can emulate Jews [who hunted down Nazi officers] by hunting down pedophile priests’ officers Benedict XVI & Bishops into the World Court http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/02/catholics-can-emulate-jews-who-hunted.html
Time is of the essence
Rudolph of New York on April 4th, 2010 wrote a comment in the New York Times:
“It is interesting that in today’s NYTimes there is this front page article that a bunch of guys in Trenton, New Jersey, were arrested for raping a 15 and a 7 year old girl. That happened last week. The Mayor of Trenton made it clear that he won't leave a stone unturned until all the bad guys are caught - and that time is of the essence. So why does it take 40 or 50 years to catch Roman Catholic priests raping boys?” What Rudolph says confirms what we have been saying all along, that When it comes to justice, secularism trumps Catholicism. Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist & Priesthood are worthless in our justice system http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/03/when-it-comes-to-justice-secularism.html
The 1.2 billion Catholics are a Eucharist fanatic people
This Holy Week’s rituals prove that Catholics are a Eucharist fanatic people and a blind people because they cannot (or refuse to) see that there was the Easter Mass Magic but there was no grain of justice to the tens of thousands of victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army erupting all across Europe! Catholics like the sweet feel-good spirituality of the Mass and dislike the disgusting feeling of true justice for their criminal-Pope and for criminal-Cardinals like our own Boston’s criminal-Cardinal Bernard Law who should be in jail rather than the St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome.
This Holy Week’s papal pompous appearances and the Vatican defense circus for Benedict XVI prove how the Vatican and the Catholic Church are the cleverest of evils on this planet. Benedict XVI is dressed in his Easter Emperor’s Clothes (naked of justice) of papal golden robes, golden tiara (getting bigger each year) and holding a golden crucifix, but in reality he is the guiltiest among all Cardinals and bishops who aided and abetted thousands of pedophile priests, the John Paul II pedophile Priests Army, and he is at the same time the most revered Holy Father of 1.1 billion Catholics. Only in the Catholic Church can one be guilty as the Devil and be the holiest man at the same time. That is why when the time will come for the total physical demise of the trillion dollar Vatican Bank; there shall be no pity for the Pope and his cohorts, especially the Opus Dei who now controls the papacy and the trillion dollar Vatican Bank. Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei silenced the Jesuit Jon Sobrino and God too shall silence them in return, soon. See John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army expands into Ireland &John Paul is elevated as "Venerable"... only in the Catholic Church are criminals glorified http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2009/12/john-paul-ii-pedophile-priests-army.html
The Vatican defense circus for Holy Week
The Vatican defense circus started with Benedict XVI, on Palm Sunday, calling the media as “petty gossip” - referring especially to the New York Times expose that he as Cardinal Ratzinger, hid a pedophile priests in Wisconsin who abused 200 deaf boys see B & B Benedict XVI and Cardinal Bertone in 1998 hid a pedophile priest who abused 200 deaf boys http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/03/b-b-benedict-xvi-and-cardinal-bertone.html
For an entire week, all the Cardinals and Bishops especially in major cities around the world defended Benedict taking advantage of the Holy Week when most Catholics go to church (the other time is Christmas). Note that these papal defenders are the same Cardinals and Bishops who aided and abetted the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army. Our own Boston’s criminal-Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston also led the Easter fanfare at the St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome. Unbelievable that a criminal-Cardinal sits as Archpriest (High Priest) of the mother basilica of Rome!
Benedict XVI XVI’s biographers also defended him: Weigel, John Allen Jr of All Things Catholic of NCR the most deceptive see John Allen the Pied Piper of Benedict XVI toots “Will Ratzinger's past trump Benedict's present?” http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/john-allen-pied-piper-of-benedict-xvi_25.html. Other Opus Dei professional writers and Catholic websites also defended Benedict XVI. We have exposed some of them in ‘Forgiveness’ is a gizmo of injustice to victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army. To Vaticanista chiesa.espresso Sandro Magister, Baloney! http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/03/forgiveness-is-gizmo-of-injustice-to.html
Opus Dei also defended Benedict XVI and we will give our analysis of their words in the John Paul II Millstone.
Questionable ‘letter of a Jewish friend’ of papal preacher Cantalamessa
On Good Friday, at the grandiose altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope’s preacher, Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said in his homily, with the pope listening beside him, that a Jewish friend wrote to him to say the accusations remind him of the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism." But the authenticity of the letter is questionable as Jews don't usually speak about the "faithful." (This letter is a trick by the Opus Dei who runs the Vatican and the papacy. Opus Dei say “a Jewish friend” when in fact it is they who actually wrote the letter referring to the ‘faithful’ which is a word for the Catholic people of God. The Opus Dei are a secretive group but their line of thinking and their lies always come out evident at the end, their exemplar writer is John Allen Jr of All things Catholic of NCR and we exposed his Opus Dei tricks here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/john-allen-pied-piper-of-benedict-xvi_25.html
Utopian of Charleston SC wrote this comment in the New York Times:
«Amazing! No comments on an editorial that's right on target re Church, though what's to say after a Crusade, some book-burning, a threat that Galileo knew was real, selling dispensations and indulgences, an Inquisition here and there, some popes with their babes...and children, oops I'm in the Middles Ages. To bring us up-to- date and spare more history, what about the Church's complicity with Germany? So what if the Church talks about the devil and homosexuality when it practices it constantly? It survives and thrives because religion must be as important as mother's milk, to a great many. And, I don't understand why intelligent people adhere to the dictates of a pompous fool in full silly regalia, orating foolishness. So the pope's preacher reads a letter from a Jew that makes one question the authenticity of the letter. Jews don't usually speak about the "faithful." Why should this Jew liken what is happening to the Church to what happened to the Jews? There's no similarity. The letter is suspect, like everything else the Church is saying now. It's a chance for the Church to stand and hold itself accountable, instead of mumbling about it's victimization and using others to shield it. Shame on the Church hierarchy...as per usual »
We have exposed that the Holocaust is the worst crime against Jews and the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army is the worst crime against Catholic children, so we are surprise why the Vatican would compare themselves to the victims of the Holocaust.
Cantalamessa’s ‘letter of a Jewish friend’ brought to mind immediately the ‘Letter to the Pope’ about the questionable canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei http://www.odan.org/tw_letter_to_pope.htm
After Cantalamessa’s preaching, Benedict XVI led the Way of the Cross and made no reference whatsoever to the sins of pedophile priests erupting all over Europe especially in his own country of Germany. Benedict XVI carried a painted light plastic cross. Benedict XVI has no clue what the real cross that poor people carry but the Jesuit Jon Sobrino in El Salvador would know, that is why Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei silenced him. Benedict XVI said that "Outside the Church there is no salvation" but Jon Sobrino says "Outside the poor, there is no salvation". http://www.amazon.com/NO-SALVATION-OUTSIDE-POOR-Prophetic-Utopian/dp/1570757526
Cardinal Sodano spoke for Benedict XVI who was mute
On Easter Sunday, Benedict XVI was mute about the pedophile priests sex scandals in his urbi et orbi address but he mentioned other problems of other parts of the world like Haiti, Africa, etc. Benedict XVI spoke about other people’s problems but not his own Catholic crimes as the 5-Star General of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army. Living in his Vatican Palace, Benedict XVI is out-of-touch-with reality and he is only obsessed with silencing the Jesuits and Liberation Theologians especially Jon Sobrino of El Salvador - see the list of theologians he has silenced in Beware! Benedict XVI-Cardinal Ratzinger and his allies can be violent http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/benedict-xvi-cardinal-ratzinger-and-his.html.
So at St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican defense circus strategy was for Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the top member of the Opus Dei, to defend the Pope, in front of the pilgrims and reiterated again the “petty gossip” of the media about the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army erupting all over Europe. He said facing the pope, "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,"
According to Reuters, Sodano praised Benedict as the "solid rock" and said "The Church is with you!" to the cheers of thousands of people holding umbrellas in St Peter's Square.
His speech of solidarity listed those who support the pope, particularly "the 400,000 priests who generously serve" in schools, hospitals and missions around the world. This was a clear attempt to underscore the Vatican's position that only a tiny minority of priests have abused children.
But others said Easter was a time to talk of peace and not of scandal.
Well, Sodano is a ‘Master of words’ deceiver like John Allen of All things Catholic of NCR. But we can see-through their paid for by the trillion dollar Vatican bank deceptive strategies.
First of all, Sodano’s words ring hollow because Benedict XVI is no longer a “solid rock” but a rotten mushy sponge soaked in sex abuse scandals of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army whom he aided and abetted for over 3 decades first as Cardinal RATzinger and then as Pope Benedict XVI. See Benedict XVI is now a RATzinger lost in the Vatican sex scandal maze with nowhere to run http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/benedict-xvi-is-now-ratzinger-lost-in.html
1.2 billion Catholics - a people in denial
Second, there are more than 6,000 pedophile priests in America who are not in jail but who continue to perform the Magic of the Eucharist just like the rest of the 400,000 priests around the world. It’s as if they have done nothing wrong as JP2 Pedophile Priests! This remark of Cardinal Sodano reflect the sick denial mentality of the 1.2 billion Catholics who are akin to (let’s say) a mother of 3 boys wherein one was abused by a pedophile priest but the other two weren’t. So the Catholic mother says, “It’s OK, only one was abused, he is not bleeding or amputated, the other two weren’t molested and the most important thing is for me and you to continue eating the flesh of God-Christ and go to Mass each Sunday and let the pedophile priest keep on performing the Holy Magic of the Mass for me and you”. This Catholic mother of course is abnormal, mentally deranged and is a religious fanatic of the Eucharist. Most authentic victims of pedophile priests and their parents cannot bear to enter a Catholic Church or stand the sight of a priest, any priest.
Catholics are a people in denial obsessed with the fanfare of Easter and the magic of the Eucharist (which is worse than the magic of Harry Potter). Catholics like to believe their Pope and priests can play God by reincarnating God’s flesh in the Eucharist. Catholics refuse to face the reality of the sex scandals committed by their own Holy Fathers – especially by Venerable John Paul II http://jp2m.blogspot.com/ Catholics are a people soaked in deception - they believe in the instant reincarnation of the flesh of Christ in the Mass and therefore give all kinds of infallible powers to the Pope and priests to keep on performing the Magic of the Eucharist. See see Magisterium Benedict VERSUS Holy Mary: Priests' transubstantiation instant reincarnation of Christ VERSUS Mary’s 9 months pregnancy& child birth http://stella0maris.blogspot.com/
Comment by a Catholic in denial:
The Pope is human, therefore imperfect just as you and i..but the ongoing campaign by the media to bring him down is disgusting. Talking of prosecuting the Pope? thats hilarious..he is the spiritual leader of over a billion catholics,most of whom will revolt if any of such nonsense is tried..the Pope is not to be held responsible for the actions of a lone bad priest molesting kids, their are more than hundreds of thousand good priests out there on missions, helping the poor and catering for the sick..who has ever congratulated the Pope for those good works? why permit ourselves to judge when we ourselves are not even pure??
Let all this nonsense stop..The Pope has APOLOGIZED in his letter to the Irish faithful ..which he suggested be read in all diocese...what more do you want from him? to resign? it never happened and will never in our time...and bet it..no Government will be foolish enough to prosecute his holiness..
since when yahoo news made it a priority to defame the Pope..yahoo news's become disgusting too..
Long live his holiness.
(Comment by Urban in Yahoo news)
“Petty Gossip” for an entire Holy Week
So from Palm Sunday when Benedict XVI first described the priest pedophilia as “petty gossip” to Easter Sunday when Cardinal Sodano reiterated the “petty gossip” and in-between the anti-Semitism defense by the papal preacher, the Catholic Church is led continually by the deception of the Vatican Trinity of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei. The 1.2 billion Catholics embrace the most heinous crimes of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army as “petty gossip”….and the 3 billion dollars paid by the American Catholic Church is ‘petty cash’. What a coincidence or God-incidence that this amount would be released at the same time as Holy Week.
What is 3 billion dollars to the trillion dollars Vatican Bank, right? See Petty Cash for “Petty Gossip”: 3 billion dollars paid by American Catholic Church for the crimes of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in USA http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/04/petty-cash-for-petty-gossip-3-billion.html Fr. Hoatson and some American Catholics will have a tough time convincing Catholics to give to secular charity instead of the Sunday collection basket see John Allen (defender of the Vatican Trinity,i.e. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Opus Dei) surreptitiously undermine SNAP's financial campaign
And that ‘petty gossip’ Vatican defense circus is akin to John Allen Jr’s description of the clergy abuse scandal as ‘worst fashion blunders’ see Biggest Vatican stories of the decade: John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army committed Holy ES Eucharist-and-Sodomy of Biblical proportions http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2010/01/biggest-vatican-stories-of-decade-john.html
Compare the CRIMES and their VICTIMS in America
Victims - Attackers - Responsible Leader
Pearl Harbor - 3,000 victims - 170 planes - Admiral Yamamoto
WTC & 9/11 attacks - 5,000 victims - 19 Muslims - Osama bin Laden
USA Priest Pedophilia - 12,000 victims - 6,000 priests - John Paul II,
Benedict XVI and Opus Dei - the Vatican Trinity
Cardinal defends pope, denounces "petty gossip"
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY, April 4 (Reuters) - A leading cardinal defended Pope Benedict at an unusual address at the pontiff's Easter Sunday Mass, saying the Church would not be intimidated by "petty gossip" about sexual abuse of children by priests.
But in his own Easter address hours later, the pope, looking at times weary, did not mention the scandal that has engulfed the Church and posed a crisis in his five-year-old pontificate.
The surprise speech by Cardinal Angelo Sodano was the first time in recent memory that the ritual of a papal Easter Sunday Mass was changed so someone could address the pope at the start.
"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," Sodano said.
The change of protocol underscored just how much the Vatican is feeling the pressure from a growing scandal concerning sexual abuse of children by priests and reports of a possible cover-up that have inched closer to the pope himself.
Later, the pope did not mention the scandal in his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) address, which touched on a series of world problems.
Sodano praised Benedict as the "solid rock" and said "The Church is with you!" to the cheers of thousands of people holding umbrellas in St Peter's Square.
His speech of solidarity listed those who support the pope, particularly "the 400,000 priests who generously serve" in schools, hospitals and missions around the world. This was a clear attempt to underscore the Vatican's position that only a tiny minority of priests have abused children.
VICTIMS GROUP "INSULTED"
But victims said they were disappointed.
"Lofty statements from Vatican officials do not change the facts," said Barbara Blaine, president of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
"Deeply wounded victims and our family members need comfort and healing, but instead receive reprimands and insults. When we speak up and tell how our childhood innocence was shattered by sexual assaults by priests it is not 'petty gossip'," she said.
Easter has been clouded by weeks of accusations the Church in several countries mishandled and covered up abuse of children by priests, sometimes for decades.
Shaken by the crisis, the Vatican has several times accused the media of waging a "despicable campaign of defamation" against the pope. Some reports have accused him of negligence in handling abuse cases in previous roles as a cardinal in his native Germany, and in Rome.
The Vatican has denied any cover-up over the abuse of 200 deaf boys in the United States by Reverend Lawrence Murphy from 1950 to 1974. The New York Times reported the Vatican and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, were warned about Murphy, but the priest was not defrocked.
Catholics leaving the rainy square were mixed in their reaction to the pope's silence on the issue.
"The pope should just address the crisis directly ... they should deal with it in a lawful, equitable and just manner, and they should treat victims with respect," said Nancy Malone of the United States.
But others said Easter was a time to talk of peace and not of scandal.
(Additional reporting by Antonio Denti in Rome; Editing by Jon Hemming)
Pope's preacher: Benedict's critics akin to anti-Semites
VATICAN CITY (AP) — At a solemn Good Friday service, Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher said allegations that the pontiff covered up sex abuse cases by Catholic clergymen reminded him of the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism."
Within hours, a Vatican spokesman sought to distance the pope from his preacher's remarks after both Jews and a leading abuse victims group reacted sharply, criticizing the comparison with violence that culminated in the Holocaust to the accusations made against Benedict.
The Vatican has been on the defensive in recent days, saying the church has been singled out and collectively stereotyped for the problem of pedophilia, which it says is a society-wide issue.
Good Friday is a particularly delicate day in a decades-long effort by Jews and Catholics to overcome a legacy of mistrust. Particularly harmful to the relations was the long-held Catholic belief that Jews were collectively responsible for executing Christ. A landmark achievement of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s was a declaration stating the Jews should not be blamed for the crucifixion.
As the pope listened in a hushed St. Peter's Basilica, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa likened accusations against the pontiff and the Catholic church in sex abuse scandals in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.
Benedict, 82, looked weary as he sat near the central altar at the early evening prayer service before a candlelit Way of the Cross procession near the Colosseum that commemorates Christ's suffering and death.
Cantalamessa, in his reflections for the pope on the Catholic church's most solemn day, said he was inspired by a letter from an unidentified Jewish friend who was upset by the "attacks" against Benedict.
Jews "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," said Cantalamessa, a Franciscan priest.
Quoting from the letter, Cantalamessa said his Jewish friend was following "with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful of 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," he said, quoting from the letter.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, later contacted The Associated Press and said Cantalamessa wasn't speaking as a Vatican official. He said Cantalamessa's homily did not represent an official church position, saying such parallelism can lead to misunderstandings.
Benedict didn't speak after the homily but chanted prayers in a tired voice. He leaned up to remove a red cloth covering a tall crucifix, which was passed to him by an aide. He took off his shoes, knelt and prayed before the cross.
Victims say Benedict — both as a former archbishop of Munich and later as a Vatican cardinal directing the Holy See's policy on handling abuse cases — was part of a culture of cover-up and confidentiality basically devised to protect church hierarchy.
Cantalamessa's likening the accusations to the Holocaust rankled U.S. Jewish leaders.
"Shame on Father Cantalamessa," said Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, in a statement. "The Vatican is entitled to defend itself, but the comparison with anti-Semitic persecution is offensive and unsustainable. We are sorely disappointed."
Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, who said he recently had "cordial" talks at the Vatican with church and other Jewish leaders as part of efforts on both sides to improve Catholic-Jewish relations, sounded dismayed.
"It's an unfortunate use of language to make this comparison, since 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," said Greenebaum, U.S. director of interreligious relations for the American Jewish Committee.
German Jewish leader Stephan Kramer described Cantalamessa's remarks as 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," said Kramer, general secretary of Germany's Central Council of Jews, in an interview with the AP in Berlin.
Painful memories of the strained relations between the two religions were raised earlier in Benedict's papacy, when he favored a revival of the pre-Vatican Council version of the Tridentine Mass, which includes a prayer for the conversion of Jews.
Cantalamessa in his sermon said there was no need to dwell on the scandals. He referred to the sexual abuse of children by clergy, saying "unfortunately, not a few elements of the clergy are stained" by the violence. Still, he said, "there is sufficient talk outside of here."
A vocal U.S.-based victims lobby, SNAP, reacted scathingly to the sermon.
"It's heartbreaking to see yet another smart, high-ranking Vatican official making such callous remarks that insult both abuse victims and Jewish people," said David Clohessy of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "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."
"The Catholic hierarchy has engaged in and still engages in widely documented, self-serving and ongoing cover-ups of devastating clergy sex crimes. That's why church records are being disclosed, predator priests are being exposed and Catholic officials feel besieged."
While Cantalamessa delivered his ringing defense of the pontiff, the church in Benedict's native Germany made the unusually frank admission that it failed to help victims of clerical abuse because it wanted to protect its reputation.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German bishops' conference, said clerics neglected helping victims because of a "wrongly intended desire to protect the church's reputation."
Father Cantalamessa's Good Friday Homily
We Have a Great High Priest"
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 2, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is the homily delivered today by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household, at the celebration of the Lord's passion in St. Peter's Basilica. The liturgy was presided over by Benedict XVI.
* * *
"We have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God": Thus begins the passage from the Letter to the Hebrews that we heard in the second reading. In the Year for Priests, the liturgy for Good Friday enables us to go back to the historical source of the Christian priesthood. It is the source of both the realizations of the priesthood: the ministerial, of bishops and presbyters, and the universal of all the faithful. This one also, in fact, is founded on the sacrifice of Christ that, Revelation says, "loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father" (Revelation 1:5-6). Hence, it is of vital importance to understand the nature of the sacrifice and of the priesthood of Christ because it is from them that priests and laity, in a different way, must bear the stamp and seek to live the exigencies.
The Letter to the Hebrews explains in what the novelty and uniqueness of Christ's priesthood consists, not only in regard to the priesthood of the old Covenant, but as the history of religions teaches us today, in regard to every priestly institution also outside of the Bible. "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come [...] he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (Hebrews 9:11-14).
Every other priest offers something outside of himself, Christ offered himself; every other priest offers victims, Christ offered himself victim! Saint Augustine enclosed in a famous formula this new kind of priesthood in which priest and victim are the same thing: "Ideo sacerdos, quia sacrificium": priest because victim."
* * *
In 1972 a famous French thinker launched the thesis according to which "violence is the heart and secret spirit of the sacred." In fact, at the origin and center of every religion there is sacrifice, and sacrifice entails destruction and death. The newspaper "Le Monde" greeted the affirmation, saying that it made of that year "a year to mark with an asterisk in the annals of humanity." However, before this date, that scholar had come close again to Christianity and at Easter of 1959 he made public his "conversion," declaring himself a believer and returning to the Church.
This enabled him not to pause, in his subsequent studies, on the analysis of the mechanism of violence, but to point out also how to come out of it. Many, unfortunately, continue to quote René Girard as the one who denounced the alliance between the sacred and violence, but they do not speak of the Girard who pointed out in the paschal mystery of Christ the total and definitive break of such an alliance. According to him, Jesus unmasks and breaks the mechanism of the scapegoat that makes violence sacred, making himself, the victim of all violence.
The process that leads to the birth of religion is reversed, in regard to the explanation that Freud had given. In Christ, it is God who makes himself victim, not the victim (in Freud, the primordial father) that, once sacrificed, is successively raised to divine dignity (the Father of the Heavens). It is no longer man that offers sacrifices to God, but God who "sacrifices" himself for man, consigning for him to death his Only-begotten Son (cf. John 3:16). Sacrifice no longer serves to "placate" the divinity, but rather to placate man and to make him desist from his hostility toward God and his neighbor.
Christ did not come with another's blood but with his own. He did not put his sins on the shoulders of others -- men or animals -- he put others' sins on his own shoulders: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24).
Can one, then, continue to speak of sacrifice in regard to the death of Christ and hence of the Mass? For a long time the scholar mentioned rejected this concept, holding it too marked by the idea of violence, but then ended by admitting the possibility, on condition of seeing, in that of Christ, a new kind of sacrifice, and of seeing in this change of meaning "the central fact in the religious history of humanity."
* * *
Seen in this light, the sacrifice of Christ contains a formidable message for today's world. It cries out to the world that violence is an archaic residue, a regression to primitive stages and surmounted by human history and -- if it is a question of believers -- a culpable and scandalous delay in becoming aware of the leap in quality operated by Christ.
It reminds also that violence is losing. In almost all ancient myths the victim is the defeated and the executioner the victor. Jesus changed the sign of victory. He inaugurated a new kind of victory that does not consist in making victims, but in making himself victim. "Victor quia victima!" victor because victim, thus Augustine describes the Jesus of the cross.
The modern value of the defense of victims, of the weak and of threatened life is born on the terrain of Christianity, it is a later fruit of the revolution carried out by Christ. We have the counter-proof. As soon as the Christian vision is abandoned (as Nietzsche did) to bring the pagan back to life, this conquest is lost and one turns to exalt "the strong, the powerful, to its most exalted point, the superman," and the Christian is described as "a morality of slaves," fruit of the mean resentment of the weak against the strong.
Unfortunately, however, the same culture of today that condemns violence, on the other hand, favors and exalts it. Garments are torn in face of certain events of blood, but not being aware that the terrain is prepared for them with that which is shown in the next page of the newspaper or in the successive palimpsest of the television network. The pleasure with which one indulges in the description of violence and the competition of the one who is first and the most crude in describing it do no more than favor it. The result is not a catharsis of evil, but an incitement to it. It is disturbing that violence and blood have become one of the ingredients of greatest claim in films and video-games, that one is attracted to it and enjoys watching it.
The same scholar recalled above has unveiled the matrix that sparks the mechanism of violence: mimicry, that innate human inclination to consider desirable the things that others desire and, hence, to repeat the things that they see others do. The "heard" psychology is that which leads to the choice of the "scapegoat" to find, in the struggle against a common enemy -- in general, the weakest element, the different one -- a proper artificial and momentous cohesion.
We have an example in the recurrent violence of youth in the stadium, in the bullying in schools and in certain square manifestations that leave behind destruction and debris. A generation of youth that has had the very rare privilege of not knowing a real war and of never having been called to arms, amuses itself (because it is about a game, even if stupid and at times tragic) to invent little wars, driven by the same instinct that moved the primordial horde.
* * *
However there is a yet more grave and widespread violence than that of youth in stadiums and squares. I am not speaking here of violence against children, of which unfortunately also elements of the clergy are stained; of that there is sufficient talk outside of here. I am speaking of violence to women. This is an occasion to make persons and institutions that fight against it understand that Christ is their best ally.
It is a violence all the more grave in as much as it is often carried out in the shelter of domestic walls, unknown to all, when it is not actually justified with pseudo-religious and cultural prejudices. The victims find themselves desperately alone and defenseless. Only today, thanks to the support and encouragement of so many associations and institutions, some find the strength to come out in the open and denounce the guilty.
Much of this violence has a sexual background. It is the male who thinks he can demonstrate his virility by inflicting himself on the woman, without realizing that he is only demonstrating his insecurity and baseness. Also in confrontations with the woman who has made a mistake, what a contrast between the conduct of Christ and that still going on in certain environments! Fanaticism calls for stoning; Christ responds to the men who have presented an adulteress to him saying: "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7). Adultery is a sin that is always committed by two, but for which only one has always been (and, in some parts of the world, still is) punished.
Violence against woman is never so odious as when it nestles where mutual respect and love should reign, in the relationship between husband and wife. It is true that violence is not always and wholly on the part of one, that one can be violent also with the tongue and not only with the hands, but no one can deny that in the vast majority of cases the victim is the woman.
There are families where the man still believes himself authorized to raise his voice and hands on the women of the house. Wife and children at times live under the constant threat of "Daddy's anger." To such as these it is necessary to say courteously: dear men colleagues, by creating you male, God did not intend to give you the right to be angry and to bang your fist on the table for the least thing. The word addressed to Eve after the fault: "He (the man) shall rule over you" (Genesis 3:16), was a bitter forecast, not an authorization.
John Paul II inaugurated the practice of the request for forgiveness for collective wrongs. One of these, among the most just and necessary, is the forgiveness that half of humanity must ask of the other half, men to women. It must not be generic or abstract. It must lead, especially in one who professes himself a Christian, to concrete gestures of conversion, to words of apology and reconciliation within families and in society.
* * *
The passage from the Letter to the Hebrews that we heard continues saying: "In the days of his flesh, with loud cries and with tears he offered prayers and supplications to Him who could save him from death." Jesus felt in all its crudity the situation of the victims, the suffocated cries and silent tears. Truly, "we do not have a high priest who cannot suffer with us in our weaknesses." In every victim of violence Christ relives mysteriously his earthly experience. Also in regard to every one of these he says: "you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).
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 undoubtedly have different elements, 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."
* * *
 St. Augustine, Confessions, 10, 43.
 Cf. R. Girard, La Violence et le Sacré, Grasset, Paris, 1972.
 Cf. R. Girard, Il sacrificio, Milano 2004, pp. 73 f.
 St. Augustine, Confessions, 10, 43.
 Pesachim, X, 5 e Meliton of Sardi, Easter Homily, 68 (SCh 123, p. 98).
Wiesenthal Center denounces Vatican scandal comparison
The head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israel office, Efraim Zuroff, denounced comments made by Pope Bendict XVI's personal preacher, according to which attacks on the Catholic Church and the pope over a sexual abuse scandal were comparable to "collective violence" against Jews.
"The attempt to hurt the legitimacy of reports on cases of pedophilia in the Catholic Church using the Holocaust is intolerable," said Zuroff. (AFP)
The Zalkin Law Firm's Response to the Vatican Official's Comparison of Child Sex Abuse Scandal to the Holocaust
Childhood sexual abuse attorney Irwin Zalkin says the Vatican official's comparison of the childhood sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church to the Holocaust is outrageous.
San Diego, California (PRWEB) April 3, 2010 -- On Good Friday, April 02, 2010, 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. During that service he compared criticism of the Catholic Church's handling of the priest sex abuse scandal to the Holocaust.
"As the son of holocaust survivors and an attorney who has represented hundreds of childhood sexual abuse victims, I find the comparison of abuse victim's criticism of the Catholic Church's handling of criminal priests to the slaughter of millions of Jews as an insult to the memory of my parents and others like them," said Irwin Zalkin of The Zalkin Law Firm, who represents childhood sexual abuse victims in claims against the Catholic Church and other institutions.
"If anything the inverse is true. The amount of sexual abuse inflicted upon children by priests and other religious of the Catholic Church and the corporate cover up for decades amount to a holocaust against Catholic children," said Zalkin. "The continuous refusal by the Pope himself to accept responsibility for what he must surely have known, or worse, chose not to know, is at the core of the anger and frustration felt by victims today. His apologies ring hollow with them," according to Zalkin.
With offices in New York and San Diego, The Zalkin Law Firm is one of the premier sexual abuse and personal injury law firms in the country. The firm's lawyers have achieved groundbreaking results in numerous high-profile clergy abuse cases across the United States. Mr. Zalkin has negotiated over $200 million in settlements in Catholic clergy sex abuse cases.
Mr. Zalkin is available to speak to the media about clergy sexual abuse and the Child Victim's Act of New York. To speak to Mr. Zalkin about legal representation, please call The Zalkin Law Firm.
---German anger over Church abuse erupts in broomstick attack on bishop
The Times (United Kingdom)
Roger Boyes in Berlin
Some of the suppressed fury of German Catholics about the handling of the child abuse scandal spilled over into an attack on a bishop during Easter Sunday High Mass.
Bishop Felix Genn had to hold aloft an incense container to fend off the blows from a broomstick wielded by an angry parishioner trying to beat him on the altar of Germany's ancient Münster Cathedral.
The attack was the first act of physical violence in a highly emotional Easter festival that has been overshadowed by months of child molestation accusations against priests.