Friday, April 02, 2010

Not a Good Friday

Today is Friday, 2 April 2010.

"Reverend" Raniero Cantalmessa is gainfully employed as Preacher of the Papal Household, and spoke today at the Good Friday service at St. Peter’s.

Cantalmessa read, with Joe Ratzinger present and not objecting, from what he claimed was a letter from a "Jewish friend": “I am following 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.”

This alleged letter is absurd and false on its face. “All the faithful”? “The whole world”? “Collective guilt”?

First, Cantalmessa, habeas corpus. “Produce the body”. Prove this "friend" exists.

Second, anti-Semitism is the creation of Christianists. What has this to do with Ratzinger’s encouragement of child raping?

Third, six million popes were not exterminated. However, the anti-Semite Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, AKA "Pope Pius XII", looked the other way when more than six million Jews were exterminated by his Nazi friends.

Why did not Ratzinger immediately denounce and discipline his anti-Semitic employee? Is this another instance of "protecting the brand", or agreement?

On this Good Friday, sex-crazed Senator Tom Coburn (Republican – Oklahoma; Deacon - Southern Baptist) continues his hold on the extension of unemployment benefits, denying many the money they desperately need to feed, clothe, house, etc. themselves and their families, as the direct result of the Republican Great Recession.

Callous Coburn is, of course, employed, and gorges on a luxurious salary, plus healthcare and pension plans, all paid by us, the taxpayers. (Are you paid $174,000 per year?)

$9 billion dollars (the cost of the proposed extension of unemployment benefits) is .003% of $3 trillion dollars (the minimum cost of the Coburn-approved Oil War in Iraq).

In orthodox Christian theology, which Coburn has either not studied or rejects, Jesus died for all. Jesus said, “That which you have done to the least of mine, you’ve done to me”. Christianists such as Coburn imagine that “mine” refers only to bigots of their own stripe. The genuinely Christian and humane, noting that Jesus died for all, understand that “all” means “all”. In orthodox Christian theology, when one harms humans, one harms Christ.

Crusader Coburn’s Easter gift to the unemployed, and the actual and potential poor, those who were a most special concern of Jesus: “I’ll crucify you for .003%!”

For all intents and purposes, Christ-Hating Coburn is forever on that hill in Jerusalem, on that Friday, eternally nailing Jesus to the Cross.


Anonymous Gabriel Wilensky said...


Rev. Cantalamessa, you really messed up today. I know you didn’t mean to insult anyone when you compared the current attacks on the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict with the persecution of the Jews, but you did, and you did it big time. It seems that you are ignoring a few important points: first of all, there is no comparison because the Church persecuted the Jews for no other reason than their Jewishness, which the Church found intolerable, while the current attacks on the Church and the Pope—I wouldn’t quite call it “persecution”—are well deserved as the Church seems to have an endemic child abuse problem compounded with on obstruction of justice problem. This is not the first time this happens. It’s best to not even talk about the Middle Ages. Hopefully the Pope will make use of his power and swiftly remove any offenders from the Church and hand them over to the civil authorities for prosecution, as would be the case with any child molester. The attacks on the Pope are well deserved too. He was responsible for some of these cases before he became pope and he not only did not punish these priests, he moved them to other places where they were able to molest children again! So, it’s hard to feel sorry for the Church or the Pope these days. You also seem to have forgotten that of the 365 days of the year, this is the least appropriate day to make such comparison with the persecution of the Jews. Should I remind you of the forced conversion of the Jews, instituted by the Church centuries ago? Should I remind you of the incitement to violence in the faithful every Good Friday after sermons and Passion Plays? Should I remind you of the accusation of deicide which prompted countless acts of Christian violence toward Jews? Or the Good Friday prayer which asked God to lift the veil of the blind, perfidious Jews?

It makes me wonder about your boss, Pope Benedict, too, because one needs to ask oneself the uncomfortable question of why he didn’t stand up as you were making this innapropriate comparison and distance himself and the Church from your comments. But then, maybe one should not be so surprised about this given his recent track record regarding the sexual predator priests, or his treatment of the whole Bishop Williamson affair, or his reinstating the Good Friday prayer referenced above, or his rush canonization process for the problematic wartime Pope Pius XII. In a way, seeing Pope Benedict looking at the floor today as you uttered those words reminded me of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who also stood silently by the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in 2001 as Assad let loose an antisemitic rant that was broadcast in the entire Christian world. Assad, like the Catholic Church before him, presented Jews as enemies of God. Also like Christians before him, Assad used the Christian blood libel of Jews as Christ-killers. Pope John Paul II did not see fit to stop him right then and there and thus appeared to implicitly accept Assad’s vitriolic statements.

Perhaps this issue of silent popes is also endemic in the Church. After all, Pope Pius XI and his successor Pope Pius XII both stood by silently as the Nazis slowly and inexorably dehumanized, demonized, and exterminated millions of Jews during the Second World War.

To wrap it up, Rev. Cantalamessa, as the sole and direct preacher to the pope I think you yourself need some advicing. I would encourage you to think about these things, and next time you sit with Pope Benedict advice him better.

Gabriel Wilensky

Six Million Crucifixions:
How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust
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10:37 PM  

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