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Church Sex Abuse Fallout Compared to Anti-Semitism

Pope Benedict's personal preacher defends pontiff against attacks
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2010 4:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – A high-level Vatican official who serves as preacher to the papal household is under fire for saying in his Good Friday homily that criticism of the way the pontiff has handled the child sex abuse scandal is comparable to "the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism." The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said he was quoting a letter he had received from a Jewish friend.

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" The Vatican is entitled to defend itself but the comparison with anti-Semitic persecution is offensive and unsustainable, " an American Jewish leader told Reuters. The Vatican quickly scrambled to distance itself from Cantalamessa's remarks. A spokesman contacted the AP to say his speech was "not an official position of the Catholic church."
(Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)

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