They Just Don’t Get it

I do not aplogise if this is beginning to look like catholic bashing, but there is so much of this stuff about at the moment that it’s difficult to ignore the temptation. Were the catholic church not being disingenuous I would leave them be. But they preach honesty and deal in obfuscation and downright lies.

The Pope missed a wonderful opportunity today in his Urbi et Orbi. He could have sat on that balcony and roundly condemned the abuse of children. He could have made it clear that the church would not tolerate it, that the perpetrators would be publicly defrocked, expelled and handed over to the civil authorities for punishment. He could have promised that the church would be transparent in its dealings. He could have apologised.

He did none of these things.

Belatedly Fr Raniero Cantalamessa has apologised for likening what the church is going through at the moment to the persecution of the Jews. One wonders what the hell was going through his mind to make such a comparison.


When we start making catholics wear a yellow cross in public, you can say that.

When we start herding catholics into cattle trucks and shipping them halfway across Europe, you can say that.

When we start gassing catholics and burning their corpses, you can say that.

You are just undergoing a period of criticism because of the behaviour of some of your delinquent adherents and your inadequate response to their trangressions.

“The catholic church yet again shows itself as insensitive and divorced from reality.”

Cantalamessa’s ill-conceived comments were all the more offensive given the church’s history. Throughout the Holocaust Pius XII was consistently besieged with pleas for help on behalf of the Jews.

  • In the spring of 1940, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Issac Herzog, asked the papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Luigi Maglione to intercede to keep Jews in Spain from being deported to Germany. He later made a similar request for Jews in Lithuania. The papacy did nothing.
  • Within the Pope’s own church, Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna told Pius XII about Jewish deportations in 1941. In 1942, the Slovakian charge d’affaires, a position under the supervision of the Pope, reported to Rome that Slovakian Jews were being systematically deported and sent to death camps.
  • In October1941, the Assistant Chief of the U.S. delegation to the Vatican, Harold Tittman, asked the Pope to condemn the atrocities. The response came that the Holy See wanted to remain “neutral,” and that condemning the atrocities would have a negative influence on Catholics in German-held lands.
  • In late August 1942, after more than 200,000 Ukrainian Jews had been killed, Ukrainian Metropolitan Andrej Septyckyj wrote a long letter to the Pope, referring to the German government as a regime of terror and corruption, more diabolical than that of the Bolsheviks. The Pope replied by quoting verses from Psalms and advising Septyckyj to “bear adversity with serene patience.”
  • On September 18, 1942, Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, wrote, “The massacres of the Jews reach frightening proportions and forms.” Yet, that same month when Myron Taylor, U.S. representative to the Vatican, warned the Pope that his silence was endangering his moral prestige, the Secretary of State responded on the Pope’s behalf that it was impossible to verify rumors about crimes committed against the Jews.
  • Wladislaw Raczkiewicz, president of the Polish government-in-exile, appealed to the Pope in January 1943 to publicly denounce Nazi violence. Bishop Preysing of Berlin did the same, at least twice. Pius XII refused.

The list goes on …

In Fr Raniero Cantalamessa the catholic church yet again shows itself as insensitive and divorced from reality.