By Jonathan Hoffman
April 2, 2010
Pope Benedict is being accused of covering up child abuse by Catholic priests. The accusations may well be true. In 1980, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, allowed a paedophile priest to be transferred from Essen to undergo therapy in Munich, where he was then archbishop.
But his personal preacher has compared the accusations against Benedict to antisemitism suffered by Jews.
Peter Isely, the Milwaukee-based director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, denounced the antisemitism analogy as "reckless and irresponsible." "They're sitting in the papal palace, they're experiencing a little discomfort, and they're going to compare themselves to being rounded up or lined up and sent in cattle cars to Auschwitz?" he said. "You cannot be serious."
He's right. It's obscene. You'd have thought that as Benedict was a former member of the Hitler Youth, his minions might show a bit more understanding of antisemitism.
Moreover this obscenity was voiced at Easter - the time in history when Christian persecution of Jews was most common. Typically in medieval times a corpse was found (usually of a child) close to Easter and Jews were accused of having committed the murder to get the blood in order to make matzos.