Fr. Jim Martin, SJ had words that everyone should have read yesterday:

Good Friday, though, reminds us that Jesus went to his crucifixion freely and surrendered his life for something greater, which came on Easter Sunday. This profound image may help the Catholic Church meditate on what it is invited to do. But that means that something has to die.

What needs to die is a clerical culture that fostered power, privilege and secrecy. An attitude that placed a priest’s reputation above a child’s welfare. A mindset in which investigations of dissident theologians and American Catholic sisters were more swiftly prosecuted than investigations of abusive priests. What needs to die is a certain pride. All this needs to be surrendered freely.

I think Fr. Jim should be promoted to “papal preacher” especially when we heard this from the actual papal preacher yesterday. (From the London Telegraph)

The “coincidence” that Passover falls in the same week as Easter celebrations, said Rev Cantalamessa, a Franciscan, who offers reflections at Vatican Easter and Advent services, prompted him to think about Jews.

“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,” the preacher said.

Quoting from the letter from the friend, who was not identified, the preacher said that he 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,”‘ Cantalamessa said his friend wrote him.

Better start vetting the homilies now. Talk about a stupid statement! Let me not pile on here except to say that death and extermination does not and never will equal character assassination. While the Pope has come under attack for his own role in allowing the abuse of children and perhaps has been treated unfairly by some in the media, this should not ever be compared to the Holocaust.

Apologies from me today to our Jewish brothers and sisters, especially my sister and brother in law and their children.

And a note to the papal preacher. Get a clue and think about what you’re really saying when you try to equate two tragedies.

0 thoughts on “Papal Preacher is No Fr. James Martin, SJ”
  1. You’re interjecting. That is not what the Rev. Fr. Cantalamessa (“papal preacher”) homily was comparing. STOP GULPING THE KOOL-AID!

  2. Gregg–

    It may not have been his intent, but any good student of the media would know that this is how it will be perceived–which is all that matters.

    The Vatican should have vetted this and told him not to say it. And instead–they are in a nightmare situation.

  3. It just keeps looking like the Vatican is more and more disconnected. Fr. James Martin has done a great service to the Church by being a voice of reason.

    For goodness sake, even Msgr. O’Brien of Baltimore spoke up about what Cantalessa said.

  4. I agree with your comment, Mike: this is a time when people are looking closely at everything issuing from the Pope and those around him. Yes, how things are perceived is pretty darn critical at a time like this.

    Father Jim really “gets it.” As a parent myself, these abuse stories make me ill. Something has gone terribly wrong and I pray that what is coming to light will help transform the Church in a very profound way.

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