(JTA) — A Vatican official apologized for comparing criticism directed at the Catholic Church over a widespread pedophilia scandal to anti-Semitic attacks on Jews.
“If — and it was not my intention to do so — I hurt the sensitivities of Jews and victims of pedophilia, I am truly sorry and I ask for forgiveness,” the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the papal household, said in an interview published Sunday in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
The “Charlie Ward controversy” is exposing a vein of Christian Evangelical thought that may be far more widespread — and far more harmful to Jews — than previously believed, say religion experts.
The remarks by the veteran Knicks guard made during a Bible study session with teammates — that the Jews are Christ killers and that they persecute Christians to this day — point to two troubling developments in Jewish-Christian relations, those experts say.
Following weeks of international Jewish-Catholic disputes over a controversial Good Friday prayer, Jewish and Catholic leaders in this country are looking for a good Friday, preceded by a good Thursday — days when Pope Benedict XVI has scheduled meetings with the Jewish community — to restore the improving tenor of interfaith dialogue.