Save this article as a cache of evidence to support the Pope against those who are biased towards him if you ever get the chance to have some friends talk about the sex abuse scandal and the purported "silence" of the Pope.
CNA).- In an interview with CNA on Tuesday, Rabbi Jack Bemporad [pictured at left] commented on the recent media onslaught concerning the Holy Father, calling the coverage “one dimensional” and saying that the depiction of the Church in the media has not been given “proper context.” [Will the media pick this up? I doubt it.]
Rabbi Bemporad, director of the New Jersey-based Center for Interreligious Understanding, was recently quoted as a lone voice in an Associated Press article in which other Jewish leaders denounced the papal preacher, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, for his comments likening the media depiction of the Church to anti-Semitism.
In the AP article released on April 2, and in a follow up interview with CNA, Rabbi Bemporad defended the papal preacher. Although the rabbi believes Fr. Cantalamessa used a “poor example,” ultimately, the preacher's “point is correct.”
What the preacher intended to indicate through his homily, Rabbi Bemporad said, was that “you can't collectively condemn the church for what some priests and some individuals in the Church may have done.”
[Here is what the AP article said. Excerpts about the rabbi only are reprinted here.
"Others were more sympathetic to the Catholic church. Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director of the New Jersey-based Center for Interreligious Understanding, said the church and Benedict are unquestionably under attack.
Comparing anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism was "a little bit of an exaggeration," he said. But Bemporad said he understands what the preacher was driving at: The Jewish community has often been accused and its people even murdered for things for which they bore no collective or even partial responsibility."It would be nice," he said, "if there was a little charity and understanding in all this instead of taking someone who is down and kind of stomp on them."]
Addressing those who have criticized Pope Benedict in recent days, Rabbi Bemporad stated that “you've got to have a sense of compassion, charity, and saying 'how can we help you do this properly?' Instead of condemning him and saying, 'See, you're not doing enough.'”
“We're so quick to judge, we're so quick to condemn,” he stressed. “There's no charity, there's no compassion, no sympathy, and no, by the way, self-criticism.”
A lot of sex abuse involving children is going on, the rabbi noted. “It's not simply a Catholic problem.” [BINGO RABBI! BINGO!!!]
“I do think that the pope is trying to do the best he can,” he added.
The rabbi also took a jab at the media coverage of the Pope, calling it “very one dimensional” and charging that many of the reports have not placed Vatican actions “in the proper context.”
“The tragedy of the media,” Rabbi Bemporad stated, “is that it has a capacity to educate, instead what it does is cater to the worst element in human beings. The most voyeuristic element.”
“We shouldn't be so quick to grab at headlines which are virulent, and in my opinion, hysterical,” he asserted.
The New Jersey rabbi also praised Pope Benedict for his efforts in helping advance the relationship between the two faiths, saying the pontiff has “tried to be a friend” and has done whatever he can “to show the close relationship between Catholics and Jews.”
“All I am asking for is charity,” and “that we should think about how we can help one another not condemn one another,” said the rabbi.