I’d rather not be taking a whack at two different Christian religions (one of them nominally my own) at Easter, but they set the timing.
First we have Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen saying:
RELIGIOUS leaders have used their Easter sermons and messages to condemn the rise of atheism, with Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen describing the philosophy as an “assault on God”.
“As we can see by the sheer passion and virulence of the atheist – they seem to hate the Christian God – we are not dealing here with cool philosophy up against faith without a brain,” Dr Jensen told worshippers.
“Atheism is every bit of a religious commitment as Christianity itself.
“It represents the latest version of the human assault on God, born out of resentment that we do not in fact rule the world and that God calls on us to submit our lives to him.
“It is a form of idolatry in which we worship ourselves.”
No, it isn’t and the Archbishop’s generalisations are as offensive as generalising about Christians.
But then to trump that, we have The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Pope’s personal preacher:
Pope Benedict XVI’s personal preacher has likened accusations against the pope and the Catholic church in the sex abuse scandal to “collective violence” suffered by the Jews.
Yes blaming the Catholic Church for covering up child abuse, is just the same as the pogroms.
“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 wasn’t identified by Cantalamessa, 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.
Catholics as a whole of course have no responsibility or collective guilt over what a minority of priests did.
But that is different from the hierarchy of the church. In many countries, the hierarchy covered up the child abuse. Priests were left free to abuse, and their crimes were not reported to authorities. Fot that there is a collective responsibility – not by all Catholics, but by the Church hierarchy which in almost every country reacted in the same way.