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VATICAN CITY — The Vatican spokesman is officially distancing itself from Good Friday remarks by the papal preacher, who likened accusations against the pope in the clergy sex abuse cover-up scandals to collective violence against Jews.
The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said in a Good Friday homily with the pope listening in St. Peter's Basilica that a Jewish friend wrote to him to say the accusations remind him of the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism."
The "coincidence" that Passover falls in the same week as Easter celebrations prompted Cantalamessa to think about Jews, said the preacher, a Franciscan who offers reflections at Vatican Easter and Advent services.
"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.