When I lived in Ireland and I would tell people I was Jewish they invariably got all excited and were like, “The Irish are the Jews of Europe,” which presumably was them trying to say, “Hey, we Irish people identify with the way the world has been pooping all over the Jews since pretty much the beginning of time because we have also been pooped on.” The thing is, the Jews are the Jews of Europe. Yes, Jews have been mistreated for thousands of years. We don’t OWN pain and suffering, though. Other groups have been in on it, too. And really, there’s no need to invoke the Jewish people every time you’re trying to convey to others that your group has been having a rough go of it recently.
I bring this up for two reasons:
1) The Vatican
2) James Franco
The Vatican: So you may have been following the most recent iteration of freakouts in the Catholic church because–who wouldâ€™ve thunk it?–it turns out there were more priests molesting children than we knew before. And in some cases the guy who is now pope but was then a cardinal knew about what was going on and didn’t step in to stop things the way he could have. A lot of people are pretty angry about this, and are calling for all sorts of actions, including the pope stepping down, which seems about as likely as me being named the next pope, but whatever. The point is, there has been a lot of finger-pointing in the general direction of the Vatican, and then this happened:
ROME –A senior Vatica priest speaking at a Good Friday service compared the uproar over sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — which have included reports aboutÂ Pope Benedict XVI’s oversight role in two cases — to the persecution of the Jews, sharply raising the volume in the Vatican’s counterattack.
Here’s the real money paragraph:
Benedict sat looking downward when the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who holds the office of preacher of the papal household, delivered his remarks in the traditional prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica. Wearing the brown cassock of a Franciscan, Father Cantalamessa took note that Easter and Passover were falling during the same week this year, saying he was led to think of the 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,” he said.