13 April 2010
Giacomo Babini, a retired Catholic bishop in Italy, has reportedly suggested that “Zionists” were behind the current storm of accusations over sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests that is roiling the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Babini, a former bishop of Grossetto in Tuscany, was quoted by the Catholic website ‘Pontifex.roma.it’ as saying he believed a “Zionist attack” was behind the criticism of the Pope, given that it was “powerful and refined” in nature.
Babini was quoted as having told the website that Hitler had exploited German anger over the “excesses” of German Jews, who in the 1930s had “throttled” the German economy. However, the former bishop denied he had made any anti-Semitic remarks. He was backed by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), which issued a declaration by the bishop in which he declared: “Statements I have never made about our Jewish brothers have been attributed to me.”
Bruno Volpe, who interviewed Monsignor Babini for ‘Pontifex’, confirmed that the bishop had made the statement, which was reported widely in the Italian press. ‘Pontifex’ threatened to release the audio tape of the interview as proof.
Ten days ago, the Vatican had come under fire after the Pope’s personal preacher, Raniero Cantalamessa, in a Good Friday sermon quoted a “Jewish friend”, who had likened accusations against the Pope in the clergy sex abuse scandals to violence against Jews.
On Tuesday, the Vatican’s second-highest official after the Pope, Cardinal Bertone, said that the child rape scandal was linked to homosexuality and not to the celibacy demanded from Catholic priests. “Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and paedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and paedophilia. That is true. That is the problem,” Bertone was quoted as saying by the British newspaper ‘The Times’. He reportedly also said that the church had never impeded investigations into alleged abuses by priests.
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