Easter Vigil, Slow News Day

Front page of WaPo this morning, and apparently world wide news: Vatican priest likens criticism of Church to anti-semitism.

Really? A homilist at the Vatican (a great one, too --the aptly named Fr. Cantalmessa) invokes the cliche that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable bigotry, and this is front page news?

It's worth noting this offensive comparison came when he was quoting a nice letter of solidarity he'd received from a Jewish friend.

So the worldwide headline is, "Jew's remark offends other Jews."  I rest easy knowing that's all that's wrong in the world today.

More seriously, in context the remark is very lovely, and has to do with the coincidence of Passover & Easter this year.
By a rare coincidence, this year our Easter falls on the same week of the Jewish Passover which is the ancestor and matrix within which it was formed. This pushes us to direct a thought to our Jewish brothers. 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. I received in this week the letter of a Jewish friend and, with his permission, I share here a part of it.

He said: "I am following with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful by 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. Therefore I desire to express to you personally, to the Pope and to the whole Church my solidarity as Jew of dialogue and of all those that in the Jewish world (and there are many) share these sentiments of brotherhood. Our Passover and yours undoubtedly have different elements, but we both live with Messianic hope that surely will reunite us in the love of our common Father. I wish you and all Catholics a Good Easter."

And also we Catholics wish our Jewish brothers a Good Passover. We do so with the words of their ancient teacher Gamaliel, entered in the Jewish Passover Seder and from there passed into the most ancient Christian liturgy:

"He made us pass
From slavery to liberty,
From sadness to joy,
From mourning to celebration,
From darkness to light,
From servitude to redemption
Because of this before him we say: Alleluia.
Happy Easter & Happy Passover, Friends

Update: Fr. Z. thinks Fr. Cantalamessa should have known better, since Good Friday is always criticized by Jewish groups, so everyone's just poised ready to freak out. An eyewitness says the pope looked like he wanted to fall through the floor at the time, and Fr. Cantalamessa has apologized. I guess I see the point from a PR standpoint, but it's tiresome that on the highest Christian holy days, a priest in the Vatican has to preach not to his actual flock, but to grievance groups and the press.