Given the history of the Catholic Church scapegoating Jews for all manner of things, I guess it was only a matter of time:
Allegedly speaking to the Catholic website Pontifex, Babini, 81, was quoted as saying: "They do not want the church, they are its natural enemies. Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."
via The Guardian
The Bishop has denied that he ever even gave an interview, so the website has threatened to release interview tapes:
However, Bruno Volpe, who interviewed Monsignor Babini for Pontifex, confirmed that the bishop had made the statement, which was reported widely in the Italian press today. Pontifex threatened to release the audio tape of the interview as proof.
via The Times
Despite the Bishop’s denials, I am treating this as fact. Here’s why: the Bishop’s denial stretches all bounds of credibility. Italy has a pretty defunct legal system, but it would be a very strange legal system indeed that didn’t define defamation as including a faked interview making the interviewee out to be a modern day Goebbels. Yet here’s a Bishop who says a paper faked an interview that makes him out to be an outright antisemite, and the Bishop hasn’t even threatened defamation against it.
In fact, if the Encyclopedia Britannica is to believed: truth is rarely allowed as a defence to defamation it Italy (which would make the article even harder to defend even if the statements were true!!)! Google has found itself the target of defamation suits in Italy for allowing videos, of some kids abusing a Downs Syndrome child, to be uploaded.
So why oh why would a newspaper open themselves up to such liability if there wasn’t, at least, something to back them.
Assuming the interview occurred then it’s also likely that the paper RECORDED it. Audiotapes of a Catholic Bishop SAYING Jews are God killers would be so much worse than a written record. So, from a PR standpoint it’s probably not the best idea to keep denying an interview’s existence to the point where a media organisation might have no choice but to release the tapes…
If this was just one lone bishop on a Nazi trip then fine..make it a brief byline and move on. The fact is this has been only one of MANY antisemitic events to grace the Church’s social calendar over the past few years.
The reign of Benedict has thus far been marked by two things: Child-rape and Antisemitism. to be fair he’s said some pretty hateful things towards Muslims (‘contribute nothing to humanity’) and Homosexuals (‘Bigger threat than Global Warming’)…but in terms of attention Jews and Children definitely ‘win’. The fact that the following is not even an exhaustive list of the antisemitic acts committed by the Church in recent years should be worrying in and of itself:
There were Jewish protests at Easter when Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, compared attacks on the Pope to the “more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism” in his Good Friday reflections before Pope Benedict in the Vatican.
However, the pontiff has also angered Jewish leaders with his continuing support for the beatification of Pope Pius XII, the wartime Pope who is charged by critics with having turned a blind eye to the Holocaust. Beatification is the step before sainthood.
On Friday Benedict watched a preview of a forthcoming programme to be shown by RAI, the state broadcaster, which praises Pius XII for his role in helping to save Jews behind the scenes in wartime Rome, and is said by aides to have expressed his approval.
via The Times
But let’s not forget that the Pope is (or ‘was’ if you believe the Vatican line) a genuine bonified Nazi.
When anyone asks the question: why did Catholics choose to elect a Nazi to be their moral leader? The Vatican typically replies with a slightly wimpier version of the Nuremberg defence: ‘he had no choice’ (even tho he kinda did), he was young/naive/thought the swastika was a Pokemon character, etc..
Does anyone seriously still believe this?