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. Federico Lombardi contacted The Associated Press in Rome to say such parallelism can lead to misunderstandings. He said Father Raniero Cantalamessa's remarks in a homily at a service presided over by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Basilica is not the official position of the church. Amid criticism from Jewish leaders and abuse victims' groups, Lombardi said Cantalamessa was not speaking as a Vatican official.
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