Among the candidates for the papacy whose photographs were featured in the Feb. 12 list, Who’s next?, was the notorious anti-Semite, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media — which they, of course, control, he said — to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are “protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.”
When asked whether he wanted to reconsider his attack, Rodriguez Maradiaga replied: “I don’t repent . . . sometimes it is necessary to shake things up.”
As James Carroll, distinguished columnist for the Boston Globe, who is himself a Catholic, has characterized Rodriguez Maradiaga’s “crackpot” mindset: “When the church has a problem — here is the oldest move of all — blame the Jews.”
The Vatican has rightly called anti-Semitism a sin, and yet an unrepentant sinner is on the short list to become the leader of the Catholic Church.
If that were to occur, all of the good work by recent popes in building bridges between the Catholic Church and the Jews would be endangered. This should not be allowed to happen.
Alan Dershowitz, professor of law, Harvard University, Boston