Father Raniero Cantalamessa -- the only preacher to Pope Benedict XVI -- sparked world outrage over the Easter weekend by comparing attacks on the Catholic Church over the pedophile priest furore to anti-Semitism, according to today's Telegraph (British) website.
Jewish groups and campaigners against child abuse both reacted angrily to his comments.
Ricardo De Segni, Rome's chief rabbi, said, "It's an inappropriate parallel and of dubious taste."
Rabbi Marvin Hier -- the founder of the anti-Semitic campaign group "The Simon Wiesenthal Center" in California -- demanded an apology from the Pope himself. Rabbi Hier said, "The remarks are shameful, inaccurate, and a complete distortion of history."
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) -- the largest and most active of such groups in the United States -- denounced the remarks, saying they insulted "both abuse victims and Jewish people."