In reference to the article by Giulio Meotti under the title “The Vatican on Gaza: Israel is a Baby-Killer”, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi categorically denies having said or implied this assertion.
In presenting Pope Benedict’s most recent book, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, did comment on the following phrase “In our own day, the mothers’ cry to God continues unabated” (The Infancy Narratives, p.113). In doing so, he elaborated with humanitarian concern and in light of the news of recent days: “This cry of the mothers who have lost dramatically their children has returned again and again throughout history, and has done so again in these days in Gaza.”
Obviously, the Cardinal’s concern extends to all those who live under the clouds of suffering, fear and violence. Hence he has repeatedly expressed his solidarity also with Jewish victims and does so again, particularly with those who have had cause to weep during the latest cycles of escalation.
His Eminence intends to retain his strong links with the Jewish world. He has repeatedly visited and often resided in Israel, including in moments of tension. He is engaged in multiple collaborations and friendship with Jewish culture and communities, especially the Italian Jewish community. His prayers are for peace and for the stability of the current ceasefire.
Pontifical Council for Culture, 23 November 2012
Is he denying he mentioned Herod and the massacre of the Innocents? Or is he saying whatever he said never meant to imply Israel is a baby-killer? I am sure he did not mean the latter, but if he did say the Herod remark, this clarification will probably not travel very far to undo the damage of Giulio Meotti’s widely shared article.