There is one similarity between the nature of the remarks made by Archbishop Rowan Williams about the Irish Catholic Church and those of Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, sermonising for the Pope, about the child abuse scandal --
Fr Cantalamessa said he had been inspired by a letter from a Jewish friend who had been upset by the "attacks" against the Pope.
He then read part of the letter, in which his friend said he was following "with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful of the whole world".
"The use of stereotypes and the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism," he quoted the letter as saying, as the Pope listened.
Dr Williams said: "I was speaking to an Irish friend recently who was saying that it's quite difficult in some parts of Ireland to go down the street wearing a clerical collar now.
"And an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society, suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility - that's not just a problem for the Church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland."
Thus, in both cases, the controversial remarks were set up as something that a friend had said to them, leading to their own observations. As reactions have shown, it's properly better to do some reflection on what the friend has said before making it one's own.
Anyway, of the two remarks, those from the Vatican are much more problematic -- perhaps the most preposterous example of the pursuit of victimhood of all time. Williams on the other hand has seen Papa Ratzi establish a special purpose vehicle to peel off some of his congregation, and so pointing out some disorder in the other house was understandable.