Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope for a Few Hours and Already the Attacks Begin


Pope Benedict XVI before the faithful.

Not a few hours passed and already many in the media are finding their means of attack. The most vicious and actually ignorant attack implies that the new pope was complicit with the Nazis during WWII. I guess they are showing their colors. They did not get what they wanted. Actually, they do not understand what the Church is, apparently. They think the teachings can change. They think Truth is relative to the current fads and intellectual (or anti-intellectual) trends. They think Truth will bend to their fancies.

In response to those making the Hitler connection, here is a bit of a response and the actual record. With more time, I am sure more of a rebuttal could be given to these atrocious suggestions, but for now this will have to do.

From the Ignatius Press/Insight biography:

"[In] Milestones: Memoirs 1927 - 1977 (Ignatius, 1999), Ratzinger depicts his family life as quite happy. Family and Church were, for him, inseparable - and he clearly saw Hitler and the Third Reich as the enemy to both. He has said of his father, '…He saw that a victory of Hitler would not be a victory for Germany but a victory of the Antichrist…'."

Added to that is the fact that Ratzinger actually deserted from the German army and his family actually hosted American soldiers in their home. Yes, he was taken as a POW, but was soon let go. Let us remember that being in the Hitler Youth was compulsory. You either joined or you paid the price.

As an MSNBC article points out, "Ratzinger's personal experience left him convinced that the church was the only institution that could stand up to false ideologies."

Further, in his book Milestones, Ratzinger wrote: "No one doubted that the church was the locus of all our hopes. Despite many human failings, the church was the alternative to the destructive ideology of the brown [Nazi] rulers; in the inferno that had swallowed up the powerful, she had stood firm with a force coming to her from eternity. It had been demonstrated: The gates of hell will not overpower her."


As well, in a STATEMENT BY SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ON ELECTION OF CARDINAL RATZINGER TO POPE BENEDICT XVI, a more fair-minded response is given:

"I hope that he will continue to build on the legacy of Pope John Paul II’s special relationship with the Jewish people," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "The new Pope, like his predecessor, was deeply influenced by the events of WWII," he said. "As a child, Pope Benedict XVI grew up in an anti-Nazi family. Nonetheless he was forced to join the Hitler Youth movement during the Second World War."

Rabbi Hier continued, "Pope John Paul II dramatically changed the Catholic Church forever in reaching out to other religions, particularly Judaism. I am confident that the Vatican under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI will continue to build on those remarkable achievements and organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center look forward to being partners in that process."


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2 comments:

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