A fellow Canuck, a Mr. Kokoski, has written an opinion piece in the Korea Times about Pope Ratzinger’s visit to the UK. He has many kind words for the Pope and all of them may well be true. However, we can find good points for most people. The way the Pope is unwilling to take responsibility for obstructing justice for children molested by RC clergy is enough of a negative to make all Kokoski’s points irrelevant.
However, even if I wish to stick to the Pope’s UK visit, there is plenty for room for concern. The Pope may be, “…a man rich in spiritual passion, humility, self-denial and love for the cause of God and of man. ” but still be a liar.
Immediately upon landing in the UK, Pope Ratzinger praised Britain’s efforts to fight the Nazi’s and their atheistic ways. This is strange for a man who once belonged to a Hitler’s youth group, and considering that a previous Pope had quickly signed a treaty with the Nazis in the 1930s.
The Roman Catholics weren’t precisely proponents or defenders of Nazi claims and goals, but they clearly weren’t opponents either.
Further, Hitler himself used remarkably religious imagery and quotes for an atheist:
“The anti-Semitism of the new movement (Christian Social movement) was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge.”
[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]
“I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.”
[Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936]
Quotes taken from here, where many more can be found.
Mr Kokoski started his opinion piece with, “The press should have paid more [attention] to the pope’s message…” and I fully agree with him. The press should take a closer look at the Pope’s message, particularly on his personal activities during WW11 and on shielding pedophiliac priests. I suspect the press will take a dimmer view than Mr Kokoski would hope. Added later: A commenter called me on this subject – and others – and I have to agree with him. Ratzinger was a member of the Hitler Youth, but that was mandatory and he was apparently considered an “unenthusiastic member”. I defended myself with rude vigour immediately upon reading the comment, but now that I have thought about it, the commenter was correct on this score. I still think the Roman Catholic Church showed undue respect to Nazi Germany but Ratzinger, at 14, cannot be blamed for that.