It’s his honesty I’m concerned about.

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.


5 Responses to “It’s his honesty I’m concerned about.”

  1. Ut videam Says:

    What a bunch of nonsense.

    “his personal activities during WWII”: (NB: The National Catholic Reporter is a left-of-center “Catholic” publication that often criticizes the Pope. But even they will defend him against such scurrilous libels as this.)

    “shielding pedophiliac priests”: Ever since his time as a top curial cardinal under Pope John Paul II, Ratzinger has consistently worked for accountability in this regard. Rather than regurgitating slimestream media hit jobs, you might try doing some actual research on this topic.

  2. surprisesaplenty Says:

    Regarding ‘Hitler Youth’ – further investigation has indeed shown me that he was an ‘unenthusiastic member’ and membership was required for 14 year old boys.
    Still, I do believe that he was Catholic himself at the time as were many other members – enthusiastic or not. The Nazis were not atheists and his own membership shows this.

    “shielding pedophiliac priests”:
    Pope Benedict has joined mounting Vatican criticism of raids by Belgian police investigating alleged child sex abuse, calling them “deplorable”.
    I would have called the priests deplorable and congratulated the police on doing work the Pope himself should have encouraged.
    Hey, that was real research! I can do more….

    Hmm Pope Ratzinger before he was elected: He was archbishop in Munich

    Huh, there was sexual abuse going on under his nose. I don’t know if he was aware of it or not, but he should have been.

    Hmm. March 28, the Guardian
    “Pope Benedict, facing the worst crisis of his papacy as a sexual abuse scandal sweeps the Catholic church, declared today he would not be “intimidated” by “petty gossip”, angering activists who say he has done too little to stamp out paedophilia.”
    “petty gossip”- is this also your term for being properly accountable?


  3. Ut videam Says:

    “The Nazis were not atheists”

    Maybe not, but to call them Christian is a gross oversimplification. Naziism was influenced by a diverse set of beliefs ranging from paganism to Marcionism (an early Christian heresy rejecting the Old Testament and much of the Pauline corpus due to Jewish influences). Above all, Naziism was a secular ideology that tolerated religion as long as it did not conflict with the goals of the state. Christian clergy who failed to toe the party line were viciously persecuted.

    Regarding Catholics specifically, vocal opposition to Nazi atrocities came both from Rome (see Mit Brennender Sorge, Vatican Radio wartime broadcasts, etc.) and the local churches (Cardinal von Galen, Maximilian Kolbe, et al.). The libels of agenda-driven revisionists notwithstanding, the Church did more to save Jews from the Shoah than anyone else. Pius XII’s efforts far outstripped Oskar Schindler’s, yet the latter gets a fawning cinematic portrayal while the former is consistently and unfairly criticized.

    Regarding the Pope’s criticism of the Belgian police raids, Belgian courts determined that the raids were improper:

    Is it your contention that the Church is not entitled to equal protection under law, due process, and protection from unreasonable search and seizure?

    As for the “petty gossip” matter, the Pope’s comments were on target. While the abuse issue is real, its scope has been greatly exaggerated by people with anti-Catholic agendas. This has been acknowledged by, among others, a prominent British atheist in a recent column:

    Continue to get your hate on if you must, but know that in doing so you’re only showing yourself, in the words of Brendan O’Neill in the column linked above, to have “zero interest in applying the tools of rational investigation and critical questioning to the problem of certain religions’ infrastructure, and instead [to be] hellbent on using the politics of fear to invent a fantastical rape-happy ogre.”

  4. surprisesaplenty Says:

    Well, I’m happy we agree that the Nazis were not atheists. This suggests that we agree that the Pope lied when he made that claim.

    “Clergy in the Roman Catholic Church sexually assaulted little boys and we want justice “(not actual quotes)
    “Oh, you petty gossipers.”
    Hmm, it does look like the Pope was on target. That’s exactly what any ethical person would say. Oh, sorry. Did I say ethical and refer to the Pope. We’ve already agreed he is a liar, after all.

  5. surprisesaplenty Says:

    Christians, Atheists and Nazis: My opinions

    Again, these are my opinions, supported by general reading and observation, but I have not tried to back up specific claims.

    There is no way to be certain of the religious identities of the Nazi leadership. Many are baptized as children, but that doesn’t mean they identify as Christian as adults.

    Atheism is a weak lever to move a population. “We’re atheists; kill the Jews!” is going to promote more head-scratching than action. I think even the Russians said something like, “Save the working class; fight the capitalists! Oh, and we are atheists.” They were atheists but it was not the driving force in their revolution.

    Many, but perhaps not all, Christian groups have, not continuously, but consistently, attacked the Jewish faith.

    If the Nazi leadership wanted to create a scapegoat for Germany’s problems, Christianity pointed to a convenient one.

    I don’t think the Nazis tied their claims to the Bible or Christianity as tightly as the KKK did (present tense?), but they did use or misuse Christianity to promote their agenda.

    The Catholic Church, and perhaps others, may have had political reasons to offer some support to the Nazis – and that support was not complete or absolute, but it did exist- but after politics touches religion, religion loses it’s ethical high ground.

    The Nazi leadership may in fact have been atheists, but public words were couched in religion and their followers followed for religious reasons.

    Religion may not have governed everything the Nazis did, but many of their crimes were done under a religious rationale.

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