The Pope recently ended a pilgrimage through the Middle East, which is already churning with controversy. This particular Pope's presence in the Middle East is most notable because as a teen he participated in the Hitler Youth. This doesn't necessarily mean much; it was a long time ago, and it does not suggest that the Pope still carries Nazi sympathies. Plus, many Jewish people are still upset at Pope Pius XII for not taking a stronger stance against Jewish persecution during WWII. However, when addressing the nation of Israel, apparently, the Jews were looking for a little more sympathy than the pontiff had to offer.
Word must have gotten back to Pope Benedict, though, because he followed up with another statement--and it's with this one that I take issue. He said that "the brutal extermination of Jews by the "godless" Nazi regime would never be forgotten or denied."
Ummmmm... exsqueeze me? I have 3 words for the Pope: Gott mit uns.
I think there could be a genuine debate on Hitler's faith, and whether he actually believed in a god or just used religious rhetoric to inspire loyalty. But it simply cannot be denied that Christian faith was an integral part of Nazism. The Pope blatantly shifted the blame from Christians to atheists for Nazi anti-Semitism, which is a disingenuous lie. The people who committed the crimes of the Holocaust were Christians, and the Pope disrespects Judaism by simply passing off the blame to others.
9 months ago