Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The pope's Nazi past

Some commenters observed following my last post that the new pope, a German, was drafted into the Nazi army and was ultimately an American prisoner of war. However, there is evidence to suggest that he was drafted against his will and that he deserted the Nazi army. I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Benedict XVI must move swiftly to reach out to the Jewish community to make crystal clear that he denounces anti-Semitism and will work as a friend of the Jewish people. John Paul II made history as the first pope to set foot in a synagogue; hopefully this trend will continue under the new pope. It cannot be otherwise if Benedict wants to stamp out any concerns about his past.

Incidentally, April 20 was Adolf Hitler's birthday; although Germany was defeated 60 years ago, Nazism remains alive. This is all merely to observe that the concern about Benedict's past is no idle speculation but very real concern about what it portends for today's times.


Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

Yea Papa Ratzi saying Turkey shouldn't be admitted to the EU

4/19/2005 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

You sound somewhat reluctant to give Benedict the benefit of the doubt. I see no reason why you should not be more bold in fully accepting his defense. As I tried to explain in my comments in your previous post, Benedict's past merely shows that he grew up in Germany and only did what he was forced to do which was defend his country against foreign armies. He also risked his life by deserting the Nazi army since the punishment for any disobedience late in the war was death. Besides we are only talking about a few years (1943-1945) of his childhood since in 1943 while still in seminary, he was drafted at age 16 into the German anti-aircraft corps. Let's give Benedict a little more credit for pursuing seminary at a time when the Nazis looked down upon anything other than fervent militarism and for deserting the army.

Also, I don't see why Benedict must "move swiftly to reach out to the Jewish community." At this time, there are more pressing concerns within the Catholic community besides anti-Semitism. I definitely do believe he should make moves to continue to improve relations with Jewish people as his late predecessor did. But while it may be alarming news to some that Benedict was born in Nazi Germany, if choosing to focus on anything in "The pope's Nazi past", it would probably be more worthwhile to review his actions the half a century or so after he became a priest in 1951.

4/19/2005 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Purvis said...

Wow! Coincidence plays a big part in your thinking. Hitler's birthday and the conclave's meeting. Must be a conspiracy concocted by the man who knew he would be elected. Of course, John Paul II allowed himself to die at just the right time to allow this to happen (after all, the whole setting foot in a synagogue thing was just a play, right?).

Get a life. Make sure reality has checked in with said life. Get over yourself. And no, I am not Catholic. Not even close.

4/20/2005 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger The Critics said...

Although my main feature on this site is to either criticize POYS for his liberal slant, or to post moderately (less republicanism than my GOP Jewish heritage would like), I do stand up for the underdog. Here, I shall be POYS' knight in shining armour and valiently defend his honor!

Nice try Mr. Purvis. POYS did not create a causal connection between the new Pope and any conspiracies that I or any other commentator may have posited. He merely referenced Nazism in the same post as a comment about the new Pope's connection to Judaism, because that's precisely what the commentators did.

I applaud POYS for having the fortitute to remain above the degenerate conspiracy theories that I and others have felt compelled to post herein! Bravo!

4/20/2005 12:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone said earlier that Benedict was born in Nazi Germany. I'm too lazy to google for accuracy, but I venture to guess that the Pope (yup, he is the pope) was born prior to Hitler's ascension to power. Born in Pre-Nazi Germany, as it were. Relevant to the argument. Not really.

Also, if anyone wants to suggest that Terps and Specs get a room, I can tell you now that Specs would lock the door before he lets Terps in.

- (Insert Something Witty)

4/20/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger The Critics said...

I'm not fighting with "specs", Anonymous. You might say Mr. PURVIS is the perpetrator here. POYS!

And what is the point of your argument? Being born before something takes place doesnt mean that event does not take place in your life-time. Perhaps you should avoid law school, with all due respect.

4/20/2005 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

I wasn't really thinking when I had said that the pope was born in Nazi Germany. He was born in 1927 and the Nazi's achieved full power in 1933. The point I was trying to make was that although a good portion of his childhood occured when the Nazis were in power, the portion of his entire life after the war (the last 60 of his 78 years) of which he was a priest for 54 years should be weighed far more in our discussions.

4/20/2005 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger The Critics said...

He didnt become a priest until he was 24. That's plenty of time to do some serious damage. Plus, he was 18 in 1945, the height of the Holocaust. A most impressionable age. One wonders.

4/20/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

He was in seminary before 1943, wastes two or three years of his life to shoot some anti aircraft artillery at Allied planes, deserts the army, becomes an American POW, and then returns to seminary. He has done nothing in the last 60 years to even suggest he would be biased against Jews. If he had, there would be no way he would be considered as a replacement for the late pope.

The height of the holocaust was 1943, although some say 1942.

4/20/2005 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger bum said...

what a joke. the pope must act quick to reach out to the jews. thats hilarious.

all the pope has to do is guide the catholic people on a path so they may enter the kingdom of God one day. thats it. no buts...thats all he has to do.

reach out to the jews. thats an lol moment if i have ever read one.

4/20/2005 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Terps (Maryland sucks btw),

I wasn't suggesting that you and Specs get a room because you were fighting. I was suggesting you both get a room given all the loving you been giving him lately. Uch, disgusting. Knight in shining armour, you make me vomit.

Also, I wasn't referring to my own argument. I have no argument! I was merely referring to the thread as a whole.

- Manassas

ps. I hate myself for responding. The above points do little to contribute to the general thread (my original point before Terps started spinning). I have nothing to add. I'll go kill myself now.

4/20/2005 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger The Critics said...

Manassas: Please do. Also, if you cant take a joke, then clearly you dont belong on this website, because most of what takes place herein is pretty much a joke anyways.

Bum: The Pope's duties reach far beyond the sanctity, extending well into the political realm. If you dont realize this, perhaps you should not be commenting on matters of such weight. Maybe there's a rerun of Three's Company on that you can watch instead. Grab a beer and prop your feet up. Leave the political shenannigans to the politikal people.

4/20/2005 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

Bum from jersey,

I agree with you that there is no need for the pope to urgently reach out to the Jews.

However, I disagree with your point that "all the pope has to do is guide the Catholic people on a path so they may enter the Kingdom of God one day." As a Christian, the pope would like to see as many people convert to Catholicism as possible so that they will be "saved" and will ultimately go to heaven. So I would say the pope has a greater mission besides guiding the Catholic people.

4/20/2005 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

Many Jewish figures have praised the new pope, citing in particular his contribution to Catholic-Jewish reconciliation.

"He's never denied the past, never hid it," said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "His whole life is an open book of sensitivity against bigotry and anti-Semitism." The Jerusalem Post, in an editorial Tuesday, explained why it was not concerned. "As for the Hitler Youth issue, not even Yad Vashem has considered it worthy of further investigation," it said, referring to the Holocaust Memorial and research center in Jerusalem. "Why should we?"


4/21/2005 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

critizing this holy man because of his past that he was unable to control is wrong. I think you should all shut up until you realize the true duties and goodness of this man

also, he should reach out to all religions not just catholics, if you don't believe this then there is something wrong with you

5/01/2005 06:01:00 PM  

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