A brief observation about the departing Pope

(With apologies to my Catholic friends)
One recurring defense of Pope Benedict’s Nazi past is that all he did was join the Hitler Youth. The second is that everything he did was mandatory. Both were false.
He didn’t just join the Hitler Youth. He also ran a German factory that used Nazi slave labor. Which is a good deal worse.
And while it’s true that his actions were legally “mandatory” that’s not the same as practically mandatory. Other Germans were ordered to collaborate and refused. They paid a price for refusing (concentration camps in a lot of cases) but they proved collaboration is never mandatory.
As the blogger Jeanne D’Arc once observed, that gives the lie to Ratzinger’s insistence he had no choice but to collaborate. She also pointed out that he’s running a church that glorifies martyrdom, choosing death over violating one’s conscience. It’s a conflict he’s never bothered to explain. Maybe he’s racked by guilt and doesn’t want to remember. Maybe he doesn’t really feel that bad about it (plenty of Germans did collaborate and many of them only felt bad about having it exposed). Like D’Arc I can understand collaborating (I won’t pretend to know what I’d have done in that situation), but brushing off the moral issues? Not so good.
Millions of decent Catholics around the world deserve better in their leader. Fingers crossed for next time.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics

One response to “A brief observation about the departing Pope

  1. Pingback: Pope-Pourri | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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