Pope Benedict XVI is German.
Germany used to be run by some guy named Adolph Hitler.
Adolph Hitler oversaw the deaths of millions of Jews (not to mention millions of others).
Pope Benedict XVI was born in 1927.
World War Two started in 1939.
Hitler started World War II.
Pope Benedict XVI (then Josef Ratzinger) was a member of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth). Entrance was indeed voluntary; you either entered or you (and your family) went into a concentration camp. (For the impaired: that’s sarcasm.)
Pope Benedict XVI was drafted into the German Army in 1943. He deserted near the end of the war.
Pope Benedict XVI was eighteen years old when WWII ended. (One had to be eighteen years old to be a Nazi party regular.)
So why is all of this so important to those at the London Times?
[ed. note: publish before the vote] The wartime past of a leading German contender to succeed John Paul II may return to haunt him as cardinals begin voting in the Sistine Chapel tomorrow to choose a new leader for 1 billion Catholics.Even—or perhaps I should say especially--the people at the Jerusalem Post do not have a problem with the new Pope and the “accident” of his nationality and the time of his birth.
If he were truly a Nazi sympathizer, then it would undoubtedly have become evident during the past 60 years. Yet throughout his service in the church, Ratzinger has distinguished himself in the field of Jewish-Catholic relations.One wonders whether The Times was attempting to take advantage of the general ignorance about the history of that era, which exists even on the continent where the principle events occurred.
As prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger played an instrumental role in the Vatican's revolutionary reconciliation with the Jews under John Paul II. He personally prepared Memory and Reconciliation, the 2000 document outlining the church's historical "errors" in its treatment of Jews. And as president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Ratzinger oversaw the preparation of The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, a milestone theological explanation for the Jews' rejection of Jesus.
If that's theological anti-Semitism, then we should only be so lucky to "suffer" more of the same.
As for the Hitler Youth issue, not even Yad Vashem has considered it worthy of further investigation. Why should we?
This isn't so surprising, however, since it appears that the new pontiff is also catching additional...um...hell for being Catholic.
UPDATE: Lileks says,
At the risk of sounding sacreligious: it’s the Catholic Church, for Christ’s sake!UPDATE: The Anchoress says,
[M]ost of this is just a temper tantrum against the church-that-won’t-go-awayUPDATE:One of Tim Blair's commenters says,
Too bad [Pope Benedict] wasn’t a member of the Baader-Meinhof gang: the moonbats would be lining up to kiss his Papal slippers.Cross-posted at In Search of Utopia