Saturday, April 30, 2005

Pope

I know...I'm not a Catholic, so the choice of pope shouldn't be any of my business. But in the new theocracy that is the USA his policies will have a big influence on me, so I DO care. And I need to get this off of my chest.

There are all sorts of things about which I disagree with Joey Ratz. But that's probably a given with any post-JP cardinal. My real beef with the selection of Pope Benedict the whatever is the whole Nazi thing.

Whenever you're looking at German males of a certain age, it seems obvious to check into his whereabouts during the war. And where was Ratz? First in the Hitler Youth, then in the Nazi Artillery brigade, and finally in a US prisoner of war camp for captured Nazi soldiers. (All this can be found in his autobiography.) Of course I'd like to think I would have stood up to Nazi tyranny were I a German in the 1940's....but having not had to make the choice yet between quietly allowing evil to reign around me and staying alive, or speaking out and being imprisoned or killed, I can't actually say that I would have had the moral temerity to do the right thing. We all know that a true threat of death makes even strong people do desperate things to stay alive.

But I'm not the Pope. Ratz is. And it seems that a bare minimum we could ask of a modern pontiff is that, when asked to decide between fighting for good or condoning evil, they WOULD make the choice not to go along with the masses, thus enabling pure evil to terrorize humanity. To not wait to flee evil's ranks until he knew that the war was lost to good.

Someone who is now the moral leader of the majority of Christians in the world should not be the guy who stayed quiet to protect his own skin until others had done the work necessary to get things back on track.

Think this is unfair? Well, Ratz just left the position that lead the investigation into sex abuse scandals in the church. Look how well he's held evil accountable there. Wasn't that Cardinal Law READING at the pope's funeral, a position of honor in the realm of Cardinals?

Seems evil is acceptable if it makes it easier to achieve your goals.

Oh. And by the way, did you see the note on the bottom of the screen on CNN that said his family was vehemently anti-Nazi? (Nice job, CNN!) Perhaps I should take a page from their book and make a statement against the Catholic church....I hear they're looking for members.

(Need proof? You can see it on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart website....go to the video collection and view "Ratz!"....it shows up right around minute 4 of the video. I noticed it because I happened to view this clip on the same day that the British press broke the story about the Hitler Youth thing.)

2 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

WELL PUT, sister. The only thing I question about your commentary is the apparent assumption that the pontiff's role is to promote good vs. evil. Which means you're saying the Catholic Church is good instead of evil. Is this the case? Obviously, we don't mean to denigrate the people we know & love who are Catholic (most of whom have plenty of their own beefs with their church.) But just look at what this church has been engaged in for centuries, most notedly the latter part of our most recent century. The best thing you can say about the church is that they know where to hire the right designers to decorate their houses of worship (and it takes a lot of gay priests to keep that project together.) The pontiff's role should be to promote good only if the role of the institution is to promote good. And for now, it will take a lot to convince me that the promotion of "good" is the church's true mission.

Pam said...

You have said, quite nicely, what I've been trying to articulate about Papa Ratzi. There are a LOT of Europeans who have a black, black past because they wanted to live through Nazism rather than get shot in a field. Okay, okay, it's hard for me to say, but I think I get how that might happen. But you're right, it's The POPE, for crying out loud, and one would THINK that he would be an exceptional figure of humanity.

I think that I am open to hearing about how living through Nazism transformed him into the philanthropist that he is now, but I have not yet heard that story.