Tag Archives: Pope Benedict

Pope Pius XII War Record Continued Debate

World War II ended over sixty years ago, but the debate concerning record of Pope Pius XII continues to create tension between Jews and Catholics. Pope Benedict the XVI has made certain he will not tour the new museum at Yad Vashem which contains a section dealing with the performance of the wartime pope that is not not flattering to what he did or did not do. The Vatican insisted the tour of the Holy Land was a personal one for Benedict and had nothing to do with World War II or Pius XII. However, Pope Benedict was pressured not to meet with certain Palestinian leaders and to avoid having his picture taken by the wall which divides Arabs from Israel. His dilemma is a speech in which he displays concern for Muslims might be interpreted as anti-Israel and speaking up for Israel is a certain way to anger Muslims.

The issue of the role played by Pope Pius XII in World War II remains a divisive one. Most historians believe he did assist some Jews but he was remarkably quiet about the actions of the Nazi government. Most probably a definitive conclusion awaits opening Vatican archives.

Muslims Not Receptive To Pope’s Visit

A few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI was giving a speech and quoted from a medieval text which referred to the Prophet Muhammad as violent. Middle Eastern Muslims are demanding the Pope apologize for the reference and promised not to regard his visit to the Holy Land as a welcome sight. A banner in Nazareth, the home town of Jesus condemns anyone who insults the Muslim religion or their prophet. Municipal officials refused to indicate if they would remove the banner prior to the Pope’s visit. Some Muslim clerics made clear they would not talk with him while others said they would engage in dialogue provided the Pope expressed his sorrow for the remark. Actually, the purpose of the Pope’s visit is to foster inter-faith relations.

There is something hypocritical about the Pope being compelled to apologize for remarks concerning a medieval comment. Read any Muslim newspaper in the Middle East and one encounters stories that are vicious in hostility toward Jews and Christians. Neither Jews nor Christians have any right to religion in nations like Saudi Arabia which apparently is OK with Muslim leaders who worry about medieval quotes. Visit any bookstore in the Middle East and get an inexpensive copy of Hitler’s books.

Muslim Hypocrites Attack Pope Benedict XVI

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood blasted the Pope in anticipation of his visit to their nation. They accused Pope Benedict XVI of being anti-Muslim because in a speech in 2006, he quoted from a Medieval text which referred to Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman.” According to the Muslim Brotherhood anyone who quotes negative remarks from Medieval times that cast doubt upon their religious leader is guilty of some sort of crime. At the time, the Pope apologized if his remarks were taken to mean he was anti-Muslim. But, to the Brotherhood, a “clear apology” is required. Frankly, talk about apologies is hypocritical coming from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pick up any newspaper or go to any newstand in a Muslim nation and it only takes a few moments before one sees periodicals which insult Jews and deride their religion. Go to Iran and witness the treatment of members of the Bahai faith. Visit a school in Saudi Arabia where children are taught to despise Christians. Sorry, Muslim Brotherhood, before you insult the Pope, take a look in the mirror at your own hypocrisy.

Holocaust Denial Takes New Twist

The history of the Holocaust has been detailed in thousands of books, memoirs and films that make clear to any normal human that Nazi Germany was guilty of an unspeakable horror in its murderous campaign against innocent people. As one who helped found a Holocaust Museum, there was ongoing discussion concerning the need to make part of its content, the story of what happened to gays, Romas and millions of others who were murdered by German forces. No Holocaust Center ever attempts to present a version of the Holocaust in which only Jews are victims. Archbishop Dadeus Grings from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil only added to the problems of Pope Benedict by becoming the second Catholic bishop to create a Holocaust issue for the Church where none should exist. The bishop said: “The Jews talk about six million people killed. But, how many Catholics were victims of the Holocaust?” He went on to add: “Jews say they were the main victims of the Holocaust, the biggest victims were the gypsies, because they were exterminated.”

It insults those who died in the Holocaust or anyone who died as a result of German action to get into the “numbers game” as to who “suffered the most.” How does one measure “suffering?” This is a ridiculous discussion. Over thirty million Russians died, Jews as well as Christians. Millions of Catholics died as did Protestants and atheists. The only way to respond to the ignorance of this Catholic bishop is –silence. Pope Benedict has spoken eloquently about the Holocaust and it insults the Catholic Church and those who have worked for reconciliation to allow this ignorant man from Brazil to assume his comments have any worth or any standing in his church.

Pope Warns Of Evils Impacting Africa

Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to Africa warned the people of Angola the African continent faced the “clouds of evil” which he termed to be war, greed, and tribalism. He made a powerful statement about the clouds of evil which he noted are, “the evil of war, the murderous fruits of tribalism and ethnic rivalry, the greed which corrupts men’s hearts, enslaves the poor and robs future generations of the resources they need to create a more equitable and just society.” His words were powerful, but missing from the “clouds of evil” was any mention of the most powerful force playing upon the African continent — the could of AIDS which has caused the death of millions.

Pope Benedict has an opportunity to assist the people of Africa to confront disease, but to do so, he must shift his ideas concerning sexual behavior and support the need for condoms and extensive sex education. Can he be a Pope who cares even if the price is abandoning set beliefs?

Is Pope Benedict Overwhelmed By Modern Media?

The ongoing problems encountered by Pope Benedict are raising serious concerns within the Vatican where an increasing number of leaders believe the Pope is being overwhelmed by the demands of the modern world and of its issues. After encountering serious public relations problems with his gaffe in allowing a priest who is a Holocaust denier to return to the church, the Pope raised a new furor while on an African tour. He told Africans who are suffering from huge problems with AID that use of condoms only “aggravates the problems.” Many Catholic priests in Africa have quietly been allowing their parishoners to use condoms in an effort to deal with the rapidly spreading problem of infection. Many priests believe the Pope is out of touch with modern problems and his nonstop gaffes are creating a public relations disaster for the Catholic Churh.

Frances Rocca, the Vatican reporter for the Religious News Service, believes that historically the Vatican could retreat into silence when problems arose, but now “the Internet and the blogoshpere won’t wait for the Vatican so the message gets swamped.” There is probably need for the Vatican to bring in priests who are familiar with modern technology.

Pope Apologizes For Recent Events With Holocaust Denier

Pope Benedict XVI sent a letter to Roman Catholic bishops concerning the recent controversy that was sparked when he readmitted British Bishop Richard Williamson back to the church only to spark a world wide controversy over the Holocaust denier views of the bishop. He admitted the Vatican failed to do its job of checking facts and knowing about the Holocaust views of
Williamson and at least having serious conversations with the man prior to announcing he was being readmitted to the church. Of course, this was only one of several recent incidents in which it appears there is a lack of serious and comprehensive investigation prior to making statements.

No one believes that Pope Benedict is a Holocaust denier, but failure to adequately understand the views of Bishop Williamson resulted in the present controversy. Is one of the problems the lack of differing views among those in the Vatican which can lead to the lack of someone yelling the emperor is without clothes? Perhaps, it is time for the conservative Pope Benedict to include more liberal views among those who daily interact with him on issues.

Confusion In The Vatican?

The arrival of Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic church was widely greeted with enthusiasm given his scholarly expertise and experience in higher echelons of the Vatican. However, the past year has witnessed a series of incidents which raise questions as to whether or not the Pope is being well served by his assistants. The recent controversy over his allowing the return of three bishops blew up when one made clear he did not believe there was anything such as a Holocaust and the Pope had to hurriedly meet with Rabbis to calm down the storm created by those comments. A few days ago, a priest who blamed Hurricane Katrina as being caused by sins of people in New Orleans, asked the pope to rescind his appointment as an auxiliary bishop in Austria. Vatican expert George Weigel in a recent essay says the Vatican is the scene of “chaos, confusion and incompetence.”

The appointment of the bishop in Austria resulted in hundreds of calls from people saying they would not attend any church in which he served. There apparently is a growing under current of people who have more liberal views than those of individuals now leading the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict has been reaching out to conservatives, it is now time to reach out to liberals?

Pope Benedict Rethinks Controversy

Pope Benedict XVI went to great lengths to distance himself from the words of a Catholic Bishop who is an outspoken advocate of denying the existence of the Holocaust during World War II. The pope’s decision to welcome back bishop Richard Williamson into the Catholic religion after he was excommunicated, has created a storm of protest throughout the world and deeply impacted the church. A group of rabbis met with the pope to discuss the situation and they were greeted with warmth by the pontiff who tried to allay their fears about his own Holocaust views. He made clear it “was his fervent prayer that the memory of this appalling crime will strengthen our determination to heal the wounds that for too long have sullied relations between Christians and Jews.”

There is no question Pope Benedict is not a Holocaust denier, but for some reason he has been placed in an awkward position by Williamson and perhaps he has been poorly assisted by his own staff who should have researched the Williamson views before there was any talk of welcoming him back into the church.

Holocaust Denier Denys Recanting Over Denial

The British bishop who has questioned the existence of a Holocaust in Europe during World War II refuses to accede to the request by Pope Benedict that he renounce “in an absolutely unequivocal and public” way his statements that only 200,000 Jews died during WWII. Bishop Richard Wiliamson said he was have to “examine historic evidence” before he could re-evaluate his views. “It is not about emotions but about historic evidence” and claimed he was aware there might be people who actually disagree with his crazy ideas. There are thousands of books about the Holocaust, films made at the time, diaries by both Jews and Nazis, and still Mr. Williamson is unaware there might have been a Holocaust.

The Pope has been left holding the bag by this vicious little man who hides in the shadow of ignorance to cover up his blatant ant-semitism let alone his refusal to grasp that hundreds of thousands of gays and Roma were also killed. Surely, this man has no place in the Catholic religion.

Perhaps, the good bishop could explain what happened to the six million Jews who were in Europe in 1939 and were not there in 1945. Does he think they all went to Las Vegas and Florida in search of sunshine?