Was Pope Benedict’s Asuchwitz speech disastrous?

Was Pope Benedict’s Asuchwitz speech disastrous?

A (non-Catholic?) law blogger reviews Pope Benedict’s speech at Auschwitz and calls it “disastrous.” Now some of Eric Muller’s criticisms can be said to be a difference in emphasis or because he doesn’t understand the Catholic faith. But others are merely tendentious or a blatant misreading of what the Pope said.

For example, the Holy Father referred to the Nazis as a “criminal gang” who “rose to power by false promises of future greatness and the recovery of the nation’s honor, prominence and prosperity, but also through terror and intimidation, with the result that our people [the Germans] was used and abused as an instrument of their thirst for destruction and power.” Muller thinks its wrong to absolve the German people of responsibility like he believes the Pope does here, but that’s arguable. Yet Muller goes on to take the Pope to task for speaking of the Nazis’ “false promises”. He says, “Would things be different for Josef Ratzinger if the Nazis had managed to make good on their promises of greatness for the German people?” But only a listener with a built-in prejudice would find such a meaning there. The Pope was clearly saying that the Nazis made false promises, playing on the German people’s desire to return to a position of prominence among nations that they lost after World War I. Yet no greatness, the Pope would say, could be build on such evil as the Nazis intended and thus the promise was false.

Was Christianity the real aim of the Holocaust?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli