Pope, ending his British trip, recalls Nazi terror in WW2

September 19, 2010

london in blitzPope Benedict on Sunday expressed “shame and horror” over the wartime suffering caused by his German homeland and said he was moved to mark the 70th anniversary of a key air victory with Britons.

(Photo: London during the Blitz/U.S. National Archives)

On the last day of a four-day visit to Britain that drew the biggest protest march of any of his foreign trips, the pope also beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the most prominent English converts from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism.

The pope was seen off from the airport by Prime Minister David Cameron who said Benedict had challenged the “whole of the country to sit up and think” about issues such as social responsibility during his four-day state visit.

On Sunday, Britain commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the air conflict that doomed Hitler’s planned invasion of Britain. “For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology,” the pope said in his sermon to more than 50,000 people attending the open-air mass.

pope shakes“Seventy years later, we recall with shame and horror the dreadful toll of death and destruction that war brings in its wake, and we renew our resolve to work for peace and reconciliation wherever the threat of conflict looms.”

(Photo: Pope Benedict shakes hands with well-wisher, 19 Sept 2010/Matt Cardy)

In the early 1940s, the former Joseph Ratzinger was briefly a member of the Hitler Youth when membership was compulsory. During the war, he was assigned to an anti-aircraft battery in Bavaria and then sent to Austria. After returning to Bavaria, he deserted and, at the end of World War Two, he was a U.S. prisoner of war. The pope has said that as devout Catholics, his parents rejected Nazi ideology.

Read the full story here.

Follow FaithWorld on Twitter at RTRFaithWorld

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

The Pope says, “For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology,”
But did not the Papacy justify the evil ideology of the Nazi regime to such an extent that they facilitated the escape of the perpetuators of war crimes to South America via the Rat Line. For in July, 1997, a documentary film crew discovered a US government document stating that the pro-Nazi Croatian Ustachis sent gold coins worth 250 million Swiss francs to the Vatican which was later used to finance the “rat line” of fleeing Nazi leaders to sanctuary in Spain and Argentina.
After all the Scriptures say, Pro:17:15: “He that justifies the wicked, and he that condemns the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” How can the Papacy justify the righteous in words, the British and Allies, but the wicked, the Nazi SS, in deeds.

Posted by neilcadman | Report as abusive