As the World Continues To Lurch Violently To The Right

A former Hitler Youth and leader of the Inquisition is elected Pope.


UPDATE: before somebody points it out in comments, I know that membership in the Hitler Youth was compulsory at the time. As I understand it, worshipping the Emperor was also compulsory in ancient Rome.

UPDATE 2: really detailed article on Ratzinger here. Interesting stuff.

Perhaps later: some writing on why I even care about who’s Pope, not being Catholic and all, and why I’m disappointed it’s Ratzinger.

4 thoughts on “As the World Continues To Lurch Violently To The Right”

  1. I was hoping for someone else as well, but, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment. Sometimes people surprise me.

    You’re right about people having a choice even when things are compulsory, but, I’m still inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt even then. One of my profs served in the German Army and Air Force during the war. It was compulsory. An SS officer showed up at his house, put a gun to his head, and told him to report for duty. He was 16. He went.

    I’m hoping that Ratzinger’s background as one of the writers of Vatican II, his scholar’s appreciation of nuance and general intelligence will count for more than his actions and statements as “the Pope’s watchdog.”

    Of course, I may be too optimistic. We’ll see. On the bright side, if he does turn out to be horrible, he would have to live to 108 to have a papacy as long as John Paul II… My guess is that we’ll be seeing another pope in 10 years or so.

  2. I didn’t know about his connection with Hans Urs Von Balthazaar and Henri de Lubac before today. I’ve really enjoyed what these two have written in the past. I hope that people don’t politicize and do a cheap smear against what these two writers have contributed to the world of ideas just because they don’t like Ratzinger’s style.

    If we’re going to bring up the Hitler Youth angle, we should also bring up his later desertion from the German army.

    The weight of the office has gentled many. Let’s wait and see.

  3. Personally, I’m stoked by the new Pope. All the wacko AntiChrist theories and ravings for John Paul II (Electric Boogaloo) were starting to get stale. Since about Monday night, I’ve been dying for someone to count the letters in Ratzinger’s name and come up with “666”.

    And, while that hasn’t happened yet, check this out:

    According to St. Malachy (who? yeah, I don’t know who he is, either), this is the last Pope before (cue dramatic music) The End Of The World!!!!

    Woo hoo! It’s like Christmas in April. Or something.

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