Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dividing Lines

In the heart of Bavaria there is outrage over Pope Benedict’s lifting of the excommunication of bishop Richard Williamson, who denies the extent of the holocaust. It seems a strange move by the Pope, who grew up in Marktl am Inn, a village near the Austrian border, and later became the archbishop of Munich & Freising (this photo from inside the Frauenkirchen). More than 60 years after the end of WWII, Germans are struggling to come to terms with the holocaust, when Nazis killed more than 6 million European Jews. In no place is that struggle more apparent than in Munich and Bavaria, where the Nazi party was founded and where the concentration camp Dachau is a constant reminder of its past. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel jumped into the fray of criticizers. One editorial said “The pope has made a serious mistake. That he is a German pope makes the matter especially bad.” Another said, the pope is “inflicting great damage on Germany.” So after several days of criticism, the pope said he had no idea of Williamson’s statements, and demanded that he take his comments back.

2 comments:

Emily Flechtner said...

how very true. i find it especially surprising, because usually the germans are so "careful" around the subject. Then again, those catholics..

JM said...

Yes, this is unbelievable! How can someone like him claim he did not know??? We all knew!!! Outrageous!