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#1 sanctus

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 04:44 AM

It's quite strange that nobody brought it up yet, not sure if it belongs to social sciences or to philosophy, but as I moderate this forum and not the other I prefer to post it here ;)

I only recently read a bit about the past of the new pope. At the age of 12 the seminar where he studied inscribed him in the "hitlerjugend", where he eventually becomes a soldier, after the war he went to a prison camp and eventually returns to study the bible. He says he didn't have shoot, what sounds like Clinto saying he smoked a joint but didn't inhale.... (sentence taken from a swiss satirical political magazine, called "the devil" by the way)

The pope isn't supposed to be human beeing closest to god, one who would have such faith that he would have to courage to say no to nazism (like the priest in the film "the ninth day for example")?
And how can the catholic church elect someone who when he was young supported clearly nazism?How can they do that without loosing the credibility and face (what didn't seem to happen)?
I believe that if he truly believes in god he should have had the strength to refuse to serve the regime, but I'm a non-believer so maybe there I'm wrong (even if all the curches tell that the believe gives you strength in this earthly life).

Anyway, this new pope seems to me a huge paradox and the last and strongest reason to not take the catholic church as a serious organization, which is not only governed by desire of power.

#2 UncleAl

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 10:06 AM

Anyway, this new pope seems to me a huge paradox and the last and strongest reason to not take the catholic church as a serious organization, which is not only governed by desire of power.

The Inquisition was a good model for Hitler's camps. Hitler added technology for efficiency and scale. Throughput was starved to lessen material handling at the end. A Dark Agres dung-encrusted peasant kneeling to sniff and taste grape wine in a golden chalice was a major miracle all in itself. The thought of mammoth throngs loyally marching in step to midnight torchlight makes the One True Church all giddy with envy. God doesn't have anything in his haversack to compete with an iPod or a Big Mac.

Satan does not demand alms every Sunday, or infest the world with His lower management and tax-free infrastructure, or levy threats, or kill uncountable numbers of people in religious wars, or tell people what to think, or demand that women uncontrollably breed... The worst I've heard of Satan is that He will offer a contract of worldly delights up front and deliver honest to the last word - to specification, on time, within budget, no excuses necessary

Benny-16 is hardy the tip of a newly-calved iceberg. We've been had!

#3 sanctus

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 10:08 AM

I've I don't believe in god I can't neither believe in satan, uncle al...

#4 bumab

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 04:43 PM

I'm not going to defend the pope selection process, and it's certainly valid to point out the Catholic Church's ambivilance towards the Holocaust (and anti-Semetic activity anywhere) over history. But it's worth noting that since the Christian religion is based on forgivness, letting somebody make mistakes in youth and then chalking it up to experience rather then an inherent evilness is certainly a valid position as well.

Sure, it's troubling. And I don't like how it's hidden from most people. But to play Devil's advocate ;), perhaps that was the thinking. One could just as easily and with the same validity say the church leaders were acting in perfect unison for the common good, had information we are not privey to, and made the correct choice (as they saw it) for the good of the world.

It's certainly not logical to move from the Catholic election of a dubious leader to an organization that only wants power over "throngs of peasants." I wasn't thrilled about the choice either, he's far to conservative for me. Bad choice- perhaps. Evidence for some Machianvellian scheme? Hardly.

#5 Biochemist

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:24 PM

...Benny-16 is hardy the tip of a newly-calved iceberg. We've been had!

Gee, UA. What do you really think?;)

#6 C1ay

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 06:02 PM

Most of the news I've read reported the pope was forced to particpate in those activities as were all german youths at the time.

#7 UncleAl

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 07:06 PM

I've I don't believe in god I can't neither believe in satan

Why not? Uncle Al believes in Sterculius and Mammon. The Wicked Witch of the West died for Uncle Al's sins.

God: crappy screw-top grape wine.
Satan: Lagavulin single malt scotch.

Go for the cloven-hooved fellow in the exquisitely tailored suit. Look at god portrayed on in the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Have you ever seen an *** that fat? Yahweh has explicit fetishes for genital mutilation, dead babies, and dead adults. No thank you.

#8 zadojla

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 10:03 PM

I think you're being over-idealistic here. It's not fair or reasonable to make a judgement of the actions of a 12-year-old, based on the job he gets 60 years later. One could as easily say that his experience of the war could be what brought him to God afterwards.
And regarding "shooting", that is perfectly possible. There are always more soldiers in the "logistic tail" than there are actually fighting. I think, but cannot footnote yet, that the proportion for WW II was that it took four soldiers in support to keep one fully supplied soldier in the field.

#9 Qfwfq

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 03:36 AM

And how can the catholic church elect someone who when he was young supported clearly nazism?

As far as I understood he never supported Nazism at all. I certainly understood him to be a pacifist, as reflected in his choice of Benedicte as a name, after the previous Benedicte.

Conservative perhaps, even certainly, but pacifist and not Nazi.

#10 pgrmdave

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 07:45 AM

The Inquisition was a good model for Hitler's camps. Hitler added technology for efficiency and scale.


The current pope was not involved with the creation of the camps, nor is this point actually relevant to the pope's election, or the current incarnation of the Catholic Church.

The thought of mammoth throngs loyally marching in step to midnight torchlight makes the One True Church all giddy with envy. God doesn't have anything in his haversack to compete with an iPod or a Big Mac.


Mammoth throngs loyally marching in step would make most corporations, and governments, giddy too, would you attack them as well? Besides, this point is not actually relevant to either the pope's election, or the Catholic Church.

Satan does not demand alms every Sunday, or infest the world with His lower management and tax-free infrastructure, or levy threats, or kill uncountable numbers of people in religious wars, or tell people what to think, or demand that women uncontrollably breed... The worst I've heard of Satan is that He will offer a contract of worldly delights up front and deliver honest to the last word - to specification, on time, within budget, no excuses necessary


So, in order to continue your ill-guided attack on Catholicism, you decide to embrace Satan, a wholly Christian idea, and the embodiment of evil, the one who is responsible for all evil in the world, including the holocaust, at least, according to those who believe in him?

Benny-16 is hardy the tip of a newly-calved iceberg. We've been had!


He hasn't really done much yet. I haven't heard any massive anti-semetic movements within the Church. It seems like this pope might actually not be a nazi after all!



I don't like the Catholic Church much, but I find it difficult to judge anybody based on actions performed as a child.

#11 bumab

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 09:09 AM

Well said, dave.

#12 sanctus

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:56 AM

No, you say say and someone else as well I don't remember who, we shouldn't judge on someones acts as child. But he wasn't a child on all the period of his service! He was forced at the age of 12 (by a catholic seminar by the way) and there I agree he was maybe a bit too young to see all the implications of his act. But he was still there being older than 18 (don't remember the exact age), that implies that either he is retarded (what I don't think), either he supported nazism or either he didn't have the courage to stand up against it.

I agree probably the third option will be the case (it's hard to be so hypocrite for option 2 being true), but a pope should (as the closest represantant of mankind of god) having had a life that reflects his postions and not just convert afterwards having seen/lived the evil. that's a bit easy and not credible.

Has anyone of you seen "the ninth day"? A priest like that would be credible as a pope not someone who served nazism! Thge argument he didn't have no choice hasn't got any value, you always have got a choice and as he was a believer why should he fear death? If he is really that close to god, why did he fear the risk of becoming a martyr?

#13 C1ay

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:44 PM

Satan, a wholly Christian idea, and the embodiment of evil, the one who is responsible for all evil in the world, including the holocaust, at least, according to those who believe in him?

Quite the odd character of chrtistianity huh? I wonder why the christians of groups like the KKK and those of the Aryan Nations commit their evil acts in the name of God. They never seem to invoke the name of satan. Even Hitler, a catholic, said at a Nazi Christmas celebration in 1926: "Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews ... The work that Christ started but could not finish, I -- Adolf Hitler -- will conclude."

#14 zadojla

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:50 AM

Sanctus,
You are clearly a pacifist (nothing wrong with that), and live in Switzerland. My memory may be faulty, but doesn't Switzerland have universal military service? If so, are you a conscientious objector? [That's a US term, but should be clear.]

#15 sanctus

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:35 AM

Zadojla, are you checking if I'm coherent? :hihi:

Anyway if you write a motivation letter and go to speak for an hour before a (civil) commission then you can do civil-service instead of doing the army. What you have to show is that your choice is based on your conscience. The hardest way to do this is if you motivate with political reasons (what I did), you have to show that your political choice are directly linked to your conscience (what doesn't seem quite obvious to them?!?!?). I really loved the comission, because for once in my life I could expose all my ideas without being interrupted and all my words being heard (and registered). The most famous question they ask you is also a test for coherence:"you are agtainst violence. Let's suppose you are with your girlfriend and she is agressed, what do you do?". The question I loved when they asked me was "What does it mean for you if you have to do the army?", my answer was something like I don't know and will never know as if I'm not accepted in civil service I'll go to jail (I've got a double nationality so having been in jail wouldn't even affect really my future); but then they insisted and I had to say what I think it would mean to me.
So yes I'm a conscentious objector.

Maybe something interesting, in the '80 the swiss people voted for abolition of the army. 30% were in favor (1 out of three), much more than expected.Just after the 11 september there was again such a votation , then people were scared and there were only 19% in favor (still one in five)

#16 Tormod

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 02:08 AM

Sorry to derail this thread but I wanted to follow up Sanctus' reply.

I was a conscientious objector as well. I also had to go to answer for myself, but no commission - only a bored police woman in her office here in Oslo. She had a standard set of questions to ask, and was apparently embarrassed that she had to ask them. This was only skin deep, though, because she did ask some follow-up or test questions which showed she despised my choice.

Anyway, one question from her papers, which I knew I would get because it is infamous, is: "You are driving in your car and you are being threatened by someone sitting in the passenger seat. His gun is lying between the two of you. Would you pick it up and threaten him?"

Sheesh. I ditched the army because of questions like that. It is a trick question, because if you answer yes, you are not a pacifist in their eyes, and therefore cannot be a conscientious objector.

Pacifism is the only grounds for denying military service in Norway. But being a conscientious onbjector has nothing to do with pacifism. They are related but one does not necessarily include the other. A pacifist may do army service (for example in the underground press, as a nurse or a truck driver) and a conscientious objector might be willing to carry guns in a different setting. It is the role of the military I was opposed to. I am opposed to the idea of having thousands and thousands of men and women trained to kill and serve in rank and file when there are so many other, important things to take care of. I asked to do civil service instead and got it, but the service I did had nothing to do with "peaceful purposes" which is what I wanted.

Would I pick up arms to defend something if needed? Probably, but it depends. Guns would not be my first thought. I have not even touched a gun in my entire life so it's a difficult question to answer.

#17 eMTee

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:31 AM

God's love reach further than the wicked will of man...and God's salvation is for the murderer as well as for the hero. Let's not look at the evil past of a person to determin things, lets look at the change in their lives. God puts great people in positions, but if you look back in their lives, you might find a hardened heart in their past.

I'm not a Catholic, and I do think that they place the position of the pope too high, and they place more work in rituals rather than in Christ and faith.