Pope Benedict XVI goes to war with 'atheist extremism'

Pope uses visit to argue Nazi desire to eradicate God led to the Holocaust and Britain should respect its Christian foundations

“Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live,” he said.

His pronouncements brought immediate condemnation from humanists and secularists, and some other religious groups. Terry Sanderson, the president of the National Secular Society, said the pope had hardly waited to get off the plane before attacking secularism.

He added: “The British people have embraced a secular identity of their own free will, perhaps as a reaction to the ultra-conservatism of this recent papacy and the extremism that has been manifested by some forms of Islam. The secular identity of the British people is not something to criticise, but to celebrate.”

It is hard to take the Hitler youth Pope seriously on this subject, okay that WAS mean

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  • and the rest of the American Taliban..

    The Guardian

    Benedict said “one of the great tragedies of this world” was that so many people did not find happiness. That was “because they look for it in the wrong places”.
    He said: “The key to it is very simple — true happiness is to be found in God.”
    He added: “Once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change … You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves.
    “You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry. You want to comfort the sorrowful, You want to be kind and generous. And when these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints,” Benedict said.

  • link

    Fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, a prominent critic of the Pope, told the Mail: ‘I know plenty of OK Catholics, but they tend to be very embarrassed these days.
    ‘Dragging up the Nazis for a soundbite doesn’t help anybody.
    ‘The English don’t like being hectored. We don’t like being bullied. We don’t like being compared to the Nazis.’
    Philosopher AC Grayling, an outspoken atheist, said: ‘The suggestion that Hitler and Stalin were atheist extremists is a terrible canard.
    ‘Hitler was born a Catholic and sent his Wehrmacht into battle with Gott Mit Uns [God with us] stamped on their buckles. It is characteristic of people of religious persuasion to use phrases like atheist extremist.
    ‘But we are speaking frankly, which is not quite the same as tying someone to a stake and burning them.
    ‘This is not a trivial point – everywhere in the world where religion has the final say it reverts to all the old practices.’
    Gay campaigner Peter Tatchell said: ‘It is a bit much for the Pope to condemn secularists for religious intolerance.
    ‘Unlike the Pope we don’t support discrimination against women and gay people. You do not need religion-to be a good human being and to show compassion for others.’

  • It is my conviction that if you review evidence of the suffering he has inflicted on your fellow Catholics, you will stand in solidarity with them – and join the protesters.

    The Independent, By Johann Hari, September 9

    I want to appeal to Britain’s Roman Catholics now, in the final days before Joseph Ratzinger’s state visit begins. I know that you are overwhelmingly decent people. You are opposed to covering up the rape of children. You are opposed to telling Africans that condoms “increase the problem” of HIV/Aids. You are opposed to labelling gay people “evil”. The vast majority of you, if you witnessed any of these acts, would be disgusted, and speak out. Yet over the next fortnight, many of you will nonetheless turn out to cheer for a Pope who has unrepentantly done all these things.

    I believe you are much better people than this man. It is my conviction that if you impartially review the evidence of the suffering he has inflicted on your fellow Catholics, you will stand in solidarity with them – and join the protesters.

    Some people think Ratzinger’s critics are holding him responsible for acts that were carried out before he became Pope, simply because he is the head of the institution involved. This is an error. For over 25 years, Ratzinger was personally in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the part of the Vatican responsible for enforcing Catholic canonical law across the world, including on sexual abuse. He is a notorious micro-manager who, it is said, insisted every salient document cross his desk. Hans Küng, a former friend of Ratzinger’s, says: “No one in the whole of the Catholic Church knew as much about abuse cases as this Pope.”

    We know what the methods of the church were during this period. When it was discovered that a child had been raped by a priest, the church swore everybody involved to secrecy, and moved the priest on to another parish. When he raped more children, they too were sworn to secrecy, and he was moved on to another parish. And on, and on. Over 10,000 people have come forward to say they were raped as part of this misery-go-round. The church insisted all cases be kept from the police and dealt with by their own “canon” law – which can only “punish” child rapists to prayer or penitence or, on rare occasions, defrocking.

    So, what are the fruits of seeking true happiness in God?

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • used to be fond of noting that he’d never heard of Athiests burning people at the Stake, or torturing them.

    Guess he’d not have been familiar with the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, or Cambodia.

    People being who they are, will find something to follow, something to believe in–if not a God, then a strong Personality, or some Ideal, and will always have the potential to do reprehensible things in the service of that Whatever.

    Cynical, hell yeah…hope for the best, plan for the worst, and you’ll be adequately prepared for Life…

    “If Stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?” — Will Rogers

  • was the best example of how the world worked and still works. The Catholic Church proved that torturing a witch with a red hot poker will get a confession 100% of the time.

    As Monty Python pointed out in their search for the Holy Grail then is now

  • Some people may have a fundamental difference in how they create beliefs that is different than yours.

    You know that fantasy of Saint Nicholas, I know, not really a Church teaching, but bare with me; the Santa fantasy feels so good to a child; children want to keep believing even when they know it is a lie. Believe in Santa + presents and everything else that is wonderful about Christmas and children feel good. Growing up is hard, giving up comforting thoughts, something people are not doing very well these days and you, Mr. Pope, are partly to blame.

    Just as Santa the prototypical deity HOHOHO’s into children’s lives; the Church’s truth, the real message, is belief, love Christ, feel good, have Faith, just to believe so that the institution of your Church, like Christmas, can survive.

    A belief like yours, in God, a belief that is Faith as you call it; might seem to others like the kind of beliefs they grew out of. Maybe it is growing or it is maturing and maybe it is not but the loss of the kind of belief that you have in God is not a loss, it is an entry into the responsible thinking of an adult who is always testing their ideas to make sure they are doing the right thing when they operationalize their ideas. You, Mr. Pope, have a belief that is not propositional; no one can prove or disprove a primal feeling that you are calling the truth.

    Often when the Church wanders out of the realm of primitive beliefs into the world that operationalizes propositions, there is trouble and tragedy. Whether it is imprisoning Galileo or torturing accused witches or disciplining its own for unspeakable crimes the Church creates havoc. The Church is trouble because the belief that is nothing but a comfortable feeling must continue so that the institution can continue; all else is secondary.

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