I had to come. It is a duty before the truth and the just due of all who suffered here, a duty before God, for me to come here as the successor of Pope John Paul II and as a son of the German people -- a son of that people over which a ring of criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness and the recovery of the nation's honor, prominence and prosperity, but also through terror and intimidation, with the result that our people was used and abused as an instrument of their thirst for destruction and power.
again the problem here is the continued implication of the power of the Nazi party. The party didn't hold some unchristian power, the party appealed to a black spot in the hearts of millions. And it was that black desire, not the terror which brought down the long knives and guns upon the victims of the shoah.
We cannot peer into God's mysterious plan -- we see only piecemeal, and we would be wrong to set ourselves up as judges of God and history. Then we would not be defending man, but only contributing to his downfall. No -- when all is said and done, we must continue to cry out humbly yet insistently to God: Rouse yourself! Do not forget mankind, your creature!
But again, did not god give you free will, did not god come down in the flesh to teach you by his example.
by turning those words to god you ignore where man fell off the godly path.
now at the tail end of the speech we sort of see that... but for the first 60% of the speech we don't.... and the tail is hardly a tail in a real sense
And our cry to God must also be a cry that pierces our very heart, a cry that awakens within us God's hidden presence -- so that his power, the power he has planted in our hearts, will not be buried or choked within us by the mire of selfishness, pusillanimity, indifference or opportunism.
Let us cry out to God, with all our hearts, at the present hour, when new misfortunes befall us, when all the forces of darkness seem to issue anew from human hearts: whether it is the abuse of God's name as a means of justifying senseless violence against innocent persons, or the cynicism which refuses to acknowledge God and ridicules faith in him.
Here is the problem with that. The Nazi's appealed to the divine spark, as do all great men of evil. So in the end the word of god should be clear, the life of christ should be clear. God has shown you the way and so even if you cannot find the light of god within, god has laid the path clear to you without... so then you make the choice to ignore god, not that god is hidden from you. And that are what great incidents of human horror should truely teach us. Is not the evil of men, but that men know what they do is evil, and choose the evil, so very often.
Deep down, those vicious criminals, by wiping out this people, wanted to kill the God who called Abraham, who spoke on Sinai and laid down principles to serve as a guide for mankind, principles that are eternally valid. If this people, by its very existence, was a witness to the God who spoke to humanity and took us to himself, then that God finally had to die and power had to belong to man alone -- to those men, who thought that by force they had made themselves masters of the world. By destroying Israel, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith and to replace it with a faith of their own invention: faith in the rule of man, the rule of the powerful.
Here let me lay out a counter case made my a scholar.
While Christians as Christians were not perpetrators of the Holocaust, the Holocaust occurred in the most Christian part of the world. It occurred in the very heart of Christendom. Furthermore, while the hundreds of thousands of Nazis and their collaborators carried out the Holocaust, every Nazi and every collaborator to a person (excepting only Muslim collaborators), had been baptized a Christian. Every Nazi had Christian parents, attended Christian Churches, heard Christian sermons, and went to Christian Sunday school. Nazis buried their relatives with Christian ceremonies. Furthermore, the Catholic Church never - to this very day - excommunicated a single Nazi. What this means, then, is that during the Nazi regime Christianity and Christians failed in their own deepest beliefs. Christians failed to love their neighbors. Christianity failed to help the weak, the lame, the halt, the blind, or the stranger in its midst. In a word, when tested, Christianity - which, with all too few exceptions, showed no love, no compassion, no forgiveness - failed.
The article goes into the Shoah as a Christian issue and I encourage you to read it. With talk of the Nazi's trying to form an occult empire the truth is much different. The truth is the Nazi's put people into churches. The Nazi's inspired people to preach the word of god... but the era did not put into the hearts and actions of people the role god lays out for them.
When we say that people were lead astray by the Nazi's as an issue of theology we open a dangerous door, a door which allows people to never attone for the evil they choose to do. If I can blame the Nazi's because I collaborated then I can avoid my sin.
That as a Christian teaching would be false, as it would also be to the jewish line of thinking as well. many in europe...men and women, old and young...many sent the jew, the sick and infirmed, the gypse, and others to their death because they viewed them as less then human. And they can say now because of people like the pope, and those who came before him " I didn't do it."
That is Unchristian, and it is untrue.
So Sorry Dean, the pope doesn't get off the hook