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Neo-Anti-Catholicism By: Michael P. Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, May 04, 2005


People who do not know the difference between a vanilla wafer and a Communion wafer expressed fear and loathing when it was announced that the Catholic Church’s conclave of cardinals elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger the new pope.

The shibboleths of international secularism abounded after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who chose the regnal name Pope Benedict XVI, was proclaimed as the new Bishop of Rome. The tocsins by the media were emblematic of the disdain of those who are religious by bien pensants of the world.

The similarities of the news reporting by both the American and European media were astonishing. They were absolutely apoplectic that Ratzinger was the new Holy See because he strictly adheres to Church doctrine. They were aghast that Ratzinger was the new Pope.

London’s Daily Telegraph referred to Ratzinger as "God’s Rottweiler." The BBC mentioned the fears caused by Ratzinger’s conservatism - whose fears they did not say. Indeed, one BBC commentator called him Pope John Paul II’s "enforcer." Ratzinger’s hometown media, Germany’s Deutsche-Welle TV, broadcast a program called Journal, which did a special report titled, Quo Vadis Pope Benedict. This program expressed concerns by many that Ratzinger was a conservative who "was suspicious" of Marxism - as if being suspicious of Marxism were a criterion for mental instability. A French TV news report repeatedly stated that Ratzinger was a conservative, and therefore perceived to be a threat by many around the world. Other European publications referred to Ratzinger as the "Panzer Pope."

American news media interviewed many citizens who said they were disillusioned by Ratzinger’s conservatism and his adherence to church dogma. American journalists reported incessantly that many " progressive" Catholics worldwide and particularly in America consider Pope Benedict a danger (much like they consider Republicans and President Bush) to the world because of his conservative Catholicism.

National Public Radio said Ratzinger could be considered a Catholic Church "neocon." The L.A. Times said the election of Ratzinger validated the notion that the Catholic Church was a "colonial enterprise." MSNBC repeated the "God’s Rottweiler" and "Panzer Cardinal" slurs.

The Village Voice said that Ratzinger was controversial because he opposed liberation theology, which they describe as " progressive thinking." This said much about the Village Voice. Liberation theology is merely communism clothed in Christianity.

Cartoonists also chimed in with their graphic venom. The new D.C. daily tabloid, the Washington Examiner, quickly revealed its liberal bias. It contained a cartoon with Pope Benedict singing, "Are you ready to party like it's 1299?" Italy's Corriere della Serra had a parody of Pope John Paul II’s first address during which he told the Italian people that if he made a mistake speaking Italian they will correct him. The cartoon shows Benedict saying, "And If I make a mistake, woe to you if you correct me!"

The Nazi theme was common with cartoonists. An Argentine newspaper published a cartoon with goose-stepping cardinals parading by Pope Benedict who responded with a Nazi-like salute.

The invective used against Pope Benedict is typical of the diatribes used by communist propagandists. It is formulaic. They routinely refer to people whose ideas they do not like as Nazis. They said this about President Bush and they are saying it about Pope Benedict.

One can only conclude that the character assassination of Pope Benedict by the media both here and around the world will be an integral part of the campaign to discredit him. One can predict then that the news media will report, ad nauseum, about Ratzinger’s relationship to the Nazi Party during World War II and the alleged passivity by the Catholic Church towards Nazism – or as claimed by some – the collaboration between the Church and the Nazis. A claim that has been proffered by some academicians who state that Pope Pius XII either did not object to or endorsed Hitler and Nazism.

Such " history " will be part and parcel of the campaign by liberals, communists, feminists, and others who hate the Catholic Church to discredit, once and for all, the papacy and Catholicism. The liberal mainstream media – even those who are Catholic – will be gleeful participants. They will repeat verbatim and without contradiction the vitriol about the relationship between Catholicism and Nazism as if it were established fact.

Fortunately, there are at least two sources to refute these claims. One is a book, written in 2000, by University of Mississippi Law Profesor Ronald Rychlak, titled Hitler, the War, and the Pope. It can debunk many of these myths.

Rychlak disproves the claims of politically correct historians like Garry Wills, who pronounced Pope Pius XII silent about Nazi atrocities - or possibly implying that he was sympathetic to the Nazis. Rychlak provides irrefutable proof that Pius XII worked against Hitler. He provided information about German troop movements to the Allies. He asked Italian churches and convents to hide Jews. Thousands of Jews lived in the Vatican and at the pope’s summer home Castel Gandolfo.

These myths are also debunked by watching the contemporaneous World War II film made by Frank Capra about Nazism titled Prelude to War. This was one of a series of films made by Capra to inform the American public about the causes of WWII.

Capra’s movie shows that the Nazis thought religion and the Catholic Church as contemptible institutions – an attitude very similar to the liberal media. Capra tells how worship of Hitler and of Christ was considered incompatible.

The attempt to link Pope Benedict to the Nazi Party will be politics pure and simple. As Catholics hear these tirades they should consider the source. Those who are dispensing the venom are either ignorant of Catholicism, anti-Catholic, or believe that Catholic Church hierarchy is benighted.

The criticisms of Pope Benedict by liberals reveal their own bigotry and prejudice. Their invective is merely an attempt to censor politically incorrect beliefs. The only thing about Pope Benedict that some could consider dangerous are his ideas.


A former police officer, Michael P. Tremoglie recently published his first novel, A Sense of Duty. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Human Events, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has a Master of Science degree from Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia.


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