Get Permissions OpEdNews Op Eds

What About the War, Benedict?

By       Message Ray McGovern     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 5 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 2452
Become a Fan
  (160 fans)

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

- Advertisement -

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Washington last week against a macabre backdrop featuring reports of torture, execution, and war.  He chose not to notice.

Torture:  Fresh reporting by ABC from inside sources depicted George W. Bush’s most senior aides (Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Rice, and Tenet) meeting dozens of times in the White House during 2002/03 to sort out the most efficient mix of torture techniques for captured “terrorists.”

When initially ABC attempted to insulate the president from this sordid activity, Bush abruptly bragged that he knew all about it and approved.  That comment and the
action memorandum Bush signed on Feb. 7, 2002] dispelled any lingering doubt regarding his personal responsibility for authorizing torture.

Execution:  Meanwhile, the Supreme Court with a majority of judges calling themselves Catholic, was openly deliberating on whether one gram, or two, or perhaps three of this or that chemical would be the preferred way to execute people.  Always colorful prominent Catholic layman Antonin Scalia complained impatiently, “Where does it say in the Constitution that executions have to be painless?”

Scalia did not seem at all concerned that the pope might remind him and his Catholic colleagues about the Church’s teaching on capital punishment; i.e., the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

It was enough to bring this student of German history (and five-year resident there) vivid memories of frequenting those places where precisely these kinds of torture and execution policies were conducted at similarly high levels by Hitler’s inner circle—yes, including judges.

War:  Can the pope possibly be so suffused with his peculiar brand of theology that he is oblivious to what happened when he was a young man during the Third Reich.

Is it possible that papal advisers forgot to tell him that the post-WW II Nuremberg Tribunal described an unprovoked war of aggression, of the kind that the Third Reich and George W. Bush launched, as the “supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains the accumulated evil of the whole?”  Could they have failed to tell the pope he would be hobnobbing with war criminals, torturers, and the enabling cowards in Congress who refuse to remove them from office?

- Advertisement -

For this Catholic, it was a profoundly sad spectacle—profoundly sad.  Not since WW II, when the Reich’s bishops swore personal oaths of allegiance to Hitler (as did the German Supreme Court and army generals) have the papacy and bishops acted in such a fawning, un-Christ-like way.

During the Thirties, with very few exceptions, the bishops (Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran) collaborated with the Nazis.  Meanwhile, Hamlet-like Pius XII kept trying to make up his mind as to whether he should put the Catholic Church at some risk, while Jews were being murdered by the thousands.

Albert Camus

In 1948, in the shadow of that monstrous world war, the French author/philosopher  Albert Camus accepted an invitation from the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg.  To their credit, the Dominicans wanted to know what an “unbeliever” thought about Christians in the light of their behavior during the Thirties and Forties.  Camus’ words seem so terribly relevant today that it is difficult to trim them:

“For a long time during those frightful years I waited for a great voice to speak up in Rome.  I, an unbeliever?  Precisely.  For I knew that the spirit would be lost if it did not utter a cry of condemnation.
- Advertisement -

“It has been explained to me since, that the condemnation was indeed voiced.  But that it was in the style of the encyclicals, which is not all that clear.  The condemnation was voiced and it was not understood.  Who could fail to feel where the true condemnation lies in this case?

“What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could rise in the heart of the simplest man.  That they should get away from abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today. (emphasis added)

 “It may be… that Christianity will insist on maintaining a compromise, or else on giving its condemnations the obscure form of the encyclical.  Possibly it will insist on losing once and for all the virtue of revolt and indignation that belonged to it long ago.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What's Hayden Hidin'?

Asylum for Julian Assange -- Former Awardee for Integrity

Petraeus Cons Obama on Afghan War

Obama Stands Up to Israel, Tamps Down Iran War Threats

Mullen Wary of Israeli Attack on Iran

Note to Nancy Pelosi: Colin Powell Got Snookered at CIA, too

Tell a Friend: Tell A Friend

- Advertisements -

Microsoft Office 365 Project by Apps4Rent to colloborate and manage projects from virtually anywhere, is a proud sponsor of Office 365 Project

Cloud Desktop Online by Apps4Rent provides managed hosted virtual desktop along with 24 x 7 support, is a proud sponsor of Hosted Virtual Desktop


Copyright © 2002-2016, OpEdNews

Powered by Populum