“Even Benedict XVI and Pius XII are victims of predjudice”
One of the world’s most glamorous public philosophers has lept to the defense of one of the world’s most formidable theologians. Bernard-Henri Lévy has written an article defending Pope Benedict as well as Pope Pius XII’s wartime record in the Italian daily Corriere de la Sera.
Bernard Henri Levy wrote that Pope Benedict had been misrepresented in the press.
“Since his [Benedict XVI] election, there has been begun a process of his “ultra-conservatism” continually taken up by the mass media (as if a Pope could be anything other than conservative). This [narrative] has been insisted upon with implied, if with not more heavy handed quips about the “German Pope” on the “post-Nazi” in a cassock.
“The French satirical programme Les Guignols did not hesitate to nickname him “Adolfo II”. This is invented purly and simply. The texts, for example, on the subject of his visit to Auschwitz in 2006 claim and– at a moment where the passage of time dims memories—still today repeat that he had spoken in honour of the memory of the dead Poles, victims of a simple “band of criminals” without making clear that half of them were Jews (the controversy is even more amazing because Benedict XVI in that occasion effectively spoke of the “potentates of the Third Reich” who tried to “eliminate” the “Jewish people” from the “ranks of the nations of the earth” Le Monde 30/5/2006)
BHL proceeded to describe how misinformation about Benedict was repeated and spread and then he spoke of all the gestures the Pope had made towards remembering the victims of the Holocaust, from pausing at the plaque in Rome which commemorates the 1021 Jewish martyrs who were deported to the prayer he made at the Wailing Wall where he took up word for word the prayer made by Pope John Paul II.
Having stepped up to set Benedict XVI’s record as a German who has often spoken out about the Shoah and is committed to deepening the dialogue with Judaism straight, Levy defended Pope Pius XII.
“As for Pius XII, it is a very complicated story which must be returned to. I return to the case of Rolf Hochuth, the author of the famous “The Deputy, who launched a polemic in 1962 against the “silence of Pius XII”. In particular, I return to the fact that this wrathful judge is also a proven negationist (Holocaust denier) who has been condemned many times as such and whose final provocation was to defend David Irving, who denies the exsistence of the gas chambers, in an interview in the extreme right weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit. For the moment I want to remember correctly just as Laurent Dispot did recently in the magazine I direct, La règle du jeu that the terrible Pius XII, when he was still only Cardinal Pacelli, co-authored the encyclical “Mit Brennder Sorge” with Pope Pius XI in 1937, which still today remains the most eloquent and firm anti-Nazi manifestos. “
Here is an article about it in La Croix