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← UPDATED: Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity

UPDATED: Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity - Comments

SoManyStars's Avatar Comment 1 by SoManyStars


Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:14:40 UTC | #521122

Aqua Ape's Avatar Comment 2 by Aqua Ape

Awesome work Richard.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:17:01 UTC | #521123

helen sotiriadis's Avatar Comment 3 by helen sotiriadis


Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:30:50 UTC | #521130

Bala's Avatar Comment 4 by Bala

Can't help but feel lucky to be alive at this point in history.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:44:15 UTC | #521135

legal9ball's Avatar Comment 5 by legal9ball

Exhilarating Richard. Thank you.

You're wrong, however, that they don't any longer believe in Adam. They continue to insist in a human genetic bottleneck of two. There is still a jugular to attack.

Has a decisive refutation of that possiblity been specifically done yet?


Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:57:08 UTC | #521143

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

Thanks for making such an intelligent speech using reason, facts, wit and truth. Something very rare today, and it's so rare it jolts us. There is no doubt that rhetoric influences the mob more powerfully than truth ever can, but this speech speaks to the head first, and then the heart follows.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:00:49 UTC | #521144

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 7 by Alan4discussion

Just about sums it up concisely. Hopefully we will see some honest reporting in the media before they move on to the party conferences! Don't expect anything from the "rags" of course!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:09:46 UTC | #521149

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 8 by Richard Dawkins

When the pope said atheists were like Nazis, somebody retorted, "How does he know? He's never been an atheist."


Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:13:16 UTC | #521153

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 9 by Peter Grant

Great speech Prof. Pity there wasn't time for the whole thing.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:15:29 UTC | #521155

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 10 by Tyler Durden

Comment 8 by Richard Dawkins :

When the pope said atheists were like Nazis, somebody retorted, "How does he know? He's never been an atheist." Richard

The irony is we're all born atheists, until the pernicious mind virus that is religion is foistered upon the young minds who know no better and cannot defend themselves.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:37:13 UTC | #521163

Vaal's Avatar Comment 11 by Vaal


Can't see it being broadcast by the snivelling sycophantic BBC though :(

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:53:16 UTC | #521170

daffrint's Avatar Comment 12 by daffrint

Thank you and well done, Richard. The speech was both inspiring and moving. I hope it reaches as wide an audience as possible.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:53:57 UTC | #521171

Sergmaster00's Avatar Comment 13 by Sergmaster00

Great speech!

I only disagree with one thing. Of couse priests need a penis. How would they rape children without it?

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:57:48 UTC | #521175

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 14 by Stonyground

I will be interested to see how the protest in general, and this speech specifically, are handled by the mainstream media. I suspect that there will be quite a bit of 'move on nothing to see here' and newspaper articles attempting to refute the arguments by misrepresentations irrelivances and lies. Am I being too pessimistic?

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 12:31:59 UTC | #521190

greenwich's Avatar Comment 15 by greenwich

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This speech ranks above Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. It will be remembered and cherished for as long as humanity survives on this planet.

Updated: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 12:44:56 UTC | #521197

deziner's Avatar Comment 16 by deziner

... like the British Monarchy has any more legitimacy than the Vatican one ;-)

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 12:52:48 UTC | #521201

Chica1's Avatar Comment 17 by Chica1

A Brilliant speech, especially this part

"It probably is too harsh to expect the 15-year-old Ratzinger to have seen through the Nazis. As a devout Catholic, he would have had dinned into him, along with the Catechism, the obnoxious idea that all Jews are to be held responsible for killing Jesus – the ‘Christ-killer’ libel – not repudiated until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). The German Roman Catholic psyche of the time was still shot through with the anti-Semitism of centuries."

especially as, according to the BBC

the Catholic Church has moved to play down the controversy, saying the Pope knew "rather well what the Nazi ideology is about".

I would suggest that he has a deep deep misunderstanding of what the Nazi ideology was about, if he thinks it has anything to do with non-belief in religion, especially as he has gone on to say

"For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology."

Pope Benedict, that ideology is the ideology you, yourself are now pushing. The idea that it is acceptable to discriminate against people based on religion and sexuality. You were recruited as a child of 14 to the Hitler Youth - the church recruits children at a few months old by threatening their parents with hell and does not allow them to leave (ie you cannot be unbaptised or be removed from the baptism register)

And the best he can do about the child abuse issue is to say that

he was gravely concerned by "the immense suffering" caused by the abuse, especially by Church ministers. He also acknowledged "the shame and humiliation" caused by "these sins". "Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ's grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives," He said he hoped this "chastisement will contribute to the healing of the victims, the purification of the Church and the renewal of her age-old commitment to the education and care of young people". "I express my gratitude for the efforts being made to address this problem responsibly, and I ask all of you to show your concern for the victims and solidarity with your priests."

So many things are wrong with that statement. The victims don't want your pity, they want the perpetrators punished in the same way anyone else would be, child abuse should not be called a "sin" it is a "crime" it is not something you can apologise for, like damaging a posession. The victims want your assurance that these criminals will not be enabled to abuse other children. The only way for this problem to be addressed responsibly is for you to help the authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible, otherwise you are simply prolonging their suffering. The victims do not need your preaching, your empty promises of "christs grace" or to know that you intend to continue brainwashing other young children.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 13:03:48 UTC | #521203

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Comment 18 by Tiende Landeplage

Bravo, Richard. I see that David Cameron is quoted as saying "The Pope made Britain sit up and think," by which he may - consciously or not - be paying a subtle tribute to the protesters!

@Comment 14 by Stonyground

Are you being too pessimistic? Perhaps - at least I think it was nice to see The Guardian link to both the video and the full text of Richard's speech.

On the other hand, there's stuff like this on The Independent's editorial page. "But some of the reaction to the Pope has been shrill, mean-spirited and intolerant." Sigh...

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 13:10:10 UTC | #521204

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Comment 19 by Follow Peter Egan


THANK YOU. Amongst the fawning politicians and British media desperate to paint the protestors as the bigots, how refreshing to see a public figure motivated by truth and righteous indignation rather than by the desire for popularity and establishment honours. For constantly sticking your neck out where others won't and giving voice to those who oppose Bronze Age barbarism you deserve enormous credit.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 14:03:21 UTC | #521224

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 20 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Mr. Pope, if you ever come to NYC, we'll drop-kick you into the East River.

Love and Kisses (/sarcasm!)


Sun, 19 Sep 2010 14:05:32 UTC | #521226

submoron's Avatar Comment 21 by submoron

Superb stuff Richard! If anyone's interested, the German term for Ratzi is "Der Heuchler"!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 14:13:05 UTC | #521231

Born Again Atheist's Avatar Comment 22 by Born Again Atheist

Great to have you on our team Richard. In American baseball terms, if I'm on base you're the guy I want up to bat!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 14:21:56 UTC | #521238

zirconPhil's Avatar Comment 23 by zirconPhil

"But some of the reaction to the Pope has been shrill, mean-spirited and intolerant." -> "But [sic] the Pope has been shrill, mean-spirited and intolerant."

Great speech Richard!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 14:26:40 UTC | #521243

RSingh's Avatar Comment 24 by RSingh

I guess next Pope visit to UK should be at laest after 50 years (this one was after 28 years).

By then the Britons must get rid of their chin-less royals-the host for the Pope.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 15:34:14 UTC | #521283

lackofgravitas's Avatar Comment 25 by lackofgravitas

Comment 8 by Richard Dawkins :

When the pope said atheists were like Nazis, somebody retorted, "How does he know? He's never been an atheist."


I hope that was Ed Byrne, but whoever it was, that is going down in history next to 'fork handles'.

Mock the Week seemed to have a theme this week :) I wonder who comes out badly???


Sun, 19 Sep 2010 15:37:20 UTC | #521285

Nate Phelps's Avatar Comment 26 by Nate Phelps


Sun, 19 Sep 2010 15:43:59 UTC | #521291

een1981's Avatar Comment 27 by een1981

Sorry, but this speech contains a one-sided apologetic version of Hitler and Nazism's attitude to Christianity with selective use of evidence. I'm posting a smattering of evidence to show it's far more complex than that.

As historians of the Third Reich know, there is a mountain of primary sources showing the persecution of the churches that begged to differ from Nazi policies. Try, for example -

The ridiculous Nazi Protestant Reichskirche may have believed "Gott Mit Uns" but it also rejected the Old Testament, and dismissed pastors who wouldn't preach the Nazi-sanitised racist version of Christianity. Some sang hymns to Hitler, who was presented as Germany's redeemer and messiah. This is akin to atheists actually worshipping Kim Il-Sung, which happened in North Korea as Marxism transformed into Juche. Of course that makes them something other than atheists, in the same way that accepting these Nazified perversions of Christianity that put social Darwinism (the racist theory that had nothing to do with Darwinism) "über alles" made people something other than Christians.

Those who resisted this wildly twisted version of Christianity, the Confessing Churches, declared independence with the Barmen declaration in 1935 and became part of the German resistance. Leaders like Bonhoeffer and Niemöller were executed or sent to concentration camps.

Benedict’s predecessor, Pius XII, is not guiltless, as the Catholic writer John Cornwell devastatingly showed, in his book Hitler’s Pope.

Cornwell's biography of Pius XII is not "devastating" as it has been heavily criticised as a source. He has said himself "While I believe with many commentators that the pope might have done more to help the plight of the Jews, I now feel, 10 years after the publication of my book, that his scope for action was severely limited and I am prepared to state this"

Some Catholics did stand up to the Nazis. One of Pius XII's first acts was to publish an attack on racism; Pius XI's 1937 encyclical, addressed to the "German Reich", was an attack on racism, the "blasphemy" of the Nazi state, and expressed concern over the direction of the state since the 1933 Reichskonkordat. This was read in every Catholic church in Germany on the same day, and resulted in large numbers of arrests and a state-censored media blackout. Catholics were executed for distributing the Bishop of Munster's sermons. Catholics were murdered, sometimes en masse, in occupied countries.

Dawkins has slightly toned down his language about the everyday Germans here, but elsewhere, he accused "rank and file Christians" of the "attempted extermination of the Jews". No, the concentration camps were run by the SS, and the death squads (Einsatzgruppen) were SS. The SS were steeped in Nazi ideology that believed the Aryans to once have been rulers of the world (hence the archaeological expeditions). They were at least, as historians like Michael Burleigh have said, anticlerical. Their leader, Himmler, was in the Thule society (think a Nazi Atlantis).

As for Hitler, I don't believe he was an "atheist" either, but notice every reference but two on the list Dawkins posted is for public consumption (Mein Kampf/speeches/radio broadcasts). One is from Rauschning, who published a discredited book with fabricated conversations with Hitler and is rejected as a source by historians like Ian Kershaw. Like American presidential candidates today, it's political suicide NOT to pretend you share the belief of the majority of the electorate, if you actually don't. So of course Hitler endorsed "positive Christianity". He just redefined it into something acceptable to his "scientific" racist beliefs. As some sources (like Traudl Junge and some leaders' diaries) show, Hitler's public pronouncements on matters and his private views are different.

History is not black and white and shouldn't be reduced to convenient polemics.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 15:53:50 UTC | #521297

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Comment 28 by HardNosedSkeptic

That was really good Richard. I agree with the posters who said it would be good if you could give that speech in full some time and it received a wide audience.

The bit about the five million British Catholics struck a chord with me. Technically, I count as one of those five million, and I’m sure lots of other members of this site do as well. How dare they! Bloody cheek!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 16:07:27 UTC | #521304

green and dying's Avatar Comment 29 by green and dying

Comment 28 by HardNosedSkeptic :

The bit about the five million British Catholics struck a chord with me. Technically, I count as one of those five million, and I’m sure lots of other members of this site do as well. How dare they! Bloody cheek!

I don't see any evidence that that's where they got the stats.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 16:08:53 UTC | #521305

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 30 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 27 by een1981 :

History is not black and white and shouldn't be reduced to convenient polemics.

Your 'concern' is misplaced, you should be directing your historical scepticisms to the Pope.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 16:16:51 UTC | #521311