April 19, 2005

Joseph Ratzinger is the new Pope, Benedict XVI

German Cardinal Ratzinger Elected: Pope Benedict XVI
Rome -- German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's chief enforcer of doctrinal orthodoxy, was elected as the new Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church today and took the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Ratzinger, 78, parted the red velvet curtains draped over the center balcony of St. Peter's Basilica barely less than an hour after his election by the College of Cardinals and was greeted by a roar of approval from more that 100,000 people packed into St. Peter's Square and spilling into the streets of Rome.

He waved to the crowd and gave his first blessing. Other cardinals clad in their crimson robes came out on other balconies to watch him.

"Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me -— a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord," he said after being introduced by Chilean Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estivez.

"The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers," the new pope said. "I entrust myself to your prayers."

The crowd responded to the 265th pope by chanting "Benedict! Benedict!"
I am a Catholic, I welcome the new Pope with open arms and my prays are with him. I disagree with some of the church teachings, but I know one thing about the new Pope.

He was not a Nazi.
When Ratzinger turned 14 in 1941, was forced to join the Hitler Youth, as all young men were required to do throughout World War II. According to biographer John Allen, Ratzinger was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend any meetings.
Mandatory Participation
On December 1, 1936, Hitler decreed "The Law concerning the Hitler Youth" which mandated that all young Germans (excluding Jews) would "be educated physically, intellectually and morally in the spirit of National Socialism" though the Hitler Youth from the age of ten onward. This law also effectively ended the Catholic Youth Organization which had managed to hold for three years amid continual Nazi harrassment.

Parents who prevented their children from joining the Hitler Youth were subject to heavy prison sentences. Membership thus grew to nearly six million. As a result, the organization sprouted into a giant bureaucracy in Berlin and began to acquire the dreariness of a big governmental institution in marked contrast to the dynamic organization it had been in the 1920s and early '30s when members battled daily to bring Hitler to power. The compulsory nature of weekly HJ meetings for everyone led to a gradual decline in morale and discipline.
Let me remind people, the Catholic Church is not a member of American Right or Left. Even if some people claim otherwise. The Catholic Church is not a political party and should never become one.


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