I swear that everything here is true. I want to hear people’s reactions, to know if I did the right thing or if I went too far (I tend to be volatile and argumentative).
I too have heard people at my school (a catholic high school, no less) say that the pope was a Nazi the minute they found out that Ratzinger was pope. Many of my classmates said this. I sternly defended the supreme pontiff. I declared that the pope refused to join the Nazi party, was compelled to join the Hitler Youth (against his vocal protests) and that he deserted the German Army (which he was forced to join) in 1944. That takes extreme courage, especially if you knew that you’d be shot if you were found as a deserter. Upon hearing this, my classmates shut up. (Note, I used a loud but clear, authoritative tone).
Even one of the RELIGION TEACHERS jumped on the bandwagon and made jokes about how when Ratzinger waved to the crowd in St. Peter’s square, that it was a Nazi salute. A TEACHER SAID THIS! Another student came to my defense and said, “Well that was a long time ago”. The teacher responded, “Well what if I murdered someone a long time ago, it doesn’t mean I never did it.”
To which I replied, “Are you saying that Ratzinger’s sins shouldn’t be forgiven, assuming he did commit crimes as a German soldier (and it has been proven that he didn’t)? If the world ran on your logic, no sins would be absolved, including yours, and that would most definetly imply that any man’s soul, especially yours, would recieve guaranteed damnation.”
Upon saying that, the teacher shut up. This was during a break between classes, so there were other teachers in the room. Another teacher said “I don’t think you should be talking to a teacher like that, young man”.
I replied, “I’m not saying this as a student to a teacher; this is from Catholic to Catholic. In defending the integrity of the man chosen by God to lead his Church, age does not matter.”
I may be a mere sophomore, but this mere sophomore elicited a sincere apology from these teachers.