Is this for real? Seems absurd.
The fact that Pius XII had attempted to exorcise Hitler was first reported in 2006, when Vatican documents were released showing Pius XII had attempted a “long distance” exorcism of Hitler from his private chapel.
I don’t know if it’s real, but why do you think it’s absurd?
Long distance exorcism? Is that even a thing? And what evidence is there that Hitler was possessed by a demon? A birthday greeting to the Führer from the bishops of Germany would become an annual tradition until the war’s end.
How is this relevant to the rest of your post or to the discussion topic?
Not to a Catholic.
When you see a possessed person climb the walls and crawl on the ceiling then absurdity is replaced with shock and disbelief.
Except you are seeing it with your own eyes.
Who knows whether he was possessed or not, but he was one of the most evil men of the 20th century - isn’t it possible that he was? And the Pope was obviously just trying something due to the seriousness of the situation. No harm in that, even if it wasn’t a success. Maybe you’re not Catholic, hence your finding it a bit weird. I can understand that. But as Catholics we believe in the reality of evil and Satan. So it’s not so weird to us.
It seems strange to be simultaneously engaging in exorcism and extending birthday wishes.
Not when the target of both things is a crazed dictator with the civil power to oppress or murder German bishops and thousands of their flocks. A birthday wish is an easy enough thing to do to placate him and maybe protect a lot of innocent Catholics.
Also, we do not stop wishing people well just because they’re possessed. The good wish is for the person, not for the demon in possession of the person.
We are taught to love our enemies. Both a happy birthday wish and an attempt to exorcise someone are loving acts towards that person.
Exactly this. This concept seems hard to grasp for some.