Sunday, 8 February 2009

Panzer Pope

The Pope, or I should rather say the German Pope, caused the Germans a lot of headaches this week.

The week started off with the influential political and cultural magazine Der Spiegel putting the Pope on their cover, saying a German Pope embarrasses the Catholic Church. They went further to dissect him and his views in detail.

The problems the Germans have with this conservative Pope, is that denying the Holocaust is a serious punishable offense in this country. It seemed that years in the Vatican had made the Pope forget this fact. Why else would he have pardoned a Holocaust denier?

In fact he was called the Panzer Cardinal by his detractors here in Germany long before he became Pope, because of the way he bulldozed through his conservative theology.

By Tuesday last week, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel entered the fray more or less telling the Pope to sort out the mess. She got a lot of flak for that, but she had to save Germany’s reputation. This Pope was doing a lot of damage to it. By Wednesday it was a free for all and when I tried to get Protestant reaction, they politely said they are staying out of it. By late afternoon the Vatican retracted.

By then the Pope had managed to anger Jews, progressive theologians and even most of the German Catholic bishops. Some years ago he already angered the Muslim world and gays are also persona non grata with him.

So spare a thought for the poor Germans who are so embarrassed by this guy. And the lonely Panzer Pope in the Vatican – there are not many people left he can anger, as women anyway don’t count in his world.

Here's the link to the story I did: