Benedict’s Moral Equivalence
In his most glaring instance of moral equivalence yet, Pope Benedict xvi has described the means that America used to finally end World War ii in terms that should be music to the ears of every one of America’s enemies. During a mass in the Vatican Basilica on Sunday of last week, the pope exclaimed, “The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain as a perennial admonition where atomic energy, used for bellicose ends, ended up causing death on an unprecedented scale.”
This pope is, as British historian Paul Johnson has pointed out, a pope whose “thinking is elaborate, refined, confident and energetic.” Johnson described what is perhaps Benedict’s most famous speech, delivered at his old university in Regensburg, Bavaria, in September 2006, as a “brilliant lecture” and “a cool, calm, well-documented and penetrating presentation” (Spectator, April 11, 2007).
Much of the mass media commentary on that particular speech was critical of how Pope Benedict appeared to denigrate the Muslim religion. Those who are aware of the pope’s specific universal agenda were aware that the whole message was carefully crafted to make a powerful point to the Muslim community. The speech got the reaction that Benedict fully expected it would. There was a huge outcry from Muslim religious leaders, who then came flocking to Rome to sit at the pope’s feet. Benedict had made his point.
Vatican watchers who have followed the course of this pope realize that, notwithstanding the often negatively critical views of the babbling press to the contrary, every public statement Benedict makes is a deliberate proclamation of his personal moral platform and of the specific direction in which he is channeling the vision of his papacy.
Clearly, in the context of Benedict’s public statements during his May 31 mass, the pope’s referring to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings as having been “used for bellicose ends” should end any doubt as to where America and its traditional allies stand in his eyes, and the place they hold in that papal vision.
Let’s place the pope’s statement, referring to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as being “atomic energy, used for bellicose ends … causing death on an unprecedented scale,” in its true context.
Horrific though the loss of life caused by the first two atom bombs used in warfare was, the death toll in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—estimated to be 200,000 souls—hardly warrants comparison with the sheer vastness of the numbers of innocents sacrificed to the god of the Nazi regime in which this pope served as a committed member of the Hitler Youth.
Thirty times that number, 6 million lives, were deliberately eliminated by the Nazis in a dedicated effort to expunge the very existence of world Jewry from the planet. The total number of deaths resulting from the war started by Nazi Germany, supported by fascist Italy, then joined later in axis with Imperial Japan, is estimated to have exceeded 56 million!
Where, pray tell, is Pope Benedict’s sense of reality, let alone his sense of proportion, in viewing America’s final desperate act to put an end to the continuing aggression of Imperial Japan, an enemy of peace, as having been instigated for “bellicose ends” when compared with the results of Axis aggression?
Where is this pope’s sense of context in seeking to describe the less than a quarter million dead as a result of an act seeking to bring an end to the war instigated by Hitler that was still being continued by the last remaining Axis power, Imperial Japan, as an act “used for bellicose ends … causing death on an unprecedented scale”? That statement appears to be a deliberate skewing of the truth. The reality is that the death toll from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was vastly exceeded by “death on an unprecedented scale” enacted by more traditionally “bellicose” means in the gas chambers of the Hitler regime.
But the worst aspect of Pope Benedict’s latest, hardly subtle, verbal attack on the Anglo-Saxons, is the warped sense of history it conveys as to the reasons for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The bombing of Nagasaki, far from being an action designed to achieve “bellicose ends” by America, was the result of an extremely agonizing decision taken by a U.S. president faced with the prospect of further loss of Allied lives in a continuing campaign of belligerence by an Imperial Japan committed to fight to the bitter end.
“Japanese resolve stayed strong and the idea of a bloody ‘house to house’ invasion of the Japanese mainland would produce thousands more American and Allied casualties. The Allies in late July 1945 declared at Potsdam that the Japanese must unconditionally surrender. After Japanese leaders flatly rejected the Potsdam Declaration, President Truman authorized use of the atomic bomb …” (Harry S. Truman Library and Museum).
That was a final desperate act to bring peace to a world that had suffered the multiple agonies instigated by the overtly “bellicose” actions of the crazed leader of the Hitler Youth of Benedict’s earlier days!
It boggles the mind to think that one who leads the greatest religious institution in the world, who styles himself as the “vicar of Christ,” would deign to accuse the Anglo-Americans, whose entire war effort was in defense of the cause of freedom and world peace, of using the specific act designed to end a horrific war as an act motivated out of a desire to achieve “bellicose ends.”
Surely any sound-minded individual, having a balanced perspective of the specifics of the history of 1914-18 and 1939-45, could differentiate between the “bellicose ends” sought by the actions of Hitler, Mussolini and Togo, and the peacemaking motivation of those who sought to quell the final militaristic frenzy of Imperial Japan. The history is clear in its rendering that suicidal Nipponese fanaticism promised to only prolong the agony of war in 1945 and add to its terrible toll. It took two atomic explosions to finally humble Japan’s imperial leaders into capitulation, finally putting an end to the greatest war in humankind’s history.
“Used for bellicose ends”—this was not a slip of the tongue by the most intellectual and highly articulate pope to grace the papal throne in centuries. This was a very carefully chosen phrase, used with precision to affect the moral mindset of the masses by warping the true history of that Teutonic tendency for repetitively seeking to take advantage of other nations by actions used for bellicose ends under dictatorial leadership. It was a statement geared to spreading a plain deceit that is increasingly resulting in the masses viewing Germany and Japan as the victims of Anglo-American “hegemony” in the wake of the two world wars.
But this is not the first time Pope Benedict has shown his tendency for moral equivalence. There is at least one other glaring instance.
During his visit in 2006 to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Benedict asked the question, “Why, Lord, did you remain silent?” That question was presumably addressed by Pope Benedict to the same Lord whom the wartime pope, Pius xii, served in the same stated capacity as Benedict claims to hold, that of vicar of Christ, during the whole period that Nazi atrocities were being committed at Auschwitz and many other Nazi death camps in Europe. Perhaps this pope should really have asked that question of the very pope whom he is determined to beatify as a saint! Why was Pope Pius xii SILENT during the whole satanic genocidal slaughter of 6 million Jews under the Hitler regime, let alone the instigation and perpetuation of the worst war in humankind’s history?
Rather than ask that question of the silence of Pius xii on the horrors of the Holocaust, Vatican sources are intent on a cover-up of the true nature of the papacy of Pius xii by refusing outright to open archives on his pontificate. Notwithstanding this, authors John Cornwell and David Kertzer have produced well-researched works providing ample evidence to support, as Cornwell writes in the preface to his book, Pius being guilty of combining “a fatal combination of high spiritual aspirations in conflict with soaring ambition for power and control. The consequences were collusion with tyranny and, ultimately, violence” (Hitler’s Pope).
In his excellent coverage of Cardinal Joseph Hurley’s diplomatic links between the Vatican and the U.S. presidency during World War ii, Jesuit Charles Gallagher has strengthened the position of those who would condemn Pius xii for his silence in the face of glaring proof of the Holocaust. Gallagher demonstrates that Joseph Hurley had, by 1940, seemed “to have dismissed Pius xii as a moral force on the world scene,” indicating that the pope had “ushered in a new policy of speaking in generalities and sugar-coating tough discussion” (Vatican Secret Diplomacy).
Notwithstanding the gravest of doubts about the moral worth of Pope Pius xii in relation to his compromising conduct during World War ii—a matter of clearly documented history in the face of a vigorous Vatican campaign of disinformation to the contrary—Pope Benedict has made it clear that he is intent on pursuing the beatification of “Hitler’s pope.”
The danger of this pope’s orientation is that while his actions in respect of Pius xii imply endorsement of that pope’s failure to take an overtly moral stand against the Holocaust—let alone the whole period of death-dealing Nazi violence—his most recent implied condemnation of the act which finally stopped the greatest war in humankind’s history reveals, at its heart, a mind clear, and quite chilling, in its condemnation of the efforts of the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon democracies to ultimately save the world from tyranny.
It is not the purpose of this column to argue the morality of the use of the atomic bomb to put an end to World War ii. Its purpose is to highlight the dangerous and duplicitous moral equivalency of a religious leader who holds sway, to one degree or another, over the minds of 1 billion adherents to his religion, and to whom many world leaders look for moral guidance.
But there is a deeper concern.
EU Looks to Rome
The founding fathers of the greatest trading entity in the world, the European Union, were right-wing committed Catholics. Today, most of the senior bureaucrats who pull the strings that operate this Brussels-based behemoth, established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome, are right-wing committed Roman Catholics. Symbolically, the treaty that gave the imprimatur to the EU pursuing its own constitution was signed by the heads of state of all EU member nations in Rome in 2004. It is to Rome that the most influential movers and shakers who have sought to resurrect the grand Germano-Roman universal vision of the Holy Roman Empire, under its EU cloak, look for spiritual guidance. They are on course to triumph over the secularists and install the religion of Rome as the official state religion of the European Union.
Between June 4 and 7, the EU electorate voted to seat their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. Early indications are of gains by center-right, far-right and extremist fringe parties in this election. The far right gained ascendancy in the Netherlands, Austria and Hungary, with Germany, France, Italy and Spain all showing a pronounced swing to the right. The left, the socialists, were the big loser in this election. The question now is, how far further right will Germany swing in the next three months as recession bites deep into its electorate in advance of that nation’s own federal election in September?
While Germany may well be in the box seat to reap the benefit of any future demand for its exports in the event of recovery from the current recession, the nation’s reactions in the short term remain the real concern.
Rising unemployment, falling income, rising debt, falls in gross domestic product, street rallies by the masses, continuing threats by Russia to cut energy supplies—all this combines with a dramatic rise over the past year in membership of extreme right-wing political movements within the EU and an escalation in attacks on European Jews to present a worrisome picture of the current mood in Europe.
We have for decades encouraged our readers to watch Europe, and to especially watch for conditions of crisis that would produce a climate ripe for the rise of spiritual and political demagoguery within the EU. Those very conditions that will trigger such events are ripening right now on the European continent!
Watch Europe for the outcome to this crucial parliamentary election. More importantly, watch the reaction of the EU’s leading nation, Germany, to the outcome of this election. It may well set the mood for a surprising result in the forthcoming federal elections in Germany this September.
As our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, has maintained, “We need to watch the European Union for a man stepping in and seizing control of that entity through flatteries. He is going to hijack the EU. … Politics in Europe are going to shift dramatically to the right.
“I truly believe the Vatican will help bring that [prophesied] political leader on the scene, and that’s when we will really see the fireworks. We know from these prophecies [of Daniel and Revelation] that the Vatican will become very powerful and instigate some radical changes” (Daniel Unlocks Revelation).
To judge by Pope Benedict’s words on Sunday of last week, those radical changes have already begun.