Being Relatively Absolute
First of all, I have no personal stake in who the Pope is, those members of my family and friends who are/were Catholics have pretty much given up on the Church, the abuse scandal alienating the few that were left.
Something I do care about is hypocrisy, and this is more of the same. All of the people who proclaim there are "absolutes", all seem to mean: absolutes regarding things that don't directly affect me so I can claim what a wonderful person I am and what a terrible person you are.
Cardinal Ratzinger made his reputation based on his "orthodoxy". No cafeteria choices for him, you just take what the Mother Church puts on your plate and you swallow it.
Roger Ailes had a post today, The Hitler Discount
, in which we learn:
"When the Hitler Youth was established, my brother was forced to become a member," Cardinal Ratzinger said in an interview in 1997. "I was still too young, but later, when I entered the seminary, I also joined. But as soon as I had left the seminary, I never went to see them again. And this was difficult, because in order to be entitled to get a discount on the tuition fee, which I urgently needed, one had to prove that one was a member of the Hitler Youth."
So he wasn't "forced" to join, he joined for a tuition break. His brother was "forced" to join. He had to prove he was a member, which means everyone was not a member. There were people in his town who didn't join, and some of them were sent to camps, but the new Pope needed tuition assistance, so he joined.
Some Germans knew evil when they saw it and refused to cooperate. Others needed tuition assistance and went along so they could pursue their personal goal.
Did he believe in the goals of the Hitler Youth? I seriously doubt it. I doubt he believed in anything not associated with his personal goal. He bases his decision on the impact it made on him, not on whether it was wrong or evil, it was a means to the end. Relatively speaking it wasn't much, but absolutely speaking it was evil and wrong.
I'm really, truly, honestly, sick and tired of people who have already failed under their own standards telling me what my standards should be. The problem is I tend to be an absolutist about things: I don't believe people who have lied, and I don't accept as infallible people who have already proven themselves to be failures.