The Pope Visits Germany
An estimated 181,000 Germans left the Roman Catholic Church last year; many of them attributed their renunciation of the faith to the abuse of children scandal. At least 700 Germans so far have filed for compensation so far for abuse they have suffered from priests and Catholic Church workers.
Related to the issue or not, the Pope visited Germany last week with his boilerplate apology for the abuse and an empty promise that it would not happen again. (There was no reported apology for the more serious crime of the repeated cover-up of abuse, nor any reported promise it would not happen again.) He also met with five carefully selected victims for a quiet chat. That's a less than one percent sample of the known victims - possibly selected as the only five who would agree to a quiet chat.
But hammering the abuse issue once again is not the point of this article. No - we want to consider some remarks he made at a rally he held with some 30,000 young people in Freiburg - true believers all of them - who cheered his refusal to accept gay marriage. But that's not the point at hand either.
Here's the issue. The Pope said:
The world in which we live, in spite of technological progress, does not seem to be getting any better. There is still war and terror, hunger and disease, bitter poverty and merciless oppression.
Coincidently, at about the same time the Pope was spouting this claptrap, the Wall Street Journal's online Saturday essay by Steven Pinker was Violence Vanquished: We believe our world is riddled with terror and war, but we may be living in the most peaceable era in human existence. Why brutality is declining and empathy is on the rise.
Who are you going to believe? The Pope? Or Steven Pinker who has actually studied the issue?
Remember, the Pope, as a teenager during WWII and in Germany, was a member of Hitler Youth* and living in a country which murdered millions of its citizens simply because they were Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled, communists, socialists, or individuals willing to stand up for democracy and equal rights.** And the Pope dares to claim in Germany, even if his audience is too young to remember, that things are not improving? He knows firsthand that he is wrong. Or he should know! If he does not know, and cannot see the radical improvement since the early 1940s, then he really is a moral degenerate and unfit to be Pope. If he does know, then he is simply dishonest - and again is unfit to be Pope.