Young BenedictSo the world has a new Pope. I am kinda disapointed that it’s not the Jewish Cardinal from France, Lustiger, but I’ll get over that. Popular custom has it that a Jewish Pope would have been the last Pope and would have ushered in like, Armageddon or something. I’m not ready for Armageddon so it’s ok I suppose. But it is supremely ironic that while Lustiger’s parents hid their boy away from the Nazis saving him from their own eventual fate in the gas chambers and crematoria, the current Pope was marching around with a swastika armband. That the new Pope is also a staunch conservative who might undo some of the progress that the previous Pope made with respect to the Catholic Church’s relations with Jews just kind of adds to my sense of malaise. But what the hell. I’m not Catholic, so who cares?

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • The sad thing is that you’ve given so much room and eternal memory bytes to this pope issue, but didn’t even bother to blog about Rabbi Lau and the drama leading up to his becoming Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi and it’s w i d e spectrum of Jewry. See why I say that you guys are caught up in that goyish culture?

    Rabbi Lau as a holocasut survivor will probably get airtime here in several weeks around holocaust day.

  • What has he done since was 14 and was in the Hitler Youth? 60 years is a long time–one can change a great deal.

  • Daphna, From the Jpost Editorial I suggested:

    Ratzinger played an instrumental role in the Vatican’s revolutionary reconciliation with the Jews under John Paul II. He personally prepared Memory and Reconciliation, the 2000 document outlining the church’s historical “errors” in its treatment of Jews. And as president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Ratzinger oversaw the preparation of The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, a milestone theological explanation for the Jews’ rejection of Jesus.

  • His membership in Hitler Youth was compulsory. He dodged membership and attendance whenever possible, and even worked with a professor in his seminary to avoid any attendance requirements. When he was older, he dodged conscription. We can only fault him for not fighting harder against the Nazis, but then again a lot of Jews could be similarly faulted and I hope that is not the direction of our moral evaluation of conduct under Hitler. A lack of heroism is unfortunate, but it does not make one evil or immoral. He is probably no John Paul II, but he is close. He served on key committees responsible for much Jewish-Catholic reconciliation. The picture is certainly wrong. Comparable to Hitler-Sharon likenesses in my opinion.

  • Ratzinger is the “Stop The Turk at the Gates of Vienna” Pope. His papacy wll be all about opposing Islam and re-Christianizing Europe.

    Should be damned interestin’, however it turns out.

  • I was just speaking to a Catholic co-worker and he just shook his head and muttered “they made the bigest mistake” when I told him who the new pope is. He made similar points… that this new guy is so conservative that he may well take the church back 2 steps when it desperately needs to find new ways to grow and move forward.

    I personally wanted to see the black guy get in.. now THAT would have brought about some interesting change.
    Oh well.

  • “What has he done since was 14 and was in the Hitler Youth? 60 years is a long time–one can change a great deal.”

    Exactly. Think of all the USY and BBYO kids who can’t stand anything Jewish 😉

  • Actually that should read:

    Think of all the ex-USY and BBYO ADULTS who can’t stand anything…

  • ADL’s postscript on Ratzinger:
    “Finally, much has been made of the fact that as a teenager, Cardinal Ratzinger was a member of the Hitler Youth in Germany. What is far more significant is that all his life he has atoned for this fact. ADL has had opportunities to work with Cardinal Ratzinger and we look forward to continuing that relationship.”

  • Too bad we couldn’t extend the same sort of christian compassion to former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim … I mean what’s a guy to do? When the SS came a callin’, you couldn’t exactly say no! Sure, lots of people did and paid with their lives but then they never grew up to become Secretary General… or Pope.

    I say fuck ’em. I have no sympathy for anyone who ever donned a Nazi uniform. I’m hoping Ratzinger’s reign at the throne of St. Peter is brief.

  • Dude, are you saying that youth can’t be influenced and then change as they mature? That pic isn’t fair, and I disagree with not giving the man an opportunity to show FURTHER of what he’s made.

  • CK, what do you think of the Judenrat? The Sondercommando? What about the Sondercommando who blew up the ovens at Auschwitz? Even we Jews demonstrated a weakness and willingness to “assist” Nazis out of fear for our lives and the lives of family members. This man did nothing to imperil Jews. He shirked from what Nazis demanded of him and avoided contact whenever possible.

    The advantage of a German Pope is that the Holocaust will haunt him. As he has already done, he will continue to repent for his sins and will try to repent for the sins of his countrymen and his church. A Latin American or African pope would probably just shrug off Jewish issues because they have much less connection to the horrors visited upon our people.

  • Yisrael – Of course I don’t pretend to claim that the issue is either all black or all white – I am capable of some nuance ya know. I am well aware of the checkered role of the Judenrat and the Sondercommando – thanks for the unneccessary history lesson. This post is part troll, part righteous indignation and mostly ironic musing. I thought y’all liked it when we were all ironical and stuff.

  • I dunno, I might be offended if I went into a Roman Catholic site and found a photo of, say, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, standing there with horns and a t-shirt that reads “We want to rule the world.”

    I might laugh it off too. I guess it depends upon the Roman Catholic.

  • Shtremiel’s got a point…Muffti was a little USY-er back in the day…

  • Yikes GM, that’s twice in one week that you didn’t point out how far up my ass my head appears to be. Impressive. Must’ve warmed your heart with all those 80’s metal references. BTW, there’s a wicked on-line radio station entitled (Pirate Radio), which you can access via iTunes in the 70-80’s section. Ton’s ‘o metal faves and rarities.

  • I think it would be great is all muslims became christian. The whole concept of Jihad would go right out the window.

    Sigh…..wishful thinking….

  • except that wasn’t too good for the jews the first time around, when it was called the crusades.

  • laya,
    I’m not talking about war. I’m talking about submission. As in, all muslims would want to convert to christianity. That would be nice.

    Jeez, you guys are like reporters!

  • BS”D
    My sentiments exactly. I also wrote in my blog about my hopes that we would see our Lustiger in the Papal seat, as Pope Jewlicious I!
    Glad to see a fellow Heeb is paying attention.