Sunday, July 02, 2006

Making people happy all the time?

Being a politician, head of state, or pope, means that you're always under the microscope. It comes with the territory. When it comes to the Holocaust no words are adequate to the horror, yet words must be said. Here's something from Rome:

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Amid lingering questions and even
disappointment about Pope Benedict XVI's remarks at the Nazis' Birkenau death camp, the Vatican has published a book that attempts to place the speech in a wider context. The book, "Rouse Yourself! Do Not Forget Mankind, Your Creature," was released in Italian June 27, and an English edition is being prepared. The title is a line from the German-born pope's May 28 speech at the death camp in Poland, a speech
that focused on the theological question of where was God when the Nazis were exterminating 6 million Jews and hundreds of thousands of other innocent people. While both Christian and Jewish scholars
acknowledged the theological importance of the question, many of them
expressed surprise and even criticism that the pope did not focus more on the question: Where were the Christians -- particularly German Catholics -- and other people of good will? In addition, some were puzzled that the pope did not use the occasion to condemn anti-Semitism.

You try to do something nice and brotherly, and you just cain't win, as we say down here in the South. You have to write a book to explain what you were saying, because it was thought to be inadequate? Nothing we say about the Holocaust or who's to blame will ever erase it, or be commensurate to the horror thereof. You can't cover all the bases in every sermon or speech. Or must you keep talking until a straw vote shows that everyone is satisfied? Or should templates be issued by the authorities (whoever they are) that will have to be followed by anyone speaking on the Holocaust? Give us a break.

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