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In 1996 Peter Seewald’s book, Salt of the Earth, was published. In it, he interviews Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger about his experiences in Hitler’s Germany and the second world war. Ratzinger reveals that he served the Reich as a teenager on anti-aircraft batteries where, presumably, he shot down allied planes, and was later conscripted into the German infantry. Apparently membership in the Hitler Youth was compulsory and Ratzinger was joined up along with everyone else. I doubt he even thought twice about it.
In 2005, as most folks are aware, Ratzinger was elected to be the pope, and like most supervillains, took on a fake identity to hide his true face and income tax information from the world. Now calling himself “Pope Benedict the Sixteenth,” Ratzinger settled into the Vatican Fortress of Doom to plot the downfall of gays, women priests, and condom factories worldwide.
The Pope however, doesn’t do his own press. And recently one Reverend Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican Fortress of Doom, issued a statement that definitively stated that Ratzinger had “never, never, never” been in the Hitler Youth. When later confronted with Ratzinger’s own words on the subject and asked by reporters if lying about it was a big enough sin to have him thrown into hell, Lombardi “revised” his earlier statement to say that Ratzinger had been in the Hitler Youth, but that it was completely against his will and that the teenaged pope-to-be had never actively participated in the organization in any fashion. One presumes that means any fashion other than manning German anti-aircraft guns and being in the German infantry.
Now the fact is that I do not fault Ratzinger for his time in the Third Reich. He was a kid, he was stupid, and he was laying it on the line for his country — that’s what kids are taught to do. There is virtually zero chance that Ratzinger had any real concept of the kind of evil he was fighting for, and this was better than sixty years before his papal infallibility would kick in and he would become unable to make mistakes. (Wouldn’t you hate to play checkers against someone like that!) But I am a little curious about Spokesman Lombardi. Seems to me that “Yeah, he was a member. Got a problem wit’ dat?” would have been a way more appropriate response than a lie. (Especially when you speak for a religious organization.) Alternatively, we could accept the possibility that Lombardi simply didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, which makes me want to know why I should believe anything else he says.
I have a theory that Ratzinger and Cheney are both from the same clan of space-nosferatu and are here with the purpose of raising humans as cattle for their oncoming invasion forces. I can see the press conference now…
Reporter: “Mr. Cheney, Mr. Pope, are you both from the same clan of space-nosferatu and are here with the purpose of raising humans as cattle for your oncoming invasion forces?”
Cheney: “Never. Never, never, never.”
Ratzinger: “Well, yes, we are… but we didn’t really want to. Now everyone needs to report to their internment camps…”