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What would be a proper response to someone who brings up Pope Benedict XVI’s membership in the Hitler Youth just to be provocative?

Question:

What would be a proper response to someone who brings up Pope Benedict XVI’s membership in the Hitler Youth in a negative way, without any other information, and in the company of others?

Answer:

You might say calmly and politely, “Do you consider it fair to defame a man who is not present to defend himself? Perhaps you are unaware of this, but the Anti-Defamation League (www.adl.org) welcomed Benedict XVI’s election as pope and stated that he had spent his entire adult life atoning for his teenage membership in the Hitler Youth, which, by the way, was compulsory and not his choice.”

 

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