French Philosopher Defends Benedict XVI

Bernard-Henri Lévy Decries Spread of Disinformation

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NEW YORK, JAN. 25, 2010 ( A leading French philosopher and journalist published a defense of Benedict XVI in the Huffington Post, affirming that much of the media has been spreading disinformation about the Pope.

«It is time to put an end to the disingenuousness — the bias, in a word — and the disinformation concerning Benedict XVI,» said Frenchman Bernard-Henri Lévy in his article, published Sunday. The post comes one week after the Pope visited Synagogue of Rome.

The writer, of Jewish origin, stated that «texts have been quite simply distorted, regarding his trip to Auschwitz in 2006, for example, where it was asserted […] that he paid homage to the 6 million Polish dead, victims of a mere ‘band of criminals’ without mentioning that half of them were Jews.»

«The falsehood is downright staggering,» Lévy asserted, «considering that, on that day, Benedict XVI plainly spoke of the attempt of the ‘powerful of the
Third Reich’ to ‘eliminate the Jewish people’ from the ‘ranks of the nations of the earth.'»

The writer addressed the topic of the Pontiff’s recent visit to the Synagogue of Rome, and the «chorus of disinformers» who reported negatively on this event.

He acknowledged the Holy Father’s gestures and words as he paid tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and underlined the Church’s commitment to build relations with the Jews.

Lévy also defended the role of Pope Pius XII in standing up for Jews against the Nazis. He stated, «We owe it to historical accuracy to point out that, before engaging in clandestine action, opening — without saying so — his convents to Roman Jews hunted by the fascist bullies, the ‘silent’ Pius XII made a number of speeches broadcast by radio.»

«It’s especially surprising,» the writer noted, «that we place the entire weight of responsibility for the deafening silence concerning the Shoah that echoed throughout the world, or nearly all, upon the shoulders of a Sovereign of the time who had neither cannons nor aircraft at his disposal» who «went to great lengths, most historians tell us, to share with others who were informed the knowledge available to him» and «who in fact saved a great many of those he was morally responsible for, in Rome, but elsewhere as well.»

The Frenchman concluded that «one can be both Pope and scapegoat.»

Lévy, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, is known as one of the leading «New Philosophers.» The term refers to those thinkers in France who criticized Marxism in the 1970s, as well as the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger.

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