EDITOR: God Bless America, a country where everyone has freedom of speech. However, freedom of speech does not necessarily mean truth. Mr. Boylan’s letter of Jan. 24 has many erroneous statements. One must look at the facts, so that freedom of speech will provide truth.
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Joseph Ratzinger in 1939 entered the minor seminary in Traunstein. In 1941 he turned 14 and, as required by law at the time, joined the Hitler Youth. At age 16, Joseph and the rest of his seminary class was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps. A year later he was drafted into the American Legion and underwent basic training in the German infantry. In the spring of 1945, Joseph deserted the army and returned home to Traunstein. He was briefly held by American forces in a prisoner of war camp. After he was released, he reentered the seminary.
Joseph Ratzinger, one can see, was forced into military service by the law and the draft.
Later, Joseph Ratzinger, by then a cardinal, became perfect of the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was Cardinal Ratzinger’s goal to help the Catholic Church maintain a vital Catholic identity. He was lauded for his readiness to name and to address the difficulties our culture presented to the faith, thus the title of ‘The German watchdog.”
I for one, am glad that the Catholic Church has such a “watchdog” committed to strengthening the Catholic Church’s character.
In 2005 while praying on Good Friday, Cardinal Ratzinger, before he was elected Pope, asked God for forgiveness for the clergy sex scandals. He called the clergy sex scandals the “filth in the Church” particularly “among those who, in the priesthood, should belong completely to Jesus.”
All of these facts can be found with simple research. It is reasonable to conclude that the historical facts show a different story than that portrayed by Mr. Boylan.