Wednesday, February 6, 2013
More Media Manipulation of Pope's Media Image by the Press
(Marktl am Inn / Rome) It's time again: When pictures lie. Or rather, if people alter a picture in a very different way than it was actually photographed in the content displayed and so that it manipulates its message. The Soviet Union was a master forger and the Nazi era is apparently excellent for manipulation, as not only since the controversial Wehrmacht Exhibition of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research of Hannes Heer and Jan Philipp Reemtsma and the major touring exhibition, images that lie in the Foundation Museum of Contemporary History Federal Republic of Germany are well known.
The prefect of the CDF, Archbishop Curia Gerhard Ludwig Müller said in an on 1 February published an interview with the daily newspaper Die Welt: “The campaigns which are specifically aimed at discrediting the Catholic Church in North America and Europe have led to clerics in some sectors being publicly insulted in a vulgar way. Here is fostered an artificially generated anger that recalls at times a pogrom atmosphere. Germany's Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberg described the claims as manipulative in connection to the Holocaust, which was never mentioned by Mueller, described the statement as "tasteless."
What was truly tastily, and not for the first time, Pope Benedict XVI. has been targeted by the manipulators. Just a small example of what Archbishop Müller would have meant. The Pope is often assumed to have been a Nazi in his youth. Hence the accusation is derived, that the Catholic Church is headed by a Nazi, which is of course unacceptable. But first things first.
Manipulation 1 Ratzinger with Hitler at the Sports Palace
Anti-clerical circles have posted a picture on Facebook which is supposedly a young Joseph Ratzinger at a NS demonstrated standing directly in front of the "Führer". A moralizing accusation is offered on the photograph: "Look who we have as a Pope as he was 14 years old then shame on you pray spreading this [photo] before deleting it." The text contains a number of original spelling errors in Italian. "ignorance is a characteristic of militant anti-clericalism" commented UCCR.The attribution of the photo is clearly manipulation. The photo was not taken in 1941/1942, as Joseph Ratzinger was 14 years old, but on the 3rd of September 1932 at an event of the NSDAP in the Berlin Sports Palace. Appearing next to Adolf Hitler is Prinz August Wilhelm of Prussia, the fourth son of the last German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, who joined Hitler's Party in 1930. Joseph Ratzinger had been born in 1927, where the future Pope was five years old at the time the photo was snapped in Berlin. The one there could not be five years old, would have only a faint resemblance between the unknown SA-Man and today's Pope. Truly, hate is generally known to cause blindness. A fact, for the anti-Church hate for centuries now fills exhibition halls.
Already for a few years there is a ripe manipulation appearing on the internet. A photo which shows then Father Joseph Ratzinger as a new priest with his brother Georg, as the faithful receive a blessing at a priest's first Mass and only shows the future Pope with his arms extended in blessing. Then it was alleged that the photo shows the young Ratzinger giving the Hitler salute. This time as the manipulators were anonymous users on Facebook, it was a Spanish Professor of Journalism at the University of Madrid, who published the photo in his first book in all seriousness. Hatred of the Church and manipulation do not even know educational or class boundaries.
It was the Facebook fan site of the Italian Postal Police, who have discovered the new anti-Church attack. Only Just a reminder: Joseph Ratzinger was born in 1927, in a Catholic home to a world that never adhered to Nazism. The future Pope was never a member of the NSDAP and SA, as the circled man in the photo (above) clearly was. At the age of 14, he was automatically drafted to Nazi service which service was compulsory by law in the Hitler Youth, like all German youths. At least on paper, the same was true for the young Ratzinger, however, he was never active in the Hitler Youth. By the War's end he was a 17-year-old conscripted to operate as an Anti-Aircraft Artilleryman.
Mark Twain wrote that the lie succeeds halfway around the world, before the truth has put on the shoes.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi