Let us hope that no future Pope has to ask these questions about Western appeasement of evil in our own times:
Rain fell sporadically over Auschwitz until the main ceremony, when the skies cleared and a rainbow appeared.
Benedict said it was almost impossible, particularly for a German Pope, to speak at such a horrible place.
“The place where we are standing is a place of memory and at the same time, it is the place of the Shoah,” he said.
“In a place like this, words fail. In the end, there can only be a dread silence, a silence which is a heartfelt cry to God — Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?”
“Where was God in those days? Why was he silent? How could he permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil?”
Benedict is a great leader, and we can all be grateful that the Catholics have no given us two such men in succession. But I think the question is more properly directed at man rather than the Almighty, who gave us the ability to distinguish between good and evil and the obligation to make our own choices. It is the question we should ask ourselves, and our leaders, every day. Why is the West once again silent, in the face of a monstrous evil? Why do even the few leaders who recognize our menace, content themselves with words rather than the decisive deeds required to rid this world of the threat of a new Shoah?
Popes are not supposed to say such things, I suppose, but we are. And we must.