THE NEW YORKER TALKS TO RATZI
Way back, last spring, I read in the NYT that the new Pope was an old foe of mine. And that he blamed me for driving him out of Tuebingin and turned him, like a witch waving her wand, into a conservative.
From my earlier article:
But while his deep reading and thinking in theology, philosophy, and history were fundamental to development as a theologian, it was the protests of student radicals at Tübingen University - in which he saw an echo of the Nazi totalitarianism he loathed - that seem to have pushed him definitively toward deep conservatism and insistence on unquestioned obedience to the authority of RomeI decided to write to the New Yorker because their article, unlike the NYT one, doesn't detail the final meeting in the Neue Halle where I drove the future Pope batty. It only says "It is not clear why he fled Tuebingen and became conservative". Heh. Unlike the more honest NYT headlines for their story.
We met, we argued and I terrorized him so badly he decided to be a Nazi. Amazing! Will wonders nevercease. Actually, the reason we argued and I was "vulgar" was because he was already a Nazi and this ticked me off greatly! I can spot a Nazi from pretty far away.
The article details his humilation at my hands...ahem. He was oh so learned and could quote anyone but I was there and there was precious little for me to quote since most literature is anti women's rights! So we got in a classic fight over "this is MY body that I live in and YOU can't order me around" stuff. Then I accused him of being "Kinder, kuchen, Kirche" Nazi. That was so mean of me he decided on the spot to be come a Nazi. I suppose.
Of course, the NYT was lying, too, for as I pointed out in 1968, Ratzinger was no liberal.
To the Editor,
In "Reading Ratzinger," Mr. Grafton says, "It is not clear what opposition (Ratzinger) encountered (in Tuebingen). but it is certain he responded to the radicals with a radical change of course of his own."
The New York Times interviewed the new Pope last spring(April 24, 2005 "Pope Benedict XVI: Roots of Conservatism; Turbulence on Campus in 60's Hardened Views of Future Pope). He described to the reporter how he was confronted by students on a specific day in a lecture hall and we literally chased him away. He mentioned in particular, a (female) student who called him a Nazi at his last appearance there.
I do believe am that person. I remember the theologian, as well. I was fighting for women's rights, previously, in America, and in 1968, I was a student in Tuebingen for one year when we had the fateful confrontation. Many articles like to gloss over the Pope's past but he couldn't hide from me. My father, Dr. Aden Baker Meinel, was one of the top OSS/ONI officers in Germany at the end of WWII and he was one of the first high ranking officers to enter Dachau in 1945 and the present Pope happened to be one of the people guarding the village of Dachau when he fled at the approach of our army and his family still lives really near Dachau and my father's rage and frustration with the people living near by as he struggled to figure out what that concentration camp was doing is famous because he kept demanding, "How could you possibly ignore this place? Why are there so many dead people here?"
They all pleaded innocence due to total incuriosity. My father said this was ridiculous because he could smell the camp from far away. It made him ill.
I accused Mr. Ratzinger of being an unreformed Nazi because he scolded me for being a feminist radical. His "Kinder, Kuchen, Kirche" beliefs was stuff straight out of the Nazi philosophy.
This debate shocked everyone, they assured me he was a liberal. I countered hotly, auf deutsch, of course, "If he is a liberal then he should support women's rights!"
This included in particular, the right to birth control.
Rather than debate me further, he fled the lecture hall. I won that round. Well, here he is, coming back into play, using the Church to try to imprison me in my home and take away my civil rights here in America. He was never really a liberal and he certainly isn't one today. I will fight him and his army of reactionaries tooth and nail. I challenge him to continue our debate. I will even fly to Italy and argue in the Vatican if he is too scared to meet me on my own ground.
Elaine Meinel Supkis
All the papers and magazines seem bent on making pretty-pretty with this petty tyrant. They are very gingerly with him. Well, I didn't like him back then and I loathe him today. I hope they give me at least some voice in this whole matter. It obviously bugs the hell out of the Pope. I will note, he was happy to talk about this back in April and much less forthcoming today. He knows I have challenged him to a debate. He knows I am out there and watching him.
He knows he will lose a debate with me. No one is better able to talk about the grim subject of fetuses than I. I have no sense of embarrassment concerning the blood and gore of concieving, carrying and delivering babies.
To return to homepage click here