One has to chuckle. Bellisario has no idea where Dr. White got his information, but Dr. White is a "bigot" (in Mr. Bellisario's mind) simply for holding to the opinion that it has been rightly said that a large portion of the guards at Buchenwald and Auschewitz were practicing Catholics. That opinion would seem to be justified strictly on the statistical fact of Germany's population being about 1/3 Roman Catholic and the German practice of conscription for military service.
Oh, and Bellisario doesn't stop there. His second point is equally amusing: "Secondly, what does he consider the definition of “practicing Catholics” to be?" Bellisario isn't sure what Dr. White means by "practicing Catholics" but he's sure Dr. White is just being a bigot.
Amazing! Does Bellisario even know the definition of a bigot?
Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition, defines it this way:
1. a person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc.this term has evolved a bit over the years, but the sense was about the same in 1913, when Webster's gave (after an obsolete sense) this definition:
2. a narrow-minded, prejudiced person
2. A person who regards his own faith and views in matters of religion as unquestionably right, and any belief or opinion opposed to or differing from them as unreasonable or wicked. In an extended sense, a person who is intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in politics or morals; one obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion.
That describes Mr. Bellisario, not Dr. White, to the "t." Bellisario is intolerant of opinions that conflict with his own and is obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church. He is prejudiced against anything remotely negative that is said about his church, and will call others "bigots" for holding to their opinions, even before any facts are brought to bear on the subject.
Bigotry indeed, but not from Dr. White. Dr. White simply mentioned an historical fact in passing during a Sunday-school lesson on Matthew 23:37. Ironically, the matter was tangentially related to pointing out that there are some unreasonbly intolerant folks out there who will scream "bigot" (or worse) when you mention that the Jews killed Jesus and even called down his blood on them and their children. Apparently, there are equally bigoted Romanists who will shout "bigot" when you dare to suggest that Roman Catholics were prison guards. Ah, the irony. Nevertheless, we are glad to see that Mr. Bellisario is paying close attention to Dr. White's sunday-school lessons, and we hope that he will get past his prejudice and focus on the main points of that lesson, rather than a single sentence spoken in passing.
*** Update ***
There are a number of radical Romanists upset by a passing remark that Dr. White made about the participation of some practicing Roman Catholics in the atrocities of the Holocaust. They demand an apology.
I wonder if they are familiar with the following facts:
Hitler was baptized as a Roman Catholic and was confirmed on May 22, 1904, at Linz Cathedral. The Roman Catholic church never formally excommunicated Hitler.
On July 20, 1933, the Roman Catholic Church represented by Cardinal Pacelli (who later became Pope Pius XII) signed the Reichskonkordat (Concordat). This document has, as its first article:
The German Reich guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion.(source)
It acknowledges the right of the Catholic Church, within the limit of those laws which are applicable to all, to manage and regulate her own affairs independently, and, within the framework of her own competence, to publish laws and ordinances binding on her members.
Others have noted that Goebbels and Himmler were also from Roman Catholic families and were apparently confirmed Roman Catholics. Goebbels was even married in the Roman Catholic church. None of them were formally excommunicated.
Were there Roman Catholic priests imprisoned etc. by the Nazis? Absolutely! Most of those were imprisoned at Dachau, where they were permitted to set up a chapel for the practice of their religion within Barracks 26. And, in the fall of November 1945, former SS men from the camp built a Roman Catholic Church and it was subsequently used by them for worship under the American regime that transformed the camp into an internment camp for Nazis.
(see, for example, Legacies of Dachau, by Harold Marcuse)
Was there anti-Vatican sentiment among Nazi heirarchs like Goebbels and Himmler? Of course. But were the Roman Catholics who, like the rest of the population, got involved in the bad deeds of the Germans? I think one would have to be very naive to believe otherwise. No one is suggesting (well - no one in this conversation) that only practicing Roman Catholics were involved or even that practicing Roman Catholics were more involved than Protestants. It is a little interesting that non-practicing Roman Catholics were the leaders of the Nazi organization, but for some reason it seems to trigger a knee-jerk reaction from folks like Bellisario when someone suggests in passing that practicing Roman Catholics were somehow involved.