by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2005
The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — A German Jewish leader says he’s upset by comments in a new book about Pope John Paul II that compared the legalization of abortion with the Holocaust that occurred in Nazi Germany before and during World War II in which millions of Jews were slaughtered.
In his book, "Memory and Identity: Conversations Between Millenniums," the Pope says both abortion and the Holocaust came about when people decided to abrogate "the law of God."
After noting that the German parliament allowed Hitler to rise to power, the Pope explains: "We have to question the legal regulations that have been decided in the parliaments of present day democracies. The most direct association which comes to mind is the abortion laws."
"Parliaments which create and promulgate such laws must be aware that they are transgressing their powers and remain in open conflict with the law of God and the law of nature," the pontiff wrote.
Paul Spiegel, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told the Netzeitung daily newspaper that the Pope’s comments were similar to those that he deemed "unacceptable" made by a Catholic cardinal in Germany last month
Spiegel told the Netzeitung that such statements show that the Catholic Church "has not understood or does not want to understand that there is a tremendous difference between factory-like genocide and what women do to their bodies."
Greens parliamentarian, Volker Beck, also condemned the statement and told the Associated Press, "For the pope to draw a comparison between abortion and the Holocaust shows a lack of moral and ethical direction."
The book, which draws on conversations with two Polish friends, will be published February 23.
Last month, a German Catholic cardinal said he regretted comments he made during a sermon in which he compared the destruction of millions of lives to abortion with the genocide campaigns conducted by Hitler and Stalin.
During the sermon, Cardinal of Cologne Joachim Meisner said: "First there was Herod, who ordered the children of Bethlehem to be killed, then there was Hitler and Stalin among others, and today unborn children are being killed in their millions."
"I regret that it has got to this pitch," Cardinal Meisner told the Deutsche Weld news service.
Meisner was also criticized by German Jews and some pro-abortion political officials.