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If the Pope gives up on words, there’s little left to combat evil
CATHERINE DEVENEY

THERE was something almost ironic about the slight figure at the gates of Auschwitz being dressed in the purity of white, soft red shoes peeping from beneath his robes. The Pope walked alone, his cardinals huddled at a discreet distance in the shadow of dark buildings, as Benedict passed through the black iron gates of the concentration camp.

The pontiff’s words when they came were words of distress, reminiscent of Christ’s anguished cry on the cross: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabach-thani – my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? In Benedict’s case, we were told, the words in Auschwitz were: “Why Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?” And while perhaps the German Pope deserves some credit for being brave enough to publicly visit Auschwitz, one couldn’t help thinking with equal anguish to his, never mind God remaining silent, why did the Pope?