An author writing a new biography on Pope Benedict XVI says genocide during the Nazi regime in World War II played a key role in shaping the pro-life views of the Catholic leader. Author Brennan Pursell relates the story in his upcoming book Benedict of Bavaria.
Pursell learned of the tragic story while compiling material for the book.
He found out that, as a 14-year-old boy, Joseph Ratzinger had a cousin born with Down Syndrome who was just a couple years younger.
In 1941, German "therapists" arrived at the boy's home and took him away -- possibly telling his parents of the new governmental regulations against mentally disabled children living at home.
Despite pleas from the boy's family, German officials took him away and he very likely became a victim of the genocide that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives during the war.
"This was Joseph Ratzinger's first experience of a murderous philosophy that asserts that some people are disposable," Pursell explains.
Because of the terrible incident, Pope Benedicts presents a consistently pro-life worldview that opposes abortion as well as euthanasia and assisted suicide. . .
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