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Susan Sarandon is coming under fire for calling Pope Benedict XVI a nazi at the Hamptons Film Festival over the weekend.
“Susan Sarandon’s ignorance is willful: those who have hatred in their veins are not interested in the truth. The fact is that Joseph Ratzinger [the Pope] was conscripted at the age of 14 into the Hitler Youth, along with every other young German boy,” says the president of the Catholic League of America, William Donohue, in a statement.
“Unlike most of the other teenagers, Ratzinger refused to go to meetings, bringing economic hardship to his family. Moreover, unlike most of the others, he deserted at the first opportunity. Sarandon’s comment is obscene. Sadly, it’s what we’ve come to expect from her,” Donohue added.
On Monday, the Anti Defamation League also called for an apology from the actress.
Abraham H. Foxman told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, “We hope that Susan Sarandon will have the good sense to apologize to the Catholic community and all those she may have offended with this disturbing, deeply offensive and completely uncalled for attack on the good name of Pope Benedict XVI.
“Ms. Sarandon may have her differences with the Catholic Church, but that is no excuse for throwing around Nazi analogies. Such words are hateful, vindictive and only serve to diminish the true history and meaning of the Holocaust.”
Foxman also called Sarandon’s comment “disturbing, deeply offensive and completely uncalled for.”
Sarandon told actor Bob Balaban in an interview in Sag Harbor on Saturday that she had sent the Pope a copy of the anti death penalty book, Dead Man Walking. She starred in the 1995 film adaptation of the book.
Clarifying which Pope received her package, Sarandon said, “The last one, not this Nazi one we have now.”
Balaban tried to dance around the comment, but Sarandon just made it again, according to reports. The audience also laughed.
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