Susan Sarandon Says Pope Is a “Nazi”

Actress and activist Susan Sarandon caused quite a stir over the weekend at the Hamptons Film Festival. Sarandon spoke about Occupy Wall Street and her altercations with the New York Police Department over the Amadou Diallo case. She also called Pope Benedict XVI a “Nazi” while discussing her film Dead Man Walking, which was based on an anti-death-penalty book by Sister Helen Prejean, a nun in Louisiana, whom Sarandon portrayed. The actress noted that she had sent a copy of the book to the Pope and then added

“The last one, not this Nazi one we have now.”

Actor Bob Balaban was interviewing Sarandon and “chided” her — Danish director Lars von Trier was banned by the Cannes Film Festival after jokingly calling himself a Nazi — but Sarandon repeated her remark. According to Fox News, she also repeated her remark later in the day at a party.

Sarandon was raised Roman Catholic in New Jersey and attended the Catholic University of America. She has long been an anti-war activist and supporter of liberal causes and was appointed a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 1999.

Nor surprisingly, the president of the Catholic League, right-wing Catholic Bill Donohue, said Sarandon’s comment is “obscene” and, in a statement, spoke of the Pontiff’s decision to leave the Hitler Youth:

“Joseph Ratzinger [the pope] was conscripted at the age of 14 into the Hitler Youth, along with every other young German boy. 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.”

Donohue also labeled Sarandon as a “despicable person to make these kinds of despicable remarks” and added that “it is very hard to find someone dumber than [Sarandon].” The national director of the Anti Defamation League of America, Abraham H. Foxman, also had harsh words for Sarandon:

“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.”

Some suggest Sarandon’s remark benefits the Pope as the “victim of a controversy that he didn’t start.” Benedict’s record about abortions, gays and lesbians, Islam, etc. has indeed left something to be desired. Given the latest revelations about the global sex abuse scandal among the Catholic clergy — last Friday, Kansas City bishop Robert W. Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph were indicted for failing to report suspected child abuse  – and the Pope’s and the Church’s continued dragging of their feet to address the crisis, it’s fair to say Benedict might not mind some burnishing of his image. What is the cover-up and protection of abusive priests but “obscene” and “despicable”?

Related Care2 Coverage

Director Lars von Trier Calls Himself a Nazi

LGBT Mix: Pope Urges “Defense” of Marriage

Philadelphia Archbishop Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Scandal

Irish Report: Cover-up of Sexual Abuse by Priests Ongoing


Yvette S.
Past Member 6 years ago

You go, Susan. The word ' nazi' is brandished around so freely it is like an old coat. This time she is technically correct. He was in the Hitler Youth. Then as now he could do such good if only he had the courage for change.

"""While Ratzinger was not a Nazi in the past and Benedict XVI is not a Nazi now, there is more than enough reason to question his handling of his past. It appears that he hasn’t been honest with others — and probably not honest with himself — about what he did and what he could have done.
It’s simply not true that resistance was impossible at the time. Difficult, yes; dangerous, yes. But not impossible. John Paul II participated in anti-Nazi theater performances in Poland, yet there is no evidence of Joseph Ratzinger even doing this much.
Ratzinger may have done more than many others to resist, but he also did far less that some. It’s certainly understandable that he wouldn’t have had the courage to do more...First, it’s insulting to the many who risked their lives to resist the Nazi regime, both in organized cells and on an individual basis. Second, there are many examples of those who refused service in the Hitler Youth for a variety of reasons. """" Austin Cline

Lilliana G.
Lilliana Garcia6 years ago

como actriz me gustaba , pero creo que se volvio LOCA , no es justo que la agarre con un representante de la iglecia catolica volvere a ver sus peliculas

Janice S.
Janice S6 years ago

I am an admirer of Susan Sarandon not just for her outstanding acting performances but for her activism. She not only has been a supporter of UNICEF but also HIEFER INTernational. Both of which are wonderful charities. Kudoos to her for her hard work to make the world better.

However, SHAME ON HER for calling the Pope a Nazi. That is a word that should never be used lightly. If she has issues with the pope or anyone else -- stick to the topics of disagreement not vicious name calling.

Jarno Lahtinen
Jarno Lahtinen6 years ago

I am an outspoken critic of the current Pope, and the Catholic church, but I would advice Susan Sharadon to stick to valid and fair criticism.

It's hardly fair to treat someoene who was in Hitler youth as a nazi - it's not as if many kids who were put to the organization had that much choise, or would have approved of the attrocities of the nazi regime, were they made aware of them.

There are enough entirely valid and fair criticisms to level against this man - no need to use hyperbole and the tired old Hitler-card.

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B6 years ago

Ignorant woman!

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

Lots of jealous women here I see,lol

dawn walker
Dawn W6 years ago

I'm not Catholic,and for many reasons I don't like that religion,but I can't stand Susan Sarandon.Talk about self-righteous.I wish she would shut up for once.

Catherine Turley
Catherine Turley6 years ago

sarandon is an idiot. i remember when she was pushing heifer international. she kept saying how cute it would be to surprise your mother with the gift of a bunny for mother's day. really? a bunny that would be overbred and eventually slaughtered. yeah, real cute.

Jose M. C.
JOSE M. C6 years ago

Come on, Susan. Say what you want about the Pope - I'm no fan either - but please don't make yourself sound like a Fox News "commentator."

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

I always thought she was hot. Now I know that she is hot AND intelligent. Kiss my ass Pope Pedophile.