Germany’s conflicted feelings about its pope

Germany’s conflicted feelings about its pope

The German magazine Deutsche Welle has a story on Pope Benedict and various interactions with his homeland’s politicians, including an effort by the Green Party to have his German citizenship and passport revoked.

First, there’s the report of a private conversation between the Pope and the leader of the Conservative Social Union party, Edmund Stoiber, on why Stoiber wouldn’t join rival Christian Democratic Union leader and new Chancellor Andrea Merkel. The story reports that Stoiber told the Pope that he couldn’t stand Merkel. It could also be that Merkel is liberal on social policy issues, including abortion, marriage, and homosexuality.

Then it relates that a Green Party politician noted that German law doesn’t allow dual citizenship and asked if Pope Benedict could still be considered German.

The German foreign ministry, however, fired back a very clever response: the pope actually never applied for foreign citizenship but was elected into office, which came with a convenient, no-strings-attached kind of bonus citizenship package. German citizenship is revoked from those who apply for foreign citizenship, not for those who get it because they’re lucky.

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