Susan Sarandon Under Fire From Catholic League for ‘Nazi Pope’ Remark

Susan Sarandon has raised hackles after remarks she made at a Hamptons event this weekend during which she called the current Pope a “Nazi.”

Sarandon has been criticized strongly by the Catholic League for the remarks, and the group says that the remarks are unfair but par for the course for Sarandon in their estimation. The comments came in response to a question about her statement that she’d sent the Pope a copy of the anti-death penalty film Dead Man Walking, in which Sarandon plays a nun. When asked which Pope had received the package, Sarandon specified the previous one and added “not this Nazi one we have now.” The interviewer attempted to move on, but the actress reiterated the comment.

The Hollywood Reporter carried part of a statement from the Catholic League’s William Donohue addressing Sarandon’s remarks. He said:

“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…

“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.”

It wasn’t just Catholics that found Sarandon’s remarks offensive- Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League commented:

“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.”

Neither Sarandon nor her reps have commented on the remarks since the event.

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