Actress Susan Sarandon is under fire for calling Pope Benedict XVI a "Nazi."
During a discussion about her 1995 film Dead Man Walking in which she played Sister Helen Prejean, a nun advocating against the death penalty. Sarandon mentioned that she sent the Pope a copy of Prejean's first book, then clarified, "The last one, not this Nazi one we have now." When she was chided by the presenter, she repeated the comment.
Catholics around the world are not amused. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said in a statement, "Susan Sarandon's quip about Pope Benedict XVI being a 'Nazi' bespeaks unparalleled ignorance."
"Joseph Ratzinger was conscripted into the Nazi Youth the way every other 14-year-old German boy was at the time. Unlike most others, he not only refused to go to the compulsory meetings -- he actually deserted the Hitler Youth! Which is precisely why Jews today regard him as a friend, not as an enemy."
"In short, what Sarandon said is positively obscene."
"Ms. Sarandon may have her differences with the Catholic Church, but that is no excuse for throwing around Nazi analogies," ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman said Monday in a statement suggesting the actress apologize to the Catholic community. "Such words are hateful, vindictive and only serve to diminish the true history and meaning of the Holocaust."
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, was a bit more blunt, telling E! News "it is very hard to find someone dumber" than Sarandon, a person he wouldn't seek an apology from because "she is ignorant and full of hatred to the Catholic Church."