Pope More Popular in Poland than in Germany
"Poles have embraced Bavarian-born Benedict with noticeably more warmth than his fellow Germans, urging him to visit and commenting favorably on his devotion to John Paul during his years as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy.
'The new pope is aware of the Poles' strong attachment to John Paul II and from the very start has referred to him with warmth and emotion - this wins their hearts,' Warsaw University sociologist Ireneusz Krzeminski said Friday....
Poles are much more in line with Benedict's traditional views, while in Germany many chafe at the church stands enforced by the pope during his time as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: bans on abortion, birth control, the ordination of women and sharing Communion with non-Catholics.
Germany is an intensely secular society. It was the home of Martin Luther and the 16th-Century Protestant breakaway from Rome, and has about as many Protestants as it does Catholics, about one-third each, according to church documents..."
(read the entire article here)
The article also states that Poles have no problem with the fact that Benedict was a member of the Hitler Youth, because they have also experienced life under a totalitarian government. I hadn't thought of that, though it does make sense.
I don't think it's really surprising that Poland has accepted Benedict so readily. Welcome, certainly, but not entirely surprising. I mean, Benedict was such a close friend of John Paul the Great's, and so much like him. And I understand that of course there is a national loyalty, but anyone who knows anything about JPII knows that he would want everyone to give their full support to his sucessor.
Anyway, like I said: welcome news. And who knows - maybe the election of a German pope will ultimately lead to a conversion of that country...