Susan Sarandon Calls Pope Benedict a 'Nazi'

Wed, 10/19/2011 - 01:02

Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon is facing backlash after comments made about the Pope during an interview she gave last weekend at the Hamptons Film Festival.

While on stage with a journalist from Newsday, Sarandon told the story of how she once sent Pope John Paul II a copy of the book on which her movie Dead Man Walking is based. The actress made sure to clarify which pontiff she was referring to, adding "The last [pope]. Not this Nazi one we have now".

The surprised interviewer rebuked her lightly, only for Sarandon to repeat her comment again.

Sarandon was raised Roman Catholic and still pens essays about her experience with the Church. She won her Oscar playing nun Sr. Helen Prejean, in Dead Man Walking, a popular 1995 film depicting Prejean’s anti-death penalty stance and activism.

The Catholic League has responded to her comments, saying: "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".

Anti-Defamation League has called upon the actress to apologize.