World Wars I and II are full of inexpressible sorrow and man-made disasters. It was as if humankind intended to commit suicide by exterminating its own species. World War I was the first duel among the European states, which gathered immense "forces from European colonization. World War II was, on the other hand, directly composed of the internecine slaughter of the European races. I believe that these European catastrophes were the indirect results of the accumulation of European crimes committed against humanity by exterminating half the human population on earth up to the eruption of World War I.
The Papal Highness shows his kindness in making a statement on the Armenian deportation and leans toward charging the Ottoman State with genocide. Yet, the Pope might be unaware of the fact that the world has changed. It should be known that the period in which the Western thought could continue to commit massacres while exporting its model of democracy and civilization to the rest of the world is gone for good. Humanity no longer has a complex about the colonialist and ferocious Western civilization.
In the beginning of Western colonialism in Africa, the Papacy treated Africans as "advanced pygmies" to justify their slaying and enslaving by Europeans. Thus, Africans' lives were, according to the Papacy, trivial in the face of Christian civilization's paramount expansion.
When the English, Portuguese and Spanish colonizers set foot in South America, communities living on that isolated continent constituted a vast proportion of the total human population on earth. While the Mexicans were, for instance, 10 times more in number than the British, that population rapidly shrunk after the colonization period began until it almost became equal to that of Britain.
The Church has always been the primary accomplice of Western colonization. People who succeeded to survive massacres, were then abandoned to the religious and cultural colonization of the Church.
During the Algerian occupation, 1.5 million Algerians were slaughtered by pernicious methods, while the present population of Algeria is overwhelmingly constituted of the children of those massacred.
It is possible to make an encyclopedic work that enumerates the crimes and abetting of crimes of the Papacy after the first days of Western colonization. Besides the slaughter and torture of Africans, Asians, South Americans, Indians and Muslims by European colonization on massive scales, the gist of the so-called "Western civilization" can best be illustrated by its treatment of the European Jews, who came from their own religious and cultural roots.
Assigning the unprecedented slaughter of 6 million Jews in Nazi Germany by inconceivable methods in concentration camps to Hitler alone, a single malefactor is, in fact, an endeavor to conceal the accomplice status of Western civilization in such an immense crime against humanity. This is because the holocaust was realized by the hands of states, politicians, millions of Christian Germans and the Catholic Church, which were all openly or latently standing behind the ongoing massacre.
Gunter Levi exposes with a meticulous study the organic relations between the Nazis and the Vatican during the holocaust. According to Levi's findings, Pope Pius XII, who led the Vatican during World War II, openly supported Nazism. In fact, written documents demonstrate that the pope was well aware of the ongoing slaughter in the Nazi concentration camps. When two American diplomats warned the pope of the possible consequences of his silence for the purpose of his own political prestige, on the ongoing holocaust in 1942, the pope argued that he did not intervene in order to avoid placing the German Catholics in a difficult situation. In a similar vein, the pope told to the reporter of the Osservatore Romano, Vatican's press organ "I do not want to make millions of Catholics in the German armies feel remorse."
We are, as the Ottoman offshoots, ready for the trial of history as a whole. We kindly invite European civilization to confront the sins it has committed since the beginning of the colonization period, and the Papacy might as well take the initiative for such a process of confession.
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.