Tony Abbott some weeks ago contributed a well researched article in The Australian Weekend Magazine (14/15 June) on Pope Benedict XVI.
It contained a paragraph, towards the end, which summed up Benedict's strength of character, more than anything else in the five pages devoted to him.
Apparently, when he was a boy soldier, an inspecting high ranking officer asked the boys in his anti-aircraft group what they wanted to become. Most said 'pilots'. Young Ratzinger, amid much derisive laughter, said he wanted to be a parish priest.
In Australia today, many young boys would not have the courage to make such a reply. Young Ratzinger made the statement in front of a Nazi officer in anti-Catholic Nazi Germany.