Susan Sarandon called Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi at the Hamptons Film Festival on Saturday -- not once, but twice.
Sarandon, 65, was interviewed by actor and filmmaker Bob Balaban, and she mentioned that she had given the pope a copy of Sister Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking, which was the basis of the movie for which she won an Academy Award in 1995.
Then she clarified which pope she meant: The last one [John Paul II], not this Nazi one we have now.
When Balaban expressed surprise at her remark, Sarandon simply repeated it.
Presumably, Sarandon was referring to the fact that Pope Benedict XVI was a member of the Hitler Youth, as was required for German boys at the time. The pope's representatives have acknowledged his membership but maintain that he had no active participation.
Sarandon, an actress best known for her role in Thelma and Louise and for her liberal activism, has always been outspoken about her political views, but this particular remark has sparked more controversy than even she is used to.
She's a despicable person to make these kinds of despicable remarks, Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told E! News. Unlike most others, he [the pope] 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.
Donohue called Sarandon a hard-core leftist and said he wouldn't even bother calling for an apology, because she is ignorant and full of hatred to the Catholic Church.
What do you think? Was Sarandon's comment out of line?