2009 02 04
A very rough proxy for anger at the Pope


This morning brought the news that Angela Merkel has decided to add her voice to the chorus of criticism directed at Pope Benedict for his decision, on January 21, 2009, to lift the excommunication of holocaust denying bishop Richard Williamson. Pope Benedict was himself a member of the Hitler Youth as a young man, which obviously complicates matters for him when he starts ex-excommunicating holocaust deniers.

I figure a very rough proxy for anger about the issue has to be the number of Google hits for “Nazi Pope” in a particular period of time. Of course, we should expect a baseline number of hits as a result of the controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII, and there’s bound to be a lot of noise (people angrily objecting to the term “Nazi Pope” for example). Anyway, this chart is rough and crappy, but it gives you an idea.

Graph of google hits for nazi pop over time.

It’s even more remarkable if you assume that the vast bulk of the increase comes from the period after January 21, 2009. I wonder what February will look like.

Description of how I made the chart is below the fold, in case anyone wants to check its accuracy.

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