Susan Sarandon Explains Her 'Nazi' Pope Comment
Susan Sarandon is unapologetic about branding Pope Benedict XVI a "Nazi" last year, insisting she was angry at allegations the Catholic Church had protected pedophile priests.
The Oscar winner made the remarks at the Hamptons Film Festival, during which she recalled sending a copy of the book Dead Man Walking - about Sister Helen Prejean's special relationship with death row prisoner Matthew Poncelet - to Pope John Paul II.
Clarifying her story, she said, "The last one (pope), not this Nazi one we have now."
The star came under fire from Catholic leaders over her comments, but insists she was riled over claims of child abuse being covered up by those at the top of the church, especially as she has three children herself.
She tells British newspaper The Guardian, "I find institutionalized religion very difficult, and for the most part non-productive. Jesus was amazing and a lot of what he talked about has been warped and used by many people to exclude others and be unloving. I consider myself a spiritual person."
"What I said about this pope was somewhat hostile because as a mother and a Catholic I've been very disappointed at the way that he has harbored pedophiles within the church. The church is so powerful that they have a responsibility and an opportunity to heal so many wrong and instead they're so exclusive."