The Mercury News website reports today (October 17, 2011) that Susan Sarandon -- the actress who won an Oscar for playing the role of a nun -- called Pope Benedict XVI a "Nazi" on October 15 during an interview with actor Bob Balaban at Long Island's Bay Street Theater.
In the onstage interview, Sarandon said she sent the pope a copy of Sister Helen Prejean's book, "Dead Man Walking." "The last one (Pope John Paul II), not this Nazi one we have now," Sarandon said.
Bill Donohue -- president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights -- referred to Sarandon as "a despicable person to make these kinds of despicable remarks." He added, "It is very hard to find someone dumber than her."
Donohue explained that Pope Benedict XVI -- who was born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 in Germany -- "was forced to join the Hitler Youth at the age of 14 as every boy his age was."
Sarandon -- the oldest of nine children raised in a Roman Catholic family -- won the best actress Academy Award for playing Prejean in the 1995 film "Dead Man Walking."