Apparently Pope Benedict XVI thinks so. His speech earlier today at the sight of some of the most horrific of the crimes of the Holocaust affirms his belief that God was on the sidelines.
It would be foolish for finite, fallen humanity to comprehend every divine purpose for everything under the sun. The secret things do belong to the Lord our God (Dt 29.29a). But what he has revealed about himself belongs to us (Dt 29.29b).
What has he revealed about himself? That he is sovereign over every circumstance–even the decisions of humans (Pr 16.9) and the calamities of nature (Is 45.7). That he is infinitely wise (Ro 11.33-36) and infinitely loving (1 Jn 4.8) in all that he does. And that he deals with all evil in his own time and in his own way (Re 21.8).
And if someone wants incontrovertible proof that God deals justly with evil, he or she need simply to look at the cross. The cross is the ultimate display that God does not bypass evil, but will pour out his wrath on sin justly. That is why believers love the term propitiation: the satisfaction of God’s just wrath through the atonement of Christ (Ro 3.19-26). As Stott has written, once one honestly gazes at the cross, “no one can now accuse God of condoning evil.”
So what were all the purposes of God at Auschwitz? I’d be a fool to say that I knew. But what he has revealed I must believe. And what he has revealed demands the recognition that God is never silent.