The Tragic Heroism of Pope Pius XII

Pope-Pius-XII-1954

There are commentators on the sports channels whose numbing dialogues would never be confused with the Algonquin Round Table.  These are the so-called Monday Morning Quarterbacks. Some historians quarterback that way.  Pope Pius XII, hailed in his lifetime as a protector of persecuted people, has suffered  in reputation from lax minds who never exercised themselves in the great contests of civilization.

There is increasing evidence that attempts to misrepresent the Pope as feckless and even criminally compliant, began as the work of Communist propagandists, seminally in East Germany at the direction of Moscow.  This was taken up later by people either uninformed or polemical. An impressive number of works have been published recently to correct this, and to them I can only add from my own studies a few details in the anguish of the most terrible years of the 1940’s.

As a child, Eugenio Maria Giuseppi Pacelli  was moved by the early Roman martyrs, and told his uncle that he wanted to be a martyr, but “without nails.” As Pope, his crucifixion without nails began when the diplomat confronted the Evil One who has two faces and hides one.  Pacelli became well aware  that the strengths of diplomacy can strain the apostle, which is why the only one of the Twelve Apostles who was a diplomat, hanged himself.  As a youth sensitive by nature and tutored at home because, according to his sister, he could not take the bad food in seminary, he had the gifts and limitations of a rarified formation. The grandson of an Interior Minister in the Papal States was reared in an intensely clerical world, and one far removed from the nuclear age he would live to see.  He was born on the day that Rutherford B. Hayes was declared president, and  three years before Newman was made a cardinal.  That early environment cultivated his lifelong propensity for baroque effusions, such as his display after the bombing of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which greatly annoyed the historian Philip Hughes, an admirer, for its contrast to papal serenity during other more distant and rebarbative devastations.

The Fascist propagandist, Farinnaci,  saw the Vatican and its Pope as an enemy in his crosshairs. In 1942, he wrote: “Undoubtedly, we could not agree with the Vatican Wireless broadcasts of sympathy for Jewish Poland; the telegram sent to the Protestant Queen Wilhelmina; the considerable contribution made to the Holy See a few years ago by the Jews; …the appointment of Jews to posts in the Vatican City, almost in defiance of our anti-Semitic (and therefore Catholic) policy.”  To corroborate Farinacci’s case, Jewish prisoners in an Italian concentration camp in Tossica, sent a letter to the Pope who was  a “revered personality who has stood up for the rights of all afflicted and powerless people.”

Around Christmas of 1942, the Vichy government in their collaboration with the Nazis under Laval as head of government distinct from Petain as chief of state, complained about the “Vatican cliques” who “fly up in the air every time it is a question of the descendants of Christ’s Murderers.” On September 2, The New York Times headlined: “Laval Spurns Pope—25,000 Jews in France Arrested for Deportation.” Laval had already exploded in anger against Monsignor Valerio Valeri, dean of the diplomatic corps in France, for speaking out against the government’s anti-Semitism and deportations of Jews.

On September 12, 1942, ten days after German troops entered Stalingrad, exiled Poles and Belgians sent a plea to the pope to condemn Nazi war crimes.  The Pope did not respond, possibly because in the previous year when he had condemned the racial legislation of the new pro-Nazi republic of Slovakia, the German SS retaliated with mass executions of 3,500 Jews in Lodz, Poland.

Also in 1942, Joseph Goebbels published ten million copies of a pamphlet condemning the Vatican’s attempt to protect Jews by enabling hundreds to flee Poland for Spain and Portugal, and sequestering many in the Vatican. For such acts, The Pilot, then an influential Catholic newspaper in Boston, compared Pius XII to other papal protectors of Jews:  Sixtus IV, Clement VII, Eugenius III, Gregory IX and Pius XI.

The journals of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, formerly a German  spy in Spain and later a counter-spy for the Allies, explain not only how he had persuaded Franco not to allow German troops to attack Gibraltar through Spain.  A devout Catholic, he also foiled Hitler’s attempt to kidnap or assassinate both Pius XII and King Victor Emmanuel after the 1943 arrest of Mussolini at the king’s orders.

From a different perspective, in June of 1942, Bishop Veglia in Yugoslavia, lamented Vatican silence about Italian atrocities among the Croat and Slovene populations annexed to Italy: “…the people are, alas, more and more losing trust in the Catholic Church and loyalty to the Holy Father, while on the other hand they are being thrown into the arms of Communism, in which they are beginning to see the only element which will defend them in the forests against the cruelty of the Italian elements.”

On Christmas Eve, 1942, Pius XII famously broadcast a message to the world, nuanced by his mindfulness of the failed strategies of Pope Leo X with the German princes, and Pope Pius V with Queen Elizabeth I.  The New York Times said of the Pope: “This Christmas more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out in the silence of a continent.” Bishops took up the message and, for instance, Archbishop Gounot in Tunisia, anticipating the Allied landings in French North Africa, denounced the Vichy persecution of Jews.

In Belgium at the start of 1943, the Germans would not let Cardinal van Roey publish the Pope’s Silver Jubilee address, and the Italian government banned the film “Pastor Angelicus” about the life of the Pope. In that same January, the London Tablet commented on the tendency to think that more would have been accomplished by a louder protest from more bishops:  “If there exists a vague atavistic memory that once Popes and Bishops spoke, and wicked Kings trembled, that salutary thing happened because the public opinion of the day had a much fuller and deeper sense of the rights and importance of spiritual authority.  Modern men, who have for so long applauded the narrowing down and emptying of that authority as the emancipation of mankind from the thralldom of superstitions, can hardly be surprised if, as a rule, prelates in the modern era tend in prudence to limit themselves to the field indubitably conceded to them by public opinion.”

In a letter to Bishop von Preysing on April 30, 1943, Pius XII described with unusual candor the theory behind his subtlety “We give to the pastors who are working on the local level the duty of determining if and to what degree the danger of reprisal and of various forms of oppression occasioned by episcopal declarations…seem to advise caution. Here lies one of the reasons, why We impose self-restraint on Ourselves in our speeches…The Holy See has done whatever was in its power, with charitable, financial and moral assistance.” The U.S. diplomat Harold Tittman recorded how anti-Nazi resistance leaders consistently had urged the Pope to follow this policy.

In May of 1943, the secretary of the Jewish Agency for Palestine asked the future Pope John XXIII, “to thank the Holy See for the happy outcome of the steps taken on behalf of the Israelites in Slovakia.”  At the same time, the Pope granted an audience to Dr. Kazimierz Papee, the informal representative of the Polish government in exile to the Holy See.  As recounted by the historian Dariusz Libionka, and mentioned in his own journal, Papee had expressed to the Papal Secretary of State, Luigi Cardinal Maglione, his exasperation with the Pope’s hesitancy to speak about the Polish situation in other than diplomatic language. According to Papee, the Pope abandoned diplomatic reserve to berate him: “I have listened again and again to your representatives about our unhappy children in Poland. Must I be given the same story again?”  In his memoir, “Pius XII I Polska,” Papee recalled that the Pope raised his arms in the air as he reprimanded him.  Pope John XXIII had Papee removed, at the start of his pontificate. In the same week of this strained conversation, the Nazi-controlled Radio Paris  broadcast: “As soon as the Fuhrer assumed power in 1933, the Vatican let loose its hostility…National Socialism tried to settle all conflicts with the Church; the Church rejected the hand offered to her. May she bear the responsibility for this in the annals of history.”

The German  ambassador to the Holy See, Baron Ernst von Kessel, was by all accounts, even that of Churchill, secretly sympathetic to the Allies,  He was convinced that Hitler intended to occupy the Vatican, which he thought would be disastrous, especially if the Pope were shot “fleeing while avoiding arrest.”

That did not happen, and Pius XII became  a “martyr without nails.”  No Monday Morning Quarterback with any self-respect can say that Pius XII did not try his best, and indeed did more than most of the players on that historical stage of the war years, conspicuously in contrast to the mendacity of President Roosevelt in his whitewashing of the Katyn Massacre and the short shrift he gave to the resistance leader Jan Karski. Churchill, whom Pius first met in London in 1911 during a Eucharistic Congress, called him  “the greatest man of our time.” During an audience in 1944, Churchill was surprised at the vehemence with which the Pope urged strict justice for war criminals. An eloquent defender of capital punishment in Thomistic terms, Pius told a Swiss reporter: “Not only do we approve of the [Nuremburg] trial, but we desire that the guilty be punished as quickly as possible, and without exception.”  The diplomat in Pius was frustrated by the position of Monsignor Jozef  Tiso as chief of the Slovakian state. A Nazi puppet, Tiso always wore clerical dress and never suffered canonical censure. The Pope received him privately in audience more than once.  But diplomacy worked when Tiso yielded to the Pope’s sixth formal plea to stop deportation of thousands of Jews.  After the war, Tiso was hanged in his clericals as a war criminal.  However, nothing was done to the Herzegovenian Franciscans in the Ustashe center near Medjugorge, whose complicity in the killing of hundreds of Serbian women and children was described by Cardinal Tisserant as an abomination.

Pius XII’s diplomatic character was his triumph with civilized men and his anguish with barbarians. Had he died a martyr with nails, his legacy could not have been suborned by demagogues. Diplomats tend to live longer than prophets, but to fault diplomacy for not having done what a longer view judges should have been done, can be a self-serving form of detraction.  American Indian wisdom has it that you should not judge a man until you have walked two moons  in his moccasins. It is harder to walk in the Shoes of the Fisherman, for there is a rare succession of those elected to do that. The tension between diplomacy and prophecy was the stuff of tragedy, and that made Pius XII a man of his time, which was the most tragic in the annals of man.

Rev. George W. Rutler

By

The Rev. George W. Rutler is the new pastor of St. Michael's church in New York City. His latest book is Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943 (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press.)

  • publiusnj

    Although Fr. Rutler notes that there is increasing evidence that the Communists were behind the effort to blacken Pope Pius’s name, beginning with the 1962 play, The Deputy, his article goes off in another direction bringing out several WWII era statements showing the antipathy of the Nazis for the Church and the Pope in particular. I wanted to note that in addition to the testimony of the Rumanian Spy Master Pacepa, the best proof of the Communists’ fingerprints on this effort was the identity of the director of the original production of the play: Erwin Piscator.
    Piscator was a long-standing member of the German Communist Party and a director of Berlin’s 1920s Proletarian Theater who went off into exile in the Soviet Union in 1934 after the first break between Hitler and the Communists. After spending some time in the new Communist paradise of Republican Spain, he followed the infamous Communist, Bertolt Brecht, to the US in the run-up to WWII. He produced an anti-Catholic work (Nathan the Wise) on Broadway in the Forties and then when he and Brecht were served with a subpoena for the House Unamerican Activities Committee after the War, they went off to Berlin/East Germany. Eventually, he somehow teamed up with Hochhuth to put on the Deputy. So Pacepa’s accusation receives inferential support from Piscator’s biography.

    • Wilson

      Thank you for this valuable information. Please pardon me, but I think that it was the House Committee on Un-American Activities [actions now flourishing sadly], reworded by its then detractors.

    • witness to history

      Another of atheists’ favourite lies persists: that Hitler was a Christian. They are willing to lie in the face of evidence – that Hitler (despite his cunning public rhetoric) was in fact a violent anti-Christian and particularly hostile to Catholics. His behaviour betrayed him: Hitler advocated the creed of hatred, vengeance and brutality (the very antithesis of Christianity) – against anyone who would oppose him. His actions exposed and defined Hitler as the very embodiment of a most violent ANTI-Christ.

      Can Pope Pius XII be accused of inertia during the rising tide of fascism, eg., Nazism? NO. Christians instinctively knew that the Pope’s astutely-worded messages could not be too explicit or incendiary (as this would severely endanger the lives of further potential victims, marking them for extermination). Christians realised that the Pope’s messages were a code for peaceful resistance and secret sabotage. Indeed several of my own relatives had little prospect of physical escape and were desperately fearful that even one undiplomatic word from the Pope (to which Hitler could possibly take exception), would precipitate a further frenzy of more violent genocide and pogroms. The astute immediately recognised how precarious a tightrope the Pope had to negotiate . Similar situations of terror were experienced by other victims in other countries under brutal regimes. Ultimately it was only the Catholic Church and some Protestant Pastors (eg the heroic priests and pastors of Luebecke) who dared to oppose Hitler’s Nazis and Gestapo; as can be seen from the statement made by the Physicist Albert Einstein in “Time” magazine December 23, 1940:

      “Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the case of truth; but no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom. But they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Only the Church – only the Church – stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess, that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly. Albert Einstein”

      …/2

      • witness to history

        …/2

        For further “eye-witness to history” evidence: Jewish Historian, Max Dimont tells us that … “If one believes the [ pervasiveness of the] anti-Semitic, one should also believe the anti-Christian, for BOTH had a single purpose: Hitler’s aim was to eradicate ALL religious organizations within the state and to foster a return to paganism” (Max Dimont, 1994, p. 397). Hitler wanted a return to the occult and to (supposedly) “inspirational” mythology of ancient Germanic pagan gods .
        Max Dimont [ http://www.rtbot.net/max_dimont ]

        On October 10, 1958: Dr. Elio Toaff, the Chief Rabbi of Rome, declared: “The Jewish people will always remember what the Catholic Church did for them, on the orders of the Pope, at the time of the racial persecutions.” He added:
        “Many priests were imprisoned and sacrificed their lives to help Jews.” (Le Monde, Oct. 10, 1958)
        And “More than anyone else, we have had the opportunity to appreciate the great kindness, filled with compassion and magnanimity that the Pope displayed during the terrible years of persecution and terror”

        “The delegates of the Congress of the Italian Jewish Communities… Feel that it is imperative to extend reverend homage to Your Holiness, and to express the most profound gratitude that animates all Jews for your fraternal humanity toward them during the years of persecution when their lives were endangered by Nazi-Fascist barbarism.”
        – Message to Pius XII from the Italian Jewish Community (April 5, 1946)

        The 1943-1944 American
        Jewish Yearbook reported that Pius XII “Took an unequivocal stand against the oppression of Jews throughout Europe.”

        Following the war, the Jerusalem Post reported that: “Thousands of Jews in
        Italy owe their lives to Italian citizens and the and the Catholic Church.”

        Pope Pius was credited with having been personally involved in rescuing at least 860,000 Jews as well as many many thousands of other persecuted peoples.

        Despite deliberate hostile disinformation by Christophobes, this was virtually a universal perception of Pius XII, with good reason – for people devoted to integrity and truth.

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  • hombre111

    Mmm, I think that history shows the story of Pope Pius XII to be a mixed bag. As the Pope’s representative in Germany, he did ttry to gratify Hitler. His dissolution of Catholic Labor unions comes to mind. With that possible voice of opposition gone, thing were easier for the madman. Feeling compelled to choose between Communism and Fascism, the Church made its tilt however slight, toward Fascism, thinking it was choosing the lesser evil.
    And the Pope never did speak with a loud voice. He wanted the bishops to speak out and go to the death camps. But his was the voice that was needed. Maybe he was afraid HItler would sic his bombers on Vatican City. He lacked the courage of some popes of the past, who died as martyrs, for instance, as prisoners of the Byzantine emperor. I cannot imagine Pope John Paul II talking the timid talk while millions perished.

    • J G

      That is utterly false, a lie. He did not seek to “gratify” Hitler. He had no illusions and despised him. The Church sought to avoid being drawn into the war and instead chose to help the suffering as best it could. When he did speak out the result was MORE people being sent to their deaths. He had great courage and there was a plan for him to resign if the Nazi’s invaded the Vatican, as they planned to do. Ven. Pius XII pray for us and for those who calumniate you.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      This is confusing since, as nuncio in Germany, Pacelli left in 1929 and never returned. Hitler, on the other hand, did not come to power until 1933. In 1929, the Nazi movement was still rather obscure and did hit its stride until several years later. How do you think that Pacelli “gratified” Hitler during his time in Germany, since Hitler was a political non-entity?

      In any case, couldn’t anyone be even slightly forgiven for not knowing exactly what to do or say in the overwhelming maelstrom that was WW II? Can we be sure that, if Pius XII had “spoken out” as many contemporaries insist that he should have, we would not now be lamenting the Pope’s futile grandstanding and the harm that resulted from his useless meddling? And does anyone think that a mere papal condemnation would somehow have stopped Hitler in his tracks?

      Something of the same type of criticism is often directed at the American President Franklin Roosevelt for not ordering air raids against the Nazi extermination camps, as though that were an obvious “silver bullet” that would have stopped the mass murders. Apart from whether such raids would have been effective – the Germans were logistical geniuses, and masters at quickly rebuilding damaged rail lines, re-routing trains, etc., it was politically impossible at the time, since the air war was already under heavy criticism: heavy losses, no obvious military gains. But that argument also carries little weight with those who see an overwhelming situation as one that could easily have been “if only,” as they often do with Pius XII.

      • hombre111

        Great post. I take back the Nuncio bit, although I have read that accusation in reputable sources. You are right about the maelstrom and the agonizing question about what was the right thing to do. Pius was an intellectual, not instinctively a man who could confront, like his predecessor. I don’t think his speaking out would have been considered grandstanding. It would have been calling out a monster with all the powers of destruction at his disposal, one of the greatest prophetic acts of all time. The Pope didn’t do it. That’s all we can say. We can grieve that he did not. But blame him? No. Sadly, popes have been much braver at hammering parents about birth control and smothering theologians for disagreeing with the Magisterium.
        Pope John Paul rose to heroic status by opposing Communism. But he had the West to stand with him. If he had been standing alone, as Pius surely was, would he have opposed Hitler? With the possible destruction of the Vatican State? Of Catholics all over Europe? Could he have thus stood up for the Jews who had endured Catholic scorn and wrath for a thousand years? Remember, the last Jewish ghetto to be torn down was in Rome.
        Thus stated, I don’t think any pope would have risked everything for the despised Jew. Popes had not yet risen to that level of moral sensitivity. That would wait for Vatican II.

        • J G

          Yes, the Popes have spoken out against the holocaust of abortion. So have you been listening? What will you risk for the “despised” unborn?

          • hombre111

            Inevitable, the swing around to the abortion question, as if that was some kind of point maker and discussion stopper re the issue at hand. Go troll somewhere else.

            • publiusnj

              JG’s point is hardly trolling.
              The silly conceit that the Pope could have stopped the Holocaust singlehandedly if only he had spoken out is magical thinking in the service of anti-Catholicism. A very telling proof that the Pope could not have commanded the unquestioning obedience of the 2/3 Protestant German State during the Dictatorship that ran Germany throughout WWII is this Real World fact: Abortion has spread like a plague throughout the Western World, even in many countries that have majority Catholic populations, during this current period of time when the Church still has fairly unrestricted freedom of speech and has spoken out loudly but without avail in defense of the more than 100,000,000 babies killed by mothers and their abortionists in the name of choice.
              And yet the Monster Hitler and his fanatical followers would have folded up like cheap valises at a cross word by the Pope? Hitler wouldn’t instead have captured the Pope as he captured Mussolini but tried him for collaboration with some enemy of the German State and then launched a very public ratcheting up of the killings which he would have attributed to the Pope?

              • hombre111

                Who said Pope Pius XII could have stopped the Holocaust? But he could have stood loudly and defiantly while he and the European Catholic Church paid the price. It would have made great history. But, as I said in a post somewhere, that was not his nature and and many if not most of the European Catholics, steeped in anti-Semiticism, would have opposed him and left the Jews to their fate. The Pope did what was within his abilities. So, he gets no condemnation for judgment from me. But it is one of those things that make me wonder about the Holy Spirit. A quiet, timid man during the time an unspeakable crime was being committed. The Holy Spirit did not raise him beyond his retiring nature. Unfortunately, this left the door open, so that, some day, someone could write a book entitled “Hitler’s Pope” And his cautious approach caused us to have this discussion today. .

            • Adam_Baum

              People in glass houses….

            • J G

              Yet your posts are utterly predictable. Who is the real troll?

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          Thanks, I appreciate the response, although I think you’re still not fair to Pius XII. He was indeed a much more reserved, demure man than his predecessor, but that isn’t a moral failing, just the luck of the genetic pool.

          In any case, I think that the question remains unanswered and unanswerable: we can only guess what the effects of a public papal condemnation might have been at that time, although it obviously would have provided the Vatican with some better PR in some present-day circles.

          Actually, Pius did make numerous diplomatic protests to the Nazi regime – Ribbentrop often boasted about the drawer full of complaints he’d received from the Vatican, but left them unopened. That’s not surprising though since, as the New York Times reported in a news item in the Spring of 1940, the same German foreign minister had angrily stormed out of a personal audience with the pope who hit him with a long list of complaints about Nazi conduct in Poland.

          At all events, Pius and his advisers did weigh the probable impact of going public when he authorized Dutch to protests the deportations that were beginning in the Netherlands. The Nazis retaliated by immediately rounding up Dutch Catholics known to have converted from Judaism; at the time, they left formerly Jewish protestants alone. As the pope later indicated in 1943, he had learned to be very cautious about anything he said in public, due to experience up to that point. That may or may not have been the best policy, but it doesn’t really look to me like cowardice or indifference.

          Finally, consider the fact that, in 1956, when Pius XII turned 80, the Israeli symphony orchestra flew to Rome to perform a special concert in tribute to his valiant and untiring efforts on behalf of the Jewish people at a time when few others did – there’s quite an impressive photo of the Pope with his visitors on the occasion.

          Israelis don’t do things like that for Anti-Semites or Nazi sympathizers, do they?

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Let me add one corrective to my post just above. My observation regarding Joachim Ribbentrop’s “drawer full of letters” actually comes from a 1993 article by professor James R. Kurth, “The Vatican’s Foreign Policy,” in the Summer, 1993 National Interest. it’s a good line that’s stuck with me, as I realized when I re-read my post. Sorry for the unconscious plagiarism.

        • Adam_Baum

          “I have read that accusation in reputable sources.”

          You have a rather peculiar process for assessing credibility-and YOU are responsible for YOUR assertions.

        • Adam_Baum

          You are so inconsistent as to lead one to the conclusion you are suffering some incapacity. In the “Dime’s Worth..” you wrote:

          “Explaining something in
          terms of intrinsic evil is not necessarily the best way to explain it.

          But here you write “And the Pope never did speak with a loud voice.”

          Of course that’s not nearly as bad as accusing him of a form of depraved indifference and moral cowardice.

          Yeah, I’m keeping score. 111 times 6 is…

      • kgbla

        ” And does anyone think that a mere papal condemnation would somehow have stopped Hitler in his tracks?” It would certainly have made it more difficult for christian germans to ignore what was happening.

        • Glenn M. RIcketts

          I’m confused here also. To to which “German Christians” are you referring? Approximately two thirds of them were Lutheran protestants who wouldn’t pay much attention to papal pronouncements in any circumstances, let alone in war time.
          In any case, I don’t see what, if anything, any of them could have been expected to do, since most of the genocidal policies of the Nazis took place secretly and well outside of Germany in remote locations such as Auschwitz in Poland. They were also the work of special units such as the SS or Einsatzgruppen, not the regular German army units, who were engaged in daily combat.

          I’ve always been struck by the fact that the German military governor of Poland in December of 1939 sent a stiff letter of complaint to his superiors in Berlln complaining about the treatment of Jews and Poles that he’d heard about. Surely this was an aberration that should be looked into, he fumed since Germans were civilized people and didn’t do such things.

          If he was thus in the dark, you need to ponder how much more ordonary folks might have been, do you think?

          • kgbla

            I don’t know. What would you do if all your jewish neighbours were being taken from their homes, never to be seen again?

            • Glenn M. Ricketts

              I honestly don’t know what I’d do if the penalty for concealing or assisting Jews was execution, as it was in the grim days in which these events took place. I imagine that my first impulse – in circumstances I think neither of us can imagine – would be to protect those closest to me, my own family.

              Anyway, if you’re referring to Germany itself, most of Europe’s Jews didn’t live there, being concentrated instead in Poland, Roumania or the Soviet Union. I’ve always been puzzled that such passionate hatred of Jews could have arisen where they were such a tiny minority in the larger population.

              The real religious divide in Germany up to that time was the one between Catholics and protestants who almost never intermarried and attended segregated religious schools similar to the racial segregation in the American South.

              But to answer the question: what would I do? I don’t know. It would be easy for me to say something that might get me some points in discussions like this one but honestly – I don’t know.

          • David

            Let us not forget the Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen’s activities as Bishop of Münster.

            • Glenn M. Ricketts

              Truly a saintly and heroic man, one fearless of martyrdom and who doesn’t get sufficient recognition for his extraordinary witness for the faith.

              But without in any way wishing to detract from this glorious record, consider as well what happened in the wake of his heroics. The Nazis didn’t touch him directly, although Heinrich Himmler had urged Hitler to have him shot. Instead, nearly all of his priests were rounded and imprisoned in Dachau, thus depriving him of his support and collaboration network. The bishop in the neighboring diocese – his name escapes me at the moment – said nothing publicly, but also wasn’t subject to reprisals by the Gestapo. This allowed him to continue running a secret underground organization which assisted Jews and other refugees in escaping. Who is right? Both of them. Am I any more certain of the precise course of action in these circumstances? Alas.

        • hombre111

          A papal condemnation would not have stopped Hitler. It would have brought great pain and sorrow upon European Catholics trapped within the cauldron of the Third Reich. Most of those Catholics came from a long anti-Semitic tradition and probably would not have supported the pope, any more than many modern Catholics support the pope when he speaks against war, abortion, or against other forms of social injustice.
          But he would have spoken. History would always remember that dramatic prophetic moment, which might have cost the pope his life and the destruction of the Papal State. Those are the could’as, would’as. But what actually happened leaves us with historical ambiguity.

          • J G

            He did speak. Most did not listen. Do you?

    • Carlos Helms

      Did you read the article? It seems that every time the Pope opened his mouth, the Nazis responded by executing thousands. Not sure if you realize it; but Blessed John Paul (of Poland) did not condemn the activities of his predecessor. Diplomacy is a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t endeavor. While one appears courageous following one course, he’s a coward for not following the other. No win.

      • hombre111

        I don’t think any pope would ever condemn the activities of any predecessor. As someone said when Pope John Paul II hammered the Jesuits based on a false impression, popes don’t apologize.
        That said, Pope Pius would not have been acting as a diplomat, but as a prophet. Considering the monster he was facing and the power and destruction the monster could have brought to bear on the Church, it would have been the greatest prophetic gesture of all time. But I am certain European Catholics would not have been willing to stand beside the pope in favor of the despised Jew and accepted the consequences. Only some European Catholics had developed the moral sensitivity we now take for granted. Just before the war, the Cardinal in Poland commanded his priests to read from the pulpit a letter condemning the Jews. In contrast, the Protestants of Denmark stood up for the Jews in their midst, wearing yellow stars. They saved a lot of lives. In Poland by contrast, the Catholics did not stand up for the Jews and protect them within their population and most of the Polish Jews were slaughtered. And then, when a handful of survivors returned to Poland, they were subjected to the anti-semitism they had known before the war.

        • J G

          Pope’s don’t apologize? You haven’t been paying much attention have you? But in this case there is nothing to apologize for. It was the Nazi’s who killed all those people, NOT Pius XII. How about putting the blame where it should be? Many Catholics assisted Jews, the Pope is credited with saving over 800,000. The head of the Protestant church in Germany was an avowed Nazi who shot himself at the end of the war. It is interesting that you so quickly run to absolve Protestant of their guilt.

          • hombre111

            Popes occupy the most lofty moral position on earth. That high place puts them in a place of clear judgment and responsibility you and I do not have to worry about. But as history shows, popes turn out to be ordinary men who live within the limits of their own personalities. Introverted, scholarly Pope Pius XII did not have the disposition to confront. Instead, he went the way of diplomatic subtleties and undercover effort. The world must applaud his rescue of many Jews. (Source for 800,000?) But at a time that demanded a powerful figure who could make an historic stand, God put this timid man on the throne of Peter. I cannot imagine Peter the impetuous going the indirect, depend on your frightened bishops to do the talking route. Or, for that matter, Pope John Paul II. If he had been alive at that time, he would have been John Paul the Great, Pope and Martyr.

            • J G

              He did speak. The Nazi’s hated him and had plans to kidnap him and set up a puppet papacy. He saved hundreds of thousands of lives. You should honor him.

        • David

          I do not know that Pope St. Agatho demurred at the condemnation of Honorius I ( 625-38) by the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680).

          • hombre111

            Thanks, David, for the historical tidbit. I had forgotten that event. But you notice, the pope disagreed with a council. Over the history of the Church, popes have often disagreed with or diminished councils. This is what both John Paul II and Benedict have done.
            Actually, I just thought of that marvelous moment when a pope disagreed with a pope. Lost track of names and the precise time, but you probably know the story, which happened during the Dark Ages: one pope had another pope’s body disinterred, clothed in papal robes, tried for heresy, and tossed into the Tiber. But maybe that is a story of one pope disagreeing with another that we would just as soon forget.

            • J G

              They have not diminished the council. In fact the dissenters have. They have actually read the documents. You disagree with the Pope, so where does that leave you?

              • hombre111

                I was quoting the Church History classes I attended as a student, where the teacher and the textbooks pointed out that most popes have opposed or weakened the councils that occurred in their time, including the Council of Trent. It is certainly true of of Pope John Paul, who began to dismantle aspects of the Council almost as soon as he got in office.

            • David

              Pope Stephen VI (VII) (896-97) and his terrible treatment of the corpse of his predecessor Pope Formosus (891-96) – in a terrible period of too many vilely misbehaving popes, which it is variously salutary not to forget.

        • publiusnj

          More anti-Catholicism. There are more Poles among the Righteous of the Gentiles than any other group. While the comparison of Poles to Danes is somewhat skewed because the Danish Underground asked to be recognized as a single organization, the Yad Vashem organization has recognized 6334 Poles (as of 1/1/12) as “Righteous among the Nations” and 22 Danes. It is a calumny of the most hateful nature to say that the Poles did not stand up for the Jews.
          What’s more, the Poles also fought very bravely as a Nation fighting the Germans at home and throughout Europe for the entire length of WWII. What the Danes did for the Jews was courageous but what the Poles did in WWII outstripped whatever the Danes did. How many Poles died fighting the Nazis in WWII? Hundreds of thousands in Poland and then in Narvik, at Dunkirk, in North Afreica, Italy, Normandy, at Arnhem and in the Warsaw uprising of Aug. 1, 1944 and right up through the End of the War, several divisions on line fighting and dying. How many Danes died fighting the Nazis? The Germans just walked into and through Denmark at the start of WWII and then the Danes did nothing other than help a small number of jews to escape to Sweden. Courageous? Certainly, but a drop in the bucket when measured up against what the Poles did.

        • jaybird1951

          Keep in mind that in Poland it was a capital crime for a Gentile to help a Jew. That was not the case in Denmark, whose people were considered by the Nazis to be fellow ‘Arians.’ Also, Denmark had fewer than 20,000 Jews and a coastline near Sweden that facilitated smuggling them. Poland had 3.5 million Jews and was surrounded by enemies. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of Polish Catholics did help Jews when they could under extremely difficult circumstances that you cannot begin to imagine. Many of them are honored as “righteous Gentiles” in Israel. I heard that there is an entire forest in Israel planted with trees in Pius XII’s honor.

          • hombre111

            Great post which makes me stop and think. Thank youl.

  • Paul Becke

    Only one problem with that perspective. Pius XII should have identified and condemned volubly and vehemently the wickedness of fascism at it inception or very soon after; when it could have been nipped in the bud. It was ambivalent because its rich friends feared Communism.

    Had the the church shown a concern for the social gospel, and for the immortal souls of the rich, as ardent as its concern for its own good standing with the latter. How different the history of the last century could have been.

    • publiusnj

      This argument suggests that Pope Pius’s being more publicly condemnatory could have brought down the whole Nazi House of Cards. Acute insight or wishful thinking? I think wishful thinking. The article points out that the Nazi reaction to direct criticism by the Catholic Church was the shedding of blood (3500 Jews killed in retaliation for the Pope speaking out against the Slovak Republic’s racialist legislation). Another example was the round up of Dutch Jewish converts to Catholicism in the Summer of 1942 when the Dutch bishops spoke out aginst the Nazi arrest of Dutch Jews who had NOT converted. RESULT? Catholic Jewish converts including Saint Gertrude Stein were shipped off to the Death Camps while Dutch Jewish converts to Protestantism were not.
      The critical flaw in critiques of Pope Pius XII based on his having done things too quietly in the critic’s opinion is that they are so anachronistic. Nazi Europe in WWII was not a debating society in which contributors spoke more or less courageously and the “focus group” of European Public Opinion would then vote to support or oppose the conduct (here the Holocaust) that had come under review. Rather, Nazi Europe was a Dictatorship in which opposition was put down in the cruelest way imaginable, and the Dictator was never more fanatical than when the issue of the Final Solution was involved.
      As to the claim that if only Pius XII had spoken earlier Nazisim never would have stayed in power: more wishful thinking. First, Pius XII was the Papal Secretary of State at the time and he is thought to have wriitten parts of Pius XI’s 1937 condemnation of Nazism, but Europe was not in the mood to oppose Hitler at the time. Back then the Socialist in charge of France was engaged in appeasement of the Nazis even in regard to the Spanish Civil War where France struck a non-interventionist pose. And the British, who had signed an Anglo-German Naval Treaty in 1935, were of a mind to appease Hitler until the Summer of 1939. No, the fault lies not in the Papacy but elsewhere when it comes to the rise of Nazism.

      • David

        Not ‘Gertrude’ but Edith Stein who became the Carmelite Sister Teresia Benedicta of the Cross (together with her sister, Rosa).

        • publiusnj

          You are right, of course. I was writing much too quickly. Sorry.

          • David

            I have just become acquainted wth (as she then was) Dr. Edith Stein’s letter of April 1933 to Pope Pius XI, photo-reproduced together with Archabbot Walzer’s cover letter and (the Vatican file copy of) Cardinal Pacelli’s answer to the latter, thanks to M. Amata Neyer OCD (in German):

            http://www.karmelocd.de/Spirit/Jahrbuch_2004.pdf

    • Glenn M. RIcketts

      I’m not sure what you mean here, since Pacelli did not become Pope until March, 1939, when the hour was late indeed. Certainly his predecessor condemned Fascism ringlngly, most notably in the March 1937 encyclical “Mit Brennender Sorge,” a minute denunciation of the the tenets of Nazism. No doubt, as a long-time Nuncio to Germany and then-Vatican Secretary of State, he had a major hand in drafting this thunderbolt, to which hitler responded by closing Catholic schools and shutting down the Catholic press, youth organizations, etc.

      Is there something else that you had in mind?

  • Paul Becke

    For that matter, surely the very birth of Communism/atheistic socialism will be deemed by the Almighty as the inevitable by-product of the greatest, most egregious derelicition on the part of his Church throughout its history. Straining at the gnat of personal piety, while swallowing the camel of collusion in structural economic oppression.

    Egregiously derelict, even in comparison with its dilatory condemnation of the unambiguously
    satanic, Western slave-trade in the second half of the second
    millennium, as compared to the tireless campaigning, both vocal and
    partaking of actual physical rescuing, by some non-denominational,
    Christian churches. Slavery in the ancient, pre-Christian world had been
    all together less savage and diabolical. How did that come about?

    And how is it that, while our political leaders, at least in the US and UK – where we fear our politicians, instead of the other way round, as in France and Germany – often act as though making laws of the land absolves them from the requirement that they, too, should abide by them; in the US, even to the point of a history of significant, even growing, electoral fraud. While poor, old, pagan King Ahasuerus felt he had to go cap in hand to his country’s juridical experts and legislators, to find out how he should respond to Queen Vashti’s refusal to accompany him to a certain feast?

    I suspect that this pope and this synod are going to remedy some of the worst of the Church’s historic inadequacies.

    • David

      With reference to the ancient world, Pope St. Callistus I was an ex-slave.
      Modern slavery does not present a simple picture of “egregious dereliction”. To quote P. Allard (1912), ” in 1462, Pius II declared slavery to be “a great crime” (magnum scelus); that, in 1537, Paul III forbade the enslavement of the Indians; that Urban VIII forbade it in 1639, and Benedict XIV in 1741; that Pius VII demanded of the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, the suppression of the slave trade and Gregory XVI condemned it in 1839; that, in the Bull of Canonization of the Jesuit Peter Claver, one of the most illustrious adversaries of slavery, Pius IX branded the “supreme villainy” (summum nefas) of the slave traders.

    • hombre111

      Ahh, somebody who is truly radical speaks and it is poetry to my ears. Don’t agree with all that you said, though. In the pre-Christian world, the cruelty of slavery depended on the circumstances. For instance, many slaves were worked to death, and crucifixion was the punishment resereved for slaves. As the post below shows, the Church finally started to oppose slavery in 1462. Why did it take so long? And why did it take four hundred more years for a pope to finally condemn the whole blasphemy? Again, I ask, what is all this yak about the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church? Fear of the slave holding nations spoke a whole lot louder to a long series of popes. And, even after Gregory XVI wrote, some religious orders in the southern United States continued to own slaves. And when I was in the seminary, one of my profs argued that, done correctly, slavery was not such a bad deal.

      • Adam_Baum

        You really should show the courage of your convictions and renounce pension or other post employment benefits from the yak…

      • J G

        Actually the Church eliminated slavery in Europe over time. Some early Popes were slaves. The cruelty of secularism far exceeds any done by members of the Church. I guess you see the Holy Spirit in the 100 million dead due to atheistic communism?

    • Carolyn A

      @Paul Becke: An over-abundance of adjectives does not compensate for lack of logic. Perhaps you could learn from Fr. Rutler’s unambiguous yet elegant writing style.

  • Nick d’Fluh

    All those who seem willing to critique this pope, should
    look to your own house of glass. To wit, I recommend as a starter read four
    books by Dr. Anthony Sutton, Wall Street and the
    Bolshevik Revolution, Wall Street and the
    Rise of Hitler, Wall Street and FDR, and National Suicide; Military Aid To The
    Soviet Union. There are plenty of good and authentic publications on the
    history of the 1920s through the 1960s. I believe Dr. Sutton offers the most
    authentic and complete view. While your at it, where are the Protestants,
    Orthodox Christians, and other leaders of that era? Hmmm. What did the leading
    Jewish religious and politicians of that era think about this pope? From what I
    read, virtually all congratulated and thanked him for his service to the Jews. There
    are also some great books on Pius XII. Start with Kenneth Whitehead’s The
    Definitive Book on Pius XII. And for all those who do or do not believe in
    Catholic prophecy, what did the Blessed Virgin Mary warn the world at Fatima in 1917 about
    Communism and the next war under Pius XI? You can add Akita, Japan to that as well (both approved by the Church). Frankly, this is a tired subject. No
    one is learning from the past. Everyone seems bent on self-interest, arguments and
    worse still war. Look at the world around us today and tell me that we are not
    heading for war.

    • witness to history

      You are correct, Nick.
      Re “where are the Protestants, Orthodox Christians, and other leaders of that era?
      … virtually all congratulated and thanked him for his service to the Jews”.
      Just above, I have itemised (just a few of hundreds) of commendations for Pope Pius XII – who never stopped being exremely busy behind the scenes. The evidence disproves the deliberate dis-information peddled by “Christophobes” (who continue to avoid honest research as an unnecessary extravagance).

      To see their avoidance of (real) research, you only have to read the toxic dishonest garbage peddled by the likes of Richard (“there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ “) Dawkins – much like the diatribes of Friedrich (“God is dead”) Nietzsche – the atheist so passionately embraced by Hitler, Goebbels, Bormann, etc. etc.

      With such “an evil god-less philosophy as atheism, which gives full permission even to murder“, is it any wonder:
      – that alongside about 6 million Jews who perished under Nazism, that 7.5 MILLION Christians also perished. (“If Hitler was so fond of Christians, why did he slaughter 7.5 MILLION of them”) plus many MILLIONS of “other minority groups”?
      – that between them Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot (all openly atheist) murdered more than 125 MILLION people they perceived to be enemies of the state”?

      It is time for the world to recognize:
      – that ATHEIST regimes have in a SINGLE CENTURY murdered more than ONE HUNDRED MILLION people.
      – that atheists the likes of Dawkins, Harris, etc. simply [conveniently] ignore the evidence of the Nazis’ approval of Nietzche’s atheist ideology and that Hitler was a cunning politician peppering his public rhetoric with “religious-sounding overtones” in order to win over all possible voters.

      Some people still express bewilderment that atheist regimes have produced the most vicious bloodbaths that no other influence in history has matched.

      …/2

      • witness to history

        …/2

        Some people still express bewilderment that atheist regimes have produced the most vicious bloodbaths that no other influence in history has matched.

        Richard Dawkins himself raises the question of how could it be possible for an “absence of belief” to cause social harm.

        Little does atheist Dawkins realize that his own deepest viewpoint (that “there is no such thing as “good’ or ’evil’…”) actually provides a clue to the [Hitler’s] “final solution.”
        (So what sense can we make of Dawkins’ claim that the leading Nazis were “knowingly or unknow- ingly” agents of religion? Clearly, this is completely illogical ! Professor John Lennox, Oxford, calls such atheist diatribes “incoherent madness”).
        In reality, the atheist killers regarded their cause as so grand and noble that nothing should be allowed to stand in its way. They viewed themselves as acting on behalf of ‘inexorable and incontrovertible forces like science, reason, and progress‘. They therefore regarded themselves as having been given FULL PERMISSION to “eliminate” all opposition and/or to rule with bloodthirsty brutality. Their own concept of their new totalitarian fascist rule was in fact fully conforming to physical force and killing of any opposition. After all to achieve “the atheist utopia ”the end justifies the means”.

        Already today, the pervasive atmosphere in every country is one of moral and ethical indifference and callousness – the same kind of lax cultural atmosphere prevalent in pre-Nazi Germany, in pre-communist Russia, etc.

        Romans 1 sounds like a description of these very days. Too many people are living in a false sense of security and complacency: Godless arrogance – therein lies the rot. Unless all people are prepared to learn from past history; to overhaul their lives and live by the Ten Commandments – the world is condemning itself to repeating the same errors of the past. If people use their free will to reject God and instead vote for Satan, what can God do except watch in horror as the world destroys itself.
        Let’s hope humankind wake up and become very fast learners.

  • Rouxfus

    Was Admiral Canaris really a Catholic? His Wikipedia article asserts he was Lutheran (his grandfather having converted from Catholicism), and one of the highly cited books in that article contains a letter from a man whose father was the pastor of Canaris’ church.

  • Bill Russell

    In his biography of Canaris, “Hitler’s Spy Chief,” Richard Bassett says that Canaris, who came from an old Catholic family although his grandfather had converted to Lutheranism, was reared as a Catholic. He was closely associated with Catholic leaders in the active resistance against Hitler
    within the Germany Army and Military Intelligence (the Abwehr). He did work closely with the Catholic lawyer in the resistance, Josef Muller. He was arrested and
    executed on April 9, 1945, shortly before U.S. forces liberated
    Flossenbürg Concentration Camp, along with General Hans Oster, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and other persons associated with
    German resistance groups or implicated in the July 1944 attempt to
    assassinate Hitler.

  • Joannie

    This is the way it looks to me. After Pope Venerable Pius died there was tributes and condolences from all over the world including Israel. NOT ONE WORD was said critical f his actions during the war. It was only AFTER the play came out that the criticism started and this is what I find odd. If he did not do enough would not all these groups be critical of him after his death in 1958 and NOT 4 or 5 years later due to a play by a German Communist?

  • Templar

    The pontificate of Pius XII was the final hope for a positive outcome regarding the Fatima saga. With the 1960 deadline looming for the expected publication of the entire Fatima message, Pius XII witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican Gardens on more than one occasion. Pius XII refused to read the “Secret” himself and failed to accomplish what Our Lady of the Rosary requested. After Pius came the modernist takeover of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has been in a tragic decline ever since.

  • David Shows

    May I applaud everyone in this thread. It’s good to see people of good will find ways of disagreeing without ad hominem attacks. Adding what little I can to this discussion, history supports Pius XII moving across the minefield of a captive Europe doing what he could to help. Supporting the danger of the “open condemnation” argument, I believe the archbishop of The Netherlands openly spoke out against Nazi occupation and the deportation of Jews. This resulted in the rapid roundup and deportation of Jews.
    Here’s the link to support this:
    http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/OldWorldBasic/PiusXII.htm

  • witness to history

    Another of atheists’ favourite lies persists: that Hitler was a
    Christian. They are willing to lie in the face of evidence – that Hitler
    (despite his cunning public rhetoric) was in fact a violent
    anti-Christian and particularly hostile to Catholics. His behaviour
    betrayed him: Hitler advocated the creed of hatred, vengeance and
    brutality (the very antithesis of Christianity) – against anyone who
    would oppose him. His actions exposed and defined Hitler as the very
    embodiment of a most violent ANTI-Christ.

    Can Pope Pius XII be accused of inertia during the rising tide of
    fascism, eg., Nazism? NO. Christians instinctively knew that the Pope’s
    astutely-worded messages could not be too explicit or incendiary (as
    this would severely endanger the lives of further potential victims,
    marking them for extermination). Christians realised that the Pope’s
    messages were a code for peaceful resistance and secret sabotage. Indeed
    several of my own relatives had little prospect of physical escape and
    were desperately fearful that even one undiplomatic word from the Pope
    (to which Hitler could possibly take exception), would precipitate a
    further frenzy of more violent genocide and pogroms. The astute
    immediately recognised how precarious a tightrope the Pope had to
    negotiate . Similar situations of terror were experienced by other
    victims in other countries under brutal regimes. Ultimately it was only
    the Catholic Church and some Protestant Pastors (eg the heroic priests
    and pastors of Luebecke) who dared to oppose Hitler’s Nazis and Gestapo;
    as can be seen from the statement made by the Physicist Albert Einstein
    in “Time” magazine December 23, 1940:

    “Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany I
    looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always
    boasted of their devotion to the case of truth; but no, the universities
    immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the
    newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their
    love of freedom. But they, like the universities, were silenced in a
    few short weeks. Only the Church – only the Church – stood squarely
    across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had
    any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great
    affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage
    and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am
    forced thus to confess, that what I once despised, I now praise
    unreservedly. Albert Einstein”

    …/2

    • witness to history

      …/2
      For further “eye-witness to history” evidence: Jewish Historian, Max
      Dimont tells us that … “If one believes the [ pervasiveness of the]
      anti-Semitic, one should also believe the anti-Christian, for BOTH had a
      single purpose: Hitler’s aim was to eradicate ALL religious
      organizations within the state and to foster a return to paganism” (Max
      Dimont, 1994, p. 397). Hitler wanted a return to the occult and to
      (supposedly) “inspirational” mythology of ancient Germanic pagan gods .
      Max Dimont [ http://www.rtbot.net/max_dimon… ]

      On October 10, 1958: Dr. Elio Toaff, the Chief Rabbi of Rome,
      declared: “The Jewish people will always remember what the Catholic
      Church did for them, on the orders of the Pope, at the time of the
      racial persecutions.” He added:
      “Many priests were imprisoned and sacrificed their lives to help Jews.” (Le Monde, Oct. 10, 1958)
      And
      “More than anyone else, we have had the opportunity to appreciate the
      great kindness, filled with compassion and magnanimity that the Pope
      displayed during the terrible years of persecution and terror”

      “The delegates of the Congress of the Italian Jewish Communities…
      Feel that it is imperative to extend reverend homage to Your Holiness,
      and to express the most profound gratitude that animates all Jews for
      your fraternal humanity toward them during the years of persecution when
      their lives were endangered by Nazi-Fascist barbarism.”
      – Message to Pius XII from the Italian Jewish Community (April 5, 1946)

      The 1943-1944 American
      Jewish Yearbook reported that Pius XII “Took an unequivocal stand against the oppression of Jews throughout Europe.”

      Following the war, the Jerusalem Post reported that: “Thousands of Jews in
      Italy owe their lives to Italian citizens and the and the Catholic Church.”

      Pope Pius was credited with having been personally involved in
      rescuing at least 860,000 Jews as well as many many thousands of other
      persecuted peoples.

      Despite deliberate hostile disinformation by Christophobes, this was
      virtually a universal perception of Pius XII, with good reason – for
      people devoted to integrity and truth.

  • Pingback: The Tragic Heroism of Pope Pius XII | Oblates of St. Benedict

  • Francine Carpentier

    Highly how Pie XII is béatifié!
    This Pope is undoubtedly one of the
    largest popes of the history which does not remove anything in Jean-Paul
    II, who is him also a very large Pope. For small reminder, here what
    says Gary Krupp* in connection with Pie XII: “Pie XII was the largest
    hero of the second world war… he saved more Jews than Roosevelt,
    Churchill and all those which are associated for them. It should not be a
    reason of litigation between the catholics and the Jews”.

    And
    also information: Among the evidence that Gary Krupp could advance,
    figure a dated November 30, 1938 circular, signed of the Pacelli
    cardinal, addressed to nonciatures, to the apostolic delegations and 61
    bishops. This circular required “to find 200.000 visas to allow
    “catholic not-Aryan” (formula coded to designate the Jews…) to leave
    the territory of Reich”.

    One can read the following precision
    there: “that lenon day before so that sanctuaries are placed at the
    disposal to safeguard their spiritual life and to protect their worship,
    their habits and their traditions religious”. Little time after, in a
    letter gone back to January 1939, Pie XII confirmed the contents of her
    circular in these terms: “Do not only undertake to save the Jews but
    also the synagogues, the arts centres and all that belongs to their
    faith: rollers of the Torah, libraries, etc…” …. I do not invite
    that to help Hitler!

    * Gary Krupp is a Jew, 62 years old, with
    the retirement, after having been industrial manufacturing medical
    equipment. In 2003 it created a foundation Pave the way “Your way”
    having for goal Prepares “to fill the fractures of comprehension between
    the religions” But most important is that this foundation financed the
    investigations and surveys carried out about the relations between
    Germany main road-Socialist and Pie XII, at the end of which it could
    affirm in an unquestionable way: “Did you Know that the Pie XII pope had
    saved more than 860.000 Jews of the camps of death? I want to say that I
    did not know it before. That is a characterized assassination, a
    “shanda” (a dishonour in Yiddish), that as well Jews says as he was
    anti-semite”. He added, betraying all the pressure that he had had to
    undergo: “Believe me, when I was child, I did not dream whom I would
    defend one day a man that we believe a sympathizer Nazi”.

  • Francine Carpentier

    Pius XII a gift for the 20th Century – Benedict XVI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yht_Wd3J73U

  • francine Carpentier

    Pius XII a gift for the 20th Century – Benedict XVI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yht_Wd3J73U

  • LionelAndrades

    June 22, 2014

    Did Pope Pius XII make a mistake ?
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2014/06/did-pope-pius-xii-make-mistake.html#links

    Did Pope Pius XII make a mistake ? : implicit desire, invincible ignorance have nothing to do with extra ecclesiam nulla salus
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2014/06/did-pope-pius-xii-make-mistake-implicit.html#links

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