Hitler’s Pope–Not

More evidence is emerging about the heroic efforts Pope Pius XII took to save Jews from the holocaust. You can read about it here. The vicious attack on Pius XII started with a stupid and inaccurate play in the 1960s and continued with John Cornwell’s pitiful and scandalous book ten years ago. Then the idea that Pius XII was Hitler’s Pope continued in a series of breathless and journalistic smears, and it has now entered into the popular anti Catholic realm of urban myth. I hope the latest evidence will help put it to rest.

If anyone doubts that the Catholic Church and the papacy are constant targets for biased secular atheistic forces who hate the faith, let them simply do the homework on this most constant and biased attack on a noble, shrewd and holy pope. A short defense and explanation of the facts is here. When the play came out in the 1960s it was criticized by an army of scholars, and Cornwell’s awful book has been corrected with Ronald Rychlak’s scholarship as well as an excellent book by Jewish scholar David Dalin. With hindsight I think we forget just how delicate relations were for Catholics in a Europe dominated by the demonic forces of Nazism. It will emerge more and more that not only was Pius XII courageous and holy, but he was also very smart in handling the whole situation.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01678341854029479678 Old Bob

    Dear Father, I have read Hochhuth, Rychlak, and Dalin; not to mention Shirer and others. Before Hochhuth it was common knowledge among WWII buffs that Pius gave orders to save Jews and others persecuted by the Nazis. Thanks very much for posting this!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01198856128213307540 Elizabeth

    thank you for posting this Fr. L. The more the word gets out about what kind of person Pope Pius XII was (and was not), and what he did to save the Jewish people during the Second World War the better. The Truth must be told.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11740482509910163332 Gail F

    A few years ago I read a book that I think was published by the Catholic League — I don't know the name. It was a collection of essays about PPXIII by (as far as I can remember) all Jewish writers, each of them attacking the "Hitler's Pope" idiocy. It was really excellent. Could it be the same book? Maybe it was mostly by one author with a few extra essays in the end…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02645173524517798088 Amy Giglio

    Another excellent resource is Sr. Margherita Marchione. She has written several books counteracting the lies about Pope Pius XII. She's on a one-woman crusade to clear his name.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16751516602395247675 Randy

    Even this article starts this way:Pope Pius, who was labelled “Hitler’s Pope” because of his silence during the Holocaust,Is that the real reason he was so labeled? You suggest the label did not exist until the 1960's. I think most people understood the silence during the war. I mean he was in Rome which was axis territory. A few words would get him imprisoned very quickly. Better to take action that could actually save lives.

  • http://openid.aol.com/gwilensky sixmillionbook

    For the layman, sometimes it’s hard to know what things actually mean. After all, one cannot be an expert on everything, so we must rely on others whom we trust. The problem of course is that even when we read information from trusted sources we may be misled. For instance, a recent article on Zenit discusses some documents recently found by Michael Hesemann from Pave the Way Foundation. I think there is a problem of interpretation in the way these documents are evaluated. In the past Mr. Hesemann also presented findings of documents in a misleading way, as he implied the Catholic Church had always been opposed to the Nazi Party. Even though it’s true the Church banned membership into the party prior to 1933, after Hitler came to power and the Vatican signed an agreement with Nazi Germany that same year the Church lifted the ban. This detail, and the fact that millions of Catholics subsequently became members of the Nazi Party and wholeheartedly supported it and its policies seems to have been conveniently overlooked in Mr. Hesemann’s reporting. See “Paving the way to disinformation” (http://www.sixmillioncrucifixions.com/blog/?p=212).The new documents recently found were letters sent by the Vatican Secretary of State and later Pope Pius XII Cardinal Pacelli in 1938 to several nunciatures and apostolic delegations. In these letters, Cardinal Pacelli requested visas for “ebrei convertiti” (converted Jews), and “non-Aryan Catholics”. This of course sounds good, but not as good as Mr. Hesemann would like us to think. (Article continues here: http://www.sixmillioncrucifixions.com/blog/?p=251)Gabriel Wilensky ————————————————————————————————–Author Six Million Crucifixions:How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocausthttp://www.SixMillionCrucifixions.comFollow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sixmillionbookBecome a Fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SixMillionCrucifixions————————————————————————————————–

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14531024393615051496 veritas

    Sixmillionbook,I've visited the website you refer to and I find it extraordinary that someone can seriously maintain that the cause of the holocaust was the Church!Do I have to remind you that millions of Christians – Poles, Protestants and Catholic priests and religious were also exterminated by the Nazis? Do I also have to remind you that the Chief Rabi of the Synagogue in Rome CONVERTED to the Catholic faith at the end of the war – partly because he had seen how much the Church had done to save Jews?To argue that Hitler, Himmler and the Nazis were motivated by a horror of the fact that the Jews had killed Christ is nonsense. There are numerous statements to show that Hitler, Himmler and the Nazis hated the Catholic Church and regarded Christianity as a weak religion. They followed the creed of Nietzsche who hated religion, regarded the idea of God as dead, and particularly hated Christianity. Nietzsche taught the cult of superman, a cult diametrically opposed to the teachings of Christianity and a cult that the Nazis embraced with glee.Hitler enacted infanticide and abortion of the mentally retarded, also euthanasia of the retarded – all of which were absolutely contrary to Catholic Church teaching. Hitler then extended these practices to any group which he did not consider to be worthy of the "superman" label for his master race.The last thing that would have worried Hitler was whether the Jews had executed Jesus two thousand years earlier. If any Nazis called Jews "Christ killers" they were indulging in propaganda to whip up public sentiment – their real motives were far more basic. They were simply doing what many of today's abortionists and euthanasiasts do, claimimg to eliminate anyone they regarded as inferior, creating a master, all perfect race.