“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pius XII Still Maligned

The Times UK reports that while promoting his new book, Gerard Noel, a former editor of the Catholic Herald, stated that Pope Pius XII was "neither anti-Jewish nor pro-Hitler", but motivated by "huge ambition for the Catholic Church, which he believed to be the one true Church". "Pius XII was a disaster for the Jews, not because he was anti-Semitic, but because he had great political ambitions..."

These lies follows the lies of John Cornwell’s book, Hitler’s Pope. Surprisingly, Noel is a respected Catholic historian, but sooner or later most well-noted historians become impressed with themselves and arrogantly believe they have the lone insight that legions of historians have missed.

In this latest attempt of revisionist history, Noel's opinion contradicts both truth and the documented history on the Holy Father’s efforts to save lives during the second World War:

Pinchas Lapide (Israeli consul in Milan and Holocaust survivor) declared in 1967 that Pius XII "was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands."

Albert Einstein quoted in Time magazine (12/23/1940): "Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. …The Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. . . . I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration …and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly."

The New York Times editorial (12/25/1942) stated: "The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas... He is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all."

In 1958, Golda Meir sent her condolences on Pius XII’s death: "We share in the grief of humanity. …When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace."

The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Emilio Zolli, stated: "Volumes could be written on the multiform works of Pius XII, and the countless priests, religious and laity who stood with him throughout the world during the war." "No hero," he said, "in all of history was more militant, more fought against, none more heroic, than Pius XII in pursuing the works of true charity . . . and thus on behalf of all the suffering children of God." Zolli converted to Catholicism afterwards and took Pius XII’s name in reverence to him.

Rabbi Isaac Herzog, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, wrote in a letter (1945) to the future John XXIII: "The people of Israel…will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion, which form the foundation of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world."

The London Times (10/1/1942), explicitly praises Pius XII for his condemnation of the Nazis. "A study of the words which Pope Pius XII has addressed since his accession…leaves no room for doubt. He condemns the worship of force and its concrete manifestations in the suppression of national liberties and in the persecution of the Jewish race."

Moshe Sharett, Israel's second Prime Minister, spoke at a personal meeting with Pius XII: "I told [Pius XII] that my first duty was to thank him, and through him the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public for all they had done in the various countries to rescue Jews…We are deeply grateful to the Catholic Church."

Dr. Raffael Cantoni, future President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, stated: "…six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis, but there could have been many more victims had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII."

From the Catholic League’s Web site:
"In Rome, 155 convents and monasteries sheltered some 5,000 Jews throughout the German occupation. No less than 3,000 Jews found refuge at one time at the Pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, and thus, through Pius' personal intervention, escaped deportation to German death camps. Sixty Jews lived for nine months at the Jesuit Gregorian University, and many were sheltered in the cellar of the Pontifical Bible Institute. Pope Pius himself granted sanctuary within the walls of the Vatican in Rome to hundreds of homeless Jews."

Pius XII is currently under consideration for sainthood. I will leave that final decision to Rome, where it should stay. When I hear Pius XII detractors trying to prevent the progress of his Cause because of the complete lies that he turned a blind eye to the Jewish people’s suffering during the war, my blood boils and the truth must be told and defended.

For more information on these quotes, the Catholic League has two great articles by Sister Margherita Marchione and Rabbi David Dalin.

No comments: