Israeli rabbi opposes beatification of Nazi-era pope

More Pope Pius XII bashing:

Israeli rabbi opposes beatification of Nazi-era pope(AFP)

WW2 Pope let Jews down: Rabbi(TVNZ)

Rabbi in Vatican says wartime pope let Jews down(Reuters)

Haifa chief rabbi addresses the Vatican(The Jerusalem Post)

What the beatification process is, is actually the first step in declaring that one is a saint. If we consider what a saint is, it is nothing more than any person who is in heaven. I personally do believe and have no doubt that Pope Pius XII is in heaven. That said, he is just as real and truly a saint as any of those who have been canonized. Regardless of what some may believe, their beliefs do not alter reality. St. Pius XII, pray for us.
Prayers & blessings
Deacon Ed B

Yes, he ws very good and holy and I expect he is in Heaven, but I prefer to wait untill the Church declares it so before I start asking for their intersession and stuff though. I’m just glad this chap has no power over the canonisation process.

The main thing is all this Pius XII bashing (Hitler’s Pope etc.), some people will completely disregard history to have a pop at this great man.

My impression is that the Rabbi is not completely aware of what canonization is and how the process works.
My take is that he is only looking at the political impact and that his possible understanding of a Saint is that of a perfect infallible being. I am quite sure that these two conditions are not considered by God when welcoming someone in heaven.

I agree. He (and others) seems to see it as any other title like a knighthood or a doctorate, instead of an investigation into the truth.

(How a rabbi of all people could think he wouldn’t deserve that I don’t know.)

We shouldn’t forget that JPII also got really ripped in some Jewish circles for the canonization of Edith Stein.

Canonization is just the Church confirming what God has revealed.I don’t think the Rabbi nor most non catholics realize that it’s not just an awards ceremony,nor a posthumous attaboy.:smiley:

How would this Rabbi, and probably many others, react if Pope Benedict XVI began telling them how they should conduct their celebrations of worship?

If the Church believes and the case is made, then Pope Pius XII should be formally canonized. I fear that Pope Pius XII’s reputation will never be rehabilitated. I see this as a true sign of evil in the world, when a man who did the most and his best to save others, who were not even of his own kind, has his reputation totally smeared and vandalized, with no attempt to glorify the truth.

If the Rabbi and his buddies don’t like it, then let them choke on it.

Instead of this, how about lets just pray for them.
Prayers & blessings
Deacon Ed B

:eek: I think the point he is getting at,is why didnot Pius come out in public and condem Hitler for what he was doing to the jews, and others in Germany at the time.
I don’t think he condems PiusXll for any private help he gave the Jews.It’s just that the Pope as a political leader,even then had a lot of pull.If he had come out and publicly condemed Adolf and crew for kristal Knacht,or Crystal Night and some of the other things Hitler was doing to jews,etc.Maybe,and it’s a big maybe, Hitler would have backed down,and taken some heat off the jews.
Yes, I understand Pius might have been concerned that Hitler would have made things worse,if he had spoken out, but don’t forget there were also Polish and other Catholics ,even protestants from lands conquered by the German military who
were used for forced labor.This rarely gets mentioned,mainly talk of the Holocaust refers to Jews, but to me it is all these people who suffered and died in these camps ,etc.
rarely if ever in english is any mention made of these non jewish victims and their survial from their experiences.

The deal with Edith Stein I’m not sure about, but she waskilled by the nazis because she was a jew, rather than as a Catholic.
Her case is different than say St.Maximillan Kolbe.

Do you really think Hitler would have stopped the holocaust just because the Pope said it’s bad?

Here’s an article which I think is rather good called “Pope Pius XII and the Holocaus”. I’ll quote the first paragraph because it seems the most relevant to what you said.

The Israeli consul, Pinchas E. Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1967) critically examines Pope Pius XII. According to his research, the Catholic Church under Pius XII was instrumental in saving 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps (p. 214). Could Pius have saved more lives by speaking out more forcefully? According to Lapide, the concentration camp prisoners did not want Pius to speak out openly (p. 247). As one jurist from the Nuremberg Trials said on WNBC in New York (Feb. 28, 1964), “Any words of Pius XII, directed against a madman like Hitler, would have brought on an even worse catastrophe… [and] accelerated the massacre of Jews and priests.” (Ibid.) Yet Pius was not totally silent either. Lapide notes a book by the Jewish historian, Jenoe Levai, entitled, The Church Did Not Keep Silent (p. 256). He admits that everyone, including himself, could have done more. If we condemn Pius, then justice would demand condemning everyone else. He concludes by quoting from the Talmud that “whosoever preserves one life, it is accounted to him by Scripture as if he had preserved a whole world.” With this he claims that Pius XII deserves a memorial forest of 860,000 trees in the Judean hills (pp. 268-9). It should be noted that six million Jews and three million Catholics were killed in the Holocaust.

I also think this is quite relevant:

The charity and work of Pope Pius XII during World War II so impressed the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, that in 1944 he was open to the grace of God which led him into the Catholic faith. As his baptismal name, he took the same one Pius had, Eugenio, as his own. Later Israel Eugenio Zolli wrote a book entitled, Why I Became a Catholic.

This shows how out of touch this rabbi is with what the Jews at the time thought of the Pope, and that he doesn’t have to “forgive and forget” on behalf of them because obviously they didn’t believe there was anything to “forgive and forget”.

I think the problem the Rabbi has ultimately stems from a mindset that fostered a quotation that I used to hear in my youth:Nener Forgive-Never Forget.Never Forget surely but Never Forgive?If we desire forgiveness we must forgive.I don’t mean to be simplistic and denigrate the suffering of those subjected to the holocaust:JEWS GYPSIES SLOVAKS CATHOLICS AND NONCATHOLIC CHRISTIANS.I think this Rabbi would say the same things about Pius XII no matter what the evidence.He should chuck HITLER’S POPE by John Cornwell a disgruntled ex-catholic priest and read the MYTH OF HITLER"S POPE:HOW PIUS XII RESCUSED JEWS FROM THE NAZIS by RABBI David G. Dalin.As Catholics we must defend this holy man and his legacy.

Attn HollyDolly:The Nazis understood the Pope only too well. “His speech is one long attack on everything we stand for,” declared the Gestapo. “Here he is clearly speaking on behalf of the Jews. He is virtually accusing the German people of injustice toward Jews and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals.” In February 1942, Protestant and Catholic leaders of Nazi-occupied Holland prepared a letter condemning the deportation of Jews to death camps in “the East”. But only the Catholic bishops, “following the path indicated by our Holy Father”, read the letter aloud from the pulpit despite threats from the Nazis. As a result, occupation forces swept Holland’s Catholic convents, monasteries, and schools, deporting all Jews who had converted to Christianity, something that had never been done before. When word of this reached Rome, the Pope withdrew a four-page protest he had written for the Vatican and burned it. As the eleven volumes on the war years, published by the Vatican archives make clear, Jewish as well as Christian groups pleaded with the Pope not to make a public protest because it would only intensify the Nazi persecution. The Pope’s crime - if that is what it is - is that he chose the role of diplomatic peacemaker rather than martyr for the cause. Both the Allies and the Axis powers pressured to take their side. It was clear, as the Times reported and the Nazis complained, that Pius XII stood for western freedoms. But the Pope refused to sign an Allied condemnation of Nazi attrocities against the Jews (and Christians) if he could not also condemn the slaughter of Jews and other religious believers by Stalin, then an ally of the United States. As it happened, about 5 million of the 6 million Jews who died came from Russia and Poland, where the Pope had no power to command anyone. Historian Christopher Browning is right in concluding that “the Holocaust is a story with many victims and not too many heros. I think we are naive if we think one more hero could have stopped it.”

The rabbi also needs to take this into account: Pope Pius XII was in the Vatican, which is in Rome, which was then the capital of Hitler’s ally, Benito Mussolini. While Mussolini may not have been as bad as Hitler, once Italy surrendered, the Germans went from allies of Italy to occupants and enemies.

Here’s a man who refuses to acknowledge the truth and does his best to propagate false accusations against a man who truly displayed heroic virtue, a man who did his best to save those who were not his own and ordered his clergy to do their best to save those same, yet we should really care about his opinion in regards to the functioning of the Catholic Church? The Church isn’t a democracy among it’s own members; why should a hostile Jewish Rabbi carry any weight in Church decisions? I’m all for cordiality but there comes a time when we must say “butt out.” I think this is one of those times.

What some Israeli Rabbi thinks about the beatification of Pope Pius XII is irrelevant. His time would be better spent trying to stop the secularization of Israel. In other words he should mind his own store.

Pope Pius XII is an enigma to me. The answers to the questions about his being non supportive to the Jewish people during WWII have not yet been solidified. I don’t know if they will ever be answered. So much misinformation has been given, it is hard to glean the wheat from the chaff. I am going to have to read more about him. Most think him a saintly person. I don’t know what actions he performed to help one think this??? Just because he was Pope, or are there other reasons for his being thought of as saintly??

In both the time before and after the war, until his death, he had a reputation of ascetic holiness; constantly being found in prayer, fasting, etc. If the war had not occured this is what he would be remembered for. As it is, he tried to do too much with too little. The Western world sees things as black and white, yes and no. We see the enemy of my enemy as my friend, which is why we could ally ourselves with the Soviet Union. (And since they were on our side, we could ignore the mass murders that Stalin was doing.) Pius XII was trying to use the idea that “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy, no more.” In other words, both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were bad; and the Allies should not be allying themselves with one or the other. The leaders of the Allies (Churchill, Roosevelt, etc.) could not understand that mindview, and so saw the Vatican as unreliable: if they couldn’t be trusted to be with us, we couldn’t use them to negotiate.

In another thread, I opposed Pius XII’s canonization because I felt his attitude could not be reconciled with “heroic virtue”. Yet if he is in heaven (the definition of a saint), then G_D will permit miracles to occur that can be attributed to his invervention. If that is the case, then the point is moot. I’m willing to leave this in G_D’s hands.


If brains were a job, he’d be on welfare. It’s pretty obvious he is rather clueless, his statements are the typical “since he was quiet, then it obviously means he did nothing therefore we can’t forgive him”

He maybe Jewish but he seems to be rather ignorant of the holocaust, there was a reason why the other heads of state also kept their mouths shut for most of the time, they realized trying to appease Hitler and his minions wouldn’t have done much.

Here’s Hitler making a mocker of Roosevelt’s letter:

I’m sure he would have listened to the ‘moral outcries’ of Pius XII :rolleyes:

Albrecht von Kessel, an official at the German Embassy to the Holy See during the war, wrote in 1963:
“We were convinced that a fiery protest by Pius XII against the persecution of the Jews … would certainly not have saved the life of a single Jew. Hitler, like a trapped beast, would react to any menace that he felt directed at him, with cruel violence.[5]”

“The saddest and most thought provoking conclusion is that whilst the Catholic clergy of Holland protested more loudly, expressly and frequently against Jewish persecutions than the religious hierarchy of any other Nazi-occupied country, more Jews - some 11,000 or 79% of the total - were deported from Holland;
more than anywhere else in the West.[6]”

"The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion which form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for us unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of divine Providence in this world [9]"
Chief Rabbi of Israel in 1944

There is so much evidence to show that he saved Jews it’s like trying to prove the world is indeed spherical and not flat, only senile, close minded people will refuse evidence. Please, if the Chief Rabbi of Israel during the war period thanked Pius XII how much more evidence do you need :confused:

Einstein too, obviously a Jew thanked the Church.

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