Why? Because if it isn’t addressed, someone who comes across it and has no opinion one way or the other will walk away with the wrong impression of the Catholic church.
I think the main problem is that people who believe such things without proof are unlikely to be persuaded by ACTUAL proof to the contrary.
I’ll let you find sources you think are appropriate, but I can assure you of the following:
There have always been multiple claimants to the Papacy, but only one has been considered valid at any time. The incident being refered to is when there was an actual Schism WITHIN the Church over who was Pope, but it was settled amicably with two Popes disregarded and the true one stepping down and allowing for a new election. The incident actually did more to strengthen people’s understanding of the Papacy if anything. Find out more here.
“Hitler’s Pope” is such an insidious and evil lie that it gets my blood boiling whenever I hear it. Pope Pius XII, the Pope in question, should be a sain, IMO, and was considered by the Jews of the day to be the greatest, and sometimes ONLY, true supporter of theirs. Israel Zolli, the Chief Rabbi of Rome during the Holocaust, even became Catholic after the war (obviously due to personal conversion, but the point remains that he was very familiar with the actions of the Church during the Shoah). The lie only gained weight in recent years, and is nothing but a total myth. Internal documents by the Nazi Party indicate that the Catholic Church, espescially due to Pius XII, was one of the most hated organizations, and was constantly undermining them. They hated the Church with a passion precisely because not only did the Church stand up against their political ideology, but specifically and directly aided the Jews. Critics point to Pius XII’s public “silence” (which itself is a myth, as he wrote a homily to be read at all Masses in 1938 absolutely condemning any kind of anti-semitism whatsoever), but whatever “silence” he gave was purely to throw the spotlight off of the relatively immense underground operation to save Jews. Here are some articles on the subject. In my humble opinion, the man should be canonized for his actions to save Jews alone.
As for the scientist issue, they’d have to provide proof. The only scientist I’m aware of who was put on trial by the Church was Galileo, and that was for saying that science disproved Church teaching, not for actually putting forth scientific theories that went against traditional Church views. Galileo, an elderly man, was sentanced to house-arrest in Rome (he had argued that he was too sick to leave his home to come to the trial, after all), house arrest meaning being confined to the home of an Archbishop and later his own home, in all cases with a full staff of servants. He was also allowed to continue his scientific work. Not actually such a bad sentance for a sick, elderly man. His trial is well documented, and it’s the only one I know of. Otherwise, the Church has been extremely supportive of the sciences; it was a Catholic priest, Fr. Lemaitre, who developed the Big Bang Theory for example.