Pius XII and the color line

The following passage is from the new one volume history of WW2 The Storm of War by Andrew Roberts (2011): "The British Ambassador to the Holy See, Sir D’Arcy Osborne, reported to the Foreign Office on 26 January 1944 that The Cardinal Secretary of State sent for me today to say that the Pope hoped that no Allied coloured troops would be among the small number that might be garrisoned at Rome after the occupation. He hastened to add that the Holy See did not draw the colour line but it was hoped that it would be possible to meet the request. (page 390) Roberts notes that the Pope “harboured thousands of Jews at is own properties” and that [he] "could not have derailed or perhaps even slowed down the Holocaust, which by its nature was not undertaken by genuinely pious people, it was in retrospect of course part of the Pope’s moral duty to draw global attention to what was taking place. It is quite untrue, as has been alleged, that the Pope himself was anti-Semitic or held any brief for the Nazis or that he was in any way, as the title of one book has it, “Hitler’s Pope.”

Two Questions:

  1. Does anyone know if and why Pius XII (or the secretary of state) requested “no colored troops”
  2. Should the Pope have taken as a matter of Moral Duty a very public stand on the Holocaust or did political prudence trump Moral Duty?

Your comments are appreciated.

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