A co-worker finished reading the book Hiltler’s Pope, and I have heard that the author, John Cornwell, is an ex-seminarian who writes some pretty controversial books. Anyway, my friend is giving me a hard time about Pope Pius XII. Is there any info out there that shows what Pope Pius XII actually did to help the Jewish people that were suffering during the Holocaust? Thanks,
The Myth of Hitler’s Pope (written by a Jewish man):
From the CA library:
And Cornwell has retracted his accusations:
On 12/13/2004 Cornwall issued the following statement:
“I would now argue, in the light of the debates and evidence following “Hitler’s Pope” that Pius XII had so little scope of action that it IS impossible to judge the motives for his silence during the war, while Rome was under the heel of Mussolini and later occupied by the Germans”.
Although the retraction is still inaccurate, Pope Pius XII was hardly silent. Look at the historical record:
**New York Times on December 25th, 1941: “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.”
**Quoted in the article **"**New York Times Promotes Religious Hatred" by Pat Buchanan:
There is plenty mate, I suggest a google search.
I also wrote an article myself on the matter which was a result of compiling information from several sources, feel free to take a look and use it to convince your friend otherwise:
There is also the fact that the Chief Rabbi of Rome at the time converted and became a Catholic after he became so impressed by Pius XII’s actions during the war to help Jews, he took his new name as Eugenio in honour of Pope Pius XII
Some other quotes supporting Pius XII:
“The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem issued a statement in 1944 saying: “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 ””
Many many more, check them up on google, even Albert Einstein had a say and so did the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, I believe her name was Golda Meir
Some other things:
You might recommend to your co-worker that he consider another point of view with regard to Pius XII and his opposition to the Nazis. Since I gather that Catholic authors might be seen to lack credibility according to some, I recommend the following book from a Jewish rabbi, historian and professor of History and Political Science:
The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis
by Rabbi David G. Dalin
I believe when the historical evidence is viewed objectively, the thesis that Pius XII was a Nazi sympathizer is untenable. For example, from other non-Catholic sources…
The day after the election of Pope Pius XII, the Nazi newspaper Berliner Morganpost stated: ‘the election of Cardinal Pacelli is not accepted with favor in Germany because he was always opposed to Nazism.’ (March 3, 1939).
After Pius XII’s first encyclical, Summi Pontificatus, is promulgated, the New York Times sums it up in a headline, ‘***Pope Condemns Dictators, Treaty Violators, Racism: Urges Restoring of Poland.***’ (October 28, 1939)
In 1940, the New York Times similarly reports Pius XII’s opposition to the Nazi’s with a headline which reads: ‘***Vatican Denounces Atrocities in Poland; Germans Called Even Worse Than Russians.***’ (January 23, 1940).
The UK newspaper, the Manchester Guardian reported, ‘Tortured Poland has found a powerfuladvocate in Rome’ and notes that the broadcasts of Vatican Radio warn’all who care for civilization that Europe is in mortal danger.’ (January 24, 1940)
The New York Times of March 14, 1940 displayed the headline: ‘Pope Is Emphatic About Just Peace: Jews’ Rights Defended’ (March 14, 1940)
In 1941, the New York Times stated regarding Pius XII’s stance against the Nazis: ***‘Thevoice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darknessenveloping Europe this Christmas…He is about the only ruler left onthe Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all.’ ***(December 25, 1941)
1942 New York Times headline reads: ‘***Pope is Said to Plead for Jews Listed for Removal from France.***’ (August 6, 1942)
August 27, 1942, the* New York Times headline reads: '***Vichy Seizes Jews: Pope Pius Ignored.**’
TheTimes of London newspaper reports in 1942: ‘***A studyof the words which Pope Pius XII has addressed since his accessionleaves no room for doubt. He condemns the worship of force and itsconcrete manifestation in the suppression of national liberties and thepersecution of the Jewish race.***’ (October 11, 1942)
The Nazi’s hated Pius XII, as they rightly understood him to be their enemy. After Pope Pius XII’s Christmas message of 1942, a Gestapo report concluded: ’ina manner never known before…the Pope has repudiated the NationalSocialist New European Order [Nazism]. It is true, the Pope does notrefer to the National Socialists in Germany by name, but his speech isone long attack on everything we stand for. …Here he is clearlyspeaking on behalf of the Jews and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals.'
July 21 1944**,** the World Jewish Congress writes to the Pope,’***gratefully conscious [of his] aid on behalf of sorely afflicted andmenaced Jews in Hungary, which have been followed by offer of theRegent to secure release of certain categories of Jews particularlychildren. His Holiness’ efforts bring us new hope at the eleventh hourof saving from death the surviving remnants of decimated EuropeanJewry.***’
In September 1945, Dr. Joseph Nathan—who represented the Hebrew Commission—stated ‘Aboveall, we acknowledge the Supreme Pontiff and the religious men and womenwho, executing the directives of the Holy Father, recognized thepersecuted as their brothers and, with great abnegation, hastened tohelp them, disregarding the terrible dangers to which they were exposed.’
GoldaMeir,future Israeli Prime Minister and then Israeli representative to the United Nations stated on the floor of the General Assembly after the death of Pius XII: “***During theten years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Poperaised his voice to condemn the persecutors and commiserate with the victims.***”
All of the following Jewish organizations praised Pius XII’s battle against the Nazi’s: the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, the SynagogueCouncil of America, the Rabbinical Council of America, the American Jewish Congress, theNew York Board of Rabbis, the American Jewish Committee, the Central Conference ofAmerican Rabbis, the American Jewish Committee, the Central Conference of American Rabbis,the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the National Council of Jewish Women.