Pius XII has long been vilified as “Hitler’s pope”, accused of failing publicly to condemn the genocide of Europe’s Jews. Now a British author has unearthed extensive material that Vatican insiders believe will restore his reputation, revealing the part that he played in saving lives and opposing nazism. Gordon Thomas, a Protestant, was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before.
This is fantastic news.
Venerable Pope Pius XII should be Saint Pius. He is one of the greatest Shepherds the Church has ever had in my humble opinion.
Great video on the subject:
The fact is that if Pope Pius had made himself into an overt public enemy of Hitler’s reign, the Catholic Church’s influence would have been marginalized in Europe and the Pope would not have been able to work in secrecy below the radar establishing safe-houses and saving the lives of countless jews.
It also doesn’t help that the secular media is viciously anti-Catholic in how it reports history. Pope Pius did in fact publicly oppose the Nazi’s as well, we just don’t hear about that…
History and the witness of the people of the time have always exonerated Pope Pius XII, and only a few uneducated still call him “Hitler’s pope”.
« on 16 October 1943 in Roma there were 12,428 Jews. The direct action of Pope Pius XII saved the lives of more than 11,400.» Gary Krupp, president of Pave the Way Foundation
« Wolff, at what stage is the project to capture the Pope? You must restart it immediately. Be ready to leave for Rome. I will occupy the Vatican shortly. » Hitler to general Wolff, head of the SS in Italy, 1943
« Only the Catholic Church fully blocks the road to the hitlerian campaign for the suppression of truth. Before now, I never had any particular interest for the Church, but now I experience great affection and admiration for her, for only the Church has had the courage and the perseverance to stand on the side of intellectual truth and moral freedom. I must therefore admit that what I before despised, now I appreciate, without any reservation.» Albert Einstein, 1940
« The Holy See is giving her powerful help wherever she can to soften the conditions of my persecuted brothers in the faith.» Chaim Weizmann, 1943
« The people of Israel will never forget the help given to their unfortunate brothers and sisters from His Holiness and His Eminent Delegates, in one of the saddest moments of our history.» Isaac Herzog, rabbi of Gerusalem, 1944
« the Jews have been saved inside the walls of the Vatican during the German occupation of Rome. » Jewish News, 1944
« During the decade of the Nazi terror, our people have suffered a terrible martyrdom. The voice of the Pope was raised to condemn the persecutors and to invoke piety for the victims.» Golda Meir, 1958
« The Italian clergy helped many Israelites and hid them in the monasteries, and the Pope personally intervened to help those already arrested by the Nazi.» Gideon Hausner, Israeli attorney general, in the process against Eichmann, 1961
If this - along with the witness of those whose lives were saved by the Church - does not suffice to “exonerate” Pope Pius XII, then no additional evidence will.
Conveniently forgotten in all of this is “Hitler’s Mufti.” From the article: “He helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS. At war’s end, he came under French protection, and went to Cairo to avoid prosecution.”
The work done by Pope Pius XII to save the Jews during WWII is widely known … as many as 800,000 Jews were rescued by the Holy Father:
Pius held his breath and backed the heroics of Father Hugh O’Flaherty in that time, as the priest was on the front lines of helping Jews escape injustice and death. Here’s a scene from the excellent film “The Scarlet and the Black” that deals with the period.
I HIGHLY recommend this movie as one of the best “Catholic movies” ever.
(Scene: The Nazi commander (Christopher Plummer) has ordered O’Flaherty (Gregory Peck) shot if he takes one step outside the Vatican. O’Flaherty had been sneaking out in civilian clothes and disguises to aid those persecuted by the Nazis in Rome.
There are other scenes in the movie with Pius XII (played by Sir John Gielgud).
My father was in the Benedictine seminary for a few years and they were hearing reports coming out of Europe about atrocities, but weren’t sure of how much truth there were in them.
The sense was that Pope Pius XII was doing all he could to help the Jews, and at the same time, he was protecting many people, priests and nuns as well.
I was listening to a controversial talk show host. He brought up about how Pope Pius XII was calumniated, how many Jews were thankful to him for all his help. He had on a Mr. Krupp from Pave the Way, an organization that works to help improve inter religious dialogue.
He admitted he had a sense of contempt for Pius considering all he heard about him. He and his team went to the Vatican to investigate documents. When they finished, they were astounded, coming out realizing that no one had done more for the Jews than Pius XII. They have put a book together exonerating him, showing pictures of many documents, as well as voting records that showed that the majority of German Catholics opposed the Nazi Party and did not vote for them.
I am praying now for miracles in my family through his intercession. I saw film clips of him in a movie made about him from Italy, and was so amazed and touched by his personality and passion. I grew up as a child seeing these most formal and somewhat stern pictures of him, when in real life he was so human and animated.
God bless Pius XII.
And yes, I loved that movie about a monsignor in Italy played by Gregory Peck.
How much the world needs fine men and women!
I have a good acquaintance who does one man dramas.
I suggested to his company to create a play of Pius that is a response to ‘The Deputy’ or
‘Hitler’s Pope’. The latter author has made apologies for some of his claims.
But as the arts take such a hold on a person…I pray that we have counter art to prove the truth the good has been done by the Church.
Pave the Way also checked out other documents from other controversies. They finished wondering why the Church did not defend itself more. They became friends with Pope John Paul II.
Fascinating observation. I take it you are talking about Leonardo, he’s well known.
Also, it’s fascinating that Pope Pius had the vision of the sun miracle in a Vatican garden.
Yes, Leonardo’s one man play on Maximilian Kolbe is genius in my opinion.
Gino Bartali was a famous Italian champion cyclist and during World War II, he helped Jews, he was a strong Catholic as well and lived a long life.
My chaplain at work was a Seventh Day Adventist - and we know what that means. His favorite movie was…
The Scarlet and the Black. Amazing.
Tell him he can come into the Church Jesus founded and still go to Church on Saturday night (problem solved).
(I know it’s not that easy… or is it? Matthew leaving the tax table immediately was probably considered an upset by some … who’d have thought it?)
Well also … great movies are great movies. I loved the “Man Who Would Be King” but had no temptation to become a Mason.
I laughed at the line the English General had when Kipling said that the two men were his Masonic Lodge brothers.
*“That crowd? I’d have thought you’d have struck them from your list!” *
Still TMWWBK was a good flick and yarn - and Masons meet ancient Pagans was an interesting part of it. It’s an “R” movie though for good reason … and “Scarlet and the Black” was made for TV so … less than PG despite its harrowing content.
Connections between the papacy and Hitler all seem to emanate much more from the late Christopher Hitchens and the like.
Knowledgeable Jews don’s seem to be the ones repeating these things.
The serenity prayer about having the peace of mind to accept the things that you cannot change, the courage to change the things that you can, and the wisdom to know the difference applies much more to Pius than to his foolish detractors.
Yes, Leonardo…Contacted them. St. Luke Productions said they also have considered this. I could see him playing Pius very much…even his persona would greatly mirror Pius.
He is so extremely busy and will being spending this coming year out travelling all over the country.
Gary Krup has a book out now on Pius. I just got it two weeks ago…The Italians made an excellent movie about him that shows on EWTN from time to time.
I prayed to Pius to intercede for me…when I began to do this, I felt my soul really connected to him…someone was saying they were going to pray to JPII, but they got an inner locution for now to pray to Pius instead. Yes, I grew up with my father wanting us never to forget the Holocaust and the Church, esp. Pius.
The book I ordered from Amazon.com is: ‘Pope Pius XII and World War II…THE DOCUMENTED TRUTH: A Compilation of International Evidence Revealing the Wartime Acts of the Vatican’, compiled and edited by Gary L Krupp, third edition.
Mr. Krupp also began researching more controversies and came out with great respect for the Church and did not understand why she did not defend herself more…
I think the Vatican is serving the entire church and believers all over the world and doesn’t have the time to do that…and even more so, Christ said to turn our cheeks…this persecution is the sign that the Catholic Church is indeed Christ’s church…so get a stiff upper lip, pave the way and move on.
The Catholic League has published a lot of background about Pope Pius XII and the Jews.
Here is just one example:
Check out, also, the books they offer on Pope Pius XII.
Sister Margherita Marchione … look her up … has written and lectured extensively on the work of Pope Pius XII.
The Truth Will Set You Free: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Pope Pius XII by Sister Margherita Marchione, published by Paulist Press:
Sister Margherita has done it again—she has produced another excellent book on Pius XII. In this slim volume, she begins with an historical overview of the pope’s confrontation with the Nazis, making a vigorous defense of his actions. She also addresses the cause for canonization, directly taking on the pope’s most vociferous critics in the media. The book also contains a chapter on some newly discovered documents.
In his Foreword, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone writes, “How profoundly unjust it is to judge the work of Pius XII during the war with the veil of prejudice, forgetting not only the historical context but also the enormous work of charity that the pope promoted, opening the doors of seminaries and religious institutes, welcoming refugees and persecuted people, helping all who were in need.”
Scroll down for more info from Catholic League on Pope Pius XII
On another fascist front, it should be remembered that the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati also fought (sometimes literally) against Mussolini’s stooges.
Yes…I remember reading materials on the Church’s opposition to Mussolini.
The calumny was started by the former Soviet Union that wanted to destroy the Catholic Church, who likewise murdered millions of its own citizens. Nobody hears about what the Soviets did, or the lying it did throughout the world to make people hate our country. I saw an article about the American use of brothels in London during WWII, but did not mention how 1. million German women were raped when the Soviets entered Germany.
For those who are interested, Pave The Way Foundation makes the documentation on Pope Pius XII available to any and all.
The complete collection of over 76,000 pages of documents, newspaper articles, video testimonies, and important articles, relative to the papacy of Pope Pius XII, is on our restricted page, which requires registration at no charge.
In general PTWF is a worthy cause.
As an Orthodox Jew, I am personally offended when anyone refers to Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope”. So far, the evidence clearly shows that he was responsible for saving more Jews than anyone else- possibly more than everyone else combined.
I hope that soon he will get the recognition and thanks that he deserves.