Skip to comments.Jews To Catholic Church: Delay Sainthood For Pius XII
Posted on 01/12/2005 5:36:38 PM PST by Catholic54321
In 1941, when Abraham Foxman was a year old, his parents and a nursemaid carried him east from his Polish homeland to Vilna in an effort to outrun the Nazis. But they failed, and the Nazis ordered his parents and the other Jews of Vilna into a ghetto.
My parents decided to leave me with the nanny, a decision that ultimately saved my life and their lives because they were able to care for themselves rather than being tied to a child, Foxman said.
The nanny, Bronislawa Kurpi, had Foxman baptized Henrik Stanislous Kurpi and for the next four years he lived as a Catholic, went to church and spit on Jews.
His parents survived the war, were reunited with him, and Kurpi resumed her duties as the nanny. But after a short time, Kurpi announced that the child belonged to her and the Catholic Church, Foxman said.
She tried to get my father arrested by the Soviets as a collaborator, and the Soviets said it was a family squabble and to settle it in court, he said. The court ruled in favor of my parents because it couldnt care less about Catholicism.
The family then returned to Poland and the nanny kidnapped me, and my parents kidnapped me back.
My parents until the end of their lives could not understand what happened to her, Foxman said of the nanny. She had lived in a Jewish household and was very comfortable being part of our family.
Foxman said he too was mystified by her actions until late last month. On Dec. 28, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera published a letter dated Oct. 23, 1946, purportedly written by the Vatican although not by Pope Pius XII directing French churches not to return Jewish children to their families if they had been baptized during the Holocaust. Foxman said that if such a letter was sent to the churches in France, it is likely to have been sent to Catholic churches in other countries. His nanny, he said, was just following Church dictates.
She saved my life and my parents lives and what she did [in fighting to keep him] she did out of faith and belief, he said. I love her and value her memory. This letter has closed a chapter [in my life].
But it has also added fresh fuel for those opposed to the Vaticans plans to beatify Pope Pius XII for what critics contend was his public silence as the Nazis carried out their plan to murder the Jews of Europe.
Although the one-page, typewritten letter directive barring the return of baptized Jewish babies to their parents is unsigned, it states, This decision has been approved by the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII.
Foxman, now national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said his organization is preparing to send a letter to the Vatican requesting that Church plans to make Pope Pius XII a saint be held in abeyance until scholars have an opportunity to review all wartime-era Vatican records.
The letter adds ammunition to those who believe Pope Pius XII could have and should have done more, and now we see that even after the war he took steps to prevent Jews from being Jewish, said Foxman. And so it sheds light on how righteous he was. It impacts on what he may or may not have done during the war, and raises our anxiety about the role he played.
Rabbi Joel Meyers, co-chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, which represents the major Jewish religious streams and communal agencies in their dealings with other international religious bodies, said he too believes the Vatican should delay action on the beatification process until scholars have a chance to thoroughly examine Pope Pius record.
He said the letter serves to raise again questions about Vatican policy at that time.
We know that many children were safely sheltered by the Church and returned to their families after the war, Rabbi Meyers added. But we also know of other instances where the church withheld children from Jewish families. Given the ambivalent approach to the Church at the time we would hope the church would be more forthcoming in searching its archives.
Eugene Fisher, associate director of ecumenical relations at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, said archivists are now combing through Vatican records to catalogue all records kept from the war years. He noted that the Church has already released records of to the beginning of the war.
They will finish doing Pope Pius XI and then they will do Pius XII up through the war years, Fisher said. A few years ago they increased the number of archivists working on this from two to 10, but they still have to bind it and catalogue everything. It is a fairly laborious, physical process.
He said the request to delay the beatification process pending a review of the files by scholars has been made before by both Jewish and Catholic groups.
Very responsible people have given their opinions on both sides of the issue, Fisher said. He added that the authenticity of the Vatican document is questionable.
Rabbi A. James Rudin, senior interreligious adviser to the American Jewish Committee, said Fisher is looking at the issue tactically rather than whether the Church had an ethical obligation to return Jewish children to their families when the war ended. And even if their parents had been murdered in the Holocaust, there was still a Jewish community that could claim them.
"Foxman, now national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said his organization is preparing to send a letter to the Vatican requesting that Church plans to make Pope Pius XII a saint be held in abeyance until scholars have an opportunity to review all wartime-era Vatican records."
I hope the Vatican doesnt get pressured by this wacko (who, by the way, claimed that there would be violence against Jews if the Passion film was released).
I think that article goes a long way in explaining Foxman's rabid hatred of christians.
And, not to inject a little reason in an otherwise crystal piece of propoganda, the article mentions they don't even know if this alleged letter came from the Vatican at all...and then of course proceeds to act as if it is fact.
Considering all the judgment leaps in that paragraph, one gets some insight into the distorted thought processes of Mr. Foxman. To list just a few of those leaps:
1. He is assuming that the referenced letter was authentic.
2. That it was not only published "by" the Vatican (a mini-State not an individual), but must somehow be attributed to the Pope, not someone merely advising a local congregation somewhere on a local problem.
3. That it was published in the Communist controlled areas of Eastern Europe--something very far from that which one should rationally assume about 1946.
4. That such a letter, or its advice, was communicated to Foxman's Nanny, despite the Communist suppression of much Church activity at the time.
5. Nothing in the article makes it clear whether the letter--assuming that someone in the Vatican wrote such a letter in 1946--was addressing all situations, including Foxman's own, where his parents were known to be alive, or some localized situation in France, where orphans had been adopted by French families, and were then being sought by distant kin. That would involve far more complex considerations than the article suggests.
Frankly, I can appreciate Foxman's childhood anxiety over the scenario he relates. He is a thoroughly disreputable foe of the American tradition--a man who year in and year out seeks to alienate American Jews from the mainstream traditions of America. But he had a sad childhood. Yet that does not make his leaps of judgment rational or acceptable reasons for him to seek to alienate Jews from Conservative Catholics, which is precisely what he is doing here.
Pope Pius was a social Conservative, from all that I have heard or read. I really doubt that he would have advised keeping children from their parents. But maybe I am rushing to judgment, also.
All of the above is academic. What is not, is that by Foxman's own admission, he is an immigrant. But instead of being truly glad to be here, Foxman has consistently aligned himself with those who would restrict the religious liberty of Americans (the ACLU); restrict the traditional right of Americans to keep and bear arms; take away the rights to apply moral judgments in hiring and firing, or renting property--as in rejecting those who flaunt sexual deviancy in other people's faces;--even joining in the Leftist smear of the traditional values and culture of the Old South, the one area in America where Jews were fully accepted into the American mainstream before the War of 1861-1865. Giving a man citizenship does not excuse the sort of ingratitude that bites the hand that has succored him.
The man has both a fertile imagination, and a very ungrateful streak. His comments here should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. Frankly, he probably ought to be deported. His behavior has not been consistent with the oath of citizenship.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
Uh huh. Just like that working "script" of The Passion of The Christ they "acquired," as the movie was being filmed.
This won't be the end of Mr. Foxman.... he needs to sit down and shut up.
Since Catholics pray to their saints and look to them for supernatural guidance, is Foxman fearing that if this man is canonized as a saint, Catholics will be induced through him to follow a bad example harmful to the Jews?
Maybe Jews like Foxman should look to their own religion for a change instead of trying to run other faiths. Perhaps he is hoping for a check somewhere in this process.
This pope saved hundreds of thousands of jewish lives through the Vatican alone. God knows how many more. I wish people would do a little research and find out the truth about this man but I guess it is easier to just hate the Catholic chuirch and its members. Many the church should ALWAYS contact Foxman and his group for approval before deciding who will be a saint.
You've no idea: zero synagogues have been burned, and the number is doubling every day!!!
1946 Document on Jewish Children Tells a Different Story Undercuts Tale That Vatican Tried to Keep Them From Their Families
ROME, JAN. 12, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The latest in a series of accusations about Pope Pius XII's behavior vis-à-vis the Jews and Nazi persecution seems to have little basis in fact.
The latest round began Dec. 28 when an Italian newspaper published passages of an alleged 1946 Vatican document that supposedly aimed to keep baptized Jewish children from being returned to their families.
The text, as stated in Il Corriere della Sera by Alberto Melloni, director of the G. Dossetti Library of the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Sciences of Bologna, was "a disposition of the Holy Office," as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was formerly known. The document was said to be dated Oct. 20, 1946.
But after careful research, ZENIT discovered that the document, in fact, was not of the Holy Office and did not bear evidence of the reported date. Nor did it state what the article in Il Corriere said it did.
The document, whose original is in French, was written under the oversight of the then apostolic nuncio in Paris, Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII.
It was meant to explain to the French clergy the instructions he had received from the Holy See, specifically, from the secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, Monsignor Domenico Tardini.
In his newspaper article, Alberto Melloni did not quote the archive from which the document came.
In fact, the document, in full, was published last Tuesday after being tracked down by Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli of the Milan newspaper Il Giornale.
Tornielli revealed that the original is kept in the Centre National des Archives de l'Église de France, archive of the secretariat of the French episcopate, position "7 CE 131."
ZENIT obtained by fax a copy of the original and verified that the text has the seal of the apostolic nunciature of France -- as opposed to what Il Corriere della Sera published, which attributed it to the Holy Office.
ZENIT also verified that the document is dated Oct. 23, 1946, three days later than that mentioned by Il Corriere, and that the terms of the Vatican proposal are very different from what the Italian newspaper had reported.
The original document contradicts Melloni's version. It states, in fact, that the children should be returned to their original Jewish families.
Regarding "Jewish institutions," which during those months were working in Paris and throughout Europe to transfer children to Palestine, the document states that each case must be examined individually.
ZENIT learned that the history of the document began in March 1946, when Isaac Herzog, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, addressed a letter to Pope Pius XII in which the former wrote: "The Jewish people very much remember with profound gratitude the help given by the Holy See to the people that suffered during the Nazi persecution."
Profound thanks are given for the "thousands of children who were hidden in Catholic institutions," and the rabbi requests that these children be returned to the Jewish people.
Herzog emphasized how Pius XII "has worked to banish anti-Semitism in many countries" and concluded with an invocation: "God willing, may history remember that when everything was dark for our people, His Holiness lit a light of hope for them."
Pius XII took to heart the fate of these Jewish children and, in that same month of March, asked the Holy Office to study the case.
The Holy Office, after hearing from several consultors, prepared a document in response to the Pope's request.
In August 1946, some French bishops and, specifically, Coadjutor Archbishop Emile Guerry of Cambrai and Cardinal Pierre Gerlier of Lyon, asked nuncio Roncalli for pointers as to how to resolve the situation of Jewish children saved from Nazi persecution.
Angelo Roncalli gathered all this material and, at the end of September, sent a letter to the Vatican Secretariat of State requesting instructions.
Roncalli was answered by Monsignor Tardini, secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, not in the way quoted by the article in Il Corriere, but rather in the way mentioned above.
Journalist Andrea Tornielli told ZENIT that the Church in France resolved the problem in the vast majority of cases by returning the children, whose lives it saved, to their surviving families.
During the war, priests and religious received orders from the Holy See and bishops not to baptize these children. Baptism requires the consent of the person receiving the sacrament or of the parents, if the recipient does not have the use of reason. This is revealed in documents quoted by www.vaticanfiles.net.
It can all be proved using mathematics:
2 X 0 = 0!
Thanks for that excellent and noteworthy article.