Skip to comments.Vatican fumes at Israeli minister's remarks on Nazi-era pope
Posted on 10/24/2008 7:21:46 AM PDT by Publius804
Vatican fumes at Israeli minister's remarks on Nazi-era pope
By Adi Schwartz, Haaretz Correspondent and Staff
Vatican officials are furious over Minister Isaac Herzog's statement in Thursday's Haaretz that the planned beatification of Pope Pius XII, who headed the Catholic Church during the Holocaust, is "unacceptable."
Cardinal Andrea Lanza di Montezemolo told the Italian paper Corriere della Serra yesterday that "Israel's interference in the matter of Pius XII must stop. We've had it with this interference. Outside opinions are liable to disrupt [the process], and they look like an attempt to force Pope Benedict XVI to make a decision. The decision to declare someone a saint is an internal decision of the church."
Father Paolo Molinari, a priest involved in the the beatification process, told the paper Il Messaggero that "Minister Herzog's statements constitute intervention in the process of declaring Pius XII 'blessed,' which is an internal affair of the Catholic Church." Beatification, or being declared blessed, is the final stage before achieving sainthood.
Moreover, Molinari claimed, "such statements contradict what others in the Jewish world have said, including [former Israeli prime ministers] Moshe Sharett and Golda Meir, who left no room for doubt about the positive part played by Pius XII during the Nazi era."
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
another viewpoint for reference
The Myth of Hitler’s Pope:
Pope Pius XII and His Secret War Against Nazi Germany
by David G. Dalin
Rabbi David G. Dalin
The Myth of Hitler’s Pope
(VOA’s comment: It might be noted that Rabbi Dalin is on faculty of
Ave Maria University, a Roman Catholic university in Florida.
I simply mention that in full disclosure in considering whether or
not Rabbi Dalin may more sympathetic to Pope Pius XII due to his
working environment. That’s not an accusation of bias...
just mentioning the fuller situation of the author.)
I agree. I am embarrassed every time this is ‘recalled’. The Church would do well to face the facts and realize their beatification of this man is ill advised.
I want PROOF of his efforts. I read years ago about his ‘silence’. Where is the proof?
You don't agree with me at all.
I think you'll find the opposite is true: the Rabbi was hired at Ave Maria because he is fair.
Sorry....you are right. I read reviews of the Rabbi’s book, but would have to read it and evaluate it’s documentation to give it a fair assessment.
I just remember being disgusted and embarrassed years ago when whomever evaluated and exposed the Pope’s apparent behaviors during WWII. No ‘stand’ was taken by the Church during that time. The silence was cowardly in my opinion. is the 860,00 the number of Jews you claim he was instrumental in ‘saving’?
False on both counts, and frankly, outright defamation. Of course, you're not alone in that position...it's rather fashionable, actually.
Let me know when your actions save eight hundred sixty thousand lives.
There is no way Pius was directly or individually responsible for saving that many lives. The credit, if the number is valid, goes to the heroic efforts of various European parish priests and individual Catholics along with others not affiliated w/ Catholic Church) who risked their lives to do whatever they could to save the threatened Jews. Unless the Vatican sent out a secret directive to all the parishes in Europe to take such action, Pius does not figure into the effort. If the Vatican had done so, it would have been make public long ago.
Just because they are ‘Pope’ does not make them Saint material. Think of Alexander VI, The Babylonian Captivity, Clement VII...and and more through out the history of the Church.
However, I am willing to alter my opinion of Pius if after research I find that there is documentation if his efforts to subvert the Nazi annihilation of the Jews. If so, I will do my mea culpa’s.
Just because they are Pope does not make them Saint material.
However, I am willing to alter my opinion of Pius . . .
I'll telex Pope Benedict right away with the good news. He'll be so relieved!
Don’t know what Strawman alert means. I suppose it is a comment on my idiocy. However, I would rather you refer me to or provide me with documentation to appropriately refute my skepticism. Lead me to the ‘Light’. Insults do not win disputes. They reflect an absence of fact and a level of emotionalism which does not promote reason or truth.
I would rather think highly of Pius as what he was reflects on too many good people of the faith.
Where’s the beef, kiddo?
No one claimed “...just because they are Pope does not make them Saint material” so why take the time to argue against it?
Still, it bears repeating:
“No one claimed ...just because they are Pope does not make them Saint material so why take the time to argue against it?”
Valid point. Then why Pius?
Show me the money!
The foremost Jewish Scholar of the Holocaust at its height in Hungary, Jeno Levai, insisted some years ago that it was a "particularly regrettable irony that the one person in all of occupied Europe who did more than anyone else to halt the dreadful crime and alleviate its consequences is today made the scapegoat for the failures of others."
The Israeli diplomat and scholar Pinchas Lapide concluded his careful review of Pius XIIs wartime activities with the following words: "The Catholic Church under the pontificate of Pius XII was instrumental in saving lives of as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands."
He went on to add that "this figure far exceeds those saved by all other Churches and rescue organizations combined." After recounting statements of appreciation from a variety of preeminent Jewish spokespersons, he noted. "No Pope in history has been thanked more heartily by Jews . . . .Several suggested in open letters that a Pope Pius XII forest of 860,000 trees be planted on the hills of Judea in order to fittingly honor the memory of the late Pontiff "("Three Popes and the Jews" pp. 214215).
Levai in his own book did not hesitate to argue that the attacks on the Popes wartime record were "demonstrably malicious and fabricated . . . . The archives of the Vatican of diocesan authorities of Ribbentrops foreign ministry, contain a whole series of protestsdirect and indirect, diplomatic and public, secret and open. The nuncios and bishops of the Catholic Church intervened again and again on the instructions of the Pope," he wrote.
From Hungarian Jews and the Papacy: The former chief rabbi of Rome during the German occupation, Emilio Zolli, concluded his firsthand account of wartime events thus: "Volumes could be written on the multiform works of Pius XII, and the countless priests, religious and laity who stood with him throughout the world during the war. "No hero," he said, "in all of history was more militant, more fought against, none more heroic, than Pius XII in pursuing the works of true charity . . . and thus on behalf of all the suffering children of God." Zolli was so moved by Pius XIIs work that he became a Catholic after the war and took the Popes name (Before the Dawn).
Lapide acknowledged in his book that the Church "in an endless flood of sermons, allocutions, pastoral letters and encyclicals was a clear and unrelenting foe to all forms of racism at the time, and everyone knew itJews, Poles, Russians and most ominously the Nazi secret police." Their files mention recalcitrant Catholic clergy in this regard more than any other group. No other institution produced more heroes during the Holocaust than the Church: Italian, Slovak, French, Hungarian priests, nuns, and laypersons who risked and often gave their lives for the sake of persecuted Jews.
The New York Times (!) in its Christmas editorials of 1941 and 1942 praised Pius XII for his moral leadership as a "lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent" and for, among other things, assailing "the violent occupation of territory, and the exile and persecution of human beings, for no other reason than race."
Golda Meir, Israels representative to the United Nations, was the first of the delegates to react to the news of Pope Pius XIIs death. She sent an eloquent message: "We share in the grief of humanity at the passing away of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII. In a generation afflicted by wars and discords he upheld the highest ideals of peace and compassion. When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace."
Leonard Bernstein, on learning of Pope Pius XIIs death while conducting his orchestra in New Yorks Carnegie Hall, tapped his baton for a moment of silence to pay tribute to the Pope who had saved the lives of so many people without distinction of race, nationality, or religion.
The great Jewish physicist, Albert Einstein, who himself barely escaped annihilation at Nazi hands, made the point well in 1944 when he said, "Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, but the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, but they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers . . . . they too were mute. Only the Church," Einstein concluded, "stood squarely across the path of Hitlers campaign for suppressing the truth. . . . I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration . . . . and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly."
Ping to read later
That being said, I do wish that Orthodox Jews (at least) would criticize the Church for its promotion of the documentary hypothesis for even a fraction of the amount of time spent on this brou-ha-ha over Pope Pius.
Imposing a jewish theocracy on the world, a good thing? explain...
It's called the eschatalogical triumph. Every religion that believes it is the One True Religion believes that it will be vindicated in the end. Judaism teaches that when Mashiach comes all the nations will discard the false "gxds" and religions and accept HaShem and the Noachide Laws.
And this offends you . . . how?
You perhaps prefer the censoring of religious beliefs in the name of multiculturalism, pluralism, and "tolerance?"
I just asked for an explanation - so chill. It’s still America, you can believe whatever you want - it doesn’t bother me. However once Obama takes over then......
The number is from Pinchas Lapide, an Israeli diplomat.
Mary...thank you so much. It would be the moral duty of the priests and members of the Catholic church and any professed Christians to make every effort to save whomever they could from the Nazis.
I know those heroic individuals existed with or without the imprimatur of the Pope. If Pius was the big instrument in the Catholics behaviors in this regard, then it is appropriate that he should be commended for it.
I will do some research on this. Thank you, again.
There is no way Pius was directly or individually responsible for saving that many lives.
And of course this means that there is absolutely no way that Hitler was responsible for killing more than six million Jews, right?
“”However, I am willing to alter my opinion of Pius if after research I find that there is documentation if his efforts to subvert the Nazi annihilation of the Jews. If so, I will do my mea culpas.””
Holy Cross University makes this research very easy,dear friend.
I can almost hear the mea culpa’s to come
Hiatt Holocaust Collection from Holy Cross University found here
PIUS XII & THE HOLOCAUST
http://www.catholicleague.org/pius/dalinframe.htm (by Rabbi David Dalin)
Here is just a few other articles found there
CIA ARCHIVES SHOW PIUS XII SAVED JEWS, ACTIVELY OPPOSED NAZIS
Pius XII and Concern for Jewish Children
How the Communists Defamed the Pope on the Jews
PIUS XII SAVED MORE JEWS THAN SCHINDLER, RABBI SAYS
Winston S. Churchill and Pius XII
No Christmas sermon reaches a larger congregation than the message Pope Pius XII addresses to a war-torn world at this season. This Christmas more than ever
he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent.
The New York Times, December 25, 1942
I should like you to take this occasion to express to His Holiness my deeply-felt appreciation of the frequent action which the Holy See has taken on its own
initiative in its generous and merciful efforts to render assistance
to the victims of racial and religious persecutions.
Franklin D. Roosevelt to Myron C. Taylor, August 3, 1944
. . . I told him [the Pope] that my first duty was to thank him , and through him, the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public, for all they had done in the
various countries to rescue Jews, to save children, and Jews in general.
Moshe Sharett, Later First Israeli Foreign Minister (April 1945)
In all these painful matters, I referred to the Holy See and afterwards I simply
carried out the Pope’s orders: first and foremost to save human lives.
Angelo Cardinal Roncalli, Patriarch of Venice, Later Pope John XXIII (1957)
When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the
pope was raised for its victims.
Golda Meir, Israeli Foreign (October 1958)
He was a great and good man, and I loved him.
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery,London Sunday Times (October 12, 1958)
It seems evident to me that the principles, reaffirmed by Pope Pacelli in his first encyclical [Summi Pontificatus], and repeated forcefully at every circumstance, above all in the Christmas messages of the war years,
constitute the most concrete condemnation of the Hitlerian type of absolutism.
Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, New York Times (February 26, 1964)
Pope Pius XII did not remain silent.
Jeno Levai (1966)
. . . the Catholic Church, under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII was instrumental
in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000,
Jews from certain death at Nazi hands.
Pinchas E. Lapide, Three Popes and the Jews (1967)
Pope Pius XII, the one pontiff with whom I was acquainted, was an interesting man who, after 1945, came in for what almost surely is an unfair amount of criticism
because he didn’t stop the conflict Hitler started and because he didn’t
do more to save Europe’s Jews from Nazi extermination.
C. L. Sulzberger, Go Gentle Into the Night (1976)
What we can say already, in light of what we have learned, is that
the Nazis considered Pius XII and his collaborators as their greatest enemies,
and that, reciprocally, the Pope and his entourage saw the Nazis as criminals
working for the destruction of the Church and civilization.
Jean Chelini, Le Figaro (October 8, 1983)
The gratitude [to Pope Pius XII] of the world Jewish leaders, for deeds to which their own archives are witness, was transformed after 1963 into totally negative commentary. The well-intentioned, informed world Jewish community was downgraded to disgraceful testimonials of a few Jews (New York Times, September 27, 1989), Letters).
Rev. Robert A. Graham, S. J. (October 1989)
. . . that there was no direction given by the Pope in helping the Jews recalls the argument of David Irving, the English author, who in 1977 tried to absolve Adolf Hitler of any responsibility for the Final Solution simply because historians could not find a document proving his responsibility for persecuting the Jews. The failure of historians to find any explicit instructions does not necessarily consititute proof that Hitler was not behind the persecution of the Jews or that Pius XII did not encourage the help given by the Catholic clergy and laity to the Jews, since, as any historian knows, directives can be given orally as well as in writing [actually, as early as 23 December 1940, Pius did send a secret instruction, Opere et caritate, to his bishops to help victims like the Jews].
Rev. Vincent A. Lapomarda, S. J. (July 31, 1992)
Anyone who does not limit himself to cheap polemics knows very well what
Pius XII thought of the Nazi regime and how much he did to help countless people
persecuted by the regime.
Pope John Paul II (1995)
He was a great pope.
Pope John Paul II (March 21, 1998)
In his 1942 Christmas message, which The New York Times among others
extolled, the pope became the first figure of international stature
to condemn what was turning into the Holocaust.
Kenneth Woodward, Newsweek (March 30, 1998)
Before any more fingers are pointed at Pius XII - who did more to save the Jews than anyone else - let him first take a hard historical look at what his ideological kinfolk did at the time of the Holocaust. The New Republic, like The New York Timesand The Washington Post, are the ones who need to apologize for their shameful silence in the face of genocide and stop with the scapegoating of Pius XII.
William A. Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
Catalyst, 27, No. 4 (May 2000), 10
. . . Pius XII was, genuinely and profoundly, a righteous gentile.
Rabbi David G. Dalin, The Weekly Standard, February 26, 2001
The actions of Pius XII to help save the Jews is well documented in many books and articles. Maybe you could point us to some of the actions taken by the leaders of your church to assist the Jewish people during WWII.
I really appreciate this. However many of the links are dead (Catholics and the Holocaust listings). I will continue pursue the truth...with the help of much that you have provided and the links that do work.
Thank you for you rational response to my skepticism. I render you great respect as you have thus respected my honestly wanting to know the truth...unlike some who preferred to ridicule my request for documentation. God Bless you!
Nothing like throwing crap to impact some current objective.
“Maybe you could point us to some of the actions taken by the leaders of your church to assist the Jewish people during WWII.”
My church is your church. That doesn’t mean I buy into everything promulgated without question. If my church did save Jews as presented here, for a fact...I am proud and thankful.
Bernard Law for example. Father Pfleger, for example. Want more examples?
Pius becoming a martyr might have been something he might have accepted.
But what would have happened next would have been the College of Cardinals being "directed" by the SS as to who the next Pope should have been.
You are a member of the Catholic Church?
Examples of what?
Yes. I love it. I miss the Latin Mass with all my heart.
Of the church not protecting us or misleading us. If you were familiar with the history of the church you would definitely understand why Luther did what he did. There has always been corruption and I guess there always will be.
You love the Church but don't take the time to learn about Pius XII and instead want to take as fact all the negative posted about him? You said the Church "would do well to face the facts". They are.
I am well familiar with the history of the Church. It looks like you are not based on your knowledge of Pius XII.
you would definitely understand why Luther did what he did
I will never understand why Luther taught to "be a sinner and sin boldly".
So you think that the man who set in motion the means to save nearly all of Italy’s Jews from the Nazis and the Fascists should be punished. Can you name an occupied European country that had fewer Jewish deaths than Italy? Can you name another person who was able to save so many?
In Israel they plant trees with the names of those who played a major part in saving the lives of Jews. One guy who is honored was a Franciscan priest. In his very interesting book he states he was only following orders from the Vatican. He said the pope’s instructions were relayed to him through his bishop and if anyone deserves to be honored it was the pope and not him.
Research where American Jews sent their money during the war to help other Jews, you’ll find that many of them sent it to the Vatican because they knew it would be helpful and used for the purpose intended.
As for this rabbi involved here, I'm afraid I can't find the proper word to express my disgust at his ingratitude. Pius XII did more to help European (and especially Italian) Jews from the Nazis than any other world leader. FDR, Churchill, any other head of state among the Allied powers, you name it. None of them even helped at all, and didn't even bomb the railways leading to the camps when, by 1943, this was certainly quite feasible.
Pius was deterred from much overt denouncement after, among other events, the Nazis retaliated for the Dutch bishops' public protests by rounding up all of the Dutch Jewish converts (including St. Edith Stein and her sister, both Carmelite nuns who had converted from Judaism) and sending them to the camps. Furthermore, it can be plausibly argued that almost no one knew the extent of what was going on in the camps as recently as April 1944. You may recall the famous escape from Auschwitz by two Slovakian Jews, Alfred Weczler and Rudolph Vrba, who escaped precisely to make the plight of Jews in the death camps known to the outside world. They were met with complete disbelief when they tried, after their successful escape, to convince the Jews of Hungary that they were "next" in line for deportation and extermination. This, in April 1944!! Check out a few of the many sources on this that I'm enclosing below:
If the Jews of Hungary refused to believe it, and had no prior, common-knowledge evidence that this was going on, and the Western governments dismissed the reports from both Weczler and Vrba, it is safe to say that Pius XII might not have know the extent of the genocide himself by that date. He may, as a world leader, have had an inkling, but he might not have been sure enough about actual death camps (as opposed to slave-labor camps) to risk inciting the Nazis with constant public condemnations. Remember, again, what happened in Holland after the first real protest from the Church had been lodged against what had merely been supposed had been going on.
Could Pius have done more? Sure. I'm sure that's possible. How do you quantify such a thing, anyway? But he did what he thought he could do prudently without making the situation worse. Keep in mind, too, that he did what he did while surrounded by German troops garrisoned in Rome through early June 1944!!! It is absolutely ludicrous for this rabbi, or any rabbi, to condemn Pius for "inaction," when he did far more than any other major religious or political leader in the entire world, and did so while in a far more exposed position (in an occupied city) than any of them. The New York Times, in several instances contemporary to the events, lauded Pius as the "lone voice" crying out against what was known was going on a the time. He was eulogized at his death by many Jews, including Golda Meir and Albert Einstein, as the greatest savior of Jews in Europe during the Holocaust. What else is there to say in defense of this man?
Revisionist history is usually spawned by bad motives, but revisionist history, applied in a spirit of utter ingratitude, against the benefactor of one's own people is just reprehensible! I hope this rabbi sleeps well.
The Church was inhibited by the fear that many Catholics felt and by the support of many others for the regime. Like pro-choice Americans, they more wanted to be counted good Germans than good Catholics. This included no small number of priests. There was another group: those priests and Catholics who feared the Communists to such an extent that they were willing to accept the Nazis who were their allies in combiting communism.
“Revisionist history is usually spawned by bad motives, but revisionist history, applied in a spirit of utter ingratitude, against the benefactor of one’s own people is just reprehensible! I hope this rabbi sleeps well. “
Reminding me that the play “The Deputy” was basically leftish propoganda intended to sully the reputation of communism’s most constant foe, the Catholic Church. Were their pro-Nazi clerics in the Vatican. Probably. There were also pro-communists clerics, just as today there are in the Vatican “progressive”priests who are secretly working against the true faith.
I think if you actually read my posts you would see that I WANT to learn. Hostility never opened any minds.
Who said anything about ‘punishment’? I just like the truth. You didn’t read anything about punishment from me.