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Pope John Paul II Step Closer to Possible Beatification
Fox ^ | December 19, 2009

Posted on 12/19/2009 5:53:51 AM PST by NYer

VATICAN CITY —  Pope Benedict XVI has moved Pope John Paul II one step closer to possible beatification, the milestone before sainthood.

Benedict on Saturday approved a decree attesting to John Paul's heroic virtues. Benedict still must sign off on a miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession before the late pope can be beatified.

Benedict put the Polish pontiff on the fast track for sainthood just weeks after his April 2, 2005 death, waiving the customary five-year waiting period and allowing the investigation into John Paul's virtues to begin immediately.

Benedict also approved a decree on the heroic virtues of Pope Pius XII, despite opposition from Jews who say the World War II-era pope didn't do enough to stop the Holocaust.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events
KEYWORDS: jpii; piusxii

1 posted on 12/19/2009 5:53:52 AM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

2 posted on 12/19/2009 5:54:34 AM PST by NYer ("One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone" - Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

Oh man.


3 posted on 12/19/2009 5:57:23 AM PST by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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To: NYer
Mistake. There was much JPII could have done to please God by rolling back the excesses of Modernism after Vatican II, but he did nothing.

Today's novus ordo mass resembles the 'service' in the UMC. His successor's time is running out, yet he does nothing.

4 posted on 12/19/2009 6:05:33 AM PST by IbJensen (A Prayer for Obama (Ps 109.8): "Let his days be few; and let another take his position.")
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To: NYer
That is huge. Pius XII, too!!! (yipee!!!)

ADOPTION OF ORDERS OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS

Today, 19 December 2009, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in private audience by HE Archbishop Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During an audience the Holy Father authorized the Congregation to promulgate the decrees concerning:

  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus Sołtys called Kazimierczyk, professed priest of the Order of the Canons Regular of the Lateran, born September 27, 1433 in Kazimierz (Poland) and died there May 3, 1489;
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Andrew Bessette (born Alfredo), professed religious of the Congregation of Holy Cross, born in Saint-Grégoire d'Iberville (Canada) on August 9 1845 and died in Montreal (Canada) January 6, 1937;
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Mary MacKillop Cross (born: Maria Elena), foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, born January 15, 1842 in Fitzroy (Australia) and died on 8 August 1909 in Sydney (Australia);
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Giulia Salzano, foundress of the Congregation of the Catechist Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, born October 13, 1846 in Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Italy) and died May 17, 1929 at Casoria (Italy);
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Battista da Varano (born Camilla), professed nun of the Order of St. Clare and founder of the Monastery of Santa Chiara in the town of Camerino, born April 9, 1458 in Camerino (Italy) and died there May 31, 1524;
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Joseph Tous y Soler, professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and Founder of the Congregation of the Capuchin Sisters of Mother of the Divine Shepherd, born March 31, 1811 in Igualada (Spain) and died February 27, 1871 in Barcelona (Spain);
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God by Alpandeire Leopoldo Sánchez Márquez (born: Francis), a professed layman of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, born July 24, 1866 at Alpandeire (Spain) and died February 9 1956 in Granada (Spain);
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Emmanuel Lozano Garrido, Lay, born August 9, 1920 in Linares (Spain) and died there November 3, 1971;
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Teresa Manganiello, secular, of the Third Order of St. Francis, born in Montefusco (Italy) January 1, 1849 and died there November 4, 1876;
  • A miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Chiara Badano, laity, born in Sassello (Italy) October 29, 1971 and died there October 7, 1990;
  • The martyrdom of the Servant of God George Popiełuszko, diocesan priest, born September 14, 1947 at Okopy Suchowola (Poland) and killed in hatred of the Faith October 20 1984 near Wloclawek (Poland);
  • The heroic virtues of Blessed James Illyricum from Bitetto, professed layman of the Order of Friars Minor, born in 1400 in Zadar (Dalmatia) and died around the year 1496 in Bitetto (Italy);
  • The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), the Supreme Pontiff, born in Rome on March 2, 1876 and died at Castel Gandolfo, October 9, 1958;
  • The heroic virtues of Servant of God John Paul II (Wojtyla Carlo), the Supreme Pontiff, born May 18, 1920 in Wadowice (Poland) and died in Rome on 2 April 2005;
  • The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Luigi Brisson, Priest and Founder of the Oblates and the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales, born June 23, 1817 at Plancy (France) and died there February 2, 1908;
  • The heroic virtues of Servant of God Joseph Quadrio, professed priest of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, born November 28, 1921 at Vervio (Italy) and died in Turin (Italy) October 23, 1963;
  • The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Maria Ward (born Giovanna), foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, now the Congregation of Jesus, born in Mulwith (England) January 23, 1585 and died in Hewarth (England) January 30, 1645;
  • The heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Antonia Maria Verna, foundress of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception of Ivrea said, born in Pasquaro of Rivarolo (Italy) June 12, 1773 and died there December 25, 1838;
  • The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Maria Chiara Serafina Farolfi of Jesus (in the world: Francesca), founder of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Poor Clares Ss.mo Sacramento, born October 7, 1853 in Tossignano (Italy) and died on June 18, 1917 Badia di Bertinoro (Italy);
  • The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Enrico Alfieri (born: Maria Angela), sisters of the Congregation of the professed Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida Thouret; born February 23, 1891 at Borgovercelli (Italy) and died in Milan (Italy) November 23, 1951;
  • The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Junius Tinarelli, Lay, Managing Partner of the Pious Union Primary Silent Workers of the Cross, born in Terni (Italy) on 27 May 1912 and died there January 14, 1956.

    [01912-01.01] [01912-01.01]

    [B0804-XX.01] [B0804-XX.01]


5 posted on 12/19/2009 6:14:06 AM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: NYer

FATIMA, Portugal (CWNews.com) May 13, 2000 — Pope John Paul II has made public the famous “third secret” of Fatima.

The secret involves a vision of an assassination attempt on a Pope— a vision that matches the attempted killing of Pope John Paul II himself on May 13,1981.

The Holy Father, who was in Fatima on May 13 for the beatification of two of the three children to whom the Virgin Mary appeared in 1917, asked Cardinal Angelo Sodano to read a message to the congregation at the end of the beatification ceremonies. That message, delivered in Portuguese, explained the third secret in general terms.

Cardinal Sodano announced that the complete text of the third secret would soon be made available by the Vatican, together with a commentary produced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The third secret of Fatima has been the subject of intense speculation among Catholics. The exact content of that message had been known only to the Pope, his predecessors, and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The secret details a vision of a “bishop dressed in white” who is caught up in a battle against an atheistic system that oppresses the Church. That bishop “falls to the ground, as if dead, after a volley of gunfire.” Sister Lucia, the sole surviving Fatima seer, has confirmed that the “bishop dressed in white” is the Pope.

http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/cathnews/fatima/popesecr.html


6 posted on 12/19/2009 6:23:23 AM PST by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: markomalley

Most interesting.


7 posted on 12/19/2009 6:25:53 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: IbJensen; netmilsmom
Mistake. There was much JPII could have done to please God by rolling back the excesses of Modernism after Vatican II, but he did nothing.

How easy to sit on the sidelines and play the judge. Ignore the encyclicals, the Wednesday audience catechesis, etc. Let's also ignore any of his accomplishments John Paul II Helped Topple Berlin Wall. To heck with the millions of youth who traveled from all parts of the globe to World Youth Day, drew inspiration from this pope and have answered his call to serve God in religious life. Let's just judge him by what he failed to accomplish, "in our view".

8 posted on 12/19/2009 6:32:50 AM PST by NYer ("One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone" - Benedict XVI)
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To: IbJensen

>>His successor’s time is running out, yet he does nothing. <<

I think you are mistaken.

JPII, although I am no fan of the way he handled things, DID bring the TLM back and stated that it was allowed (to much chagrin).
B16 has cleaned the “progressives” out of the seminaries and pushed for Latin in the Liturgy.

After the sweeping changes initiated by VII (or rather usurped by VII), sweeping changes back would sweep more Catholics away.

Actually, EWTN did more for us than either Pope. Mother Angelica and the HOLY mass, told Catholics like us, that there is an Novus Ordo with reverence.

And please understand, of our seven Holy Masses on the weekends, we have a TLM and kneel for communion. I want the reverence in my Mass.


9 posted on 12/19/2009 6:40:39 AM PST by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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To: NYer

A reason for the spread of secular humanism can be laid at the Vatican’s front gate. I haven’t sat on the sidelines I’ve read the encyclicals of both JP and our current pontiff and concluded that the same newspeak flows out of the current White House.


10 posted on 12/19/2009 6:45:51 AM PST by IbJensen (A Prayer for Obama (Ps 109.8): "Let his days be few; and let another take his position.")
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To: netmilsmom
What goes on in American Catholic Churches isn't Catholic. Each diocese 'does their own thing'to the point that one feels like a stranger while visiting many congregations.

There has to be a reason why congregants keep chattering loudly upon entering what today passes for a sanctuary. And where is the tabernacle? Often it's hidden away in a side room.

Lay distributors place the Host in the hands. I've watched some carry the host back to the pews and I wonder 'do they take them home?'

How can a thinking, history understanding Roman Catholic believe the errors and sacrilege ensuing after Vatican II were healthy needed change? Jesus is foreever and never changes. Why change His Church on earth? Wht join the Modernists?

11 posted on 12/19/2009 6:59:40 AM PST by IbJensen (A Prayer for Obama (Ps 109.8): "Let his days be few; and let another take his position.")
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To: netmilsmom; IbJensen
After the sweeping changes initiated by VII (or rather usurped by VII), sweeping changes back would sweep more Catholics away.

Thank you for making that point!!!

This is a very real problem and one our diocese will confront in another 4 years when our progressive bishop of 35+ years, is replaced. He has used those years to remodel the diocese after the VCII 'progressive' interpretation. During this time, many young candidates for the priesthood were turned away because they did not share his 'vision' of eventually having women priests. As a result, the number of priests here is at an all time low with many of them preparing to retire. I know one 89 y/o priest who still volunteers to say Mass.

The next bishop will have to gradually restore the diocese. Many of our churches have been closed and sold. Some of the combined parishes are now run by lay people. Any sudden or radical approach will result in the loss of those remaining Catholics.

This destruction was not the work of the council but that of one man who exercised his right as bishop to interpret council documents to suit his views. The secularism of society began well before Vatican Council II. Today, it is only the Catholic Church that has taken a hard line stance against many of the ills in society. One is reminded of the dream of St. John Bosco.

12 posted on 12/19/2009 7:00:32 AM PST by NYer ("One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone" - Benedict XVI)
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To: IbJensen

Interesting that you seem to think you know better than the Pope, the entire Teaching Magisterium and the ordained hierarchy of the Church...


13 posted on 12/19/2009 7:13:22 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

Sedevacantism tends to do that.


14 posted on 12/19/2009 7:15:22 AM PST by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: NYer
Benedict also approved a decree on the heroic virtues of Pope Pius XII, despite opposition from Jews who say the World War II-era pope didn't do enough to stop the Holocaust.

860,000

15 posted on 12/19/2009 7:17:11 AM PST by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: NYer

It’s interesting that many observers seem to think “heroic virtue” means “did exactly what *I* think is best at every point.” I don’t think that’s what the Congregation for Saints is using as a guideline ... at least, they didn’t phone me to discuss either Pope’s possible sanctity ...


16 posted on 12/19/2009 7:17:32 AM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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To: Petronski

Yes, it does. I understand their frustrations but they seem not to have been very well instructed in the Faith, particularly in Catholic spirituality. Legalism is usually based upon pride. It’s insidious....


17 posted on 12/19/2009 7:20:12 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita
I'm entitled to my opinion as you are to yours.

What exactly is your opinion of the Church today as opposed to say 50 years ago?

18 posted on 12/19/2009 7:24:55 AM PST by IbJensen (A Prayer for Obama (Ps 109.8): "Let his days be few; and let another take his position.")
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To: IbJensen

Actually, I believe I should do what Catholic spirituality has always instructed me to do (even 50 years ago):

1. Make regular use of the great sacramental graces offered to me
2. Work faithfully on improving my relationship with God through prayer, retreats, practicing the virtues, etc.
3. Make frequent use of Confession (having a regular spiritual director would be best)
4. Study the Church Teachings; Read works that instruct and are in accord with the Teaching Magisterium. It is especially important to ask God to guide you in understanding those Teachings of the Church that you have a problem with. He is faithful to provide understanding! ;-)
5. Submit to the Authority of the Church (what all the great Saints have done, even when they had differing opinions); You do this as to God Himself....HE will take care of everything.
6. Serve the Church in active ways (RCIA, Adult/Children’s Religious Education, Right-to-Life Committees, Knights of Columbus, Parish Council...as you are led by the Holy Spirit); Service to those poor in Spirit or materially poor should be included here as well.
7. Pray without ceasing....especially for the Church. Pray for the removal of those who wrongly teach, etc...it works!)


19 posted on 12/19/2009 7:46:21 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: markomalley
That is huge. Pius XII, too!!! (yipee!!!)

Very good news!

I wonder if the timing of this might be to cut down the amount of negative press that seemingly surrounds any mention of Ven. Pius XII by hiding it somewhat in the shadow of Ven. John Paul II.

Also, my Australian friends will be happy to hear they will have their first canonized Saint soon.

20 posted on 12/19/2009 7:49:04 AM PST by GCC Catholic (0bama, what are you hiding? Just show us the birth certificate...)
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To: NYer; monkapotamus; All

COOL almost there????


21 posted on 12/19/2009 9:13:32 AM PST by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: All

Also for OZ readers on FR one of your countrymen going be saint

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/pope-endorses-mary-mackillop/story-e6frf7jo-1225812072743


22 posted on 12/19/2009 9:15:05 AM PST by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: NYer
SPECIAL: Popes Pius XII, John Paul II declared 'venerable'
Pope John Paul II Step Closer to Possible Beatification
Popes Move Closer to Sainthood [Jews Says Beatification of Pius XII "Thoughtless"]
Benedict XVI to declare John Paul II venerable at the Vatican (12/19)
23 posted on 12/19/2009 10:01:47 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Tax-chick
It’s interesting that many observers seem to think “heroic virtue” means “did exactly what *I* think is best at every point.” I don’t think that’s what the Congregation for Saints is using as a guideline ... at least, they didn’t phone me to discuss either Pope’s possible sanctity ...

No more calls, please..........we have a winner!!

24 posted on 12/19/2009 10:18:30 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: Petronski

Pius XII created agencies to coordinate relief work. American Jews and Cardinal Spellman channeled throughout the Pope generous humanitarian aid for the Jews.

From the first days of the war, Pope Pius XII distributed untold sums to aid the Jews all over Nazi occupied Europe. One of Pius XII’s first steps at the beginning of the War was the creation of two official agencies with pontifical rank to coordinate relief work, the Pontifical Aid Commission and the Office for Information. The first body, in liaison with local organizations, channeled supplies of food, medicine, and clothing, to the needy, to the prisoners of war in particular. It was a task of vast proportions involving 40 countries; financial grants were provided for the repatriation of 630,000 displaced persons; full responsibility was taken for 53,000 victims. Church authorities joined forces with national and international Jewish agencies. American Jews also trusted on the hands of the Pope large sums that were distributed according to the wishes of the donors. Cardinal Spellman also channeled generous humanitarian aid from the U.S. Catholics.

The Vatican Information Office handled over one and a quarter million requests and succeeded in locating over half a million of the displaced persons, mostly Jews, a success ratio of 44 percent, in spite of the non cooperation from the Nazis and little, if at all, cooperation from the Allies. The communication with prisoners of war was another of its important services. Both Agencies were under the direction of Msgr. Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI.

PIUS XII AND THE RESISTANCE

Pius XII, a man of great personal courage dared to be involved in a high risk venture that could even endanger the very existence of The Church-the support of the internal resistance to the Nazis inside the German Armed Forces. The French and the British governments were deaf to the pleas of the Vatican to assist the German internal resistance to the Nazi government. From the very beginning Pius XII tried to persuade the Allies to support the inside German opposition, but they did not heed the Pope.

A number of anti-Nazi plotters inside the Abwehr, the intelligence branch of the armed forces, made repeated, and ultimately futile attempts through the Holy See to reach and persuade the British to back, or even to talk with the German resistance. They were all killed in the July 20, 1944; plot to assassinate Hitler, the last in a long line of foiled attempts to get rid of the dictator. The leader, a Roman Catholic officer, Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg was shot on he spot. Other conspirators, mostly Protestants, were not so lucky; they were hung by using piano strings from butchers’ hooks and filmed on Hitler’s orders so that he could watch it himself later.

According to historian O’Carroll, in 1983 the Italian magazine Gente, published the testimony of General Wolff, the commander of the German forces in Italy during WWII. He revealed that in 1943 Pius XII had invited him to the Vatican and tried to persuade him to end the war in Italy on his own initiative. General Wolff was impressed and gave the matter thought; he finally decided against the Pope’s plea. But he recorded the immense personal impression that Pius XII made on him. We already mentioned how the whole leadership of the Italian resistance found refugee in the Church’s facilities in Rome.

Pius XII also served as a conduit for an offer made by a group of anti-Nazi German generals to topple Hitler from power. They wanted to know if the British would make peace with Germany if they succeeded in arresting Hitler and removing him from power. The proposal was made by Colonel-General Ludwig Beck (four star general), who latter was made chief of the German General Staff, but who resigned in 1938 convinced that Hitler was a criminal. Pius XII had known Beck when he was Nuncio in Berlin and “highly esteemed his honesty and integrity.”

The Pope also allowed the Vatican diplomatic corps, which was protected by diplomatic immunity, to carry messages between the Allied powers. There was a close collaboration between the Vatican and the Allies’ intelligence services. In fact, the Vatican forewarned Holland and Belgium of the upcoming German invasion.

TESTIMONIALS ON PIUS XII FROM WORLD LEADERS.

The fact is, as affirmed Graham, that even before 1944, the world Jewish organizations had recognized in the Vatican a friend who was willing- and often able- to help their people during their tragic ordeal in occupied Europe. The concerns of the Jewish organizations were also those of the Holy See. Sometimes The Church acted on the appeal of a Jewish organization, at other times, they acted on the basis of reports received from its own representatives in the occupied territories where they held a relationship of confidence with the local Jewish leaders. In many instances, the Holy See had already acted upon information received from its own nuncios before the appeals from Jewish organizations arrived at the Vatican.

Pope Paul VI, who was a close collaborator with Pius XII, authorized in 1964 the publications of the documents of the Holy See relating World War II. In Volume X, there is a day-by-day record of the Holy See’s correspondence with the most active international Jewish organizations. Among the more important of these are the ones from the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Congress, Agudas Israel World Organization, Vaad Hahatzala of the Unions of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, Hijefs (Schweizerischer Hillfsverein fur Judische Fluchling im Ausland), the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the American Jewish Committee.

In November, 1943, Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, wrote to Cardinal Roncalli, (the future Pope John XXIII) then Apostolic Delegate to Turkey and Greece, stating: “I take this opportunity to express to your Eminence my sincere thanks as well as my deep appreciation of your kindly attitude to Israel and of the invaluable help given by the Catholic Church to the Jewish people in its affliction. Would you please convey these sentiments which come from Sion, to His Holiness the Pope (Pius XII) along with the assurances that the people of Israel know how to value his assistance and his attitude.” (24) The American Jewish Welfare Board wrote to Pius XII on July 1944 to express their appreciation for the protection given to the Jews during the German occupation of Italy.

In 1944 the War Refugee Board came into existence as the united effort of several American Jewish organizations. During and after the war, the War Refugee Board publicly acknowledged its close relationship with the Holy See. The documentation includes the correspondence from eminent rabbinical leaders who made special appeals to the Holy See; among them are the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem, Dr. Issac Herzog; the Grand Rabbi of the British Empire, Dr. Joseph Hertz; and Rabbi Abraham Kalmanowitz, leader of the rabbinical school of Mir, in Lithuania.

Fr. William Saunders has quoted Dr. Raphael Cantoni, a leader in Italy’s Jewish Assistance Committee, declaring that “The Church and the Papacy have saved Jews as much and insofar as they could Christians. Six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis…but there would have been many more victims had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII.” (25)

New York Times praises Pius XII’s Christmas Messages in 1941 and 1942

On Christmas Day 1941, the editorial of the New York Times, commenting on Pius XII’s Christmas Message, said: “The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas…as we realize that he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all…In calling for a ‘real new order’ based on ‘liberty, justice and love,’ to be attained only by a ‘return to social and international principles capable of creating a barrier against the abuse of liberty and the abuse of power”. “The Pope,” said the NYT, “put himself squarely against Hitlerism, he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace.”

On Christmas Day 1942, the New York Times editorialized on Pius XII’s Christmas Message and again praised the Pope for his moral leadership. “This Christmas,” said de NYT, “more than ever he (Pius XII) is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent. The Pulpit whence he speaks is more than ever like the rock on which the Church was founded, a tiny island lashed and surrounded by a sea of war… (Pius XII) condemns as heresy the new form of national state which subordinates every thing to itself, he declared that whoever wants peace must protect against ‘arbitrary attacks’ the ‘juridical safety of individuals. The Pope assailed the violent occupation of territory, the exile and persecution of human beings for no other reason than race or political opinion.” The address also contained the first formal enunciation of human rights made by a Pope.

Pope Pius XII, said the NYT, “expresses as passionately as any leader on our side of the war aims of the struggle for freedom when he says that those who aim at building a new world order must fight for free choice of government and religious order. They must refuse that the state should make of individuals a herd of whom the state disposes as if they were a lifeless thing.”

The British Ambassador to the Vatican says that the Pope was the most warmly humane, kindly, sympathetic, and saintly character he had known

D’Arcy Osborne, the Protestant Minister of Britain to the Vatican wrote of Pope Pius XII: as “the most warmly humane, kindly, generous, sympathetic, and incidentally saintly, character who has been my privilege to meet in the course of a long life.” (26)


25 posted on 12/19/2009 10:43:40 AM PST by Dqban22
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To: GCC Catholic

Germany’s Catholics: neither cowed nor craven
Francis Phillips hails a stunning study of Catholic resistance to National Socialism

16 October 2009

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who resisted Nazism to the death

The Cross and the Third Reich
By John Frain
Family Publications, £19.95

John Frain subtitles this book, Catholic Resistance in the Nazi Era and at first glance it might seem a well-trodden path, adding little to what is already known. For instance, negative publicity given to the alleged “silence” of Pope Pius XII during the War has led to a succession of scholarly studies of his attitude and behaviour towards Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. But Frain’s terms of reference are wider than this; he examines every level of Catholic opposition to Hitler, particularly in Germany: the electorate, the bishops, courageous individuals, as well as Vatican diplomatic initiatives.

The author, who modestly describes himself as “neither historian nor theologian”, simply a Catholic layman, has done the common reader like me a great service. I must confess that in my laziness and ignorance I had assumed that, with the exception of a few brave souls such as Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Münster, most German Catholics were cowed and craven before and during the War; indeed, so anti-Communist as to be warily sympathetic to the Nazis.

With his mastery of the facts, the result of painstaking and careful research, Frain completely demolishes this assumption. Beginning with the question, “Why did one of the most intellectually gifted and industrious nations in the world become subjugated to an indolent, argumentative, autocratic, tedious habitué of a Viennese doss-house?” he provides a brief introduction to the state of Germany after the First World War. Then asking a related question: “What did the Church actually do?” During the period under scrutiny, he makes the interesting discovery that it did a great deal, even well before Hitler came to power in 1933.

Between 1920 and 1933 the German bishops regularly warned their flocks (a third of the population) that the National Socialists (Nazis) were “totalitarian, racist, pagan and anti-Christian”. This view was reflected in the 1933 elections; the Nazi vote in the heavily Catholic areas of the Rhineland and Bavaria was significantly lower than in the (Protestant) north and east. However, discussing Protestant support for Hitler, Frain is careful to distinguish between the powerful and dangerous German Christian movement, with its 600,000 members, its anti-Semitism and its advocacy of a “Reichskirche”, and the Confessing Church of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemöller, which was implacably opposed to this.

It hardly needs to be said that there was no Catholic equivalent of the pro-Nazi German Christian movement.

Looking at the record of the Church’s pastors during this time the author states that in 1932 there were 21,000 Catholic priests in Germany, that over 8,000 of these openly clashed with the Reich, that several hundred were documented as having died at Nazi hands, and that there were many more, undocumented, whose heroic resistance is known only to God. It is in this context that the much-criticised Concordat of 1933 between the Vatican and Nazi Germany must be seen; among other things it did save Catholic clergy “from the moral dilemma of serving a regime hostile to the Church and often barbaric in countries where it invaded”; it also exempted Catholic doctors and nurses from forced participation in the sterilisation programmes.

Frain also explains why the view of Pius XII as either “Hitler’s Pope”, or at the least a moral coward, is utterly baseless. Learning from his bishops that his public utterances, and the Vatican Radio broadcasts, were causing savage Nazi reprisals against the very people he was trying to protect, the Pope was forced to act largely through secret diplomatic channels involving his nuncios. Many references from Jewish historians and Allied diplomats are cited in evidence here. Yet the Vatican also acted swiftly when necessary, silencing Theodor Innitzer, Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, when he publicly supported the Nazi annexation of Austria. Again, in Slovakia there were no deportations of Jews between October 1942 and September 1944 because of Vatican efforts.

Having examined the conduct of the Church as a whole, the author describes the lives of some individual Catholics who were prepared to die rather than surrender to the Nazi ideology. Several of these men and women, like Bishop von Galen, Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish Franciscan; Edith Stein, philosopher and later Carmelite; or Franz Jägerstatter, the Austrian farmer, are already familiar figures: others, like Fr Jacques Bunel, Sister Restituta Kafka, Marcel Callo, Karl Leisner and Alfred Delp SJ, are less well-known. Reading Frain’s brief yet compelling account of these models of heroic virtue is an inspiring testimony of courage and the cross. Fr Bunel’s story has been told in the film Au Revoir Les Enfants by Louis Malle, a former pupil at his school. Restituta Kafka, nun and nurse, was imprisoned and then guillotined simply for praying with dying patients and putting crucifixes in every room of the Mödling hospital, south of Vienna, where she worked; her surgeon, a Nazi, informed on her.

Dr Frain has had a distinguished career in industry and education. In retirement he has put his gifts at the service of the Church in this robust and readable study. Making use of the works of secular historians such as Michael Burleigh, Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir John Keegan, as well as Church archives, his book is measured and objective rather than defensive in tone. It is a work of imagination as well as scholarship; the author well evokes the atmosphere of fear, making pilgrimages to several haunting arenas of death and tramping the entire perimeter of the Birkenau concentration camp, commenting: “Its vastness is terrifying. This site alone could well have become the killing ground for all Hitler’s victims.” He read Mein Kampf, finding it a “turgid tome” written in a “slovenly, illogical and pretentious style”. His own writing is clear, muscular and free from cliché.

My only (reluctant) criticism is that he has not quite mastered the intricacies of compiling an index; for instance, Michael Burleigh is puzzlingly given only two page references; I added, in pencil, a further 13.


26 posted on 12/19/2009 11:09:41 AM PST by Dqban22
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To: Dqban22
Au Revoir Les Enfants

What a sweet, superb example of period filmmaking that spares the viewer the winking intrusion of omniscient hindsight.

Probably one of the relatively few times I actually agreed with Roger Ebert.

27 posted on 12/19/2009 11:19:51 AM PST by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: marshmallow

Thank you, please tip your server!


28 posted on 12/19/2009 1:13:55 PM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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