Skip to comments.Recognition of nun who saved Jews during the Holocaust reflects progress
Posted on 02/06/2012 4:36:37 AM PST by Cronos
Though the victims were mostly Jews, the Holocaust has affected all humanity. Not only were non-Jews, notably the Roma, also murdered by the Nazis, but the fact that the crimes were committed in civilized Europe has shaken the very foundations of western culture. ..
A touching manifestation of this reorientation is a recent report in the British Catholic Herald about a nun who is likely to be canonized by the Vatican. Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hambrough was born in England but lived most of her 79 years in Rome, where she died in 1966. In recognition of her many talents, she rose to become the head of her order, the Bridgettine Sisters.
When in 1943 the Nazis took over Mussolinis Italy, they soon rounded up its Jews for deportation to Auschwitz. Mother Riccarda risked her life to smuggle some 60 Jews into her convent where they survived. Several of them gave evidence at the preliminary probe that has now resulted in initiating the process of her beatification and ultimate canonization.
Jews have every reason to receive the news with joy and appreciation. Its a welcome contrast to what happened when Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a Catholic philosopher of note, was beatified in 1987 and canonized 11 years later. She was born Edith Stein to a Jewish family in Germany and converted to Roman Catholicism when she was 25. She became a nun in 1934. In 1942 she was sent to Auschwitz, where she perished.
Edith Stein was murdered because for the Nazis she was Jewish. Religion wasnt a consideration in their warped racist theories; for them she was no different from all their other Jewish victims.
(Excerpt) Read more at thestar.com ...
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She was murdered because the Catholics would not be silent about the Nazis:
In 1941 in the Netherlands, Catholics took part in the strikes and protests against the Nazi treatment of the Jews. In July 1942, the Nazis declared that all Jewish converts and Jews married to Gentiles would be exempted from deportation if the opposition ceased. While the Protestants in the Netherlands agreed, the Archbishop of Utrecht would not be deterred. In response, the authorities deported all Catholics of Jewish blood, including the future saint Edith Stein, while exempting the 9,000 Protestant Jews. Mass deportations soon followed, but Catholics helped thousands to escape and hid another 40,000. Forty-nine priests gave their lives for providing help to Jews. The same story was played out in France and Italy where cardinals, bishops, and priests exhorted the faithful to assist Jews and give them shelter.
The most feared Polish institution, of course, was the Church, as it had given hope to the Polish people and had encouraged aspirations of Polish culture, learning, and independence. In the annexed regions of Poland, Nazi officials closed churches, seminaries, convents, and seminaries, and the majority of priests were arrested or executed. Between 1939 and 1945 over 3,000 members of the Polish clergy were killed; 1,992 of them died in concentration camps, 787 of them at Dachau