By Theodore Shoebat
A major Jewish leader in Israel said that Christmas has no place in Israel, calling Christians vampires and bloodsuckers. According to the report:
Israeli anti-racism activists have called for an investigation after a Jewish extremist leader urged a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and called Christians “vampires”.
Benzi Gopstein, who heads the far-right Lehava organisation and has been arrested a number of times, made the comments in an article on the ultra-Orthodox Jewish website Kooker.
“Christmas has no place in the Holy Land,” wrote Gopstein, who lives in a Jewish settlement in Hebron in the occupied West Bank.
He spoke of the “fall of the line of defence of the Jewish people for hundreds of years against our enemies, the Catholic Church.”
“The mission of those vampires and bloodsuckers remains. If Jews cannot be killed, they can be converted,” he wrote.
“We must remove the vampires before they drink our blood once again.”
The Coalition Against Racism in Israel and others have called on authorities to investigate Gopstein.
In August, Israeli police questioned Gopstein after he condoned torching churches amid an uproar over recent hate crimes, including the firebombing of a Palestinian home that killed a toddler and both his parents.
On June 18, an arson attack occurred at a shrine on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel where Jesus is believed to have performed the miracle of loaves and fishes.
Israeli prosecutors have charged three Jewish extremists in that case.
Lehava claims to fight for Jewish identity, in particular by opposing marriages between Jews and gentiles.
I would like to remind this heretic, and all those who think like him, what the Catholic Church did for his people, the Jews. Pope Pius XII saved more Jews in the Holocaust than he would in his entire life. I would like to present an article that my father, Walid Shoebat, wrote about Pope Pius’ XII holy mission in rescuing the Jewish people.
By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)
The church is not a threat to Jewish existence, physical or spiritual – but some cannot accept that fact.
Simcha Hacohen Kook, the venerable chief rabbi of Rehovot, said in an interview with the settler’s website INN two weeks ago that “we have forgotten that the pope stood beside Hitler and murdered Jews. He encouraged him and said kill them as much as you can.”
An article in Haaretz stated: “Rabbi Kook didn’t make the distinction that Francis is the sixth pope since World War II (he was 2 years out when it began) and even the most critical historic records of Pope Pius XII don’t say anything about him supporting Hitler’s genocide.”
In the real world, the Vatican has hardly had the diplomatic leverage and has been particularly circumspect at exercising whatever leverage it does have over Israel.
And while the anti-Popes crowd love to circulate photos of Hitler with Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Berlin, 1935, it was also the Pope’s personal go-between to the Gestapo, the German monk Father Pancrace Pfeiffer was credited with the rescue of 400 hostages including 8 Jews whose reprieve he obtained on the way to the firing squad. (1)
Photos don’t prove much. Its as if someone photoed Jesus being tempted by Satan to conclude that there was a God and Satan conspiracy. Pope John Paul II was photoed kissing a book thought to be the Quran and it went viral.
Judas kissed Jesus. Had they invented cameras in the first century, Jesus would have been in much trouble from all who love slander.
Today, Popes are the best target for slander, especially Pope Pius XII.
I have many Jewish friends whom I have vowed to defend and then I also have my Evangelical compatriots. As much as I have love for them, my dilemma is in all honesty; how can I abandon honesty for friendship in order to support friends who might simply be wrong.
But I am compelled that myths are not easily destroyed; Hitler’s Pope by John Cornwell and Constantine’s Sword, that Pope Pius XII was a Nazi collaborator are perfect examples of sheer slander.
So I pray to the Lord of Israel to forgive if I erred here, but in researching and as wisdom requires, the town gossip is usually an exaggerated truth, but when we seek with all our heart, mind and soul to find the plain truth, God will provide, but such truth will definitely be as Christ experienced in which even Peter denied Him—thrice.
Nevertheless, in the end Peter realized his folly, went on the path of truth to even die for it, and so will I.
But such a fight cannot be dealt with an article of less than a 1000 words or by debating in the comment section with folks who mostly read so little and follow much of the hype that is out there. To seek fact and truth is never aqcuired by following a crowd that are too eager to click on tabloid style articles loaded with gossip and half baked truths.
We can start with the legend of Hitler’s Pope which began in earnest in 1963 with a drama created for the stage by Rolf Hochhuth, an otherwise obscure German playwright, called The Deputy. We can include the popularization of that thesis in John Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope. Notwithstanding the fact that no serious historian today agrees with the deconstruction of Pius, the Catholic urban legend of Pius as a Nazi collaborator persists on a popular level because of these two works and a few recent imitators. (2)
While Cornwell later retracted his extremist view stating that he intended his book as a defense of Pius XII but that “nearing the end of my research… [t]he material I had gathered, taking the more extensive view of Pacelli’s life, amounted not to an exoneration but to a wider indictment”. He also wrote: “scope for action was severely limited”, but that “[n]evertheless, due to his ineffectual and diplomatic language in respect of the Nazis and the Jews, I still believe that it was incumbent on him to explain his failure to speak out after the war. This he never did.” (3)
He also described Pacelli as effectively being in collusion with the Nazi cause. (4)
Was Cornwell who many use his material to denounce Pope Pius XII here lying?
But still, the slander goes on.
Indeed, Pacelli was not focused so much on talking (even though he did in many occasions) but doing was his main goal, he sheltered Jews throughout Italy; the majority of Italian Jews—some 80 percent—survived the Second World War, during the years when, across Europe 80 per cent of Jews died. (5)
Was J Lichten lying when in his book A Question of Moral Judgment wrote the following:
“The Pope sent out the order that religious buildings were to give refuge to Jews, even at the price of great personal sacrifice on the part of their occupants; he released monasteries and convents from the cloister rule forbidding entry into these religious houses to all but a few specified outsiders, so that they could be used as hiding places. Thousands of Jews – the figures run from 4,000 to 7,000—were hidden, fed, clothed, and bedded in the 180 known places of refuge in Vatican City, churches and basilicas, Church administrative buildings, and parish houses. Unknown numbers of Jews were sheltered in Castel Gandolfo, the site of the Pope’s summer residence [according to Rabbi David Dalin, at least 3,000 found refuge there], private homes, hospitals, and nursing institutions; and the Pope took personal responsibility for the care of the children of Jews deported from Italy.” (6)
By no means are all Jewish writers today have uncritically accepted the torrent of anti-Pius propaganda, the contents of which over recent decades have generally been assumed by the secular media (and even by some Catholics) to be well-founded. Was Rabbi David Dalin lying when he wrote in a lengthy and important article:
“…. it is the books vilifying the pope that have received most of the attention, particularly Hitler’s Pope, a widely reviewed volume marketed with the announcement that Pius XII was “the most dangerous churchman in modern history,” without whom “Hitler might never have . . . been able to press forward.”
The “silence” of the pope is becoming more and more firmly established as settled opinion in the American media: “Pius XII’s elevation of Catholic self-interest over Catholic conscience was the lowest point in modern Catholic history,” the New York Times remarked, almost in passing, in a review last month of Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword.
Curiously, nearly everyone pressing this line today—from the ex-seminarians John Cornwell and Garry Wills to the ex-priest James Carroll—is a lapsed or angry Catholic. For Jewish leaders of a previous generation, the campaign against Pius XII would have been a source of shock.
Were the well-known Jews; Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Moshe Sharett, Rabbi Isaac Herzog, and innumerable others lying when they publicly expressed their gratitude to Pius?
Was the diplomat Pinchas Lapide lying when he wrote his 1967 book “Three Popes and the Jews”?
Lapide who served as Israeli consul in Milan and interviewed Italian Holocaust survivors declared Pius XII “was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands.” (7)
Slander is easy to do. It requires only that favorable evidence be read in the worst light and treated to the strictest test, while unfavorable evidence is read in the best light and treated to no test. (8)
I know this myself, I can contribute so much to humanity, to only be equated by a false report by CNN.
So many are the examples on Pope Pius’s aid and heroic acts for the Jewish people. On June 15th, 1940, some 500 Jews embarked at Bratslaba on a leaky Danube steamer headed for Palestine. Four months and untold deprivations later, the ship tried to enter the port of Istanbul. When the Turkish coast guard refused to admit them, their ship headed southwest—to be captured two days later by an Italian patrol boat, which led to their imprisonment in a camp on Rhodes. When rumors spoke of an imminent handover to the German authorities, Herman Herskovich, the son of one of the group leaders, managed to reach Italy, and in Rome obtained an audience with the Pope. The latter’s intervention resulted in the transfer of all 500 refugees to a hastily improvised camp in Southern Calabria near the tip of the Italian boot.” (9)
Pope Pius XII is condemned for “not speaking out”.
But heroism is not only “speaking out” but doing action work without letting your left hand know what the right hand is doing.
But if the Vatican’s so-called silence is anti-Semitic, how could the critics answer; was it not partly due to Vatican pressure that 20,000 Jewish refugees from central Europe were brought into Italy?
In fact, the representative of these rescued Jews requested an audience with the Pope stating:
“Allow us, said their petition to ask the great honor of being able to thank personally His Holiness for the generosity he has shown us when we were persecuted during the terrible period of Nazi fascism.” (10)
Were all the rescued Jews from 79 concentration camps lying when they came to thank him? They even gave him a Menorah, a Torah scroll and an album of photographs in appreciation for his work. Pacelli even prophetically told this group on November 29th, 1945:
“you will soon have a Jewish State,”
He added that:
“you will receive your Jewish state”. (11)
Was the whole of the Jewish Brigade lying when in June 1944 when the Allies liberated Rome, the Bulletin of the “Jewish Brigade Group,” carried out the following front page editorial:
“To the everlasting glory of the people of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church we can state that the fate of the Jews was alleviated by their truly Christian offers of assistance and shelter. Even now, many still remain in the religious homes and houses which opened their doors to protect them from deportation to certain death …” (12)
Was the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli also a liar? He was a devout and serious Orthodox Jew as well as a learned scholar of the Talmud and of Semitic literature converted to Catholicism after witnessing the love of the Catholic Church for Jews, described his experiences as follows:
“It was from my father that I learned the great art of praying with tears. During the Nazi persecution, long years afterward, I lived near the center of Rome in a small room. There, in the dark, in hunger and cold, I would pray weeping: ‘O, Thou keeper of Israel, protect the remnants of Israel; do not allow this remnant of Israel to perish!'” (13)
Of course, like Pacelli, he too endured much slander. Likewise, many Jews for his conversion hated Zolli. The Jewish community in Rome (Signor Foa) and Zolli argued, as to who was at fault for allowing the Nazis to obtain the list of Roman Jews. This list was used when they were gathered, deported, and murdered. Foa blamed Zolli; Zolli blamed Foa.
Fact is Zolli offered himself as a hostage to the Nazis, in exchange for the lives of other Jews. The Nazis preferred gold. It was Rabbi Zolli who approached the Vatican for help in collecting. Pius XII stood ready to give the gold required, and Rabbi Zolli memorialized his help later when the rabbi chose Pius’s Christian name of Eugenio for his own baptismal name.
Rabbi Zolli had long been attracted to Christ, even to the extent of writing a book about Christ from a Jewish point of view that was so sympathetic to the Catholic viewpoint of Christ that a bishop told Zolli that the bishop could have given it an imprimatur. He had wanted to convert before the war, but felt obliged to share the suffering of his people. (14)
Colonel Kappler, a senior German officer who saw a chance to line his pockets. Kappler issued the Jewish community an ultimatum: either hand over 50 Kg of gold or, failing that, deliver 300 named hostages—a list headed by none other than Zolli himself. Within a short time the Jews managed to scrape together 35 Kg of gold but it was insufficient to satisfy Kappler’s monstrous appetite and so, on behalf of the Jewish community, Israel Zolli was deputed to approach the Vatican for the shortfall. This was his first contact with the institutional Church and it took place in secret since the Gestapo watched all Vatican City’s exits.
Zolli met with the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Maglione and appealed to him saying, “The New Testament cannot abandon the Old.” Maglione immediately approached Pius XII to help with the needed gold. The Pope agreed to the request and Zolli was told to return later for the “package.” Not only did the Pope act with alacrity, the Catholic parishes of Rome hurriedly gathered together a further 15 Kg of gold, something Zolli found out about from his daughter when he returned home. For the time being, the hostage crisis was averted.
That Pius XII played an enormous role in saving Jews from the Nazis was well known to Zolli. He was aware that monasteries and convents in Rome and all over Italy had opened their doors to Jews at the urging of the Pope. In addition, thousands more were being sheltered by ordinary Italian Catholic families, and both the Vatican and the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo were filled with Jews who had nowhere else to hide.
Zolli, who met Pius XII, was impressed with the Pope’s open attitude and willingness to help. The Zolli family lived underground during the Nazi occupation of Rome and saw first hand the charity of the Church in action, inspired as it was by the personal courage of the pope, who did more than anyone else at that time to frustrate the arrest and execution of European Jews. (15)
The secular media tried to rationalize the matter. In his autobiography, Before The Dawn, Eugenio Zolli refuted all assertions that his conversion was out of gratitude to Pope Pius XII. Certainly he was extremely grateful for what the Pope had done to protect Jews, but the singular reason behind his conversion was his attraction to the person of Christ the Messiah—an attraction that had been growing steadily since Zolli’s childhood. (16)
Perhaps we can all learn from Zolli who noted with sadness that, among his co-religionists, ‘love of the Law is often more important than the law of Love.’
The petty details of rabbinical casuistry eclipsed the great commandment of the law revealed by God to Moses: You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul… (Dt. 6:5) (17)
It was Pope Pius XII secret instructions to the clergy “to save human lives by all means”.
Perhaps the slanderers should have asked the 40,000 Italian Jews and others who managed to flee to Italy and were hidden and saved by humble priests, monks, farmers and labourers, dozens of whom lost their lives for sheltering them.
Are the community of Ramat Gan in Israel lying when they dedicated a street name after Dr. Giovanni Palatucci, who paid for his life at Dachau for saving Jewish lives?
The cardinal of Genova Boetto saved at least 800 Jews; the Bishop of Assisi hid 300 for over two years; Monsignor Palatucci, Bishop of Campagna, and two of his close relatives saved 961 in Fiume. (18)
Reuben R. Resnik disclosed the heroic acts of many Italian Catholics church members and laymen who hid Jews in convents and even asylums for the insane. At St. Francis of Assisi, the church had built a synagogue in the basement where Jews worshipped at the same time as Catholics worshipped. (19)
Pope Pius also tried to help in other ways through the Vatican Information Office dealing with 102,026 Jewish applications to help Jews locate their family.
Slanderers should have asked the petitioners of 20,375 Jewish inquiries to look for their families. In 1943, in one single year, these inquiries ended up in success in which Jews found their missing relatives. Between 1943 to 1946 there were 36,877 total successful cases. There were at least 55,000 Jews who got food, clothing and shelter at the five refugee camps in Italy. (20)
It was for this reason that the Jewish Brigade Officers at the request of Moshe Sharet, head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department in late 1944 requested to meet the Pope to express their thanks.
Was Sharet lying when he stated:
“I still remember Pius’ broken Hebrew benediction: “Vaysmer chem. Hashem … May the Lord bless you” and in 1955 the Jews of Italy instituted April 17th as “The Day of Gratitude” for what the Vatican had done. Gold medals were awarded to 23 of the noblest benefactors including Mother Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Zion in Rome, who single handedly rescued 187 Jews, and Father Benedetto Maria who earned the nickname “the Jews pope.” (21)
Also included was Archbishop Montini, the Pope’s right hand who simply replied
“All I did was my duty. And besides I only acted upon orders from the Holy Father. No body deserves a medal for that.” Italy was the Axis country where the Catholic Church—apart from the Pope—voiced the least number of public protests, but silently rendered the most efficacious help to persecuted Jewry. As French-Jewish historian Leon Poliakov concluded that Pope Pius was “encouraging and stimulating the efforts of Catholic churches in almost every country sendind secret instructions from the Vatican urging the national churches to intervene in favor of the Jews by every possible means.” (22)
During the “Final Solution” of Slovakia’s Jews during March 1942, Pius XII ordered the Slovac Minister to the Holy See to take action with his government. (23)
In one response by Pope Pius to the Slovakian government, who were wondering the pope’s interest in Jews, the pope replied:
“It is not just to treat like criminal thousands of women and children like those included in the recent deportations … Your Excellency is no doubt aware of the atrocious fate awaiting these deported Jews … All the world knows of it. Admitting even that a state can abolish the norms of natural rights and the commandments of Christianity, it cannot, in its own interests, ignore international opinion or the verdict of history …”
As a result, the governor cancelled the deportation order of 4000 Slovak Jews. (24)
Out of the 90,000 Slovakian Jews who were deported, 35,000 were saved. The reason is stated by Mr. Gideon Hausner, Attorney General, in Israel’s trial against Adolf Eichmann:
“Pressure was exorted through Church circles, and the Slovakian Government began to have doubts about continuing the deportations. Ludin, the German Ambassador, reported that owing to the influence of the Church and the corruption of the Slovakian administration, the 35,000 Jews remaining in Slovakia had been issued with documents exempting them from deportation. (25)
Was Mr. Gideon Hausner, the Israeli attorney general lying in court?
Sufficient numbers of Slovak priests acquired the ninkname “White Jews” for rescuing fugitive Jews at great personal risk. They included Father Augustine Pozdech in Bratislava and the Franciscan friar Rafael P. Fidrik who saved the life of Chief Rabbi of Slovakia, Abraham Frieder, as many others. (26)
It was also the Apostolic Delegate in Istanbul, Monsignor Angelo Roncalli—later Pope John XXII—played a decisive role after he received an SOS appeal from Jews in Bratislava, Mr. C. Barlas, head of the Jewish Agency’s Rescue Committee in Turkey to solicit the assistance of Slovakia’s clergy. “So will it be, and if God helps me, we shall get it done!” the Nuncio said in deep emotion. (27)
As result deportations were halted. When later 13,000 Jews were caught in the final round-up by German troops, most of which were transported to Auschwitz, only 25,000 Jews were able to hide in churches and monastaries. Chief Rabbi Herzog confirmed, as well as what was testified during Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem on how the Jews connected with the papal envoy and through the Catholic clergy. At the court, evidence was submitted which included pasoral letters sent by Catholic bishops against anti-Jewish measures. (28)
The difficulty in dealing with the issue of Catholics who collaborated with Nazim is an issue of rotten apples in the batch of good. It is the prejudiced mind that argues the common street argument—Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler were all raised as Catholics—but so were Herod, Ahab and Jezebel raised Jewish. It was through Bishop Alois Hudal, a Nazi Austrian cleric then residing in Italy, who helped Eichmann In 1948 to obtain a landing permit for Argentina and false identification under the name of “Ricardo Klement”. (29)
But can this action be justified by using Catholic theology or orders from the Holy See?
Hudal, rector of the German College of S. Maria dell’Anima, was a well known pro-Nazis prelate in Rome and that he received from 60 to 100 Germans daily who were looking for tickets and visas to Latin America. Exactly one week later, the Sunday edition of the Passauer Neue Press reported on two networks of spies smuggling Nazi criminals to Argentina and to the Middle East: the first had been centered in Rome, at the College of S. Maria dell’Anima, but its headquarters were shut down because of Vatican pressure. (30)
Simon Wiesenthal was trying to demonstrate that there have been and perhaps still was a strong alliance between the Catholic Church and a powerful Nazi organization called Odessa but the SS. Eichmann’s trial did not confirm Wiesenthal’s view, or at least it did not assess the existence of a well organized underground network supported by former Nazis and by the Catholic Church. (31)
Wiesenthal reinforced his own view in The Murderers Among Us (32)
Jarschel, a leader in the Hitler Youth, described how Catholic priests had helped former SS members, taking them to Rome, often disguising them as members of the Catholic clergy, and finally giving them passports and money to reach Latin America. Altough his book is more a novel than a well documented essay, many readers took Jarschel’s tale at face value. In the following decade, Gitta Sereny tried to verify the issue writing her astounding book about Franz Stangl, former commandant of the Treblinka lager. (33)
Sereny did not share Wiesenthal’s obsession about a nazi-catholic conspiracy. Overall, she thought that if there were networks helping the Nazis’ flight, they were simply informal.
Also, Wiesenthal was a Nazi hunter and not an historian. History, according to Sereny, does not need thrilling explications and historical data simply did not back up any conspiracy theory by the Holy See. (34)
She stressed that the position of the Catholic Church needed to be fairly and soundly assessed. To her that Pius XII’s position after the war should be related to his position during the war, which showed how the pope was paralized by a double set of fears: the dread of communism and his certainty that Hitler would have crushed the Catholic Church, if itr had vehemently protested against him. Hudal was an informant for German intelligence, but nobody listened to him in the Vatican and, least of all, in Berlin (35)
Peter Hoffman, the leading authority on the German resistance against Hitler. His classic work The History of the German Resistance, the churches according to Hoffman “were not totally immune” to the conformist of the society during Hitler, “but they were the only organizations to produce some form of a popular movement against the Nazi regime.” Hoffman mentions the case of the Stauffenberg brothers, Claus Stauffenberg attempted to overthrow Hitler on July 24th, 1944, was due to his Catholic convictions and lost his life for it. In Stauffenberg’s papers, he expressed that his anti-Nazi views were crystallized and strengthened by Pope Pius XI. (36)
Hoffman writes extensively on how Pope Pius XII involvements in plots to overthrow Hitler. (37)
Another Church historian, John J. Hughes who has became an American leading authority on Pius XII stated “I regard the view, widely accepted in this country, that he was co-responsible for the Holocaust as one of the major falsifications of post WWII historiography.” (38)
Are the historians liars?
Reflecting to the Pope Pius XII’s actions, I am reminded by scenes from movie Schindler’s List, but where are the movies on Pacelli who saved more Jewish lives during the Holocaust, more than all the other agencies and individuals put together?
We even forget that Oscar Schindler was Roman Catholic.
In the Middle East, it is said that if speech was made of silver, silence is made of gold, had Pope Pius fully spoken out on the Jews, it would put the Vatican in immense danger and would have brought the attention of the Nazis.
It is true that the Vatican’s Secretary of State opposed Jewish immigration to Palestine, but so did the United States Secretary of State George Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the state of Israel all the while the United States President supported it’s establishment. Its rare to find any good secretary of state. Have we looked at the log in our own eye before we took the spec out of the Pope’s eye?
WHAT ABOUT THE REICH CONCORDAT
Many explore the charge that he assisted in the legitimization of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany, through the pursuit of a Reichskonkordat.
John Cornwell in his book Hitler’s Pope argued that Pacelli’s antisemitism combined with his drive to promote papal absolutism inexorably led him to collaboration with fascist leaders, a collaboration which led to what Cornwell characterizes as “the betrayal of Catholic democratic politics in Germany”. (39)
The Reich Concordat granted the Vatican the right to impose the new Code of Canon Law on Catholics in Germany, and promised a number of measures favorable to Catholic education, including new schools. Cornwell alleges that the ‘quid pro quo’ for Hitler’s agreeing to grant the Vatican these rights and privileges was Pacelli’s collaboration in the withdrawal of Catholics from political and social activity. (40)
Thus, according to Cornwell, Pius XII facilitated the rise of Hitler first through the negotiation of the Reichskonkordat and subsequently through his passivity, silence and inaction, which ultimately condoned and enabled the Holocaust. (41)
Fact is, Pope Pius XII spoke out against the concordat by using the 1937 encyclical Mit brennender Sorge which was issued by Pope Pius XI, (42) but drafted by Pope Pius XII. (43) Although it failed to directly address the persecution of Jews in general, it spoke out in protection of Catholic Jews who were sought by the Nazi party. It was read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches, it condemned Nazi ideology and has been characterized by scholars as the “first great official public document to dare to confront and criticize Nazism”, and “one of the greatest such condemnations ever issued by the Vatican.” (44) Thomas Bokenkotter writes:
And when Hitler showed increasing belligerence toward the Church, Pius met the challenge with a decisiveness that astonished the world. His encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge was the ‘first great official public document to dare to confront and criticize Nazism’ and ‘one of the greatest such condemnations ever issued by the Vatican.’ Smuggled into Germany, it was read from all the Catholic pulpits on Palm Sunday in March 1937. It denounced the Nazi “myth of blood and soil” and decried its neopaganism. The Nazis retaliated by closing and sealing all the presses that had printed it and took numerous vindictive measures against the Church, including staging a long series of immorality trials of Catholic clergy. (45)
As a result, one hundred and seventy Franciscans were arrested in Koblenz and tried for “corrupting youth” in a secret trial, with numerous allegations of priestly debauchery appearing in the Nazi-controlled press, while a film produced for the Hitler Youth showed men dressed as priests dancing in a brothel. Rhodes, Anthony. (46)
THE POPE DID SPEAK OUT
The large effort to produce and distribute over 300,000 copies of the letter was entirely secret, allowing priests across Germany to read the letter without interference. The letter brought swift and long-lasting reprisal from the Nazi regime. The Gestapo raided the churches the next day to confiscate all the copies they could find, and the presses that had printed the letter were closed. The regime then constrained the actions of the Church and harassed monks with staged prosecutions. (47)
There were several times in which Pope Pius XII did speak out clearly against anti—Semetism. In his anti-Nazi speech before 250,000 pilgrims at Lourdes in 1935, and another public address in Rome when he repeated Pius XI’s dictum: “It is impossible for a Catholic to be anti-Semite; spiritually all of us are Semites.” (48)
In other words, Pope Pius XII declared that a Catholic is no longer Catholic and is unsaved if he/she is anti-Semitic.
Of the 44 speeches which Pacelli had made on German soil between 1917 and 1929, at least 40 contained attacks on Nazism or condenations of Hitler’s doctrines. (49)
So hated was Pacelli by the Nazi Party that the Nazi journal Das Reich wrote:
Pius XI was a half Jew, for his mother was a Dutch Jewess; but Cardinal Pacelli is a full Jew. (50)
When in early 1939 the anti-Jewish decrees excluded Jews from a growing number of professions, some 4000 Jews, the Vatican lodged repeated protests against these “so-called racial laws” (51)
The information Cornwell presents comes from two letters of Pius written in 1918 and 1919— before Hitler even began his political career.
Cornwell claims that he researched boxes of secret documents “back to 1912,” omitting that he ran forward up until only 1922. Cornwell tells us it was “months on end.” Archbishop Re, (the “Sostituto” or Deputy Vatican Secretary of State), obtained by Inside the Vatican, reveals that Cornwell was given a pass to the archives for… three weeks.
The best refutation of Cornwell’s flimsy work is Rychlak’s Hitler, the War and The Pope, provides point-by-point refutation of Cornwell’s allegations. (52)
William D. Rubinstein, a noted authority on the Holocaust noted that:
“Hitler’s Pope is a malign exercise in defamation and character assassination. The author has, in my view, consistently misread and misunderstood both Pacelli’s actions and the context in which they occurred.” (53)
Rubinstein gives an accurate assessment on how Catholics viewed Jews during the time:
“At the same time, Catholic leaders also shared a number of other attitudes towards Jews, attitudes frequently overlooked by historians of anti–Semitism. They regularly drew a distinction between “good Jews”—those they knew at first hand—and “bad Jews,” who generally lived elsewhere. Whatever their prejudices, they virtually always opposed violence or pogroms against defenseless Jews. In interwar Poland, for example, a land of intense anti–Semitism, even the most anti–Jewish elements of the Catholic press almost invariably condemned violence of the sort found in Nazi Germany or among extremist nationalist elements in Poland. Maly Dziennik, an anti–Semitic Catholic paper, offered this typical comment in June 1935: “We should lead the struggle against the Jewish flood in a Christian way, without hatred and without committing outrages.” The effect of Catholic thought in continental Europe was thus indirectly to foment hostility toward Jews but sincerely to deplore violence against them, a dichotomy generally consistent with Catholic attitudes towards the Jews going back to the Middle Ages.” (54)
To call all these countless Jews liars is suspecion for anti-Semitism. But to slander a pope who did more for the Jews than anyone who ever existed is pure anti-Catholocism. While we practically eradicated the first disease in the U.S., the second is the only accepted prejudice that still remains. Had Pope Pius XII did what Martin Luther did and wrote “The Jews and Their Lies”, we would never here the end of it. While countless books despite Luther’s clear anti-Semitism are produced daily to Luther’s defense, who are the Evangelical authors that came to the Pope’s defense?
What a shame.
Here is a video of Pope Pius XII singing one of the most beautiful chants within Christianity, the Praefatio.
(1) Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and The Jews, P.p 134
(3) The Bulletin (Philadelphia, 27 Sept. 2008))
(4) John Cornwell. Review of Hitler’s Priests: Catholic Clergy and National Socialism. By Kevin P. Spicer. in Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, Volume 78, Issue March 2009, pp 235-237. Published online by Cambridge University Press, 20 February 2009.
(5)*see J Lichten’s book A Question of Moral Judgement*
(6) *Joseph Lichten, (1963), A Question of Judgement: Pius XII and the Jews. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Catholic Conference. P.p. 126*
(7) *See The lie of ‘Hitler’s Pope’ collapses, little by little, The Catholic Herald, August, 09, 2013*
(8) Rabbi David G. Dalin, Pius the XII and the Jews, Page 15*
(9)*Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and the Jews, Chapter IV, Pp 128-129*
(10) *Ibid. Pp. 130*
(11)*Ibid, Pp. 130*
(12) *Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and The Jews, P.p 131*
(13) *Eugenio Zolli, Before the Dawn as quoted in Sweet Honey from the Rock (edited by Roy Shoeman), pg. 73*
(14) *The Chief Rabbi’s Conversion by Fr. Arthur B. Klyber, C.Ss.R. ?Before the Dawn by Eugenio Zolli. See Question from Sue Scott on 7/6/2011, EWTN*
(15) Eugenio Zolli’s Path to Rome | Stephen Sparrow | September 5, 2005, Stephen Sparrow
(17) Biography from a monthly letter from Abbaye St. Joseph de Clairval, Flavigny, France, www.clairval.com
(18) Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and The Jews, P.p 134
(20) P.p 136-137
(22) P.p 138, Leon Poliakov, November 1950 issue of Commentary, the organ of the American Jewish Committee”
(23) P.p 141, telegram from Rome which appears in the press, March 25, 1942
(24) Lapide, Three Popes and The Jews, P.p 142-143
(25) Gideon Hausner: Opening Sppech at the Eichmann Trial, Jerusalem, April 1961. See Lapide’s P.p 144
(26) Lapide, P.p. 145
(27) Chaim Barlas, “John XXIII and His Attitude to the Jews,” Davar, Tel Aviv, November 4, 1959 (in Hebrew). See Lapide, P.p. 145
(28) Eichmann trial, Session 49, May 23, 1961
(29) Cesarani 2005, p. 207.
(30) Matteo Sanfilippo Ratlines and Unholy Trinities (The Vatican Files.net)
(31) For the proceedings see http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/; see also http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/e/eichmann.adolf/memoire/ for Eichmann’s diaries. See Matteo Sanfilippo Ratlines and Unholy Trinities (The Vatican Files.net)
(32) Simon Wiesenthal, The Murderers Among Us, London, Heinemann, 1967. See Ratlines and Unholy Trinities by Matteo Sanfilippo and his thesis was backed up by Werner Brockdorff, formerly Alfred Jarschel. Werner Brockdorff (aka Alfred Jarschel), Flucht vor Nürnberg. Plane und Organisation der Fluchtwege der NS-Priminenz in “Römischen Weg”, Wels-München, Welsermüuhl Verlag, 1969.
(33) Gitta Sereny, Into that Darkness, London, Deutsch, 1974. See Matteo Sanfilippo Ratlines and Unholy Trinities (The Vatican Files.net)
(35) On Hudal as a German spy, see also Klaus Voigt, Zuflucht auf Widerruf. Exil in Italien 1933-1945, I, Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta, 1989. See Matteo Sanfilippo Ratlines and Unholy Trinities (The Vatican Files.net)
(36) The Pius War, Responses to Critics of Pope Pius XII. P.p. 196
(38) The Pius War, Responses to Critics of Pope Pius XII. P.p. 197
(39) Cornwell, John (October 1999).
(42) Coppa, Frank J. (1999). Controversial Concordats. Catholic University of America Press. p. 132. Also see Church and state through the centuries”, Sidney Z. Ehler & John B Morrall, pp. 518-519
(43) Pham, p. 45, quote: “When Pius XI was complimented on the publication, in 1937, of his encyclical denouncing Nazism, Mit Brennender Sorge, his response was to point to his Secretary of State and say bluntly, ‘The credit is his.'”
(44) quote by Bokenkotter, pp. 389–392
(46) Vatican in the Age of the Dictators, 1922-1945. pp. 202–210.
(47) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(48) Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and The Jews, P.p 118
(50) Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and The Jews, P.p 120
(51) Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and The Jews, P.p 127
(52) The Myth of Hitler’s Pope. P.p. 7
(53) First Things, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII