Pope Pius XII was either a Nazi sympathizer or a man who saved more Jews than any other religious or political figure.
Pope Pius XXII (2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958) was so opposed to communism that he threatened to excommunicate people who supported communists in elections. He was also known as a champion of Jews during WWII.
In the 1960’s his reputation became defiled by his “apparent” silence during the pogram against the Jews during World War II. He became known as Hitler’s Pope and as a Nazi sympathizer.
According to a new book based on evidence provided by former Romanian intelligence chief General Ion Mihai Pacepa in 2007, Pope Pius XII was the victim of Soviet propaganda meant to portray him as a Nazi sympathizer.
The book is also supported by the work of the nonsectarian group, Pave the Way Foundation [whose mission is to achieve "peace by closing the gap in tolerance, education and the practical relations between religions, through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. We strive to eliminate the use of religion as a tool which, historically has been used, by some, to achieve personal agendas and to cause conflicts."]
The plan of the 1940’s to characterize Pope Pius XII as a Nazi sympathizer didn’t work at the time because the people who knew him were alive or had written about or spoken of him. President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein among others praised the pope for his actions during his lifetime. Churchill described him as “the greatest man of our time” because he protected religious minorities.
The Kremlin effort to rewrite the pope’s history was renewed in the ’60’s with a new generation who did not know him. The Kremlin saw religion as their greatest foe.
The new book called Disinformation was written by Ion Pacepa with Ronald Rychlak, a law professor at the University of Mississippi.
Rychlak was at first skeptical, but when the evidence mounted, he found himself in a very different place. The intricate, evil and contrived propaganda he discovered was carefully woven into the history books of the time and began with a play (The Deputy) by a German which completely repainted a portrait of Pope Pius XII from one of benevolent champion to that of a nefarious collaborator.
Former CIA Director, James Woolsley, who wrote the book’s introduction said it “will change the way you look at intelligence, foreign affairs, the press and much else.”
Not only was Pope Pius XII a good man according to historical evidence, but he saved more Jewish lives during WWII than any other religious and political leader combined.
Pacepa said that one must recognize the evidence of disinformation. “One should be familiar with the Kremlin’s very secret “science” of changing the past in order to suit current priorities.”
Pacepa was actually one of the masters of deceit who changed Pope Pius XXII’s history peripherally, not always knowing it. He said the same disinformation continues today to consolidate the Kremlin’s power. They call it the “miracle weapon.”
As a blogger, I can say from personal knowledge that one has to be very careful of sites like Russia Today, EU Times, Wikileaks et al. The goal of those particular sites is often to alarm more conservative elements in society so they appear extreme.
In Commentary magazine in December, 2011, Kevin Madigan, a professor at Harvard Divinity School, claimed that Pope Pius XII aided in the sheltering and escape of Nazi war criminals. In fact, that has been debunked in-depth by The Catholic League among others.
It was quite the opposite:
In 1944, in Pope Pius XII’s Christmas message, in a section entitled “War Criminals,” Pius wrote that no one “will wish to disarm justice” when it comes to punishing “those who have taken advantage of the war to commit real and proved crimes against the law common to all peoples.”
He also told a Swiss reporter: “Not only do we approve of the [Nuremburg] trial, but we desire that the guilty be punished as quickly as possible, and without exception.” Pius even provided evidence to use against Nazi defendants and assigned a Jesuit to assist the prosecution team.
One of the intelligence letters Madigan used as a basis for his article was written in 1947 by the communist government in Croatia. It was at a time when Archbishop Stepinac was conducting [Correction: Archbishop Stepinac was a subject of show trials under Marshall Tito] show trials of Catholic officials for collaborating with the Nazis . The new Croatian parliament has apologized for those false charges and misinformation that was spread. They said that in 1947, people had little reason to suspect it was the work of Soviet disinformation agents.
So much damage has been done to his reputation that his memory is fair game and many will not even hear any evidence to the contrary. Madigan is one of those people. He claims that people who try to defend this pope are equivalent to “Holocaust deniers.”
Last month, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem revised a text that was unfairly critical of Pope Pius XII to one that contained some positive comments in direct response to the work of the nonsectarian Pave the Way Foundation. There was no mention of the new book, Disinformation.
The head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem’s Holocaust Museum, professor Dan Michman, said there is no primary evidence that the pope supported Jews but there is strong first-hand evidence that he was Hitler’s Pope. Michman does not believe there was any such Soviet plot.
Romanian former spy, Pacepa, wants him to read his book that he claims contains extensive primary evidence. As an example of the disinformation campaign by the Kremlin, also known as “framing,” he talks about how he helped fool Western heads of state, intelligence analysts, university professors and the public into believing the monster Ceausescu was a hero.
Ceausescu made life unbearable for his people and was eventually executed by them. In the meantime, people like Jimmy Carter hailed him as a “great national and international leader” who “has not only brought tremendous progress to Romania, but also has taken on a role of leadership in the entire international community.”
Queen Elizabeth honored Ceausescu with an historic drive through London.
Everyone in Washington and London sang his praises, including the media.
When Pacepa was granted asylum by the United States, he was finally able to tell President Carter and Queen Elizabeth how Ceausescu’s disinformation machine had been lying to them for years.
In 2010, the Pave the Way Foundation uncovered documents that prove Pope Pius XII moved to save 200,000 Jews three weeks after Kristallnacht. The good works of this pope and the Catholic Church towards the Jews during this time are revealed in document after document published by the foundation [PTWF]
Rabbi Michael Samuel speaks in praise of the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII for their efforts in WWII:
…Numerous Jewish leaders, including Albert Einstein, Israeli Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett, and Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog (who was a brilliant rabbinic scholar), expressed their public gratitude to Pius XII, praising him as a “righteous gentile,” who had saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.
In his meticulously researched and comprehensive 1967 book, Three Popes and the Jews, the Israeli historian and diplomat Pinchas Lapide, who had served as the Israeli Counsel General in Milan, and had spoken with many Italian Jewish Holocaust survivors who owed their life to Pius, provided the empirical basis for their gratitude, concluding that Pius XII “was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands.” To this day, the Lapide volume remains the definitive work, by a Jewish scholar, on the subject.
“December of 1940, in an article published in Time magazine, the renowned Nobel Prize winning physicist Albert Einstein, himself a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, paid tribute to the moral “courage” of Pope Pius and the Catholic Church in opposing “the Hitlerian onslaught” on liberty…
…In 1945, Rabbi Isaac Herzog, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, sent a message to Msgr. Angelo Roncalli (the future Pope John XXIII), expressing his gratitude for the actions taken by Pope Pius XII on behalf of the Jewish people. “The people of Israel,” wrote Rabbi Herzog, “will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion, which form the foundation of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world.”
In September 1945, Dr. Leon Kubowitzky, the Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress, personally thanked the Pope in Rome for his interventions on behalf of Jews, and the World Jewish Congress donated $20,000 to Vatican charities “in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecutions.”
Dr. Raffael Cantoni, head of the Italian Jewish community’s wartime Jewish Assistance Committee, who would subsequently become the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, similarly expressed his gratitude to the Vatican, stating that “six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis, but there could have been many more victims had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII.”
On April 5, 1946, his Union of Italian Jewish Communities, meeting for the first time after the War, sent an official message of thanks to Pope Pius XII: “The delegates of the Congress of the Italian Jewish Communities, held in Rome for the first time after the Liberation, feel that it is imperative to extend reverent homage to Your Holiness, and to express the most profound gratitude that animates all Jews for your fraternal humanity toward them during the years of persecution when their lives were endangered by Nazi-Fascist barbarism. Many times priests suffered imprisonment and were sent to concentration camps, and offered their lives to assist Jews in every way. This demonstration of goodness and charity that still animates the just, has served to lessen the shame and torture and sadness that afflicted millions of human beings.”…
What is the truth? Read the book and decide. Based on the mind-boggling propaganda throughout our media, I can only imagine what the Soviets are capable of. If Pope Pius XII did indeed save over 800,000 Jews, history has done him the most unjust and cruel disservice of any figure in recent times.