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Former Romanian intelligence leader says Pius XII victim of Soviet smear campaign

Catholic World News - August 17, 2012

Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former Romanian intelligence leader who defected to the United States, has coauthored a forthcoming book with Ronald Rychlak on the Soviet Union’s framing of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s pope.” James Woolsey, the former CIA director, has written the book’s introduction.

“The Kremlin’s attempt to frame Pius XII as Hitler’s Pope was rejected by that contemporary generation that had lived through the real history and knew who Pope Pius XII really was,” Pacepa said in an interview. “The Kremlin tried again in the 1960s, with the next generation, which had not lived through that history and did not know better. This time it worked.”

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Pacepa also stated that Patriarch Kirill, the current head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is a former KGB agent. Similar assertions were aired in the European press at the time of his 2009 election to the patriarchate.

“In 1971, the KGB had sent Kirill to Geneva as a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the World Council of Churches,” said Pacepa. “In 1975, the KGB infiltrated him into the Central Committee of the WCC, which had become a Kremlin pawn. In 1989, the KGB appointed him chairman of the Russian patriarchate’s foreign relations as well. He still held those positions when he was elected patriarch.”

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