Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican newspaper again defends Pope Pius XII

Catholic World News - February 02, 2010

Two weeks after L’Osservatore Romano reprinted an article by Bernard-Henri Lévy blasting media caricatures of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Pius XII, the Vatican newspaper has reprinted an article by New York-based writer Dimitri Cavalli defending the wartime Pontiff. The article originally appeared in Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper.

“The campaign against Pope Pius XII is doomed to failure because his detractors cannot sustain their main charges against him-- that he was silent, pro-Nazi, and did little or nothing to help the Jews-- with evidence,” writes Cavalli. “Perhaps only in a backward world such as ours would the one man who did more than any other wartime leader to help Jews and other Nazi victims receive the greatest condemnation.”

In an interview carried by the Italian daily La Stampa (and translated into English by John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, who served in the Vatican diplomatic corps during World War II, emphasized: "Pius XII was totally anti-Nazi. Always."

Cardinal Silvestrini recalled that Pope Pius was chastened by the experience of the Dutch Catholic bishops, who issued a strong condemnation of Nazi race ideology-- only to see the Nazis launch a brutal crackdown on the Catholic Church, while continuing their genocidal campaign. The wartime Pope feared that he could provoke a similar reaction, Cardinal Silvestrini said.

The retired Italian prelate added, however, that Pius XII showed his strong anti-Nazi convictions by agreeing to act as liaison between the Allied powers and the Germans who sought to oust Hitler. In taking that role, the Pope was going "against every procedure," Cardinal Silvestrini said. He explained: "A head of state never acts as a go-between on these matters. Pius XII did it because he was convinced that Germany could be saved."

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($13,688 to go):
$35,000.00 $21,311.73
39% 61%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Eucharistic Adoration, a Sure Sign of Catholic Renewal 10 hours ago
The Mystery of Music, Part II 15 hours ago
Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18