Pope Defends WWII Pontiff's Role
Pius XII has long been accused by Jewish groups and scholars of turning a blind eye to the fate of the Jews.
Pope Benedict said that Pius had intervened directly and indirectly but often had to be "secret and silent" given the circumstances.
Pope Benedict said he wanted prejudice against Pius to be overcome.
Analysts say this was one of the strongest Vatican defences yet of Pius's role.
Pope Benedict was speaking at a meeting with the US-based interfaith group, the Pave the Way Foundation, at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
He said Pius showed "courageous and paternal dedication" in trying to save Jews.
Pope Benedict said: "Wherever possible he spared no effort in intervening in their favour either directly or through instructions given to other individuals or to institutions of the Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict said the interventions were "made secretly and silently, precisely because, given the concrete situation of that difficult historical moment, only in this way was it possible to avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews".
Pius was the pontiff from 1939 to 1958 and the Vatican has begun his beatification process.
Many Jewish groups criticised him for not speaking out against the Nazis, who killed six million Jews.
Material at the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, talks of Pius's "neutral" position.
Article from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7624455.stm
On March 2, 1939: Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was sworn in as Pope Pius XII; four days later (as Hitler’s tanks are rolling into Poland).
Pacelli wrote a letter to Hitler: "To the illustrious Herr Aldolf Hitler, Fuhrer and chancellor of the German Reich! Here at the beginning of our pontificate we wish to assure you that we remain devoted to the spiritual welfare of the German people entrusted to your leadership. During the many years we spent in Germany, we did all in our power to establish harmonious relations between church and state. Now that the responsibilities of our pastoral function have increased our opportunities, how much more ardently do we pray to reach that goal? May the prosperity of the German people and their progress in every domain come, with Gods help, to fruition!"
From: Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII by John Cornwell
The Rothschilds and their "Nazi" Pope
By Clifford Shack | geocities.com/cliff_shack
On the holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, in the autumn of 1931, Guy de Rothschild walked through the massive street gate at 19 Rue Laffitte, for the first time as an adult on adult business. The day was chosen carefully, what others might perceive as the beginning of a banking career, to a Rothschild it was entering into a priesthood. At twenty-two, Guy was assigned letters to write. One of his correspondents was a Cardinal Pacelli, future Pope PiusXII, then in charge of Holy office finances, and who kept a small account at MM. de Rothschild Freres.
In the book, Hitler's Pope, John Cornwall's chronicles the life of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII. Pacellli was arguably the most dangerous churchman in modern history. As Pontiff during World War II, not only did he fail to speak out against Hitler's Final Solution, but he personally made the Final Solution possible!
In the first decade of the twentieth century, Pacelli was a brilliant Vatican lawyer who helped shape a new ideology of unprecedented papal power. As papal nuncio in Munich and Berlin in the 1920's, he used cunning and moral blackmail to impose Rome's power on Germany. In 1933, he negotiated a treaty with Hitler, the Reich Concordat, which ensured that the Nazis would rise unopposed by the most powerful Catholic community in the world- sealing, by Hitler's own admission, the fate of the Jews in Europe.
Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, signs the "Reichskonkordat" with the national socialist government under Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1933
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