Wartime Pope Pius XII ‘more concerned about Communism than Holocaust’ – Telegraph

Not knowing much about Pope Pius XII, the Holocaust and the environment, I am going to comment on this article by taking into considerations a couple of things:

  • First, the pope’s primary responsibility is to tend to his flock meaning he must first worry about Catholics. This is not to say that other groups are not important but if there are reports of Catholic persecution, those must be tended to with more priority because the pope is bound to the Church and the Church is bound to him.
  • Communism is one of those evils bordering on “intrinsic.” The nature of communism, especially Stalin-style, is atheism and the power of man in place of God. This type of evil can have permanent effects on the human soul by causing someone to choose themselves over God thus they would condemn their on souls to hell.
  • People that are not Catholics tend to look towards Rome when they are seeking a strong moral objection to something. Why is it these non-Catholics never turn to Rome on every issue? They only look towards the pope when it suits their needs. In the case of great tragedies, genocide or not, the seeking of Rome’s opinion affirms the God-given authority of the papal office without open acceptance by the peoples seeking that opinion. It lends towards the split effect of sin on man’s nature and our propensity towards continued sin caused by the Fall in addition to personal failures.
  • Wartime Pope Pius XII ‘more concerned about Communism than Holocaust’

    Britain implored the controversial wartime Pope to speak out against the Holocaust but Pius XII was more concerned about the threat posed by Communism, according to documents in the National Archives at Kew. [The sub-header is looking for attention but considering the lingering effects of communism I think Pope Pius XII’s concern was well placed as he was seemingly more concerned with the dangers of this lasting evil. Listen to Bishop Sheen speak about this on his Life is Worth Living series.]

    By Nick Squires in Rome
    Published: 7:00AM GMT 02 Feb 2010


    Pope Pius XII Photo: EPA

    The files appear to lend weight to Jewish allegations that Pius failed to stand up to Nazi Germany and failed in his duty to issue any kind of condemnation of the persecution of Jews during the Second World War. [This is a bit misleading because the author is making an assumption, an inference as to the relationship of the contents of these files in relation to the allegations. It is my understanding that Pius XII actually did quite a bit to protect the Jews.]

    Two Italian researchers found previously secret correspondence about a meeting held in Nov 1944 between Pius and the British ambassador to the Holy See, Sir D’Arcy Osborne.

    Rome had been liberated in June that year, but the Germans were deporting Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz and other camps.

    Osborne, who later became the Duke of Leeds, told the Pope that the British government wanted him to issue a public appeal on behalf of the Hungarian Jews.

    But Pius said that instead he was under pressure to condemn alleged abuses perpetrated by the Soviet army against Catholic civilians in Poland and the Baltic States. [Remember that his primary obligation is to serve his flock. If everyone wants the pope to serve them and address their needs they should all become Catholic or at the very least acknowledge that the papacy is the vicar of Christ on earth and that such authority was given by Christ Himself.]

    The British ambassador told the Pope that he had seen no evidence that the Russians had committed atrocities, and that even if they had taken place, they could not be compared to the mass extermination of the Jews. [Again, do you have an obligation to protect your family over strangers? One could possibly argue yes. But ultimately, if a group of people are attacking my kids and some strangers at the same time, to whom do I have obligation to protect or at least remove from harm first?]

    Pius agreed, according to the documents, but said that even if he issued an appeal on behalf of the Jews in Hungary, he would not explicitly criticize the Nazis.

    “Pius adopted the principle of denouncing the sin but not the sinner, maintaining the careful line that he had adopted up until then,” said Andrea Riccardi, an historian and Pius XII expert. [Pius XII would be demonstrating the idea that God is the only judge of human hearts and that the only judgments we are allowed to express are those against the action of sinning. God provided us with a way to determine what is a sin and what is not. He also provided an authoritative body to to clear up any confusion adding a quality control measure, narrowly defined, through Holy Spirit.]

    Two years before, Osborne had written in his diary: “The more I think of it, the more I am revolted by Hitler’s massacre of the Jewish race on the one hand, and, on the other, the Vatican’s almost exclusive preoccupation with the … possibilities of the bombardment of Rome.” [There is some text missing here so we are unable to determine the full context. But I would venture to say that the sentiment was indeed negative towards the Pius XII. However, consider again that Osborne is expressing a personal opinion under which he may not understand or simply agree with where the pope’s obligations lay. Also consider that, by this quote, one must infer that the author of the article meant to draw attention to his own assumption that Pius XII was more concerned with Rome’s continued existence then that of the Jews. Relating this to what I know about some of the men who have served in the papacy, this could not be further from the truth. Why worry about the location of the Church? God will protect the institution, which is not contained in any material good but rather how do you protect the souls that were entrusted to you? One last item here. Does not this sentiment sound vaguely familiar in relation to those who wonder why the Church places abortion at the front of its social justice agenda instead of other social issues?]

    Pius’s apparently ambiguous attitude towards the persecution of Europe’s Jews also emerges from a meeting he had with the United States’ diplomatic representative to the Vatican, Harold Tittmann, on Oct 19 1943. [Assumption]

    The SS had begun rounding up more than 1,000 Jews in Rome’s centuries-old Ghetto district just three days before, but Tittmann reported that Pius was principally concerned about the “food situation” in the city. [Again, we do not know the context and what information was being presented to Pius XII.]

    He was also worried that “little Communist bands” in Rome “might commit violence in the city during the period between the German evacuation and the arrival of the allies”. [See my comment above. Also consider that the pope may have been worried about violence against Catholics by the Communist bands and ultimately the lasting affect of communism and its evil vis-a-vis the faithful.]

    Pius gave a positive assessment of the way in which the Nazis had behaved since they had occupied Rome.

    “The Pope said that so far the Germans had respected the Vatican City and Holy See property in Rome and … seemed well disposed towards the Vatican,” Tittmann reported to Washington. [Why should Pius XII bear false witness against the Nazis with whom he came into contact regardless of how nasty they were. Consider the US occupation of Iraq. Could every Iraqi state that the US treated them poorly? Or could some say that even though they despised our presence that they could not say that they were treated poorly?]

    Pius’s wartime record has been a source of acute tension between the Vatican and Jewish groups for decades.

    The issue has come to the fore under the papacy of Benedict XVI, who last month moved Pius a step further towards being declared a saint.

    Jewish groups want the whole process frozen [Why should they care? They hold no allegiance to the Church.] until the Vatican opens up the secret archives which cover Pius’s papacy, from 1939 to 1958, but the Holy See announced last week that there are so many files for its archivists to trawl through that they will not be made available to scholars until 2015.

    The Vatican maintains that Pius worked quietly behind the scenes because direct intervention could have provoked Hitler and worsened the situation for Jews. [Prudence rather than rash action. Instead of 6 million, there could have been many more deaths. Ultimately we have not way of knowing but let God judge the heart of the man. I can assure you that if Pius XII is canonized it is because God confirmed the Pius XII’s presence in heaven by way of a miracle. Remember, God is the head of the Church and He protects Her from errors such as these.]

    Some people may consider my comments out of line or unsympathetic but this is an attack against one of my previous Holy Fathers. I will defend him as I would my biological father. Besides, there is more to this than we all know.

    And believe me, I know way condone the Holocaust or deny it occurred. This is a historical fact; a stain on human history. But know that first comes God and His Church and although I know Pius XII was a sinner, I dare not attempt to judge his heart.

    Take a listen to this recent and timely episode of Catholic Answers LIVE concerning The War on Pius XII with Ron Rychlak.

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