Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Vatican Pushes for Pope Pius XII Sainthood

There is a lot of World War 2 amnesia going around. The Catholic Church is a highly political organization, and apparently they feel they can get away with making this Nazi abettor a Saint. After being declared one with 'heroic virtue', the step below sainthood, there is now - out of the blue !- a possible miracle attributed to him (a requirement for sainthood).

Like most good conservatives of the day, Pius tolerated fascism because he wanted to crush Bolshevism.

Pius' 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, in October 1943. Pius XII had appeared indifferent to the fate of more than a thousand Jews rounded up in Rome and sent to Auschwitz. Pius XII had shown more concern over reports of "Communist gangs roaming in the environs of Rome", Tittmann said at the time. Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, a former Vatican official in charge of foreign affairs, who as a young priest served in Pope Pius’ private office, said the Pope had believed it would be "counterproductive" to speak out against Nazi atrocities, but dedicated himself to concrete actions.1

Resurrecting formerly disgraced World War 2 figures is a sign of increased reactionary tendencies amongst sections of the ruling class.

1'Documents suggest Pope Pius XII more concerned about Soviets than Nazis' - World Jewish Congress
2'Is Every Pontiff a Saint?' - NYT; Gibson
3'Vatican confirms existence of possible miracle attributed to Pius XII' - Catholic News Agency

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This "controversy" is now over. Zenit's statement clarifies why it is a mistaken view of the pope:

"As ZENIT reported Monday, a brief document was presented as a new find dated Oct. 19, 1943. The document is a telegram from American diplomat Harold Tittmann on his meeting with the Pope.

The document does not mention the Oct. 16 raid on the Jews of Rome, wherein more than 1,000 of the city's Jews were rounded up and deported to Auschwitz.

Given that Tittmann's report does not mention the raid (though theoretically it had happened just three days before), and instead reports Pius XII's concern about Communists in Rome and his desire to keep the Eternal City in peace, headlines reported the Pope's "indifference" to the Holocaust.

However, there is a basic problem.

In a statement sent to ZENIT, Professor Ronald Rychlak of the University of Mississippi explains that Pius XII could not have expressed concern about the roundup of Roman Jews because it hadn't happened yet.

Rychlak is the author of "Hitler, the War, and the Pope."

He explained: "The transcribed message to Washington from Harold Tittmann is dated Oct. 19, but this is a mistake. Vatican records show that the meeting between Pius and Tittmann took place on Oct. 14.

"In fact, L'Osservatore Romano of Oct. 15, 1943, reported on page one -- top of the first column -- that Tittmann was received by the Pope in a private audience on Oct. 14, 1943.

"Apparently a handwritten '14' was misread as a '19' when the documents were typed. The Pope did not mention the roundup of Jews because it had not yet happened!"

Rychlak noted that what the Pope did express to Tittmann was his concern "that a group of Communists would commit a violent act and this would lead to serious repercussions. Of course, he proved to be exactly correct the following spring."

Moreover, though the Oct. 14 document was presented as a new find, historians were already aware of it because it was published in 1964, with the incorrect date.

It is in the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) collection, in Volume II of 1943, on page 950.

In his blog, Andrea Tornielli, Vatican expert of the Italian daily "Il Giornale," points out that the researchers who presented this "new document," Giuseppe Casarrubea and Mario Cereghino, have already made such "revelations" in the past.

"In October of 2008," he reported, "they presented as unpublished a document to use it against Pius XII (it was also referred to by ANSA [news] agency) and later they had to apologize."