Vatican Archive Disclosures won’t Disclose the Whole Story

 

The Vatican’s newspaper announced the plan, saying it will “render service to the historic truth,” and officials said Tuesday the material will be accessible soon.

However a panel of Jewish and Catholic scholars who examined the 11 volumes of material a decade ago concluded that more information was required to decide whether Pius did everything he could to head off the Nazis’ efforts to exterminate European Jews.

Some Jews and others contend Pius should have done more, and are angered by Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to move Pius closer to sainthood.

The Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said Gary Krup, an American who heads the Pave the Way Foundation, which seeks to strengthen Catholic-Jewish relations, was behind the online initiative. It quoted him as saying that the Pius XII papacy “has become a source of friction.”

Benedict sparked renewed outrage among Jewish groups in December when he signed a decree on Pius’ heroic virtues, paving the way for him to be beatified once a miracle attributed to his intercession is confirmed.

From the AP

Of course the secular press and the most critical Jewish organizations have ignored the countless heroic acts of Catholic clergy and religious who risked their lives to hide Jews in their rectories, monasteries, hospitals, schools and other places.

The conversion of the Chief Rabbi of Rome to Catholicism after the war is well known to Catholic apologists along with the accounts of Jews hidden in the papal apartments and the accolades piled on Pius XII by those Jews who owed him their lives as well as Israeli leaders like Golda Meir.  But these matters are never covered in the press.

Most importantly, the Vatican archive documents can never tell the whole story because many of the orders to save Jews by hiding them and falsifying baptism certificates were wisely never committed to paper lest they fall into the hands of the Nazis and become a pretext for further persecution of the Church and the more effective discovery of hidden Jews among her institutions as happened in Holland.

The ruthless false witness against Pius XII’s reputation has nothing to do with Christan anti-semitism but is rooted in Jewish anti-Catholicism.  Both of which are crimes against humanity.


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32 Responses to Vatican Archive Disclosures won’t Disclose the Whole Story

  1. Constantine says:

    I wonder if the following constitutes one of the “heroic acts of the Catholic Clergy”?

    “With all of the attention given to what Pius XII did or did not say about the Nazi-led campaign against the Jews – over which his influence was at best limited – it is striking how little attention has been given to what Pius XI had to say about the racial laws promulgated in Italy in 1938. These laws were conceived, approved, and announced in the Holy City itself, where his influence – less than a decade after the Italian government’s recognition of the Roman Catholic Church as the official state religion – was great indeed. From September to November 1938, the Italian government had declared Jews undesirables, thrown Jewish children out of school, and fired large numbers of Jewish adults from their jobs. It had called on Catholics to avoid the Jews, to treat them as a source of pollution.
    Anyone who has gotten this far in this book should not find it surprising that in response to these measures against the Jews neither the Pope nor the Vatican hierarchy uttered a single word of protest. The explanation for this fact is simple: Mussolini’s new laws embodied measures and views long championed by the Church itself.”

    Kertzer, David I. The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican’s Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. P. 287.

    Professor Kertzer, interestingly enough, took his information from the Vatican archives.

  2. The Pave the Way Foundation will be scanning and posting online some documents from the Vatican Secret Archives covering the WWII period. The Vatican had published these documents decades ago in the hope of making public the work purportedly done by Pope Pius XII on behalf of the Jews during the Holocaust. The Vatican commissioned six scholars, three Catholic and three Jewish, to evaluate the documentation and publish the results. The commission went through the documents, which raised more questions than provided answers, and produced a list of further questions for the Vatican including a request for further documents from the Vatican Secret Archives. The Vatican did not produce either and the commission eventually disbanded.

    The Pave the Way Foundation provided a mischaracterization of what happened with the joint Jewish-Christian commission. In an article (http://www.zenit.org/article-28333?l=english) they correctly stated that the commission prepared a series of further questions as they found that the documents they had access to were not conclusive. They also stated that the commission was unable to understand the documents, as they couldn’t read them in the original languages. This is not correct. They did not have any problem in reading the documents for lack of understanding of the various languages. The Church refused to provide more information or further access to the Archives and eventually the commission disbanded, as it was unable to perform the duties that were asked of them.

    It’s commendable that the Pave the Way Foundation wants to make these documents widely available, but nothing short of opening the Secret Archives covering the war years to scholarly scrutiny will once and for all make clear what the Church and the Pope did—or did not do—to save Jews during the Holocaust.

    Gabriel Wilensky

    —————————————————————————————————
    Author
    Six Million Crucifixions:
    How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust

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  3. frstevenbadin says:

    How good of you to bring up one of the easily debunked charges against the Church. Dont take my word for it, ask Rabbi Dalin who addresses just this topic here: http://www.clarionherald.org/pdfs/2009/11_14_09/page03.pdf

    Now, it is clear that the Vatican rarely took on national governments directly. But, who without an army would? Rather, the Vatican employed highly symbolic actions widely visible to the general public to communicate its message that the Jews must be protected.

    But, more importantly the article reports the essential truths of the Vatican’s rescue of countless Jews:

    While about 80 percent of
    Jews living in Nazi-occupied
    Europe were killed by the
    Nazis during the Holocaust,
    Rabbi Dalin said in Italy “close
    to 85 percent of the Jews survived,”
    including 75 percent
    of the Jewish community in
    Rome.
    The professor said Jews
    were secretly sheltered in 155
    monasteries, convents and
    churches in Italy throughout
    the Holocaust years, including
    3,000 at Castel Gandolfo,
    the pope’s summer residence
    outside of Rome.
    “In no other location of
    Nazi-occupied Europe were
    as many Jews sheltered for
    as long a time as at Castel
    Gandolfo,” Rabbi Dalin said.
    “This could not have been
    done without the personal
    approval and active involvement
    of Pius XII. In fact,
    Kosher food was provided for
    some of the more religious
    Jews who were being sheltered
    at Castel Gandolfo during the
    Nazi occupation of Rome.”

    And all of these saved Jewish lives in Rome were achieved at the highest personal risk of the Catholic clergy of Rome and the Vatican.

  4. frstevenbadin, you (and Rabbi Dalin) are right that there were cases of Christians saving Jews in Rome and elsewhere, sometimes by exposing themselves to danger. That is beyond dispute and they deserve our admiration and appreciation for such clear examples of Christian caritas. That is not the point, however. The problem is that those were isolated cases of regular individuals, nuns, monks and others who acted the way they did out of their own volition. The problem is that the Catholic Church as such did not make an injunction to all Catholics everywhere to act that way, and did not make an injunction to all of the Catholic perpetrators to refrain from murdering Jews.

    It’s true that the Pope did not have cannons or aircraft, but he had something much more powerful: he had access to the ears and hearts of hundreds of millions of Catholics, and possibly many millions of Protestants. He also had a fully operational network of priests and diplomats everywhere in the world, including all the theatres of war. If he had said to the faithful clearly and repeatedly that denouncing, deporting, and murdering Jews were not only legal crimes but also mortal sins, and if he had done this relentlessly at every level of the Church, from his own messages to the priests tending the souls of soldiers in the field, and had done this at every opportunity, he may have succeeded in creating a moral revolt. If he had threatened the millions of Catholics then involved in the mass murder of the Jews with excommunication (something he was not afraid to do to all Communists in the world in one stroke after the war), he might have forced them to reconsider what they were doing. Perhaps this would not have stopped the Holocaust, but it would have certainly hindered it enormously. And, at the very least, it would have cemented the moral standing of the Church and would have protected the millions of Catholic souls in their care, souls that were forsaken by acting the way they did by not receiving the proper guidance from their Church.

    Gabriel Wilensky

  5. Constantine says:

    Gabriel is quite right. This issue is not about anecdotal evidence of Catholic kindness to a few Jews, which is in itself very commendable. But rather, it is about the centuries long practice, endorsed and promoted by more than two dozen popes that officially denegrated and enslaved the Jews – for more than 400 years.

    I find it very ironic that this writer bemoans the “secular” media. But it was the Catholic media through its officially controlled media that fanned anti-Semitism all across Europe.

    “In 1894, French priest, Henry Delassus wrote in the Catholic weekly, La Semaine religieuse de Cambrai:

    “Anti-Semitism and Catholicism are one and the same thing.”

    Fr. Delassus directed this paper for forty-nine years and was honored by two popes for his work.”
    op. cit. p. 226.

  6. Fr. J. says:

    If you want to talk about anti-semitism in Christianity, that is fair game. But, you must in honesty recognize that you have changed the topic.

    The heroic deeds of Catholic clergy and religious which saved over a half million Jews through countless heroic acts is not anecdotal evidence of a kindnesses to a few Jews. It is colossal. More Jews today owe their lives to the actions of Pius XI and Catholic clergy and religious than to any other non-military effort during WWII.

    See here: http://www.catholicleague.org/pius/dalinframe.htm

    “For Jewish leaders of a previous generation, this harsh portrayal of Pope Pius XII, and the campaign of vilification against him, would have been a source of profound shock and sadness. From the end of World War II until at least five years after his death, Pope Pius enjoyed an enviable reputation amongst Christians and Jews alike. At the end of the war, Pius XII was hailed as “the inspired moral prophet of victory,” and “enjoyed near-universal acclaim for aiding European Jews.” Numerous Jewish leaders, including Albert Einstein, Israeli Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett, and Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog, expressed their public gratitude to Pius XII, praising him as a “righteous gentile,” who had saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. In his meticulously researched and comprehensive 1967 book, Three Popes and the Jews, the Israeli historian and diplomat Pinchas Lapide, who had served as the Israeli Counsel General in Milan, and had spoken with many Italian Jewish Holocaust survivors who owed their life to Pius, provided the empirical basis for their gratitude, concluding that Pius XII “was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands.” To this day, the Lapide volume remains the definitive work, by a Jewish scholar, on the subject.

    The campaign of vilification against Pope Pius can be traced to the debut in Berlin in February 1963 of a play, by a young, Protestant, left-wing West German writer and playwright, Rolf Hochhuth. The Deputy, in which Hochhuth depicts Pacelli as a Nazi collaborator, guilty of moral cowardice and “silence” in the face of the Nazi onslaught, is a scathing indictment of Pope Pius XII’s alleged indifferences to the plight of European Jewry during the Holocaust.

    Hochhuth’s play ignited a public controversy about Pius XII that continues this day. Despite the fact that The Deputy was a purely fictional and highly polemical play, which offered little or no historical evidence for its allegations against Pope Pius XII, it was widely discussed and acclaimed. Indeed, it inspired a new generation of revisionist journalists and scholars, who were intent on discrediting the well-documented efforts of Pope Pius XII to save Jews during the Holocaust. Their denunciation of Pius received widespread publicity with the commercial success of Hitler’s Pope”

  7. Fr. J. says:

    Pius XII publicly and privately warned of the dangers of Nazism. Throughout World War II, he spoke out on behalf of Europe’s Jews. When Pius learned of the Nazi atrocities in Poland, he urged the bishops of Europe to do all they could to save the Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution. On January 19, 1940, at the Pope’s instruction, Vatican radio and L’Osservatore Romano revealed to the world “the dreadful cruelties of uncivilized tyranny” that the Nazis were inflicting on Jewish and Catholic Poles. The following week, the Jewish Advocate of Boston reported the Vatican radio broadcast, praising its “outspoken denunciation of German atrocities in Nazi [occupied] Poland, declaring they affronted the moral conscience of mankind.”

    In his 1940 Easter homily, Pius XII condemned the Nazi bombardment of defenseless citizens, aged and sick people, and innocent children. On May 11, 1940, he publicly condemned the Nazi invasions of Belgium, Holland, and Luxemburg and lamented “a world poisoned by lies and disloyalty and wounded by excesses of violence.” In June 1942, Pius spoke out against the mass deportation of Jews from Nazi-occupied France, further instructing his Papal Nuncio in Paris to protest to Marshal Henri Petain, Vichy France’s Chief of State, against “the inhuman arrests and deportations of Jews from the French occupied zone to Silesia and parts of Russia.”

    The London Times of October 1, 1942, explicitly praises him for his condemnation of Nazism and his public support for the Jewish victims of Nazi terror. “A study of the words which Pope Pius XII has addressed since his accession,” noted the Times, “leaves no room for doubt. He condemns the worship of force and its concrete manifestations in the suppression of national liberties and in the persecution of the Jewish race.”

    Pius XII’s Christmas addresses of 1941 and 1942, broadcast over Vatican radio to millions throughout the world, also help to refute the fallacious claim that Pope Pius was “silent.” Indeed, as The New York Times described Pius’ 1941 Christmas address in its editorial the following day, it specifically applauded the Pope, as a “lonely” voice of public protest against Hitler: “The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas…In calling for a ‘real new order’ based on ‘liberty, justice, and love’…the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism. Recognizing that there is no road open to agreement between belligerents ‘whose reciprocal war aims and programs seem to be irreconcilable,’ Pius XII left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace.” The Pope’s Christmas message of 1941, as reported by The New York Times and other newspapers, was understood at the time to be a clear condemnation of Nazi attacks on Europe’s Jews.

    So, too, was the Pope’s Christmas message of the following year. Pope Pius XII’s widely-discussed Christmas message of December 24, 1942, in which he expressed his passionate concern “for those hundreds of thousands who, without any fault of their own, sometimes only by reason of their nationality or race, are marked down for death or progressive extinction,” was widely understood to be a very public denunciation of the Nazi extermination of the Jews. Indeed, the Nazis themselves interpreted the Pope’s famous speech of Christmas 1942 as a clear condemnation of Nazism, and as a plea on behalf of Europe’s Jews: “His [the Pope’s] speech is one long attack on everything we stand for…he is clearly speaking on behalf of the Jews…he is virtually accusing the German people of injustice toward the Jews, and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals.”

  8. Fr. J. says:

    And so while you reach back to 1894 to find an obscure quote from a single priest in France, you forget that the topic at hand is the heroic actions of Pius XI.

  9. Michael says:

    Constantine,my old friend,

    I am not particularly interested in history of the Church relations with the Jews, and can’t afford to go into it, if for nothing else then for the fact that it is impossible to form a sound opinion on the basis of second hand information, and to study available
    Documents in their original languages are beyond me; and probably beyond you too.

    What I would like to draw your attention to is the present position of the Church, and that is briefly outlined in the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, nos. 1,4 and 5 – you need no more than one hour to absorb it – and subsequent documents of the Roman Offices dealing with practical implementation of this document.

    As a basis for understanding the Nostra Aetate you can have a look at the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium nos. 13 and 16 – again, not more than one hour to absorb.

    Also worthwhile, but not the Must, are books about the history of the early Christian liturgies, with particular reference to their development from the Temple and Synagogue worships. The Jewish Scripture constitutes 80% of the OT, remaining 20% although not the Scripture from the Jewish point of view, is nevertheless their highly esteemed religious literature.

    Probably, but I can’t say with certainty for the reasons stated above, there were many cases of persecution of the Jews by Catholics, whether lay, or clergy or even popes. However, one must not draw any doctrinal conclusions from this. If anything, it confirms prophetic events during the Passion: of the whole Catholic hierarchy only one stood at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady and few women. Others have run away; one was a traitor for money; and the first Pope denied Our Lord.

    Our Lord has entrusted the Church to weak and sinful men, but has also provided Her with sacraments through which he brings about forgiveness and salvation, and has promised to the apostles to be with them until the end of ages in two ways: by sending the Holy Spirit, God Himself, to guide them into all truth, and by being with the Church in the tabernacle.

    Whether the churchmen have persecuted the Jews or not, does not affect the doctrine. The doctrine is about the facts of Faith and about Moral Norms. I somebody falsifies the doctrine he commits an evil act against the Church, and if he violates moral norms he commits a sin, but he doesn’t change the moral norm.

  10. Constantine says:

    Hi Fr. J,

    I hope this finds you well.

    If I did change the topic, I apologize.

    But if the topic is about the Vatican archives, then the quote I provided came from a book written by a man who spent a year at the archives. So it seems that the archives can tell a fairly robust story when one has access to them.

    Peace.

  11. Constantine says:

    Hi Fr. J,

    Perhaps we can have a little interaction with what you have copied and pasted.

    The first point that I would like to make is that much of the Catholic response to observations of its anti-Semitic history has to do with the person of Pius XII. While Pius was certainly involved, as we shall see more in a minute, the issue is much, much larger than one man. It is a history encompassing a consistent pattern of Jewish enslavement lasting for nearly 700 years throughout Europe and for more than 400 years in Rome. And that needs to be the backdrop to the stories of heroism cited in your piece.

    Secondly, it was Eugenio Pacelli (later Pius XII) who, as Cardinal Secretary of State, signed the infamous Reichs Concordat with Germany in 1933. This did two things for Nazism: it prevented the Catholic bishops from engaging in any political activities so they could not oppose Hitler even if they had wanted to, and it gave great prestige to the fledgling Nazi party. In fact, Hitler’s biographer noted that he (Hitler) was surprised how quickly the Vatican had “committed the bishops to this state. Indeed, it was an unqualified triumph for Hitler. The German episcopacy poured out effusive statements of thanks and congratulations.” Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: a biography. London: W. W. Norton & Company, Ltd., 2008, p. 296.

    On September 2, 1933, Cardinal Bertram (the leading prelate in Germany) asked Pacelli to put in a good word with the Germans for those Jews who had been baptized into the Catholic Church. ““The Holy See takes this occasion,” Pacelli wrote, “to add a word in behalf of those German Catholics who themselves have gone over from Judaism to the Christian religion, or who are descended in the first generation, or more remotely from Jews who adopted the Catholic faith, and who, reasons known to the Reich government, are likewise suffering from social and economic difficulties.” So Pacelli was not interested in the Jews, per se, but only those Jews who had become Catholic. As for the rest, “The Holy See has no intention of interfering in Germany’s internal affairs.”

    Not to drag this on interminably, but your citations from 1940-42 deal with a time when the “cat was already out of the bag”. Pius may well have realized the result of his actions and been enacting a mea maxima culpa. And to argue your point would also be to put him at odds with at least two dozen of his predecessors.

    At any rate, all this is the stuff that we are now getting from the Vatican archives.

    Peace.

  12. Fr. J. says:

    It is untrue that the Pope and the Church was only interested in Jews that had become Catholic. Finding a quote where he takes up that category of persons does not prove lack of interest in other categories of persons. Nice try though.

    It is well known and well documented that the Catholic Church issued tens of thousands of false baptism certificates for Jews so that they could claim the protection of the Catholic Church.

    This was done in many regions of Europe, in Eastern Europe and Germany in particular. This might also explain his solicitousness for those who had converted, because if he could protect them, he could falsify document to protect many, many others.

    If the Pope and Catholicism were so indiffernt, why were there such accolades for him? What would explain the conversion of the Chief Rabbi of Rome who converted AFTER the war and took the popes baptism as his own? Nothing can explain that.

    You have been duped by an array of falsehood and half truths.

  13. Constantine says:

    Michael, my friend,

    It is good to read your words. God has blessed you with a gentle style whose strength transcends the page. Thanks to Him – and you – for that. I hope that your year is off to a good start and that its blessings to you will increase every day.

    I understand that this topic is not a primary interest to you. But I might suggest that it could be. And that because it underscores God’s glory by showing how He is not working through sinful people, but working in spite of them!

    Thank you for your recommendation of Nostra Aetate. I have just recently become acquainted with Cum Nimis Absurdum by Paul IV and would be curious how you might reconcile the two. I understand that the Nostra is a conciliar document and that Cum Nimis is an encyclical, but both carry papal authority – and they contradict each other. So was Vatican II right or Paul IV? Were Paul’s doctrines “reformable” or “irreformable”?

    At any rate, God’s peace to you Michael.

    Until next time…..

  14. Constantine says:

    Oh really. Then what did Pius IX mean when he called the Jews “dogs”? Was he talking about another category of person?

    Yes, yes, yes, of course the Catholic Church issued a large number of false birth certificates. But the question is why did they have to? What was the root cause of the violence to which the Jews were subjected and from which they had to be protected? Why were the Jews in danger in the first place? And the answer to that is the virulent anti-Semitic history of the popes of Rome which went back centuries.

    Of course, this happened all over Europe. But so did the Jewish persecutions and the former was necessitated by the latter.

    And one reason Pius received so many accolades was because 6 million potential dissenters were dead! The Jews who could complain about him were silenced. The other likely reason is that the Roman Church was still a politically powerful organization in the world. One of the lessons the Jews learned after centuries of imprisonment was that irritating the pontiff had drastic social and physical consequences. In other words, it was much more politically expedient for some Jews to heap even false praise on the man, rather than be spurned by his worldwide organization.

    Now I have a question for you.

    If you think that Pius was such a champion of the Jews, why is it that ALL of the Nazi death camps were in Poland, the only European country not touched by the Reformation? Wouldn’t Polish Catholics have listened to an order from the Pope? Did the Pope ever issue such an order to his loyal followers? (OK, that was three questions.)

    You know as well as I do that conversions to or from any denomination can happen for any number of reasons. Some of the Jews who had been imprisoned in the ghetto at the Vatican converted just so they could eat and have a bathroom. The Jews in Spain converted so that they could escape expulsion. But the real point is that the conversion of one man after the war in no way justifies the actions of another during (or before) the war. Pius is still on the hook even if every Jew in the world converted.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Peace.

  15. I would like to add a couple of comments to what Constantine is so capably saying here. First, Fr. J. brings up the things Pope Pius said during the war that were supposedly understood to mean he strongly opposed the extermination of the Jews. Among the examples, he cites the pope’s 1942 Christmas message, only uttered after considerable pressure from the Americans and the British. However, that speech was a lengthy broadcast on various other matters and only the last few sentences (quoted above) were related to the genocide then taking place. Even then, the Pope failed to mention by name the perpetrators or the victims, and he scaled down millions to hundreds of thousands. In any case, this was a totally ineffective complaint about the largest genocide since the time of the Mongols and of which he had full knowledge. Fr. J., of course the Germans complained the pope was referring to them! Don’t you think it was pretty much expected of them to do so? But no one really knew the pope was complaining about the Jews. Certainly not the faithful. As a matter of fact, the German ambassador reported back home in reference to a similar pronouncement, “There is less reason to object to the terms of this message . . . as only a very small number of people will recognize in it a special allusion to the Jewish question.”

    The other point I want to mention is that in order to understand why several prominent Jews spoke in glowing terms about Pope Pius after the war one needs to understand the realpolitik context and the information available at the time they were uttered. To the Jewish community of the post-war era protecting the remnants of the destroyed Jewish communities of Europe and founding a state took precedence over historical accuracy. The Israelis simply needed to have Vatican support for the State of Israel, and were willing to exonerate Pope Pius and the Church of any wrongdoing during the war in exchange for that (but, alas, even then recognition was not to come until much later, as the Vatican was among the last states in the world to recognize Israel, later even than its greater foe, Egypt).

    Look, there is one way to corroborate the claims of Pope Pius apologists, namely, that he was responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of Jews through his “discreet and hidden” diplomacy and various other acts: to open the Vatican Secret Archives. If he corresponded with foreign dignitaries asking them to shelter or give refuge to Jews, if he instructed all clergy in all theatres of war to admonish the flock that killing Jews was a crime and a sin, if he admonished the faithful that murdering Jews would result in excommunication from the Church, if he ordered all churches to destroy the baptismal records that were used by the Germans to identify who was a Jew, if he instructed all churches, monasteries, nunneries, and other church properties and personnel to shelter Jews, then it stands to reason the Vatican would want to make this information not only available to independent researchers, but rather, they would make it as public and as visible as they can, as fast as they can.

    Until and if that happens, both the apologists and the ones that don’t think this evidence exists have an equally valid argument, with one caveat: if the pope did any or all these things, or other things yet to be revealed, he was largely ineffective as the faithful went on killing with a clean conscience. Without clear direction from the Church, who seems to have failed to tell them in unequivocal terms that what they were doing was a crime and a mortal sin, they assumed that what they were doing was in line with god’s desires.

    Gabriel Wilensky
    ———————————————————————————————
    Author
    Six Million Crucifixions:
    How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust

    http://www.SixMillionCrucifixions.com

    Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sixmillionbook
    Become a Fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SixMillionCrucifixions
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  16. Michael says:

    Constantine
    To put your mind at rest, neither of the two documents is “irreformable”: so the issue of reconciliation is irrelevant. The two do not address the same issue anyway: one is, generally speaking, obsolete although a careful study might detect some aspects that are still relevant; another is binding for a Catholic conscience which doesn’t mean that each proposition therein is equally binding.

    I see no contradiction between them, but if you do, by all means put the pairs of contradicting assertions together, the more of them you find – the better; and we will see. May I suggest, however: do not put the entire documents next to one another as a pair.

    As for the “papal authority”, it is always necessary to establish a degree of authority involved. In principle, the authority of a conciliar document is higher, unless a doctrine taught by the pope alone is proposed infallibly. About “religious assent” due to papal teaching that are not proposed infallibly see Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 25/1 (one hour to grasp it properly, although not much to read).

    I have to admit, however, that I do not fully understand Pius IV’s Bull: one would have to be familiar with historical circumstance in which it was written; and so, one would have to study historical documents, as well as the Bull, in their original languages. On the other hand to take the Bull outside its context as if were a kind of supra-temporal entity, whether one were to “agree” or “disagree” with its supposed assertions, would seem unwise. The statement, like “the weather is fine”, can be true today and false tomorrow although it remains the same statement as such. But one can’t know whether it is true or false if he doesn’t know the circumstances to which it refers.

    To change the subject, are you suggesting that God producesyour comments “in spite of” you rather than “through” you? Or that the books of the Bible were produced by Him “in spite of “ their human authors rather than “through” them?

  17. Fr. J. says:

    Constantine,

    The antiCatholic meme that Pius XII called Jews dogs is popular on the internet. The trouble is that they never provide a precise quote or source. Please show us the proof that Pius said these things.

    Actually, we can document something quite the opposite. He said in his first encyclical “spiritually we are all semites” and that antisemitism was impermissible. So, what are going to believe? A verifiable document well know to the public at the time or some rumor the only surfaced recently by those who seek to discredit the man and support their insupportable hypothesis?

  18. Fr. J., I am not aware of Pope Pius XII ever calling Jews “dogs”, but Pius IX certainly did. He said that by rejecting Christianity, Jews had become “dogs” and “we have today in Rome unfortunately too many of these dogs, and we hear them barking in all the streets, and going around molesting people everywhere.” (In a speech after Italian forces liberated Rome.)

    It was Pius XI, not XII, who said that “spiritually we are all semites”, however he said that very late in his life after having said and shown antisemitism before.

    Gabriel

    • Michael says:

      Gabriel, I am confused. Do you mean Pius XI or Pius IX (in the second paragraph) ? If Pius XI, what antisemitism he had shown before very late in his life ?

  19. Michael, it was Pius XI. He was sent to Poland in 1918 to improve the situation of the Jewish community there, but instead did exactly the opposite by preventing the Vatican from helping. Instead of reporting to his superiors at the Vatican about the persecution and the persecutors of Jews, he alerted the Vatican of the dangers posed by the Jews themselves. According to him, Jews in Polish cities “only subsist through small commerce involving contraband, fraud, and usury.” He also reported that “one of the most evil and strongest influences that is felt here, perhaps the strongest and most evil, is that of the Jews.” He confided to Mussolini in 1932 that the he believed that the Jews were a threat to Christian society and that the reason for the persecution of the Church worldwide was partly a result of “Judaism’s antipathy for Christianity.”

    The Society of the Friends of Israel was a group of Dutch Catholics who had among its aims to expose the blood libel as an “incredible myth,” the abandonment of talk of a curse to the Jews and to discontinue the charge of deicide. The Vatican suppressed this group in the same year since according to the Vatican “words and deeds have begun to intrude into the Society of the Friends of Israel which deviate from the concepts of the church, the spirit of the holy fathers and the sacred liturgy” and their program did not recognize “the continual blindness of this people.” Not to surprising, as Pius XI said in a 1937 encyclical, “Jesus received his human nature from a people who crucified him.”

    Gabriel

    • Michael says:

      Gabriel, I will not argue details, because I don’t know all the facts. Let others do it. I can only say that “Pius XI” couldn’t have been “sent to Poland in 1918″. With this kind of presentation one looses credibility, and even when he tell the truth one cannot be sure that it is the truth.

  20. Michael, of course that when he was sent to Poland in 1918 it was not as “Pope Pius XI”! I am sorry if it was confusing the way I wrote it. Pope Benedict XV sent him to Poland when he was still called Achille Ratti.

    • Michael says:

      I knew that, Gabriel, but in the context of the whole debate it is relevant to make clear that Ratti’s report has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, nor has it to with Pius XI unless the latter has reiterated it himself. Has he?

  21. Michael, Ratti was Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic nuncio in Poland. I am not sure how that could qualify as having “nothing to do with the Catholic Church”. Also, unless you believe that when a person changes his name they also change everything else about them, I am not quite sure how you can separate Achille Ratti from Pope Pius XI. Sure, a person changes, and hopefully for the better, but they are the same person. Regarding whether he reiterated any of this later in his life as Pius XI, I gave you a few examples in a previous post of what he said and did as Pius XI to show his antisemitism.

    By the way, I actually think Ratti changed for the better, as later in his life he seems to have changed his views of Jews somewhat, and commissioned an encyclical denouncing antisemitism (not issued during his lifetime and suppressed by his successor, Pius XII).

    • Michael says:

      Gabriel, Ratti’s report to Rome had neither doctrinal nor disciplinary authority of the Catholic Church – that is what I meant when saying that it had nothing to the with the Church. It was his assessment of the situation in Poland. If, after enthronement as Pius XI he did not approve of it – it would seem that he did not, otherwise you would have said so – or proposed it for acceptance by the Church – again it would seem that he did not, otherwise you would have said so – his report while he had been the nuncio cannot be attributed to him as Pius XI, and bears no papal authority whatsoever.

      Of the “few examples” none is about him, except the quote at the end, which is the plain statement of a fact: Jesus Mother and legal Father were of Jewish stock, Himself too; likewise those who pressed for His crucifixion. I see nothing anti-semitic in this assertion. In fact the Jews are not mentioned at all.

      • Michael, whether any of that has doctrinal or disciplinary authority for the church is immaterial. Lots of people, including clergy, do things outside of the strict rules of the church. Achile Ratti was a prince of the church, and his experiences, education, and the cultural environment in which he was brought up and developed as an individual is was made him who he was. Many thousands of clergymen felt like he did, which is my point.

        Regarding my examples, as you know a pope is an absolute ruler. None of those things would have happened without the pope’s at least tacit approval. So, they very much apply to him. But in any case, to me the discussion about what Pius this or that did or didn’t do is less important than the bigger picture, that is, what did the faithful, including the clergy, do when faced with the greatest moral dilemma of their lives? Did they actually see it as a moral dilemma? My position is that they did not. Again, the cultural environment created by two millennia of anti-Jewish teachings made Christians everywhere, including the Church hierarchy all the way up to the pope, at least indifferent.

  22. Fr. J. says:

    Gabriel,

    It is clear now your motivation in writing. You wish to expose the Catholic faith as a fraud. Well, you can join the Romans, the Chinese, Vietnamese, the English and everyone else who persecuted the Church.

    You have no proof that these Jewish testimonies to the virtues of Pius xi were made for any other reason than to express gratitude for saving countless lives. If you side has evidence of insincerity on their parts, that needs to be made public. But it does not exist except as a fantasy in your mind.

    You neglected to mention the conversion to Catholicism of the Chief Rabbi of Rome who took Pius XII baptismal name as his own as an expression of gratitude. And this, too, was insincere?

    If the Christmas radio address of Pius XII was of so little import, why did the NYT say this about it:

    The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas. The Pope reiterates what he has said before. In general, he repeats, although with greater definiteness, the five-point plan for peace which he first enunciated in his Christmas message after the war broke out in 1939. His program agrees in fundamentals with the Roosevelt-Churchill eight-point declaration. It calls for respect for treaties and the end of the possibility of aggression, equal treatment for minorities, freedom from religious persecution. It goes farther than the Atlantic Charter in advocating an end of all national monopolies of economic wealth, and so far as the eight points, which demands complete disarmament for Germany pending some future limitation of arms for all nations.

    The Pontiff emphasized principles of international morality with which most men of good-will agree. He uttered the ideas a spiritual leader would be expected to express in time of war. Yet his words sound strange and bold in the Europe of today, and we comprehend the complete submergence and enslavement of great nations, the very sources of our civilization, as we realize that he is about the only ruler left o the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all. The last tiny islands of neutrality are so hemmed in and overshadowed by war and fear that no one but the Pope is still able to speak aloud in the name of the Prince of Peace. This is indeed a measure of the “moral devastation” he describes as the accompaniment of physical ruin and inconceivable human suffering.

    In calling for a “real new order” based on “liberty, justice and love,” to be attained only by a “return to social and international principles capable of creating a barrier against the abuse of liberty and the abuse of power,” the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism. Recognizing that there is no road open to agreement between belligerents “whose reciprocal war aims and programs seem to be irreconcilable,” he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace. “The new order which must arise out of this war,” he asserted, “must be based on principles.” And that implies only one end to the war.

    And then on Christmas day write this about it:

    No Christmas sermon reaches a larger congregation than the message Pope Pius XII addresses to a war-torn world at this season. This Christmas more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent. The Pulpit whence he speaks is more than ever like the Rock on which the Church was founded, a tiny island lashed and surrounded by a sea of war. In these circumstances, in any circumstances, indeed, no one would expect the Pope to speak as a political leader, or a war leader, or in any other role than that of a preacher ordained to stand above the battle, tied impartially, as he says, to all people and willing to collaborate in any new order which will bring a just peace.

    But just because the Pope speaks to and in some sense for all the peoples at war, the clear stand he takes on the fundamental issues of the conflict has greater weight and authority. When a leader bound impartially to nations on both sides condemns as heresy the new form of national state which subordinates everything to itself: when he declares that whoever wants peace must protect against “arbitrary attacks” the “juridical safety of individuals:” when he assails violent occupation of territory, the exile and persecution of human beings for no reason other than race or political opinion: when he says that people must fight for a just and decent peace, a “total peace” — the “impartial judgment” is like a verdict in a high court of justice.

    Pope Pius expresses as passionately as any leader on our side the war aims of the struggle for freedom when he says that those who aim at building a new world must fight for free choice of government and religious order. They must refuse that the state should make of individuals a herd of whom the state disposes as if they were a lifeless thing.

    It is as if the New York Times was verifying to future generations that yes, indeed, the world understood exactly what Pius XII was saying so boldly and clearly. No mistake.

  23. I have no idea where you got the idea that my motivation in writing is to expose Catholicism as a fraud. Regarding the NYT article, so what? Does that prove anything? What else do you think they could have written? Who was the writer, and why didn’t he write a different article? Did the article mention the pope’s defense of the Jews, his call to Catholics to refrain from mass-murdering Jews, his admonishment that mass murder was a crime and a mortal sin, his threat of excommunication if they persevered in that sin, or any specific condemnation of the extermination of the Jews then taking place?

    Please enlighten me, Fr. J., about what exactly the pope said that was so bold and clear in the face of the worst crime in history. Something that, as you said, “the world understood”.

    Gabriel

  24. Michael says:

    Fr. J., I am sorry to read in your comment the insinuation about Gabriel’s motivation. If the motivation is “clear” it should be clear without your assertion to that effect. Let’s love our neighbour as ourselves, and leave the judgment about his/her motives to God. Let us not forget the Golden Rule, and others in CCC 1789.

    As for Gabriel, I expect from him a response to my comment of Feb. 22, at 9,45. I want to sort out the matter of Pius XI.

  25. Michael says:

    Gabriel,re: your reply Feb. 24 at 7:18 am. Earlier, I said to Constantine: “I am not particularly interested in history of the Church relations with the Jews, and can’t afford to go into it, if for nothing else then for the fact that it is impossible to form a sound opinion on the basis of second hand information, and to study available Documents in their original languages are (I wanted to say: is) beyond me; and probably beyond you too.”

    I took exemption with you because Pius XI couldn’t have possibly been sent to Poland in 1918 – it was a strikingly misleading statement by which, however, those who are not familiar with history, could have been seriously deceived. But it illustrates the hazard of passing historical judgements on the basis of second hand data, instead of deriving them from original documents in a language in which they had been first produced.

    Now cornered, you say: “the discussion about what Pius this or that did or didn’t do is less important than the bigger picture, that is, what did the faithful, including the clergy, do when faced with the greatest moral dilemma of their lives.”

    But one cannot have a “bigger picture” without establishing individual facts and having them in statistically sufficient number of cases; except, that is, by having a fruitful “fantasy in your mind”, as Fr. J. says. It is of no use, in fact it is – to put it mildly – irresponsible, to pass judgements on individuals or institutions on the basis of what an “X” has written in book “Y” about “Z”. Scrap it!

    Now to change the subject: “Lots of people, including clergy, do things outside of the strict rules of the church.” Exactly! So, you can’t blame the church for it, even if the “prince of the church” is one of them; you can’t blame the church even for what a pope is doing in his private capacity.

    I don’t “know” that “a pope is an absolute ruler”. It is, again, a misconception, as the previous one was when you attributed to Pius XI what Ratti had (allegedly) done while a Benedict XV’s nuncio.

    If you wish, like Constantine, to articulate Catholic doctrine it would be better first to learn what it is, whether one would agree with it or not, instead of making one’s own concoction of it and then “disagree”.

    A Catholic is morally bound to assent to doctrinal (whether about faith or about moral norms) propositions of the Church and live accordingly, he is also bound to obey the ruling of the Church in ecclesiastical matters (liturgy, Canon Law); not, however, to a pope’s views about Jews, his scientific competence, or his acts in so far as he is the head of the Vatican state.

    Even in matters of doctrine, there is a difference in a degree of assent required, depending on the degree in which a particular doctrinal proposition is asserted; and, with regard to the ruling, there is a principle of epikeia which admits of acting in the spirit of the law, albeit not according to the letter.

    More pertinent to the subject is the matter of application of the moral doctrine. The Church proposes moral norms, which are an elaborated Decalogue. In so far as these norms are negative they are absolute, i.e. in no circumstances one may chose to violate them; but in so far as they are positive, they are binding in principle but not in all circumstances: one is bound to follow them as much as it is objectively possible.

    But what is objectively possible can be assessed only by an individual concerned: he has conscience, and is alone with God. He can make a mistake, but nobody may arrogate to himself a right to impose his own judgement on that individual when it comes to a concrete situation in which the individual find himself, all the more because that imposed judgement can be me mistaken too. Provided the idividual concerned doesn’t violate any negative norm – that is essential – the matter how to follow the positive ones is his own responsibility, and nobody, not even the Pope, can or may impose on him another solution.

    A surgeon on a front line is, in principle, bound to help wounded soldiers (positive norm), and it would be a violation of negative norms to kill anyone of them; but if there are too many, one is only bound to help as many as he can, and obviously, if he himself is ill or wounded, he has to help himself in the first place; otherwise, all would suffer. Now to judge whether to help some and neglect others, or try to help all equally with a chance that of all of them would die; or, if one is ill or wounded, to judge whether in his condition he can run the risk of ignoring himself to help others, or to care for himself in order to help others….these are the situations in which no Pope may make decisions.

    And you would impose your own solution on the Pope who was facing a dilemma between trying to help as much as he could under the circumstances, and an open conflict with Nazis !!!

    Supposing you were a pope, and acted in line with your recipe, and if I were a Hitler or Musolini, with their frame of mind, I would have executed you together with all bishops who would have stood by you, and would have carried out my plans with Jews – undisturbed. As simple as that. How would you then help the Jews ?

    “None of those things would have happened without the pope’s at least tacit approval.” Sorry, but I cannot but say: Nonsense (with capital).

    One must not overestimate what the Pope can do in practice. He is not a dictator who can impose physical punishments. People belong to the Church because they want to, and can opt out, formally or de facto, in part or completely, at will. All ecclesiastical penalties depend on willingness of individuals to accept them. If they don’t, there is nothing the Pope can do about it. Each one of us knows that he is called to love a neighbour (a Jew included) as himself, that he may not approach a Communion if he has deliberately, freely and with a full awareness, violated this norm. But if he does approach, there is nothing the Pope can do about it.

    “Did they actually see it as a moral dilemma? My position is that they did not. Again, the cultural environment created by two millennia of anti-Jewish teachings made Christians everywhere, including the Church hierarchy all the way up to the pope, at least indifferent.”

    Sweeping, to put it politely. If you were asked to prove “that they did not” (“see it as a moral dilemma”) how would you prove it? Supposing I, as one of the “Christians everywhere”, took you to court for label how would you defend yourself?

    I stood in your defence when I felt that you had been hurt. But the principles I took from the CCC are valid generally. Do appreciate that the Popes too, and the Christians everywhere, are human beings, and when it comes to form an opinion about the morality of what they do, they deserve at least a benefit of doubt. It is a generally accepted that one is to be considered innocent until proved guilty – not the other way round.

  26. Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Michael. I think you are turning this into a discussion on semantics. I referred to Achille Ratti in my previous post as “Pius XI” and said more than one thing about him, and one was about his earlier life when he was known as “Achille Ratti”. Referring to all of it as “Pius XI” was shorthand, not an attempt to mislead or imply that it was Pius XI that was sent to Poland, and you know it. But as I admited in my reply to you, I think you made a good point there and I clarified it. You asked me what I would say in a court of law? I would simply say that it’s true and easily provable that Christians everywhere were indifferent—at best—at the plight of the hounded Jews. People who care about something tend to do something about it, and many righteous Christians did. Unfortunately, the vast majority didn’t. They were passive onlookers or bystanders who didn’t move a finger. Not out of fear, because there were instances of people opposing the Nazis and living to tell the story. They didn’t do anything because they were indifferent, because they thought, deep inside, that the Jews deserved the fate that was being meted out to them. They went to Church and heard how the Jews were evil and their religion was superseded by Christianity, that they killed Christ and they were cursed to suffer until the end of times. So, yes, they were at best indifferent, but I’d venture to say that at least a large proportion of them believed the Jews deserved what was happening to them. Please, do not take any of this personally. I am not attacking anyone here, nor any Christians today. I am referring to a toxic environment that Christianity had created and fostered for two thousand years and that I know it is in great part changing for the better.

    I think you are also missing my point entirely. I am not an expert on Christian doctrine, nor am I discussing it. People are complex beings that act in various ways for various reasons. What I am talking about is the cultural environment that promotes certain behavior. I can agree with you that there’s nothing in the Catechism that says “Go and kill the infidel, the heretic, and the Jew” but that that did not stop Catholics from massacring Protestants, witches, Jews, Orthodox Christians and Moslems in large numbers. The reason why people—Christians generally—did that is because they thought they were doing the right thing, and they arrived at this conclusion because they were taught this way by their priests, their parents and their teachers, all of whom had been influence by the writings in the New Testament and from the writings and sermons from the Church Fathers. The mob that went on the Crusades were not educated folk who were students of the tenets of the Church, they were regular folk incensed by what their leaders were saying. Godfrey of Bouillon, who led the First Crusade, swore to “avenge the blood of Christ on Israel and to leave no single member of the Jewish race alive” and the mob went on a killing rampage with the war cry “Baptism or death.” You see what I mean? Of course there are no Christian teachings that teach that, but Christianity did teach that Jews were Christ-killers and that there was no salvation outside the Church. This is the kind of stuff that made up the cultural environment in which Christians lived until very recently. What was a poor, illiterate peasant in the Middle Ages supposed to think?

    You asked me what I would have done if I had been the Pope? I would have told the clergy in the German Church to destroy the baptismal records before it fell in the hands of the Nazis; I would have told them to stop spreading antisemitism in their sermons; I would have prevented the German Church from lifting the ban on membership to the Nazi Party; I would have instructed every single member of the Church hierarchy to give shelter and protect Jews; I would have instructed every priest to give repeated sermons telling the faithful that the Jews were our brothers and that it was a crime and a sin to deport and murder them; I would have broadcast as widely and repeatedly as possible condemning the genocide; I would have have confronted the Germans with a threat of an interdict or the excommunication of Hitler, Goebbels and other Nazis belonging to the Catholic faith; I would have threatened to the entire German Catholic population with excommunication if they persevered in exterminating Jews, and I would have stood in front of the train deporting the Roman Jews to Auschwitz. Sure, maybe one or more of these things would have made Hitler abduct the pope, perhaps even kill him (although I seriously doubt Hitler would have done that; he knew killing the pope would have likely turned hundreds of millions of people against him). Of course, if Pius XII had not been so concerned with protecting the trasures in the Vatican he and the curia could have moved to London or the United States, and broadcast from there and dropped leaflets all over Europe (which the Allies were already doing, anyway). But in any case, if the pope and his bishops were martyred, at least they would have followed the example of Jesus and would have cemented the Church’s moral standing.

    Gabriel

    • Michael says:

      Gabriel,
      Re: Ratti. The fact is that those who do not know when Ratti was made pope, and take your statement on its face value, can be mislead although you had not intended to mislead; and so, the example illustrates – that is my point – the hazard of accepting evidence of second hand data, because your initial statement comes under that category both from the viewpoint of those who have read it, and from your own viewpoint as it is unlikely that you have read original documents in Latin and/or Italian, and that you are familiar with the circumstances of the time of Pius XI.

      To be more specific, unless you know Latin and/or Italian and have consulted original sources about “Dutch Catholics” (a kind of DIY pressure group who pressed for hearing in public?) and about what Pius XI “confided to Mussolini” (who heard it?), and if you are not familiar with the context of both (I explained to Constantine the relevance of the context), you can’t be sure that what you have adopted from sources other than the original ones correctly articulates the original state of affairs. So, it is for scrap.

      Not only that, but all the rest you claim seems to be from a second hand source (correct me if I am wrong) supplemented by your own imaginations. So, all is for scrap too.

      But even if it were not for scrap as far as you are concerned, i.e. if you have consulted the original sources, and knew the circumstances they refered to, it cannot be but scrap for me, because if asked by somebody else to provide evidence for this or that claim therein, all I would be able to say is: Gabriel says so; unless, that is, if I consulted the original data myself, and familiarized myself with relevant circumstances. As explained to Constantine, I can’t afford time for that kind of research (I’d rather leave it to you and come back to me after, say, two years) and so, my interest in this kind of debate is limited to demonstration of its futility.

      In the court of law, you could say what you want, but no jury would be impressed with your kind of “evidence” if it is borrowed from a source which is not original; still less would they be impressed with your own grotesque elaboration added to it.

      I can’t recall having ever heard in my life – and I am not a young man – anything against the Jews, in churches, or from any priest (except the SSPX Bishop Williamsom, who is a “convert”), or any catechist. That means that all those thousands, who happened to attend the same services or other functions, haven’t heard anything against the Jews either. Have you? Could you enrich us with your personal experience?

      So, perhaps, instead of taking for granted problematic books, it would be better to interview, say 100, men or women of pre-Vatican 2 generation, and analyze their responses.

      Majority of bishops at Vatican 2 were pre-V2 men, born between 1900 and 1920, and their theological advisors were not much younger. So, all of them would have been exposed in their young days to “the cultural environment that promotes certain behavior”; a “toxic environment that Christianity had created and fostered for two thousand years”; “they were taught this way by their priests, their parents and their teachers” that “the Jews were evil”, “killed Christ and they were cursed to suffer until the end of times” etc. And yet, after all this conditioning, 2312 (against 88) of them voted in October 1965 for the Declaration Nostra Aetate (have your read it?).

      If you had been the Pope and acted according to your recipe, and if I were Hitler, I would have finished you up without hesitation. You know that. In other words: you would have instigated your own execution, and of course, would have done no harm me or stop me carrying my plan for extermination of Jews. Had any Catholic acted according to your instruction (had the instruction ever reached him, that is; hardly any would, because I would have stopped it) I would have executed him too. So, the end result would be that the Jews would be far worse off: none would be saved, besides the Catholic Church experiencing a catastrophic setback. Who could have wished all this but a pro-Nazi and both anti-Semite and anti-Christian at the same time.

      On the other hand, had I been the Pope I would have kept this possibility in mind, and even if not sure that Hitler would execute me I would still have taken a safer line of action, because of all those who would have been executed, or suffered in other ways, due to my gambling with their destiny.

      And if I had been one of the priests or civilians who had received your instruction, and survived, I would have acted upon each particular instruction according to my own discretion under the circumstances. In practice, it would mean: pigeonholing the instruction.

      You claim that you are not discussing “Christian” (i.e.Catholic) doctrine, and yet you are disputing it. I have tried to explain last time that the Pope, according to the Catholic doctrine, cannot do what you would have him do. Nobody would be bound in conscience to obey him for three reasons: (1)Some of the proposed actions are essentially political and constitute an interference in affairs of another state, (2)All proposed actions come under the heading of application of moral principles to concrete situations, for which only an individual who finds himself in that situation is responsible. I have tried to explain this also, last time. (3)Some of proposed actions are morally evil, because (a)one may not by an imprudent action put in jeopardy the lives or well-being of others, (b)other actions, like “martyrdom” (martyr means witness, not suicide) would adversely affect a spiritual well-being of the whole Catholic world; and yet wouldn’t stop Hitler from executing his plans.

      This will have to be my last communication with you: all that I was interested initially was Pius XI’ puzzling “mission in Poland”, and was somehow drawn into the area I am not interested for the reasons already stated. So, as far as I am concerned, do not bother to respond because I will not have time to read it.

      I am more interested in my old friend Constantine, who, although mistaken, is nevertheless reasonable and available for serious debate, interested in finding the truth. As the Divinely revealed Truth is in its fullness possessed only by the Catholic Church outside which there is no salvation, I am trying to help him to join us, if for nothing else then for selfish reasons: he would be a welcome asset. It would not be his defeat, but victory.

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