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Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - Echo - 04-17-2018

Has anyone come across the work of the Australian Catholic historian Dr. Paul O'Shea? He seems to take a middle-of-the-way approach when it comes to Pius XII and his responses to the Nazi regime and the holocaust. (http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/)

More or less he appears to be saying Pius was a good man but he also had his flaws and he made some serious errors in his responses to the Nazis and the Holocaust. He has praised other authors who have written books which are critical of the Popes and the Church, such as David I. Kertzer (author of The Popes Against The Jews and The Pope and Mussolini) and David Cymet (author of History vs Apologetics) (http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/2012/04/interview-with-david-cymet-history-vs.html).

Here is a review of O'Shea's book A Cross Too Heavy
http://www.catholica.com.au/brianstake/040_bt_print.php


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - jovan66102 - 04-17-2018

You know, I always want to ask the Pius haters, 'Exactly what the hell was he supposed to do?!' He saved thousands of Jews. The World Jewish Congress sent him a telegram of thanks at the end of the War for his efforts to save Jews. If he had 'spoken out' as the haters demand, the Vatican would have been occupied in a New York minute, Pius would probably have been dead, and not a single Jew would have been helped.

The world was quite aware of Pius' aid to the Jews until the KGB financed Rolf Hochhuth's smear-job play 'The Deputy' in the early 60s, after Pius had died. Then the secular, anti-Catholic press seized on a communist dirtbag's unhistorical drama and pushed it as 'history'.


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - Echo - 04-18-2018

(04-17-2018, 07:30 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: You know, I always want to ask the Pius haters, 'Exactly what the hell was he supposed to do?!' He saved thousands of Jews. The World Jewish Congress sent him a telegram of thanks at the end of the War for his efforts to save Jews. If he had 'spoken out' as the haters demand, the Vatican would have been occupied in a New York minute, Pius would probably have been dead, and not a single Jew would have been helped.

The world was quite aware of Pius' aid to the Jews until the KGB financed Rolf Hochhuth's smear-job play 'The Deputy' in the early 60s, after Pius had died. Then the secular, anti-Catholic press seized on a communist dirtbag's unhistorical drama and pushed it as 'history'.

Quite true. Speaking out publicly against a vicious regime like Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy would not be so easy and would surely have risked more deaths, both Jewish and Catholic. Still, I wish that the Vatican would release all the documents they have in the Secret Archives to the public. There is still so much we probably don't know about Pius XII and his pontificate during the war.


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - austenbosten - 04-18-2018

(04-17-2018, 04:45 PM)Echo Wrote: Has anyone come across the work of the Australian Catholic historian Dr. Paul O'Shea? He seems to take a middle-of-the-way approach when it comes to Pius XII and his responses to the Nazi regime and the holocaust. (http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/)

More or less he appears to be saying Pius was a good man but he also had his flaws and he made some serious errors in his responses to the Nazis and the Holocaust. He has praised other authors who have written books which are critical of the Popes and the Church, such as David I. Kertzer (author of The Popes Against The Jews and The Pope and Mussolini) and David Cymet (author of History vs Apologetics) (http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/2012/04/interview-with-david-cymet-history-vs.html).

Here is a review of O'Shea's book A Cross Too Heavy
http://www.catholica.com.au/brianstake/040_bt_print.php

Most of what is written about is based on propaganda as Jovan said from the Communist-backed play The Deputy. Here one Jewish historian and rabbi said it best about these non-Jewish Catholic critics of Pope Pius XII.

Quote:The Holocaust is simply the biggest club available for liberal Catholics to use against traditional Catholics in their attempt to bash the papacy and thereby to smash traditional Catholic teaching… [T]hese polemics… of lapsed or angry liberal Catholics exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda.

(04-18-2018, 01:01 AM)Echo Wrote: Quite true. Speaking out publicly against a vicious regime like Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy would not be so easy and would surely have risked more deaths, both Jewish and Catholic. Still, I wish that the Vatican would release all the documents they have in the Secret Archives to the public. There is still so much we probably don't know about Pius XII and his pontificate during the war.

There's no need to. Those who want to have all the documents released just want them to have another way to twist the facts to distort the truth. To say that Pope Pius XII "failed" in the Holocaust is to blame the hero. Pope Pius XII did far more to save Jews than FDR or Churchill did. Pope Pius XII was harboring Jews in the Vatican where he was surrounded eventually by the Nazis, whom Hitler wanted to invade and kidnap him...to say he made serious errors is to display oneself as the most shameful of armchair historians.


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - Poche - 04-18-2018

(04-17-2018, 04:45 PM)Echo Wrote: Has anyone come across the work of the Australian Catholic historian Dr. Paul O'Shea? He seems to take a middle-of-the-way approach when it comes to Pius XII and his responses to the Nazi regime and the holocaust. (http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/)

More or less he appears to be saying Pius was a good man but he also had his flaws and he made some serious errors in his responses to the Nazis and the Holocaust. He has praised other authors who have written books which are critical of the Popes and the Church, such as David I. Kertzer (author of The Popes Against The Jews and The Pope and Mussolini) and David Cymet (author of History vs Apologetics) (http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/2012/04/interview-with-david-cymet-history-vs.html).

Here is a review of O'Shea's book A Cross Too Heavy
http://www.catholica.com.au/brianstake/040_bt_print.php

The chief rabbi of the Roman synagogue was so impressed with Pius XII's response during World War II that he converted to the Catholic Faith.


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - SaintSebastian - 04-18-2018

In the link below is the pastoral letter of the Dutch bishops issued in July of 1942, which, all things considered, was pretty tame. At the end, there is an excerpt from an article by. Fr. Peter Gumpel giving a description of the results and how this influenced Pius XII. 

"The action of the Dutch bishops had important repercussions. Pius XII had already prepared the text of a public protest against the persecution of the Jews. Shortly before this text was sent to L'Osservatore Romano, news reached him of the disastrous consequences of the Dutch bishops' initiative. He concluded that public protests, far from alleviating the fate of the Jews, aggravated their persecution and he decided that he could not take the responsibility of his own intervention having similar and probably even much more serious consequences. Therefore he burnt the text he had prepared. The International Red Cross, the nascent World Council of Churches and other Christian Churches were fully aware of such consequences of vehement public protests and, like Pius XII, they wisely avoided them."

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/07/75th-anniversary-of-pastoral-letter-of.html


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - Klemens - 04-18-2018

I think that Pius XII's assistance to the Jews is an irreproachable fact (unless indisputable contrary evidence surfaces). However, his ambiguous behaviour and alleged support for the Croatian Uštase is far more problematic and should be better investigated.

Unlike the Third Reich and fascist Italy, the Uštase enjoyed widespread clerical support in Croatia. If Pius XII did without a doubt support this murderous regime, then that should be his greatest blight, not  the typical (and seemingly baseless) charges of collaboration with the Germans.


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - Echo - 04-18-2018

(04-18-2018, 01:21 PM)Klemens Wrote: I think that Pius XII's assistance to the Jews is an irreproachable fact (unless indisputable contrary evidence surfaces). However, his ambiguous behaviour and alleged support for the Croatian Uštase is far more problematic and should be better investigated.

Unlike the Third Reich and fascist Italy, the Uštase enjoyed widespread clerical support in Croatia. If Pius XII did without a doubt support this murderous regime, then that should be his greatest blight, not  the typical (and seemingly baseless) charges of collaboration with the Germans.

This is another reason why all the documents on his pontificate during the war should be released. I don't know much about Pius XII's relationship with the Ustashe regime or the Church in Croatia, but I know that much of the controversy of that time period surrounds Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac. Some Orthodox, especially the Serbian Orthodox, regard him as a monster. Here is a recently published book on Stepinac (https://www.amazon.com/Stepinac-Life-Times-Robin-Harris/dp/0852448643/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524073706&sr=1-1&keywords=stepinac). There is also this book which seems to take a more moderate approach (https://www.amazon.com/Triple-Myth-Stella-Alexander/dp/0880331224/ref=sr_1_30?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524073542&sr=1-30&keywords=stepinac). One reviewer describes Stepinac as follows:
Quote:The Ustashe quickly began to brutalize Serbs and Jews, organizing death camps and mass deportations to ethnically-cleanse Croatia. Some Catholic clerics participated in these atrocities, though Stepinac's role was more ambiguous. During the first year, he not only failed to object to the atrocities but suggested ways to make them more efficient. In a July 1941 letter to the government he wrote: "The measures undertaken would have their full effect if they were carried out in a more humane and considerate way". By contrast, he opposed measures targetting Jews and Serbs who had converted to Catholicism, for once they became Catholics (and thus Croats), they were members of his flock. By mid-1942, Stepinac had split with the regime, no longer believing Croatia was truly independent -it was a vassal of Nazi Germany- nor that the church benefitted from the slaughter of Serbs and Jews. Yet he was slow to denounce the regime, feeling he would be more effective if he retained some influence and remained in Zagreb, trying to "save what could be saved".

There is also the controversy of the Church's relationship with the Franco regime. Personally, I can't really blame the Church for siding with the Spanish Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. The Republicans were no friends of the Church. Both sides committed terrible crimes during that war. The Nationalists were just able to achieve a higher body count under their rule due to the fact they won that war. The Nationalists had their "white terror" and the Republicans had their "red terror" (https://www.amazon.com/Red-Terror-Spanish-Civil-Revolutionary/dp/1107682932/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524074620&sr=1-1&keywords=red+terror+spain). Higher body count doesn't prove one side is more evil than the other. Had the Republicans won, I have no doubt they would've had a higher body count than the Nationalists. Unfortunately, Basque Catholics were persecuted by Franco for siding with the Republicans.


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - For Petes Sake - 04-18-2018

The Holocaust has always been used as a weapon to guilt and extort people.


RE: Objectivity and research on Pope Pius XII's response to the holocaust - Echo - 04-18-2018

Here are two more reviews of Stella Alexander's book on Cardinal Stepinac (The Triple Myth). Apparently, Alexander was received into the Catholic Church in 1991.

https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/brill/stella-alexander-the-triple-myth-a-life-of-archbishop-alojzije-EhpVmz0xDB

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/slavic-review/article/div-classtitlethe-triple-myth-a-life-of-archbishop-alojzije-stepinac-by-alexander-stella-boulder-colo-east-european-monographs-1987-ix-276-pp-maps-photographs-3000-clothdiv/5FB5FE99B8AE206E296FB628E85FD878


This article says Alexander was a Quaker but became Catholic in 1991 and died in 1998.
http://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2018/01/the-fascinating-life-of-stella-alexander.html