The Apple Of God's Eye

February 12, 2011

Pope Pius XII Is No Saint: History Reveals A Narrow Spirit And Heart While Millions Died

“Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), reigned as the 260th pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City, from March 2, 1939 until his death in 1958. Some historians view the record of his long papacy and wartime predicament sympathetically; others view his actions (or inactions) critically, if not harshly. The interpretations of non historians vary even more widely, with some (John Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope) accusing him of pursuing personal power at the expense of the Jews, while others (Ronald Rychlak, Hitler, the War, and the Pope) argue he did everything in his power to help them. (

In We Remember, a 1998 statement on the church’s role in the Holocaust, the Vatican claimed that Pius saved “hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives.” It was an absurd statement.

“Pope Pius XII, prior to his pontificate, successfully negotiated the Reich Concordat with Adolf Hitler in 1933, effectively destroying all political opposition to the fledgling Nazi movement in Germany. According to cabinet meeting minutes from July 14, 1933, Hitler considered the German-Vatican pact a “great achievement”—particularly “in the developing struggle against international Jewry.” (The Unapologetic Pope)

Since the death of Pope Pius XII i on October 9, 1958, there has been a concerted effort by the Vatican and Jesuits to diminish the overwhelming evidence of racial hatred, inaction and evil by this Roman Pontiff, particularly to the Holy Inquisition undertaken during his reign against the Jews.

In the 1960′s, it was the Jesuit sponsored work Three Popes and the Jews (1967), by Panchas. E. Lapide that attempted to portray the grand illusion and claims that Pope Pius XII never met Hitler once, in direct contradiction to the testimony of those closest to Pius for most of his life since Munich and his rise to Pontiff.

Another prominent Jesuit “Jewish” Apologist for Pope Pius XII has been Michael Tagliacozzo who spent nearly nine months under the tuition and protection of the Jesuits at their Gregorian University during World War II and has maintained a steadfast duty to their causes ever since.

In recent years, such authors as David Gil Dail –both a Jewish Rabbi and paid employee and mouthpiece for the Jesuits of Ave Maria University in Florida have achieved considerable positive media coverage for his glowing and saintly portrayal of Pius XII as a saviour of “thousands” of Jews in The Pius War (2004)The Myth of Hitler’s Pope (2005). (

Now, Hitler’s pope is one step closer to sainthood. Last month, Pope Benedict xvi issued a decree proclaiming the “heroic virtues” of the 20th century’s most controversial pope. “Given the complexity of the issues and the extreme circumstances of the war, why are some of Pius’s defenders now arguing that his response to the Holocaust was exemplary and even proof of his saintliness. Peter Gumpel, the German Jesuit priest shepherding Pius’s cause for sainthood, has gone so far as to write that “no one of whatever station or organization did as much to help the Jews as did Pius XII Pius XII. Yet judging by the evidence now available to historians, that statement is as preposterous as it is naive.” (

British journalist and author John Cornwell wrote the book, “Hitler’s Pope” (published in 1999), that examines the actions of Pope Pius XII during the Nazi era. Drawing upon secret Vatican and Jesuit archives to which he had unprecedented access, Cornwell tells the full, tragic story of how narcissistic, long-standing personal antipathy for the Jews, and personal and spiritual ambition combined to make Pius XII the most dangerous churchman in history.

Not just a firm and final indictment of Pius XII’s papacy, Hitler’s Pope is also a searing exploration of its lingering consequences for the Catholic Church today, and explores the charge that he assisted in the legitimization of Hitler’s  Nazi regime in Germany through the pursuit of a Reichskonkordat in 1933. Cornwell was first inspired to write a book about Pius because he was upset by what he considered to be “unwarranted” criticism against the man. That prompted the Vatican to give him unlimited access to its treasured (and well-protected) archives. But once Cornwell gained access to the archives, he discovered the darker side of Pius. His research led him into what he called a state of “moral shock.”

The book accuses Pius of appeasing Hitler, ignoring the Jewish plight and turning a blind eye toward other Nazi atrocities. It criticizes him for not doing enough, or speaking out enough, against the Holocaust. Cornwell argued that Pius’s entire career as the nuncio to Germany, cardinal secretary of state, and pope was characterized by a desire to increase and centralize the power of the Papacy, and that he subordinated opposition to the Nazis to that goal. He further argued that Pius was anti-Semitic and that this stance prevented him from caring about the European Jews. (Phayer, 2000, p. xii-xiii).

“One example Cornwell uses to prove his point is particularly telling. It happened toward the end of the war. Pius had been receiving information about Hitler’s Final Solution throughout 1942. Jewish groups and Allied officials had repeatedlyurged him to publicly condemn Nazi savagery. Under increasing pressure, Pius used a December 1942 radio address to refer to the many thousands who “sometimes only by reason of their nationality or race are marked down for death or gradual extinction.  That was his strongest objection to Hitler’s genocidal rampage! Yet he failed to even mention the Führer by name and made no mention of Nazis or Jews.” (The Next Pope)

In October 1943, more than a thousand Jews were rounded up in the Roman Ghetto at the foot of Vatican hill by Hitler’s SS troops, within sight of the pope’s windows, and still he did nothing. The pope’s thundering silence quite simply has made him complicit of the crimes he refused to acknowledge. The most powerful religious man in the world, commanding the allegiance of more than a half-billion Christians at that time, remained silent when a simple protest probably would have saved 1045 lives. Only 15 of those people survived the war. According to Cornwell, Pope Pius was one of the firstto be made aware of the Jewish arrests. The Jews were kept at the holding center for two days—right under the pope’s nose—before boarding cattle cars to Auschwitz where 80 percent of them were gassed within a week, the rest became slave laborers.

Some argue that the pope couldn’t leave the Vatican because it was surrounded by German troops and he might have been arrested. But then, what would a true saint of God do? Would he look out for others or for himself first? Is not the pope the supposed representative of Christ on earth? What would Christ have done in such a situation? There are no semantics here — He sacrificed his life for others.

“But this matter goes far beyond just defending Pius XII in the face of harsh criticism. Father Gumpel is one of the Vatican’s senior saint-makers who happens to be in charge of Pope Pius XII’s beatification process (the final hurdle to being named a saint). For 30 years he has been researching Pius’s life to see if he’s worthy of sainthood. Put another way, his job is to find damning evidence, if any, that would preclude Pius from beatification. He hasn’t found any! Near the end of his research, Gumpel told 60 Minutes he is “totally convinced that [Pius] did what he could [to help Jews during World War II], that he was a holy person and that he should be beatified.” Asked if Cornwell’s research in Hitler’s Pope would have any bearing on the Vatican’s final decision, he said it would “have no effect whatsoever because it’stotally worthless from a historical point of view.”

“Incredibly, the Vatican doesn’t see how the historical record matters much when it comes to Pius’s qualifications for sainthood. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi believes Pius should be evaluated by his Christian life and “his intense relationship with God and continuous search for evangelical perfection”—not “the historical impact of all his operative decisions.”

In other words, the Vatican is arguing for a complete whitewashing of the dubious acts of this pope. Here is a quote from Pope John Paul II as further support for Pius:

[T]he Church does not celebrate the specific historical decisions he may have made, but rather points to him as someone to be imitated and venerated because of his virtues, in praise of the divine grace which shines resplendently in them.

So, never mind what he actually did—just know that he was virtuous.

Can you imagine Jesus Christ ever reasoning in that manner? Your religion, Jesus taught, is what you do! “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). True religion is how you live, Moses added. “For he [God] is your life,” it says in Deuteronomy 30:20.

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Yes, indeed. Think on these heroic virtues. But that’s not all. True religion can’t stop there. Verse 9 completes the thought: “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do.”

Think on them—and do them! That’s the hallmark of a true Christian. Pope Pius XII’s virtues, or lack thereof, can hardly be determined by words alone—not if we take the Bible at its word.” (

The Ratlines

At the end of the war, the Vatican aided the escape of hundreds of Nazis from Europe by issuing them with false passports. These are documented, but unacknowledged facts.

“By and large, Pius’s advocates have played the ostrich ostrich when it comes to the Vatican’s ratline. Denying Pius’s complicity in the church’s smuggling of Nazi and Croatian Fascists out of Europe flies in the face of incontrovertible evidence. Uki Goni’s The Real Odessa (Granta Books, 2002, second edition) provides the conclusive documentation. Using previously unavailable material from the Public Record Office in England and from the U.S. National Archives and Record Administration, Goni clearly demonstrates that Pius knew that ecclesiastical institutions in Rome were hiding war criminals. “The British dossiers…show that the pope secretly pleaded with Washington and London on behalf of notorious criminals and Nazi collaborators,” Goni writes.

In fact, the ratline conforms to a pattern of Vatican postwar action. Pius sought clemency leniency or mercy for Arthur Greiser, who had murdered thousands of Polish Catholics and Jews (the Poles executed him anyway); and for Otto Ohlendorf, head of one of the notorious Nazi mobile killing squads (U.S. Military Governor General Lucius Clay rejected the pope’s appeal, saying that Ohlendorf was guilty of specific, heinous crimes); and for other mass murderers. After the war, the U.S. State Department complained that the Vatican was uncooperative in expelling suspected war criminals from Vatican City. The Vatican knew that Croatian Fascists brought looted gold with them from Yugoslavia after the war, but did not report this to the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold.”

What do these jarring facts tell us about Pius? Why would the leader of a church that supported the state’s right to use capital punishment plead for the lives of mass murderers? If Pius was so saddened about Europe’s Jews–as he wrote Bishop Preysing in 1944–why did he later help their killers escape? Why have advocates for Pius’s canonization  failed to address the ratline issue? (

For the past few years, Catholic revisionists have been busily pumping out historically inaccurate articles denying any Church role in the Holocaust whatsoever. These seemingly sober, knowledgable “scholars” often emphasize anecdotal evidence that individual Catholics, including Pope Pius XII, aided Jewish victims of the Hitler regime, and downplay Vatican ties to mass murder, or “conspiracy theories.”

Even Pope Benedict XVI has defended his World War ii-era predecessor against critics, praised Pope Pius XII for hiscourage in trying to save Jews.

“Wherever possible he spared no effort in intervening in their favor either directly or through instructions given to other individuals or to institutions of the Catholic Church,” Benedict said.

No effort spared? Really? What about the the moral and political consequences of his strong affirmation of Hitler through the Reichskonkordat. Did this not  make the Vatican the first government to enter into a bilateral treaty with Hitler? Did this not give Hitler enormous prestige, while not incidentally, protecting the rights of the Catholic Church in Germany? Did this not explicitly indicate the Catholic church would turn a blind eye to the fate of Jews?  Pius’ silence in the face of the Nazi crimes against the Jews was the evidence of something evil, sick and in a spiritual coma.

Had Pius XII publicly condemned Hitler’s acts – and even top Germany military commanders in Italy secretly urged him to do so toward the end of the war – many millions of lives might have been saved. In his book “Hitler’s Pope,” Professor Cornweel agrees: “As the papal envoy in Munich in 1932, prior to his becoming Pope in 1939, Pacelli considered the Jews to be part of a Bolshevik plot to destroy Christendom and agreed to sanction the Vatican-German Concordat of 1933 that aided Hitler’s rise to power. In doing so, he cleared the way for Hitler’s “Final Solution” to continue. “He was Hitler’s pawn. He was Hitler’s Pope.”

The conclusions and revelations presented by John Cornwell in his meticulously researched book, many of them based on materials from heretofore closed Vatican, Italians, German, British, and French archives and other unimpeachable sources, leave no doubt that Eugenio Pacelli was the Fuëhrer’s best imaginable ally.

“On March 23 (1933) Hitler gave a policy statement in which he promised, among other things, to work for peaceful relations between Church and State; the Reichstag in turn approved the Enabling Act, which for a period of four years transferred the power of legislation from parliament to the cabinet. Five days later the German Catholic episcopate, organized in the Fulda Bishop’s Conference, withdrew their earlier prohibitions against membership in the Nazi party and admonished the faithful to be loyal and obedient to the new regime.” ( p. 3, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany by Guenter Lewy).

Evidently the pope believes you can be pious without good deeds. But it’s not the hearers, but the doers of the word which are blessed. With a religion like the Catholics have, where the entire world worships a man, you can do just about anything.  So when the Vatican says history means nothing, everyone simply lets it drop.

But given the weight of evidence against Pius XII, it serves as a devastating indictment of moral treachery so great that it defames his papacy and should easily deny his elevation to sainthood. “Nowadays we may not know what as saint should be, but we do know what as saint should not be — a man of narrow spirit and heart, a man who could not find at the very least  ‘a candid word’  when millions of human beings from all corners of Europe, some of them from under his own windows, were led to their systematic extermination.” (– Saul Friedlander, Los Angeles Times).

Pope Benedict today continues to cover up the truth with deceitful words , but they simply do not square with an honest reading of history. This is most likely why Benedict will not allow public access to the Vatican’s carefully guarded archives. Even still, there is plenty of evidence already accessible, both historically and prophetically, to those in search of truth.

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