Catholic League’s ad on the op-ed page of the NY Times on Pius XII

Has anyone seen the Catholic League‘s ad on the op-ed page of the New York Times?

 

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12 Responses to Catholic League’s ad on the op-ed page of the NY Times on Pius XII

  1. Ken says:

    A wonderful ad — and congrats to Bill Donahue et al for raising the six figures it takes to place it.

    At the same time, let’s remember Pope Pius XII for all of his good work, not just a side issue of assisting the Jews during WWII. After all, he was the pope of the Roman Catholic Church during some of the most successful years in the recent history of the Church.

    A traditional Latin Requiem Mass will be offered for Pius XII today in Washington, D.C. Perhaps there are other traditional Requiem Masses planned today around the world? (Third class Requiem Mass on the Anniversary of Death, which is the first Mass of All Souls Day, with the Epistle and Gospel from the second Mass of All Souls Day, with a proper Collect, Secret and Postcommunion for the anniversary of death.)

  2. Once upon a time, one of my co-workers asked me a question: If I could have dinner and talk to any person, any place or time in history, who would it be? I told her I would need to sleep on it. The next day I told her Pope Pius XII. She was not surprised. He was the Pope of my youth, who had the most influence on the Mass of my youth. His reforms, if they had continued, I am convinced would have been much more healthy than the whole of Vatican II.

  3. Patricia Gonzalez says:

    PPXII was also the Pope of my youth — I was nudging 12 when he died, and have vivid memories of listening to the news on the car radio on the way to school, also the banner headlines in the paper. I admired him tremendously, and still do. I think of him today in prayer, and ask his continued intercession for our beloved Church and our present Pope Benedict XVI.

  4. Fr Fenton says:

    While I can’t be in DC, I can offer a Requiem Mass (Ordinary Form), as this evening parish Mass, for His Holiness. Good idea.

  5. mysticalrose says:

    The ad is remarkable and really well done. I am curious if there will be any response from the Times itself.

  6. Lee says:

    Several years ago I began taking Hebrew classes at a synagogue, the Congregation Ezra-Habonim in Skokie, IL, and discovered that it would be followed immediately by an information/conversion class about Judaism, so I signed up.

    The course from first to last had a very anti-Christian, especially anti-Catholic thread running through it. It took me a while to understand it, but the obvious context is that the Jews are assimilating and the anti-Christian, anti-Catholic theme was a kind of innoculation against the lure of Christianity.

    You can imagine the effect on Judaism if Jews accepted all of the statements in Donahue’s ad. That must have been very apparent in 1963 when “The Deputy” appeared. If Judaism was going to survive, “The Deputy” probably appeared to be a very necessary piece of counter propaganda. It was this play by Rolf Hochuth that launched the very effective Jewish assault on the character and policies of Pius XII.

    In fact, toward the end of the course Rabbi Ginsberg even referred to Pius XII as “that despicable individual.” He said something about Pius XII having sacrificed the Jews merely to maintain his own power base.

    But quite obviously this play has not only infected American Judaism, but Judaism world wide when the chief rabbi of Haifa, Shear-Yashuv Cohen, can say “We feel that the late pope (Pius) should have spoken up much more strongly than he did.”

    “I have to make it very clear that we, the rabbis, the leadership of the Jewish people, cannot as long as the survivors still feel painful agree that this leader of the Church in a time of crisis should be honored now. It is not our decision. It pains us. We are sorry it is being done,” he said.

    So in the Jewish world the “necessary” fiction of Hochuth prevails over the historical truth of Pius XII. It’s an attitude they feel they must maintain to preserve identity.

    Fine, but let us hope that this does not inhibit us from raising Pius XII to the altars and invoking him, especially for the conversion of the Jews.

  7. “A side issue of assisiting Jews during WWII”-a “side issue”?This “side”issue almost merited the kidnapping of Pius XII.If you were the one being hunted down and you were given refuge by the head oof the cathiloc church the gesture would take on momentous meaning.You owed your life to him.Not only have present day Jews forgotten this great act of the Pastor Angelicus but some of his own.The ad fails to mention Pius indirect involement in the planned assasination of Hitler revealed in the files of the British foreign office.

  8. Peg says:

    The book “Why I Became A Catholic”, by the former chief rabbi of Rome, Eugenio Zolli gives a beautiful testimony of Pope Pius XII’s assistance to the Jewish people. If you can find a copy I suggest reading it.

  9. Son of Trypho says:

    Lee – as a Jewish reader of WDTPRS, I feel obliged to engage some of your points;

    “You can imagine the effect on Judaism if Jews accepted all of the statements in Donahue’s ad. That must have been very apparent in 1963 when “The Deputy” appeared. If Judaism was going to survive, “The Deputy” probably appeared to be a very necessary piece of counter propaganda. It was this play by Rolf Hochuth that launched the very effective Jewish assault on the character and policies of Pius XII.”

    Well, I agree with the statements in the ad and there has been no effect on my Judaism. Additionally, I’m not sure why you think that Judaism would not survive if these points are agreed to? There were significant numbers of Jews in the US, UK and the ME which have sustained Jewry despite the tragedy of the Shoah. Hochhuth’s play is his own artistic interpretation of the historical events and should not be considered an actual piece of history and it is unfortunate, that he, as a Gentile, has interpreted the events in the way he has. Some critics of his play suggest that he is not writing on behalf of Jews (as counter-propaganda if I understand your point correctly) but rather as an attempt to apportion some amount of blame for Germany’s actions to other contemporary European political leaders.
    You should also note that Hochhuth is certainly no darling of either historians or Jews generally – he has suggested that the UK assassinated the Polish leader in WW2 and maintains a close relationship with the Holocaust denier Irving.

    “In fact, toward the end of the course Rabbi Ginsberg even referred to Pius XII as “that despicable individual.” He said something about Pius XII having sacrificed the Jews merely to maintain his own power base.”

    This is unfortunate and an incorrect (in my opinion) interpretation of the historical record. The issue is particularly sensitive to Jews because of what actually happened. To be honest, I myself cannot say what a more active protest swould have achieved. In my opinion, those who were already inclined or participated in the violence would not have been swayed by his position or arguments/pleas. As many of the war criminals argued – they were following orders, and had abrogated any sense of morality/ethics in their following these orders. A moral/religious appeal would have had very little impact. Additionally, it is undeniable that he did assist many Jews through the facilities of the Church. I guess a big probalem arises post-war where the Church did actively assist alleged war-criminals to escape from justice – both Pius XIII and the future Paul VI were involved in these activities and there is reasonable grounds to criticise them on this.

    “But quite obviously this play has not only infected American Judaism, but Judaism world wide when the chief rabbi of Haifa, Shear-Yashuv Cohen, can say “We feel that the late pope (Pius) should have spoken up much more strongly than he did.” “I have to make it very clear that we, the rabbis, the leadership of the Jewish people, cannot as long as the survivors still feel painful agree that this leader of the Church in a time of crisis should be honored now. It is not our decision. It pains us. We are sorry it is being done,” he said.”

    Its unfortunate when you use terms like “infected” when describing Judaism as, it unfortunately is paralleled in Nazi lexicography. I would prefer the phrase that the idea has been adopted by some elements of American Judaism.
    As to Rabbi Cohen’s opinion – this is his own and he is entitled to it. I think it was imprudent and ill-conceived to argue his positions in the forum he was in. There is a legitimate argument to suggest that as a moral leader Pius XII could have spoken out more forcefully – but as I suggested earlier, this at best would have been a token gesture. And for some of the critics I believe that there would not have been anything sufficient to assuage their anger. This is because they understand the events only through the prism of Christian/Gentile anti-semitism, rather than a more nuanced understanding of politics/history etc.

    “So in the Jewish world the “necessary” fiction of Hochuth prevails over the historical truth of Pius XII. It’s an attitude they feel they must maintain to preserve identity.”

    Well aside from the fact that your taking an essentialist view – i.e. “the Jewish world” and speaking for all Jews on behalf of one Rabbi’s comments (which I think is an incorrect and somewhat offensive position to hold because it denies the individual position of Jews like myself who don’t agree with the narrative you disagree with) it also assumes that our identity is threatened (in some unexplainable way) if we agree with the historical facts. I don’t think this is the case at all. Our religious beliefs are not threatened by acknowledging that assistance was provided to us by Pius XII or Christians no more than suggesting that our religious beliefs or identity were threatened by acknowledging Muslim Turkish assistance to Jews after the expulsion of Jews from Catholic Spain in the 15th C, or Cromwell’s permission to return to Protestant England during his rule or countless other examples of non-Jewish assistance provided to Jews in times of peril.

    “Fine, but let us hope that this does not inhibit us from raising Pius XII to the altars and invoking him, especially for the conversion of the Jews.”

    If Pius XII satisfies your criteria for sainthood then good for you – I hope then that he is acknowledged. As to conversion well I do hope it is generated through a thorough appreciation of Nostra Aetate.
    Also, may I suggest a sense of priority – you may want to firstly pray for the conversion of Muslims who apparently outnumbers Catholics worldwide then focus on us.

  10. Son of Trypho says:

    \”The book “Why I Became A Catholic”, by the former chief rabbi of Rome, Eugenio Zolli gives a beautiful testimony of Pope Pius XII’s assistance to the Jewish people. If you can find a copy I suggest reading it.\”

    Zolli is a particularly controversial figure, and although he can personally attest to some of the measures that did help Jews, such as himself and this is valuable evidence, one always needs to consider his personal conduct and behaviour before, during and after the war. He is not a particularly attractive figure and certainly not one that I would openly use to defend Pius XII\’s actions during the war.

    If you want a better example of Catholic-Jewish relations look to St Edith Stein (I think she is a saint?) where the church actually did try to help her for her own outspoken criticisms of Nazism while being a convert. Zolli isn\’t even in the same league.

  11. Lee says:

    Son of Trypho,

    Shalom!

    Thanks very much for your comments and especially for the spirit in which they were offered. It is almost incredible that a faithful Jew would be following this blog, devoted as it is to what could well appear from the outside as merely arcane and almost irrelevant lore.

    And yet, I do understand it since I also was trying to comprehend Judaism by my foray into a conservative synagogue. Eventually, I was ejected from the class for suggesting to a young Christian woman who was converting that she might want to at least read the New Testament before turning her back on it and on Jesus. To that point she had never read it. An explicit rejection of Jesus is in fact required before being accepted into Judaism, at least to this synagogue.

    Yet I felt then and feel now that my ejection was unjust, since I would have thought that a reading of the New Testament should have almost been a requirement before allowing a Christian to convert.

    Water over the dam. Anyway, I miss it, the classes, the associations, my brush with the beauty of Judaism. My kipah- in fact two of them- are still in my glove compartment waiting for that moment when I can inconspicuously as possible once again learn something about my own faith from the Jewish people and their rabbis.

    Peace on you and all of Israel!

  12. Son of Trypho says:

    Lee
    Thank you for your reply – I am not trolling or desiring fighting over these topics but rather seeking to engage other people of faith in discussion.
    As to why I am interested in this blog – well, it is a very highly noted blog on Catholic thought/opinion and I have an interest in Catholicism generally – after all, the Christianity and Judaism of today both sprung from the same root Judaism.
    In that sense, I acknowledge that, if I was to subscribe to Christianity, it would be of the Catholic or Orthodox groupings, as (controversially I acknowledge) in my opinion they are more authentic (I do not know if this is the right word?) expressions of early Christianity rather than the Protestant views. Besides, there is much of value in Catholicsm generally – there is a rich intellectual tradition (which is ongoing) which stands on its own feet proudly – something I think that alot of Christians take for granted and do not appreciate fully, cultural benefit/value, artistic value/benefit – all these things come to mind. I am sure many more can be generated with further thought.
    As to your experience at that particular synagogue – I regret the negative experience you had as it was, as you suggest unjust. To suggest that this young woman read the NT can only be of benefit – it is afterall, one of the formative documents of Western civilisation. It is bewildering that if she was a Christian, she hadn’t read it?
    As to an explicit rejection of Jesus – if you mean as Messiah and as Divinity, then yes I understand where they are coming from and must admit it myself, but if it is broader, insofar to say that there was no value to be derived from his views or his followers it is wrong and I dare say ignorant. After all, even the Jews of the time (cf. Josephus) recognised the piety of James and were dismayed at his extrajudicial execution (and permitted Peter etc to pray at the Temple etc.).
    There is unfortunately, (foolish) hostility on both sides with regards to each others beliefs – I can only hope that reactionary elements on both sides do not derail valuable discussions which can only contribute and benefit each participant.
    I hope to be able to discuss things here from time to time with mutual respect despite our differences.