Ven. Pope Pius XII’s ‘remarkable’ aid to save Jews

Justice will not be done in the matter of Ven. Pius XII until he is called “Righteous Among the Nations” at Yad Vashem.

From CNA:

Researcher reveals Pius XII’s ‘remarkable’ aid for Jewish refugees
By Kevin J. Jones

Denver, Colo., Jan 10, 2012 / 01:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Pius XII helped a group of 500 Jewish refugees escape death at the hands of the Nazis and made a touching public tribute to the Jewishness of the man seeking their deliverance, new research shows.

“This is not a liberal or conservative issue. This should be of interest to all people, anyone who wants to get a sincere, objective account of who Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, really was,” William Doino, Jr. told CNA on Jan. 9.


You can read the rest there.

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  1. AnAmericanMother says:

    The evidence keeps coming in.

    The Jewish New Yorker who has made it his life’s work to clear the name of Pope Pius XII of being anti-Semitic believes the wartime pontiff actually went undercover to save the lives of Jews in Rome.

    Gary Krupp came across the evidence in a letter from a Jewish woman whose family was rescued thanks to direct Vatican intervention.

    “It is an unusual letter, written by a woman who is alive today in northern Italy, who said she was with her mother, her uncle, and a few other relatives in an audience with Pius XII in 1947.” Next to Pope Pius during the meeting was his Assistant Secretary of State, Monsignor Giovanni Montini, the future Pope Paul VI.

    “Her uncle immediately looks at the Pope and he says, ‘You were dressed as a Franciscan,’ and looked at Montini who was standing next to him, ‘and you as a regular priest. You took me out of the ghetto into the Vatican.’ Montini immediately said, ‘Silence, do not ever repeat that story.’”


  2. Johnno says:

    RealCatholicTV had a great CIA episode on Pius XII. I highly recommend watching it and sending it to other Catholics to get informed or sending it to doubters of his reputation:

  3. Reginald Pole says:

    The linked story at CNA had only two “likes”at the end of the story. I’m sure we could bump that up a little.

  4. cwillia1 says:

    History will vindicate Pius 12 as the greatest of all the 20th century popes.

  5. aspiringpoet says:

    My family personally knows a Jewish man whose family Pius XII attempted to help while they were in the concentration camps, although it was too late for at least one of them.

  6. Denis says:

    Archbishop Stepinac–another much-maligned Catholic prelate, closely associated with Pius XII– is also getting a second look from some Jewish historians. Esther Gitman, in particular, has some great work on Stepinac’s efforts to rescue Jews from Nazi-occupied Croatia. I’m actually a bit surprised that she hasn’t drawn more attention in Catholic circles, especially since Abp Stepinac’s efforts seem to have been coordinated with Pius XII’s.

    For anyone interested, a PDF of Gitman’s longish article on Stepinac is available in PDF form on the web. Just google the title: “A Question of Judgment: Dr. Alojzije Stepinac and the Jews.” She also just came out with a book, a good portion of which is about Stepinac: “When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945”, which I am about to buy: looks interesting. The article is definitely worth a read, however.

    What is really surprising is that Professor Gitman has met resistance from local Croatian officials and historians–children of some of the Communist officials involved in putting Stepinac on trial. The Yugoslav Communist regime’s show trial of Stepinac was a source of many of the slanders against Pius XII, including the claim that Pius XII hid money stolen from Croatian Jews in some secret Vatican vault–money that, allegedly, Stepinac had transferred to him at the end of the war. There is absolutely no credible evidence to support this claim–all evidence came from confessions coerced by the Yugoslav communists and from false witnesses; nevertheless, many slanderers of Pius XII continue to cite it as fact.

  7. PostCatholic says:

    I do think Pacelli belongs listed as “Righteous Among the Nations,” and the historical record is clear that he was urgently involved in many countries. As was Montini, another good candidate. They’d join three Americans, all of whom worked with the Unitarian Service Committee to save Jews from the shoah.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    Father, your link is great and shows the current list of righteous gentiles. How I wish a Jewish person would nominate Ven. Pius XII to this illustrious list. This is one of the greatest errors of the purposeful manipulation of history by the enemies of the Church. We should pray for this title to be given soon.

  9. Jim Ryon says:

    Father Hugh O’Flaherty, an Irish priest who work in the Curia duing the war, was declared Righteous Among the Nations. He saved many Jews and allied escapees, I believe with the knowledge of Venerable Pius XII. A fairly good movie, The Scarlet and the Black with Gregory Peck, was made about his activity.

  10. Supertradmum says:

    Actually, Jim Ryon,

    I thought even though Fr. O’ Flaherty was praised in the good movie, The Scarlet and the Black, the same movie was critical of Ven. Pius XII, who was portrayed as not supporting Fr. Hugh and being a weak man.

  11. Jim Ryon says:

    Thanks for pointing that out, Supertradmum. I didn’t remember that about the movie.

  12. Msgr. O’Flaherty’s secret group for aiding people to escape was considerably more flamboyant than most of the other Roman/Vatican secret groups. This is not to say they were ineffective; but other groups were afraid that O’Flaherty’s group would get them caught. Between the lines, one gets the feeling that O’Flaherty was therefore cut off from a lot of info and cooperation with other groups. He didn’t like being ordered by the Pope to be a little more circumspect in his activities; but his own book didn’t openly criticize the Pope. (If I recall correctly, since I read the book once, a good twenty-five years ago.) The movie gave a very different impression — that nothing else was being done in the Vatican except preserving Vatican neutrality.

  13. AnAmericanMother says:

    In talking with my liberal Jewish friends (and actually we lost two good friends when we converted to the Church) they criticize Pius XII for signing the Concordat with Germany in 1933.
    My objections are is that (1) nobody had any idea in 1933 what was coming; (2) Pius XII had a duty to protect the Catholic schools, churches, and parishioners from German government interference; (3) the Nazis started violating the Concordat immediately, so it’s not like it made any difference.
    But any ideas anybody has for dealing with that point gratefully accepted!

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