Friday, February 5, 2010


As some of you may be aware, Pater Ignotus (father unknown, but presumably a Catholic priest)has often challenged me to good humor, lighthearted debates that have occurred in the "comments" section of this blog. Sometimes,things do get inflamed. He offers a comment to Gabriel Wilensky that hits the target's bull's eye. Kudos! I paste it here prominently but also publish it in the previous blogs comment section:

To Gabriel Wilensky:

In her small book, "Did Pope Pius XII Help The Jews?", Sr. Margherita Marchione offers a limited chronology of Pius XII's life. The first entry concerning Pacelli and the Jews is February 9, 1916. (Note the date) "In response to an appeal by the American Jewish Committee on Dec 30, 1915, that Pope Benedict XV use his moral influence to speak out against anti-Semitism, Pacelli (later, Pius XII) became deeply involved in the preparation of a pro-Jewish document signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Gaspari. His statement appeared in the New York Times, April 17, 1916 under the headline, "Papal Bull Urges Equality for Jews."

As early as 1916, Pacelli was involved in work on behalf of the Jews.

Both "Pius XII and the Second World War - According to the Vatican Archives" by Fr. Pierre Blet, SJ, and "The Myth of Hitler's Pope" by Rabbi David Dalin, offer extensive reviews, based in part on Vatican archival materials, of the involvement of Pius XII and the Vatican on behalf of the Jews throughout the years before, during, and immediately after World War II.

Both books cite their sources. Dalin's book alone offers 673 end notes.

It seems to me that anyone who asks "Where is the evidence?" has simply not looked.


Gene said...

If I understand correctly from my considerable reading of WWII history, there is much question about who knew to what extent the Jews were being persecuted and when they knew it. Historians are not even certain what Roosevelt and Churchill knew or when they became aware of the atrocities being committed. I do not believe for one minute that, had he known the full extent of the atrocities being committed, Pope Pius would have ignored them or failed to speak vociferously against them.
The horrors were so great that many, including world leaders, could not believe, they didn't. The inability to imagine that depth of horror on the part of Christians and humans, while perhaps naive, is no failure of character.

Reading back in, so to speak, from an overly smug and self-righteous 21st century moral superiority begs a very important question. I am also suspicious that it merely represents another Catholic bashing voice from the bottomless, gaping maw of post-modern nihilism.

Gabriel Wilensky said...

pinanv525, there was much misinformation spread after the war about who knew what, when. However, we now know when the Allies and the Holy See knew of the genocide taking place, and the extent of it. Sure, they might have ignored the exact nature of the killing operations and the exact numbers, but they certainly knew by 1942 that there was a widespread genocidal campaign against European Jews.

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