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Jewish-Catholic Relations

Pope Benedict XVI visited the Synagogue of Rome yesterday, continuing along the path of reconciliation and dialogue spearheaded by his predecessor, John Paul II. Aside from the usual chatter which accompanies such high-profile agendas (the improvement of Judeo-Christian relations amounts to a "theological obligation," in the Pope's words), the meeting provided a forum for discussing the controversial role of Pope Pius XII's Vatican during the Holocaust.

Pius XII seems to me to be one of the most maligned figures of modern history. Whereas Allied powers did nothing to directly prevent the Holocaust (except, of course, by winning the war against Germany), Pius was consistently and unreservedly critical of NAZI Germany and is credited with saving nearly a million Jews by siphoning them through local parishes into foreign nations. Jewish and world leaders fully recognized Pius' "heroic virtue" until his name was defiled by a seemingly KGB-sponsored German play which portrayed the Pope as a devotee of Hitler. The German government and Jewish leaders condemned the historical revision, but the myth (welcome among those who always welcome such derisive slurs) endures today.

I should hope that historians of good will might take the opportunity to repair the historical record and ensure that propaganda and soft bigotry do not prevail. Historical veracity has not defined the academic profession as regards Church history.

UPDATE: A commenter provided the following link to "a nearly-exhaustive list of articles and texts on this topic." The resource deserves front page coverage: http://popepiusxiiandthejews.blogspot.com/.

Categories > Religion

Discussions - 2 Comments

Just pointing you to a nearly-exhaustive list of articles and texts on this topic. Thanks for defending Pius XII --the tide seems to be turning away from the terrible calumny against him.

http://popepiusxiiandthejews.blogspot.com/

Not only did Pius12's Vatican do all it could to help the Jews they did all they could to help German civilians subected to attacks by the Red Army and refugees from the Soviet Union who were forcibly repatriated. The allied powers were silent about or complicit in these crimes.

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