Pius XII Clearly Assailed Nazism, Says Researcher

Didn't Remain Silent, Contends William Doino

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ROME, DEC. 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The second edition of "The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII" has hit the bookshelves.



The first edition, published by Lexington Books, sold out in U.S. bookstores.

Edited by Joseph Bottum, director of the books-and-arts section of the The Weekly Standard, and David Dalin, rabbi and history and political science professor at Ave Maria University, the publication is a compilation of 11 articles by philosophers, theologians, journalists, lawyers, historians and Holocaust specialists that respond with detail to the accusations against Pius XII.

In the work, William Doino presents a bibliography of books and articles on the relations between the Holy See and the Nazi regime, and the persecution of the Jews.

In a statement to ZENIT, Doino explained that in the bibliography he also added a detailed time line of each action undertaken by the Catholic Church to save the Jews from Nazi persecution in various countries.

To those who accuse the wartime Pope of remaining silent in the face of Nazi persecution of the Jews, Doino said flatly: "Pius XII did not remain silent."

"When he was the apostolic nuncio to Germany and secretary of state and above all when he was Pope, Pacelli denounced clearly and firmly the evils of his times, that is to say, racism, ethnic and racial hatred, exaggerated nationalism, war crimes and atrocities committed against civilians," Doino said.

Other critics admit that Pius XII did not remain silent, but they assert that his declarations were generic and without impact. They say that he did not have the courage to even say the word "Jew."

"This is false," said Doino.

"In his first encyclical, 'Summi Pontificatus,'" he said, "Pius XII not only mentioned the word 'Jew,' but he did so within the context of defending the human family. Quoting St. Paul, Pious XII wrote: "Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all and in all."

In the book, Doino sites articles of L'Osservatore Romano and transmissions of Vatican Radio in which Pius XII explicitly defends the Jew, mentioning them by name, before, during and after the war.

Moreover, in March 1940, during a private meeting with Joachim von Ribbentrop, Germany's foreign minister, Pius XII strongly condemned Nazi persecution of Catholics and Jews.

Doino also suggested that critics read what the Nazi papers wrote about the Holy Father. "It is clear that for the members of the National Socialist regime the words of Pious XII were clear; in fact, they accused him of being the 'spokesman for the Jews.'"

Regarding the thesis of Susan Zuccotti, who said Pius XII knew nothing of the many Catholics who aided the Jews, Doino called it "an absurd thesis." "The Pius War" amply documents the direct assistance that was coordinated by Pious XII in favor of the persecuted Jews all over Europe, according to Doino.

"I personally interviewed Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing" concluded Doino, "member of the anti-Nazi network in Rome, who told me that he would receive direct orders from Pius XII to hide and protect Jews."