Pius XII's Aid to Jews Was So Great That It Stirred Protests
New Revelations of Vatican Archives, Analyzed by Historian
ROME, JULY 5, 2004 (Zenit) - Documentation from the Vatican Secret Archives has revealed that Pope Pius XII's wartime assistance to Jews was so great that it stirred protests in some Catholic circles.
This is confirmed in letters published together with the registers of the Vatican Information Office on Prisoners of War, established by Pius XII, with the title "Inter Arma Caritas."
Press agencies published one of the letters reproduced in Volume 2, pages 950-951, sent to the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Luigi Maglione, on July 21, 1943, by Archbishop Andrea Cassulo, apostolic nuncio in Romania, in which he referred to "some protests."
Bishop Agostino Pacha of Timisoara, Romania, wrote that in his community there were protests, "as the greater part of messages transmitted to this nunciature are for persons of the Jewish race," to the point that he spoke of the Holy See's "preference" for Jews.
Archbishop Cassulo presented a copy of a letter in Latin, written by a Monsignor Tacha, in which he spoke about the protests of his faithful -- 78% of whom were of German origin -- who accused the Church "openly and publicly" of supporting and having good relations with the Jews, "enemies of the Germanic people."
In the letter, the apostolic nuncio explained that he sent a circular to the Romanian bishops in which he clarified the reasons for the Holy See's assistance "not taking into account any political consideration or any nationality or race." In the missive, the nuncio asked the secretary of state to advise him what he should do.
In order to understand better these new discoveries of the Vatican archives, we interviewed Father Peter Gumpel, a historian and expert on the matter.
Q: What do the recently published Vatican archives say about the Holy See's relation with Jews and about the protests of some Catholic circles?
Father Gumpel: First of all, it must be recognized that the Catholic Church carried out an enormous work of assistance to Jews.
A. Safran, the rabbi of Romania, expressed on various occasions his gratitude to the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Andrea Cassulo.
On April 7, 1944, he wrote him this message: "In these hard times, our thoughts go more than ever to what the Supreme Pontiff has done in favor of Jews in general and to Your Excellency in favor of Romania and Transylvania. These deeds will never be forgotten." [See Civiltŕ Cattolica, 1961, Volume 3, p. 462]
Moreover, in Volume 10, pages 428-429, of the "Minutes and Documents of the Holy See Relating to the Second World War," in a message sent by Archbishop Cassulo to Monsignor Domenico Tardini [a future secretary of state], the full article appears which was published by the Romanian newspaper Mantuirea, in which Rabbi Safran recounts how, thanks to the interventions of the nuncio and "with the help of God, he succeeded in having no more deportations take place."
Q: What can you say about the protests of Catholics because of the Holy See's help to Jews?
Father Gumpel: The work of assistance to the victims of war and to Jews, ordered in particular by Pius XII, was so extensive and intense that it caused surprise even among some ecclesiastics.
When Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli himself [the future Pope John XXIII], who did so much for the Jews, was apostolic delegate in Turkey, after the umpteenth recommendation by the Holy See to help and foster the Jewish emigration to Palestine, he wrote these words to Maglione on September 4, 1943: "I confess that this sending by the Holy See of Jews to Palestine, which seems a reconstruction of the Jewish Kingdom, beginning by making them leave Italy, causes me some uncertainty in spirit."
Q: Do the testimonies contained in "Inter Arma Caritas" contribute something new?
Father Gumpel: These new historical tendencies deny definitively many articles on the alleged silence and insensibility of Pope Pius XII in regard to the Jews. As can be seen, there were people who criticized the Pontiff for doing too much for the Jews.
Also denied are theses, such as Susan Zuccotti's, according to which the work of assistance to Jews was the result of individual actions, of which Pius XII knew nothing.
From all the correspondence of the nuncios, it is obvious that the work of assistance was determined, directed and organized directly by Pope Pius XII.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Pope, Jews, Vatican, Archives, Catholic
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Friday, March 24, 2017
- Why is this 14-foot statue of Our Lady underwater?
- Outrage as Catholic University erected CROSSES on their own property ...
- What happened during the London terror attack? HD Video
- St. Aldemar: Saint of the Day for Friday, March 24, 2017
- 'Living Lent': Friday of the Third Week of Lent - Day 24
- Daily Reading for Saturday, March 25th, 2017 HD Video
- Pope Francis prays for Westminster terror attack victims HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, March 24th, 2017 HD
- Adorable girl captured stealing Pope Francis' hat in hilarious footage HD
- Supreme court nominee faces tough questions on religious freedom during confirmation hearings HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.