Friday, December 08, 2006

Ha'aretz v. Pius XII

As the linked article at First Things points out, bashing Pius XII's supposed 'inactivity' regarding the Holocaust during WWII is almost like 'whack-a-mole.' One distortion appears and gets corrected, only for another one to appear, etc., etc.

So the latest one appeared, published in Ha'aretz. The author claims that Cdl. Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII), as Vatican emissary, privately complained about Pius XII's lack of actions.

Maybe. More likely not:

Much of this new attack on Pius depends on the timing of the Auschwitz Protocols. Barlas and Roncalli were not alone in receiving the report: It was widely distributed among diplomats and political leaders—and one portion was actually conveyed to the O.S.S. in 1943, meaning the Allies had a sense of it a full year before any Vatican official knew about it.

A key part of Porat’s use of Barlas involves the claim that the Vatican received the Auschwitz Protocols in May 1944, rather than in October, as scholars had believed till now. But, as the Czech historian Miroslav Kárný notes, not Roncalli but Giuseppe Burzio, a Vatican official in Bratislava, sent the Auschwitz Protocols on May 22, but the report did not arrive at the Vatican until the second half of October, as the official Vatican edition of the document shows.

...The only document from Roncalli at the time recorded in Actes et Document is dated June 29, 1944, and was sent to Bernardini in Berne, who then forwarded it to Maglione: a request for the Holy See to do something in favor of the Hungarian Jews. But already, five days before this plea, on June 25, 1944, Pius XII had sent his open telegram to Admiral Horthy: “We are being beseeched in various quarters to do everything in our power in order that, in this noble and chivalrous nation, the sufferings, already so heavy, endured by a large number of unfortunate people,...

Even before that, on June 2, 1944, in an address to the College of Cardinals, Pius XII declared: “To one sole goal our thoughts are turned, night and day: How may it be possible to abolish such acute suffering, coming to the relief of all without distinction of nationality and race, and how we may help toward restoring peace at last to tortured humanity.” The allocution was published on the front-page of L’Osservatore Romano the following day—almost a month before the alleged Barlas-Roncalli activity. As William Doino asks in his analysis of the Haaretz article: “This is indifference? This is silence?”

Pius XII did not have tanks or troops--but he had (and used) Church offices, convents, rectories, and even falsified Baptismal records, all over Europe, to assist persecuted Jews in escaping from the Nazis.

It's likely that Roncalli's quoted comments were 'politically made,' assuaging some parties--while at the same time Roncalli knew that Pius XII was doing as much as possible.

It would be nice if people would simply get off Pius' case.


Anonymous said...

You know 'Accuser', in Hebrew, is rendered as 'Satan'..

Anonymous said...

I simply fail to see why the Vatican was obliged to do anything about the Jews at all. It's a Catholic institution, and the way I see it it's not a division of the United Nations or Amnesty International.

In any case, the attacks on the pope are based on the assumption that there was a 'Holocaust.' The real reason the Vatican did nothing was because it was known there that the extermination allegations were false, nothing more than atrocity propaganda.