Wednesday, August 23, 2006

P-Mac: It Has NOTHING To Do With the Pope

Pat Mcilheran, rested and refreshed (although his picture did not change a whit) commends a review to our reading.

I will quibble with P-Mac's precis, however:

Gilbert’s review amounts to a summary of how wrong, exactly, is the modern notion that Pius XII was anti-Semitic.

From his work drafting Benedict XV’s 1915 denunciation of anti-Semitism, Eugenio Pacelli clearly stood for the liberty of Jews to live peacefully, recounts Gilbert. It was a record that continued through his 55 condemnations of Naziism while serving as the Vatican’s secretary of state right up to his face-to-face dressing-down of German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in 1940.

This reduction (although technically accurate) leaves the impression that the slandering of Pius XII is directed at Pius XII.

Not really. It's directed at the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, using the Pope as a proxy. The same weltanschauung applies to the prominent mentions that Benedict XVI was a member of Hitler Youth. But it wasn't B-16; it was his election by the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church that was being questioned.

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