S+L logo

Holy Land: Disappointment at the Yad Vashem Memorial

November 14, 2008
popepius_xii-1.jpgAs moving as the visit to Yad Vashem was for me, I was deeply disappointed to see the widely reported text that condemns Pope Pius XII.  The controversial display slams Pope Pius for not making enough of an effort to save Jews.  The display is small, the text brief, and for such a complicated and controversial manner I found it to be irresponsible for the museum to publish what they did.  Unfortunately, now they are contributing to an anti Pius XII campaign --  a campaign that is more fashionable today, than it is based on fact.
A staunch defender of Pius XII, Sister Margherita Marchione, MPF, has spoken out about the display.  Here is the statement from Yad Vashem, with Sister's comments italicized:"
"Pius XII's reaction toward the killing of Jews during the period of the Holocaust is controversial. In 1933, as the Vatican Secretary of State, in order to maintain the rights of the Church in Germany, he signed a Concordat with the Nazi regime even at the price of recognizing the racist Nazi regime. When he was elected Pope in 1939, he put aside an encyclical against racism and anti-Semitism prepared by his predecessor."
Pius XII wrote his own encyclical, Summi Pontificatus, which did deal with racism.
"Although reports about the assassination of Jews reached the Vatican, the Pope did not protest either by speaking out or in writing."
This is not true. Whenever Pius XII spoke out, there was immediate retaliation by the Nazis. There were more than 60 protests!
"In December of 1942, he did not participate in the condemnation by members of the Allies regarding the killing of Jews. Even when the Jews were being deported from Rome to Auschwitz, the Pope did not intervene."
The Pope did indeed intervene. After that first day, the SS were ordered to stop the deportation of the Jews in Rome.
"He maintained a neutral position except toward the end of the war when he appealed on behalf of the government of Hungary and of Slovakia. His silence and the absence of directives obliged the clergy in Europe to decide independently how they should behave toward the persecuted Jews."
This is not true. Members of the Church were ordered to protect all refugees and Jews.
To read Sister's full article click HERE.  She's also featured in the new S+L documentary Hand of Peace: Pope Pius XII & the Holocaust.  The documentary premieres Sunday, November 23rd at 9pm on our network -- be sure to watch it for a full picture of the controversy and to learn the efforts that the Pope took to save Jews.

Related posts

Deacon-structing the Mass | Part 2: The Entrance
FacebookTwitter
Last week we learned that it is our right to fully, actively, and consciously participate in the Mass. How can we do that if we don’t know what everything means? Over the next couple of weeks I hope ...read more
Encore SLHour: Perfectly Human and other great conversations
FacebookTwitter
This week, on a special edition of the SLHour, Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky tells us about working with persons with disabilities, and we learn all about the new Family Theater Productions series Catholic Cen ...read more
Why does a Toronto church have a heart in its wall? Read about this and other great stories from this week's news on Noel Ocol's Weekly News Round-Up. ...read more
"We all are in this boat together" : A Reflection on the Current Crisis in the Church
FacebookTwitter
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., reflects on the current crisis in the Church, the Vatican's response, and how we can learn from this in the future. ...read more
Read all about the famous shrine at Knock, Ireland, which Pope Francis will visit on Sunday, August 26th, during his trip to the World Meeting of Families. ...read more
For Cindy Wooden, a distinguished Vatican journalist, Pope Francis is a dream and a nightmare. Watch this #TFImoment to find out why! ...read more
Health Food for the Soul
FacebookTwitter
"You are what you eat." Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, reflects on the meaning of Jesus' command to eat his flesh and drink his blood. ...read more
President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of a statement from the president of the USCCB regarding the current "moral catastrophe" in the Catholic Church. ...read more
Vatican responds to Pennsylvania Grand Jury abuse report
FacebookTwitter
On Thursday evening, the Director of the Holy See Press Office issued the following statement regarding the report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury. ...read more