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Hitler's Pope by John Cornwell

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  • DickMcManus
    In the early 1930s, Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (who became Pope Pius XII) spent much of his time
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 15, 2013

      In the early 1930s, Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli  (who became Pope Pius XII) spent much of his time negotiating treaty (aka concordat) between the Vatican and Weimar Republic.  It guaranteed the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany.  This treaty was signed on July 20, 1933.  Pope Pius XII became pope on the eve of WWII.  


      Pope Pius XII (Pacelli) did not like the Catholic Centre Party and the Bavarian Catholic Party because he feared this would lead to uncontrollable democratization of the Catholic Church in Germany with its 23 million Catholics, catholic universities, and 400 catholic newspapers.  And this democratization would lead to socialism and communism.


      In October 1929, German military chaplains were denied the ability to administer the sacraments of baptism or matrimony without first obtaining the permission of the local priest or bishop.  Because Italy had signed a comprehensive concordat with the Vatican, its Army's leading chaplain was a Catholic Archbishop.  The concordat meant the Vatican had the right to impose cannon law on all German Catholics.  


      The Catholic Centre Party membership voted for the Enabling Act of 1933 making Hitler a dictator.   After this vote, under the influence of Pacelli, the Catholic Centre Party disbanded itself with the blessing of the Vatican.  As a result the only way Catholics could take part in the politics of German was to joined the Nazi party.


      By the early 1940s, Germans know what Hitler is up to.  Pope Pius XII had no love of fascism.  He finally did speak out against the Holocaust on Christmas 1942 after six months of massive intelligence about the final solution.  This was the only time he did so and it was way too late.   In July 1942 it was publish in the New York Times and in London that millions of Jew had been killed.  In the fall of 1942 President Roosevelt sent an envoy to pled to the Pope to speak out.  Afterwards, he did speak up, but he doesn't mention the millions being murdered, but scales it down to "hundreds of thousand by nationality or race," but didn't mention the Jews.   This was the only time Pope Pius XII spoke against the "gradual extinction."  Later he took credit for speaking out against the genocide, he lied.


      The Vatican argues that Pius XII worked quietly behind the scenes because direct interventions might have worsened the situation for Jews and Catholics in Europe, but this is false according to historian John Cornwell who was granted access to Vatican historical documents.


      The Vatican had begun the beatification process of Pius XII in October 1967. On 8 May 2007, the majority of the members of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints recognized the "heroic virtues" of Eugenio Pacelli. The file was then to be submitted to Benedict XVI for the purpose of signing the decree declaring him "venerable."


      On 19 December 2010, Pope Benedict XVI authorized the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to promulgate the decree acknowledging the "heroic virtues" of two of his predecessors, Pius XII Beatification is the first major step towards sainthood. Pope had declared "venerable" his predecessor Pius XII.  (Source:  Hitler's Pope by John Cornwell)

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