The Myth of Hitler’s Pope
The Pastor Angelicus
Pius XII saved 860,000 Jews from certain death

The Vatican, Saint Peter’s Square, Rome

1 – Rome is in the image of Esau
Rome is an image of the Esau kingdom. Jacob’s jealous brother was treacherously robbed of his rights and promises, and he and his offspring were therefore consumed by jealousy and hatred. In the Jewish tradition Christendom is often compared to Esau. (1) No wonder, in view of the fact that the Christians, at times, have behaved in an extremely inimical manner towards the Jews. The ghettos were a papal invention. After the bull “Cum nimis absurdum” (1555), enunciating the absurdity of permitting the Jews to have access to our society and even to live among us, who through their own fault and because of all their doings would have been condemned by God to eternal slavery, Pope Paul IV ordered the segregation of Jews in ghettos, which subsequently sprang up everywhere in Europe, only to be rescinded in 1870. In this, he was following in the footsteps of Pope Eugene IV, who forbade (1442) Jews and Christians to eat together, something that matched up with no few decisions promulgated at an earlier date. The dictate issued by Paul IV also matched up with the “Canons of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, pertaining to the Jews”. Since the Jews had been accused of deicide in the second century, the anti-Jewish tendencies within the Christian church had taken on a significant role, but this did not become acute until Church and State came together in collaboration. And yet it is also possible to look back on another – contrary – tradition. The pope who took the lead here was Gregory the Great


(590-604). Of him, Jules Isaac says the following: “Pope Gregory the Great inaugurated with respect to the Jews, a policy of humanity, equity, and relative protection, which does him honor, and will do honor to popes after him; for a tradition was thus established from which many – but not all – would have the goodness of mind and heart to find their inspiration.” (2) I would point out that the bull “Sicut Judaeis” issued by Pope Calixtus II in the year 1120 offered a Charter of Protection that was subsequently introduced into Canon Law by Pope Clement III (1187-1191). This Charter was been taken up and elucidated by twenty Popes up until the fifteenth century. Yet there are many good examples of Popes who set themselves the task of defending the Jews, also in our recent history, notably during the last World War when four thousand Jews were able to find refuge in Italian monasteries. Nevertheless, the prevailing attitude was different. To quote Esther Dorflinger, a Jewish convert to Christianity, from an interview in “Ein Kerem” in May 1989: “Rarely have the Jewish people experienced love from the side of Christians. Actually, most Jews associate the Holocaust with Christendom.” So it should come as no surprise that the Esau-image is also the image of Christendom.

• The controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII, who is said to have been ‘on the wrong side” during the Second World War, has not yet by any means died down. This can be seen from the press cutting reproduced below. The erroneous opinions around this heroic pope need to be set to rights, something we are attempting to do with our article. All this slander must finally be stopped. Rehabilitation is called for. As far as we are concerned, the beatification process of the Pastor Angelicus can simply continue, as a precursor to his canonisation.

Jews' objections slow Pius XII’s path to sainthood (postulator) ROME 18-10-2008 (AFP news): Pope Benedict XVI has not signed the decree attesting to the heroic virtues of Pius XII, the first towards canonisation, “out of concern for maintaining good relations with Jews”, so told Father Peter Gumpel to the Italian news agency ANSA. He is the postulator in Pius XII’s case for sainthood. Pius XII was pontiff from 1939 to 1958, and is accused of having been passive towards the Nazi persecution of Jews. Earlier Benedict XVI defended the memory of Pius XII. The Vatican spokesman Frederico Lombardi considered “that a time for reflection would be appropriate.” Those opposing the beatification of Pope Eugenio Pacelli (the real name of the ‘war pope’) are to be found not only within the Jewish community but also inside the Catholic Church. “The Catholic Church does what it can to have good relations with Israel but friendly relations can only be built on reciprocity”, Gumpel said. “We see that the pope with a great sense of hospitality invited a rabbi to our synod and he abused our kindness by attacking Pius XII on three occasions. Of course the rabbi can say what he wants, but if he is our guest and he talks like that he doesn't help improve our relations”, Father Gumpel remarked. Shear-Yashuv Cohen, the grand rabbi of Haifa, Israel, told an Italian newspaper earlier this month: "We oppose the beatification of Pius XII. We cannot forget his silence on the Holocaust.”

There is also another side. For an impressive historical account of the actions of the Church to help her Jewish brethren, one should turn to the minutes of 5th February 1807, of the first and only convention of Napoleon’s Sanhedrin made up of 71 delegates of the Jewish faith. Next to institutional actions there were also many private actions of men and women who dissociated themselves from the hysteria of the populace. Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes’ Memorial Authority keeps records of the high-minded Gentiles who, irrespective of creed and family, risked their lives to save Jews during the Second World War. “Conscience & Cou-


rage” by Eva Fogelman gives a systematic account of why and how people, often of humble origin, at great risk to themselves and their families, helped Jews escape the Nazis.

2 - The voice of the Pope was raised for Hitler’s victims
This is the story of how a Pope helped to save a multitude of Jews during the Second World War. How Pope Pius XII was actively involved in the rescue of Jews is reported in “Pius XII and the Second World War - according to the Archives of the Vatican”, written by the Jesuit Pierre Blet and confreres. The original twelve-volume work was composed in the period between 1965 and 1982. In 1997 an abridged version was published. (3) It follows day by day and sometimes hour by hour the work of Pius XII and his close associates from May 1939, when the Germans marched into Prague – just three days after he was raised to the papacy – until the very end of the war. Included are his public announcements, speeches, messages, and letters exchanged with civil and ecclesiastical dignitaries, as well as details of his secret manoeuvring to forestall the ruin of Europe and to offer relief where possible. Recorded are both his own doubts about the possible extent of his actions as well as the vigorous praise of contemporary statesmen like Churchill. By his ‘scandalous silence’ Pius XII is alleged to have played into the hands of the German regime of thugs. In spite of the controversy that surrounds the theme, Father Blet’s account proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Pope did the right thing and demands our admiration. We have to take into account that not only the Jews were victims of the merciless Nazi persecution, but also many thousands of priests, other religious people and many more laymen because of their stand against the Nazis based on their Christian faith. This presented a great dilemma! Although the Pastor Angelicus evaded – had to evade- a head-to-head public confrontation with the Third Reich, he took many steps, especially via diplomatic channels, that worked out favourably. Nevertheless he was not only the ‘silent Pope’ for otherwise Golda Meir, the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, would not have stated in her public address at the United Nations on the day the Pope died in 1985: “When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims.” The Jewish compliments in his favour are commonly dealt with as coming from people who were not informed. The question is too vast to deal with within the scope of this article. Let the following suffice. Is it possible to say the same of Israel Zoller (or Zolli), who was the Chief Rabbi of Rome during the war years, that he was not abreast of things? At the end of war he became a Christian. On the occasion, on 13th February 1945 when, together with his family he received the sacrament of baptism from the hands of Monsignor Luigi Traglia, he adopted the Christian name of Eugenio in honour of and to show his gratitude towards Pope ‘Eugenio’ Pacelli who, through his exemplary conduct, had saved the lives of many Jews. According to the respected Jewish historian Pinchas Lapide, the Roman Church, under the pontificate of Pius XII, was instrumental in saving from certain death at least 700,000 but probably as many as 860,000 Jews, but this Zolli could not have known at the time! Lapide continues: “It was as if this crusade of rescue was meant to atone, in part, for the hateful teachings of the past.” (3) In Pius XII’s famous “Christmas message of 1942”, which The New York Times among others extolled, the Pope became the first figure of international stature to hint at what was turning into the Holocaust. He said, being surrounded by the German occupation force: “Mankind owes that vow – bent on bringing back society to its centre of gravity, which is the law of God – to the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of


their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline.” With this the Pope had also in mind the German concentration camps, although he was not and could not have been aware of the full extent of the horrors perpetrated there. During the war Auschwitz was an industrial town close to which was the death camp. The Jewish Council (which contained prominent figures from the Jewish community) heard what was happening in the camp via a Dutchman who worked in the town. The illegal newspaper “Het Parool” dated 27th September 1943 gives an exact description of what was going on (4): “Many people could not and would not believe this type of announcement”, says reporter Rob Trip, “even when all was plain to see. Al sorts of rumours were circulating during the war and this was just too bizarre. ‘But the facts speak for themselves, says Het Parool, these are not rumours. But the story was not placed on the front page. It was in the middle on the inside pages. The front page carried a story about governance of the country in a time of transition.” To illustrate that the Pope could not have known at that point in time of the systematic exterminations, I quote from a chapter (pp. 222-23) of Richard G. Davis' book “The Bombing of Auschwitz – Should the Allies have attempted it?” published in the year 2000 in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: «« In April 1944, the Anglo-American leadership had not yet come to a complete appreciation of Auschwitz’s function and location. Richard Breitman, of course, presents an irrefutable case that portions of the Allied governments possessed all the information necessary to deduce the exact site and role of the camp (complex) by mid-1943, if not before. He does not make the case that the Allies had fully analysed and appreciated this information. For example, the Ultra code-breakers at Bletchley Park had known about and routinely decrypted the series of German police reports that contained detailed data on the course of the Holocaust. However, the Ultra organization had limited resources and other intelligence-collection priorities. Consequently, it concentrated on bomb damage assessment data in the police messages and on other series of messages that had a more direct influence on military strategy and operations. Breitman does not show that those Allied leaders in a position to affect bombing policy were made aware of all the necessary information and were then confronted with a decision whether or not to take action. Naturally, some of the intelligence about the Holocaust did reach the leadership, and they reacted by authorizing various declarations and radio broadcasts denouncing it. Two additional circumstances, when joined with already held knowledge, finally prodded Churchill to intervene on 7 July 1944. First, the Vrba-Wetzler report, not available to the Anglo-American governments until June 1944, provided explicit, authoritative details of the horrors at Birkenau-Auschwitz, and summaries of it actually reached the hands of the highest leadership. Second, the Allied leadership knew of the Hungarian Jewish transports, begun in mid-May 1944, and could now begin to visualize their fate. »» See movie: “Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz (May 1944)” I also like to draw the attention to “The Auschwitz Protocols: about the teenager who exposed Auschwitz”. Rudolf Vrba and his fellow inmate escaped Auschwitz, carrying with them,


seared in their immediate memory, the true story of Auschwitz, which resulted in the writing of ‘The Auschwitz Protocols’ that helped to save hundred thousands of Hungarian Jews. The Pope, by his initiative, saved many Jewish lives, but this was not the case for the Roman Christian Church as a whole. Lapide quotes Friedrich Heer, with which I agree: «« Christian resistance to Hitler during the Third Reich, from the beginning, had the character of the unique, the undesirable (…) in 1945 the situation was so critical that only a gigantic attempt at concealment was (…) able to save and restore the face of official Christianity in Germany (…) I have to confess that all Catholics, from the highest to the lowest – priests, chaplains, laymen (anti-Semitic to this day) – are co-responsible for the mass murder of the Jews. »» (5) Yet there were notable exceptions to the collaboration with the Nazis of the German Catholic clergy, because there are always exceptions. See the witness of Father Goldmann. During the war period he served as a male nurse for the Waffen-SS. His autobiography was published as “The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann, OFM” (6)

3 – The Myth of Hitler’s Pope
John Cornwell, a well-known commentator on all matters that touch the Roman Catholic Church, gives in his villainous “Hitler’s Pope” (1999) (7) a shattering verdict on the Pope who was so courageous in helping the Jews. This book has been labelled defamation, and rightly so, by Father Georges Cottier, the Vatican’s Pro-Theologian. (8) Cornwell’s conclusions were allegedly based on the Archives of the Vatican, that in his case were made accessible to him. He could not help dig at Pope John Paul II in the same book as if, in a revival of the ultramontanism of Pius XII, he was to be held responsible for letting loose the schismatic forces within the Church – which places the writer among the modernists. Quibblers like Cornwell have been debunked by the well-documented book written in 2005 by Rabbi David Dalin: “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope - how Pope Pius XII rescued Jews from the Nazis.” (9) Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard University wrote in her appraisal of the book, printed on its back cover: «« David Dalin’s search for the truth about Pope Pius XII led him to the discovery that the tragedy of the Jewish people has been shamelessly exploited by foes of traditional religion. With righteous indignation, Dalin sets the record straight, documenting the dishonesty of Pius’s leading attackers and demonstrating that the wartime Pope was a friend and protector of the Jewish people in their time of greatest need. »» The truth of the matter is that Hitler hated the Pope. Through the research of the journalist Dan Kurzman, author of “The Bravest Battle: The Twenty-eight Days Of The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising”, it was discovered that the Pope was aware of an imminent order by Hitler to kidnap him and to seize the Vatican. The Vatican had actually begun forming a government in exile in the event this order was carried out. This was published in 2007 in his book “The Secret Plot”. In the autumn of 1943 the tide of battle started to turn against Germany. As the Russian army steadily advanced from the east, the western allied forces were bombing the German cities. As Hitler grew ever more desperate, he often proposed wildly


reckless and impractical schemes. One of those involved invading the Vatican. Dan Kurzman relates how a Hitler-Himmler order in 1943 to kidnap the Pope and seize Vatican files and treasures was twice delayed and finally undermined by a group of high German officers and officials in Rome. Those who foiled the plot were headed by SS-Obergruppenführer of the Waffen-SS, Karl Friedrich Otto Wolff. Near the end of the war Wolff tried to negotiate with Allen Dulles the surrender of the German forces in Italy code-named Operation Sunrise, which succeeded in reaching an agreement six days before the general capitulation of Germany on May 8, 1945. Dan Kurzman held extensive direct interviews with Karl Wolff, commandant for Italy at the time and Himmler's deputy, just prior to his death in 1984. Kurzman demonstrates that Hitler wanted the Vatican neutralised because he thought the Pope had aided the overthrow of Mussolini in 1943. In particular Hitler feared that the Church's leader would bring clearly into the open the Final Solution (the Holocaust) and try to obstruct the imminent deportation of Rome's Jews. Hitler was completely right as regards the latter. Because of what Pius did, he is named the “Defensor Civitatis” (protector of the city).

Hitler’s secret plot to seize the Vatican and kidnap the Pope New evidence has come available in 2009, based on the testimony of Niki Freytag Loringhoven, substantiating the account that Hitler had planned either to kidnap or to kill Pope Pius XII. Niki Freytag Loringhoven, 72, is the son of Colonel Wessel Freytag von Loringhoven, who during World War II worked in the High Command of the German Armed Forces. According to the testimony, days after Mussolini had been arrested at the orders of King Victor Emmanuel III, Hitler ordered the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (the Third Reich’s main security office) to devise a plot to punish the Italian people by kidnapping or murdering Pius XII as well as the king of Italy. Hearing of the project, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the German counter-intelligence service, informed his Italian counterpart, General Cesare Amè, during a secret meeting in Venice from 29th-30th July 1943. Also present were Erwin von Lahousen and Wessel Freytag von Loringhoven, who both worked in Section II of the German counter-intelligence, which dealt primarily with sabotage. Amè, upon returning to Rome, spread news of the plot to seize the Pope, in order to abort the scheme, a move that proved successful.

4 – The Pave the Way investigation
Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) is a non-sectarian organisation founded to remove obstacles between religions in order to foster cooperation and to end the misuse of religion to justify violence and terrorism. Mindful of this, they initiated an independent investigation of the papacy of Pius XII. They were themselves surprised by the results. Identifying the conflicting information about Pius XII’s actions during World War II, a continued source of discord between Jews and Catholics, they began interviewing eye-witnesses and gathering publicly available documentation and newspaper accounts. After spending over a year speaking to experts on both sides of the debate, PTWF President Gary Krupp, who is Jewish himself, discovered vast amounts of information, all of which was available to the public but simply not known. There are numerous newspaper accounts, it appears, which directly challenge the current negative view of this papacy. Part of the problem to reveal the truth is that during the war all important Vatican and papal actions had to remain secret and were delivered either by word of mouth or by code, but nevertheless a convincing argument can be put forward based on the public files. To date the investigation has uncovered many events that paint a picture entirely different from the one generally held and now made available on their website. (10) In the furtherance of their


mission, Gary and Meredith Krupp travelled to various countries to interview by video first-hand eye-witnesses, historians and other people of importance. They discovered that prior to the introduction of Hochhuth’s fictional play “The Deputy”, Jews and many Israeli leaders revered this Pope. Gary Krupp confirms: «« The information we have been gathering is completely independent of any official Vatican Archival records, which I do not believe is absolutely necessary to realize what happened during the war years. We have discovered many personal intercessions of Pope Pius XII that directly contradict the impression that he remained silent and did nothing to save Jewish lives. »» The video interview that took place in the first month of 2008 of the 95-year-old Monsignor Giovanni Ferrofino is a fine example of the work they have done. Early in 1942 Ferrofino delivered, along with the Vatican Ambassador to Haiti and the Dominican Republic Archbishop Maurilio Silvani, a personal verbal plea from Pope Pius XII, to General Rafael Trujillo to issue 400 visas to the Dominican Republic for Jews trying to escape Europe. The request was initially denied, and then the General reversed his decision after receiving the verbal plea from the Pope by stating “How can I deny my Pope?” This again shows Pius XII's personal and direct intervention.

5 - A Communist Plot
Actually, the campaign to smear Pope Pius was a Communist plot, the details of which were first revealed in an article in the National Review on 25th January 2007, written by Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking secret service man ever to have defected from the Soviet Bloc to the West (what follows is taken from this article in a condensed form, but verbatim). He was chief of the DIE, the Romanian equivalent of the American CIA or Russian KGB. (12) «« It all started in February 1960 when the President of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, approved a super-secret plan for destroying the Vatican’s moral authority in Western Europe. Moscow wanted the Vatican discredited by its own priests, on its home territory, as a bastion of Nazism. Because Pius XII had served as the Papal Nuncio in Munich and Berlin when the Nazis were beginning their bid for power, the KGB wanted to depict him as an anti-Semite who had encouraged Hitler’s Holocaust. And it was Pacepa who was instructed to approach the Vatican under the guise of restoring diplomatic relations between Romania and the Vatican, in order to have access to the Vatican archives. In actual fact, no incriminating material against the pontiff ever turned up in all the secretly photographed documents. In 1963, General Ivan Agayants, the famous chief of the KGB’s disinformation department, told Pacepa that the plot had materialised into a powerful play attacking Pope Pius XII, entitled “Der Stellvertreter” (The Deputy), an oblique reference to the Pope as Christ’s representative on earth. Agayants took credit for the outline of the play, and told Pacepa that it had voluminous appendices of background documents put together by his experts with the help of the documents purloined from the Vatican. It was presented as having been written by Rolf Hochhuth, an unknown writer, and was to be produced by Erwin Piscator, a devoted Communist who had a long-standing relationship with Moscow. In 1929 he had founded the Proletarian Theater in Berlin, then sought political asylum in the Soviet Union when Hitler came to power, and a few years later had ‘emigrated’ to the United States. In 1962 Piscator, not known for his Communist leanings, returned to West Berlin to produce “Der Stellvertreter”. The central theme of the play was that Pius XII had supported Hitler and encouraged him to go ahead with the Jewish Holocaust. Nothing could be further from the truth.


The play ignited a huge controversy around Pius XII, who was depicted as a cold, heartless man more concerned about Vatican property than about the fate of Hitler’s victims. The original text represented an eight-hour play, backed by what Hochhuth called “historical documentation”. In a newspaper article published in Germany in 1963, Hochhuth defends his portrayal of Pius XII, saying: “The facts are there – forty crowded pages of documentation in the appendix to my play.” In a radio interview given in New York in 1964, when “The Deputy” opened there, Hochhuth said: “I considered it necessary to add to the play a historical appendix, fifty to eighty pages” (depending on the size of the print). In the original edition, the appendix is entitled “Historische Streiflichter” (historical sidelights). “Der Stellvertreter” has been translated into some twenty languages, drastically cut and with the appendix usually omitted. During its first ten years of its life the play generated a flurry of books and articles, some accusing and some defending the pontiff. Some went so far as to lay the blame for the Auschwitz atrocities on the Pope’s shoulders, some meticulously tore Hochhuth’s arguments to shreds, but all contributed to the huge attention this rather stilted play received in its day. Today (writes Pacepa) many people who have never heard of “Der Stellvertreter” are sincerely convinced that Pius XII was a cold and evil man who hated the Jews and helped Hitler do away with them; as KGB chairman Yury Andropov, the unparalleled master of Soviet deception, used to tell me, people are more ready to believe smut than holiness… »» (See also the Zenit article of August 2012: “The Truth About PIUS XII.Zenit.120816”) Hubert Luns
[Published in “De Brandende Lamp”, 4th quarter 2008 - No 116]


Who or what is Babylon, that great city, the mother of all whores? (1) In the early centuries Rome was compared by the Christians to ancient Babylon, as witness the parting words of the first epistle of St. Peter: “She (the Christian church) in Babylon greets you.” The city originally so named was at the time an insignificant hamlet. In my view this letter is from the year 59. The apostle Peter – in fact the first pope – (Mt. 16:18; Jn. 21:15-19) was crucified in Rome during the festivities held in 64 AD when many Christians were martyred (M. Guarducci / see Wikipedia under ‘Saint Peter’). This happened following the great fire of Rome for which Emperor Nero blamed the Christians. In its symbolic meaning Babylon occurs in the New Testament only in Revelations, particularly chapters 17:4- 6 and 18: «« The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: “MYSTERY, BAYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (…) And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. »» There has been a great deal of speculation about who this great whore should be. Many think that she symbolises Rome, ancient Rome, where evil reigned supreme. This image is also projected into the future in a usual Protestant explanation. Who else could it be but the Roman Church, the Vatican? At least, that is what they say: drunk on the blood of saints via the Inquisition. The Inquisition murdered hundreds of thousands, if not millions. But that is an even worse twisting of the facts than to say that Pius XII was “Hitler’s pope”. It also fails to fit the final verse of Revelations 17, where it is said that she has mastery over the earthly kings. It is precisely the opposite. She is currently weighed down under the despotism of a secularised and God-hating society – and it is today, now, in this time, at which the prophecy is aimed. Revelations 11:8 also speaks of the great city: “And their dead bodies will lie in the streets of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified”. Here the great city is suddenly Jerusalem. There remains but one explanation: Babylon, the great city, situated on the many waters of the peoples, masses, nations, and languages, is the image of the world. As too the heavenly Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-2: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (2) Quote taken from “The Anguish of the Jews” by Edward Flannery # 1985, who refers to “Genèse” (p. 234) from the French author Jules Isaac. (3) “Pius XII and the Second World War – according to the archives of the Vatican” by Pierre Blet SJ - Paulist Press, USA # 1997. The book is also available in French: “Pie XII et la Seconde Guerre mondiale d’après les archives du Vatican” - Librairie Académique Perrin (LAP) # 1997. (4) “The Last Three Popes and the Jews” by Pinchas E. Lapide - Souvenir Press, London # 1967 (pp. 214-15). One of those three popes is John XXIII whom the writer calls a “Pope of the Jews”. He knew him personally. Just after finishing the article I stumbled across the following news item, which I would like to share with you: «« ROME, Nov. 4, 2008 (Zenit.org) - The founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation wants Pope John XXIII to receive the honorary title given to those who took extraordinary measures to save Jews from the Holocaust. Baruch Tenembaum is proposing that the Italian Pope be given the title "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. “If we fail to declare Pope John XXIII as Righteous Among the Nations, our kids will be the ones who will do that”, he said. The Jewish leader’s appeal comes as the Church has just marked the 50th anniversary of John XXIII's election to the See of Peter, on October 28, 1958. Tenembaum noted that before being elected Pope, Bishop Angelo Roncalli “interceded in favor of the Bulgarian Jews before King Boris of Bulgaria and he did the same before the

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government of Turkey in favor of the Jewish refuges that had escaped to their country. He also did everything possible to prevent the deportation of Jews from Greece and he became a source of information for the Vatican as far as the annihilation of millions of Jews of Poland and Eastern Europe was concerned. (…) During the time he was stationed as the apostolic delegate of the Vatican in Istanbul in 1944, he organized the rescue of Jews and other people who were persecuted by the Nazis”, he continued. “Thanks to his actions, thousands of people who were condemned to death had their lives saved. His deeds and historic figure is therefore close to many other diplomat rescuers from the Holocaust.” The foundation founder also lauded the advances made in Jewish-Catholic dialogue under the guidance of John XXIII: “A new era in Catholic-Jewish dialogue started when John XXIII was elected Pope.” »» (5) From “De Oorlog” (The War) Vol. 5 # 2009, a Dutch television series about World War II. (6) “Zur Frage der Freiheit” by Friedrich Heer - Vienna # 1962; also “Commonweal” # Febr. 20, 1964, quoted by Lapide on p. 241. (7) “The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann OFM - an autobiography” - Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago # 1964. German edition: “Tödliche Schatten – Tröstendes Licht” - ND-Freundeskreis Bergisch Gladbach # 1994. (8) “Hitler’s Pope – the secret history of Pius XII” by John Cornwell - Viking (Penguin Group), London # 1999. (9) Georges Cottier, born in 1922, joined the Dominican Order. He was a professor at the Universities of Geneva and Fribourg. In 1989 he became Secretary of the International Theological Commission. In 1990 he was nominated Pro-Theologian of the Pontifical Household (the confident of the pope). In 2003 he became Titular Archbishop and was proclaimed Cardinal in the same year. (10) “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope – how Pope Pius XII rescued Jews from the Nazis” by Rabbi David G. Dalin - Regnery Publ., Washington D.C. # 2005. (11) The papacy project is on the Pave the Way Foundation website: http://www.ptwf.org/ (in Homepage click “Projects”; then, within Education, click “Pope Pius XII”). Below are some of the in-depth interviews made available on their website: a) PTWF Audience with Pope Benedict XVI on June 18, 2008. b) Interview with Sir Martin Gilbert, one of the World's most respected historians on WWII. c) Interview with Vatican Historian Father Peter Gumpel SJ, which answers many of the essential questions. d) Interview with Bishop Sergio Pagano, Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives who explains why these archives have not been opened yet. The reason is that it is an incredibly vast enterprise to catalogue everything, which takes time, much time. e) Interview with Monsignor Giovanni Ferrofino, who was 96 year old at the time of the interview. As a priest he personally carried out the verbal directives of Pope Pius XII to save Jews during the war period. f) Radio Vatican interview with Jewish survivors. g) Video interview of Michael Tagliacozzo, an Israeli Jew saved by the Vatican in Rome and archivist to the largest collection of documents of the war concerning Italy in the Beth Lohame Haghettaot in Israel. (12) Pacepa wrote a book about his experiences. It has been published in 27 countries and tells of the intrigues of Communism. It is “Red Horizons – chronicles of a Communist spy chief” by Ion Mihai Pacepa - Regnery Publ., Washington D.C. # 1987 / William Heinemann, London # 1988.

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•    Napoleon’s  Grand  Sanhedrin  expresses   itself  favourable  to  the  'Sovereign  Pontiffs'  
The most prestigious member of the Grand Sanhedrin called by Napoleon to reply to the twelve questions of civil and administrative law was without doubt Abraham de Cologna, who – incidentally – was to be President of the Jewish Community until 1826 and the first Chief Rabbi of France. The Grand Sanhedrin was held in the Paris town hall during the month of February 1807. David Paul Drach, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, and who had previously been sure of being appointed to the post of Chief Rabbi of Paris, wrote of the Sanhedrin in 1844 (taken from “De l’harmonie entre l’Église et la Synagogue”, note 40 in volume 1, pp. 237- 41): «« (…) One has to do justice to the fact that at all times the Jews have recalled with sincere recognition that in the various vicissitudes of their dispersed nation they have constantly been given refuge and protection by the Catholic clergy. They made use of their first assembly (after their dispersion among the peoples of the earth) with an official character – that called by Napoleon – to solemnly give public thanks to the Sovereign Pontiffs (the popes) as also to the prelates and other members of the clergy. It will certainly not be said that they were influenced (the Revolution vowed to be against the Church). This little-known action (which is certainly the case even now, more than two centuries later) deserves to be welcomed in as part of history. It was placed in the archives of the Ministry of Religions. This is the text of that important piece, transcribed in its entirety in the minutes of the sitting of 5th February 1807: • The deputies of the Empire of France and of the Kingdom of Italy at the Hebrew Synod, decree dated 30th May last, overwhelmed with gratitude for the successive benefits enjoyed from the Christian clergy in past centuries in favour of the Israelites in various European States; • Full of recognition for the welcome accorded by various Pontiffs and several other ecclesiastical figures at different times to Israelites from a variety of countries, while the union of barbarism, prejudice and ignorance persecuted and expelled the Jews from their societies; • Decree that the expression of these sentiments shall be set down in the record of today’s’ meeting in order that it should always remain as an authentic witness of the gratitude of the Israelites towards this assembly for the benefits accorded to the generations that have gone before them by the ecclesiastical representatives of the various European countries; • Further decree that a copy of these sentiments be sent to His Excellence the Minister of Religions. »» This decree, writes Drach, was adopted following an extremely remarkable speech by Monsieur Isaac-Samuel Avigdor, Deputy of (the ‘Département’) of Alpes-Maritimes, from which we quote the following extract: «« St. Athanasius, Book I writes: “It is an execrable heresy to want to take by force, by blows, by imprisonment, those that one has not been able to convince by reason.” “There is

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nothing” – says St. Justin Martyr, Book V – “more contrary to religion than coercion.” “Shall we persecute”, asks St. Augustine, “those whom God tolerates?” Lactantius, Book III, said on the subject: “Religion is not forced religion: we must persuade, not compel; religion does not command.” St. Bernard says: “Advise and do not force”. Thus, because Christian morality teaches everywhere love of neighbour and brotherhood, ignorance and prejudice usually have only led to harassment and persecution of which you have often been the victims. This is so true that these ‘sublime’ virtues of humanity and justice have often been practiced by truly learned Christians, especially by the worthy ministers of this pure morality that calms the passions and insinuates the virtues. It is because of these sacred principles of morality in different times that the Romans Pontiffs have protected and upheld in the (Papal) States ‘Jews persecuted and expelled from various parts of Europe’, and that clergy of all countries have often defended them in several states in this part of the world. Towards the middle of the seventh century, St. Gregory defended the Jews and protected them throughout the Christian world. In the tenth century, the bishops of Spain opposed in the strongest possible manner those who wished to slaughter them. Pope Alexander II wrote to his bishops full of praise for the wise behaviour they had shown in this matter. In the eleventh century, the bishops gave great numbers of Jews in the diocese of Uzès and Clermont their powerful protection. St. Bernard defended them in the twelfth century from the fury of the Crusaders. Innocent II and Alexander III also protected them. In the thirteenth century, Pope Gregory IX preserved them – in England, France and Spain – from the great misfortunes with which they were threatened: he forbade, under pain of excommunication, the forcing of their consciences and the disturbance of their festivals. Clement V did more than protect them: he facilitated means of instruction. Clement VI granted them asylum in Avignon (the Pope's residence at the time), while they were being persecuted in the rest of Europe. Towards the middle of the same century (the fourteenth), the Bishop of Speyer prevented the release (of Jews from the Bishop’s palace where they had sought refuge) that the debtors of the Jews demanded by force under the pretext of usury so often renewed. In the subsequent centuries, Nicolas II wrote to the Inquisition to prevent the Jews being forced to embrace Christianity. Clement XIII calmed the concerns of fathers alarmed about the fate of their children, who were often snatched from the bosom of their own mothers. It would be easy to cite a host of other charitable actions of which, a various times, the Israelites were the object of the clergy instructed in the duties educated men and those of their religion. The keen sense of humanity alone could, in all past ages of ignorance and barbarism, provide the courage it took to defend unhappy men, abandoned barbarously to the mercy of horrible hypocrisy and fierce superstition. These virtuous men could, however, at most, only hope of their philanthropic courage this sweet inner satisfaction that works of fraternal charity raise up in pure hearts. (To which Drach adds:) “For a religious community to forget that there is something beyond the grave is a strange aberration”.

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The people of Israel, always unhappy, and almost always suppressed, never had either the means or the opportunity to manifest its gratitude for the many blessings; a recognition that is particularly sweet to bear witness to in that Israel owed it to disinterested and doubly respectable men. For eighteen centuries, the circumstance in which we find ourselves (here and now) is the only one that has presented itself to let be known the feelings that have penetrated our hearts. This great and happy occasion, which we owe to our august and immortal emperor, is also the most convenient, the most beautiful, the most glorious, to express to the philanthropists of every nation, including the clergy, our full gratitude to them and to their predecessors. Let us then hasten, gentlemen, to enjoy this memorable epoch, and pay them the just tribute of gratitude we owe them, ringing in this forum the expression of our entire gratitude: let us witness with solemnity our sincere thanks for the blessings with which they have filled successive generations who have preceded us. (The report ends:) The Assembly applauded the speech of Mr. Avigdor: those assembled deliberated for inclusion in full in the minutes, as well as the printing, and adopted the decree that follows. »» «« Such (writes Drach) was the spirit of the meeting, the official organ of the Jewish Nation. The current Pope (Gregory XVI), a sovereign with a sensitive heart, large, magnanimous, merciful, deals so positively with the Jews of Rome, that as a token of their appreciation they voted him a magnificent gift, consisting of a volume of various models of Hebrew calligraphy, covered with a binder, the finishing work of which made one forget the richness of the gold. All the newspapers at the time gave a description of this magnificent volume. All parts of this collection are poetic compositions celebrating the virtues of the “prince who is favourable to the dispersed tribe of Judah”, and prayers for the preservation and prosperity of the Sovereign “father who is so good to all his subjects”. What the Roman Jews expressed in this volume, they like to repeat with a profound sensitivity in all their conversations with Christians. At the beginning of this year (1843), the Tiber flooded the Jewish quarter of Rome. During this disaster, every day the Holy Father sent boats full of abundant supplies to the large Jewish population, who had taken refuge in the upper floors of their houses. »»


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