In the October edition of Vanity Fair, there is an excerpt from a new book by the British author, John Cornwell. The book, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, will be published by Viking Press in October.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on the Vanity Fair article today:
“Scholarship which purports to be ground-breaking must offer evidence that is ground-breaking. On this score, John Cornwell fails miserably. His article is laced with conjecture and innuendo of the most scurrilous kind. Not satisfied to advance the old canard that Pius XII was ‘silent’ during the Holocaust, Cornwell now wants us to believe that the pope was an active agent servicing Hitler. Make no mistake about it, all of this is being done in an attempt to derail the beatification of this saintly man.
“In 1945, when the war was over, and again in 1958, when Pius XII died, the world Jewish community rightly acknowledged his heroism. They knew that no one did more to save Jews than Pope Pius XII. Cornwell offers no evidence that these Jews were fooled.
“Just last month, Lorenzo Cremonesi, Jerusalem correspondent for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, went public with a document that he found in the Israeli archives: in a letter dated October 27, 1945, Msgr. Montini (the future Pope Paul VI) gave a detailed account of a private audience between Pius XII and Leo Kubwitsky, then-secretary general of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). On behalf of the WJC, Kubwitsky gave Pius XII a gift that would be worth more than one million dollars in today’s currency; Kubwitsky expressed ‘his gratitude to the august pontiff for his work in support of persecuted Jews.’
“As for Vanity Fair, it is a sure bet that its editors would never publish an excerpt from a book that defends Pius XII.”