The Book-of-the-Month Club not only is selling John Cornwell’s book, Hitler’s Pope, it is hyping the book’s flawed thesis. Bob Lockwood took Club president William Byrnes to task for this outrageous slap at Catholics.

Lockwood commented that the book “was savaged by reviewers and historians alike for its poor use of history, exaggerated claims and false assumptions.” He offered as proofNewsweek’s esteemed religion writer Kenneth Woodward. Woodward noted that virtually every page of Cornwell’s book includes misstatements and errors of fact.”

Worse, Lockwood said, was the blurb that the Book-of-the-Month Club used in its catalog. It described the book as the “explosive story of the Pope who helped sweep the Nazis to power.” Lockwood replied that this is not only defamatory, “it smacks directly of an anti-Catholic agenda.” Ne noted, “Even Cornwell in all his faulty anti-Pius rhetoric makes no such blatant accusation, particularly as Pope Pius XII was not elected to the papacy until six years after Hitler assumed power in Germany.”

Lockwood ended by saying that the Book-of-the-Month Club would do well to consider reissuing one of its previous best-selling titles, John Toland’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Adolf Hitler. Toland had argued, “The Church, under the Pope’s guidance…saved the lives of more Jews than all other churches, religious institutions and rescue organizations combined.”

If you would like to write to Byrnes, you can do so at Book-of-the-Month Club, P.O. Box 6400, Indianapolis, IN 46206. You might ask him how a respectable organization like his could possibly advertise that Pius XII was responsible for sweeping Hitler to power when he wasn’t even pope at the time.

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