As everyone who reads Catalyst knows, we adamantly reject the argument that Pope Pius XII was “silent” and did nothing to help Jews during the Holocaust. Indeed, our bottom line is that no one did more to help Jews. It is particularly offensive when young children are taught lies about Pius and that is why we quickly jumped on a tip given to us by Brother Duffy from St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, New York.

Brother Duffy alerted us to a Social Studies Activity Book on the Holocaust published by Mark Twain Media, Inc. The publication, called Holocaust, is used in grades 5-8. There was one paragraph in a section entitled, “The Nazi View of Religion and Race,” that greatly disturbed us. The topic sentence in the objectionable paragraph began, “Neither Pope Pius XI or his successor, Pius XII, did much to oppose Hitler or protest what he was doing to Jews.”

We protested maintaining that this is an extremely contentious point of view that many scholars regard as nothing but propaganda. In fact, we branded it “libelous.” No matter what, we said, it certainly has no place in what is supposed to be an objective account.

Members will be glad to know that the president of Mark Twain Publishing, Harry D. Emrick, has contacted us saying it will be deleted in the next edition. He apologized for what happened and has notified the author of his decision.

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