Catholic League members know that one of our perennial issues is protecting and defending the good name of Pope Pius XII, who occupied the Chair of Peter during the dark days of World War II, from his detractors.
Those detractors, of course, continue to claim that Pius XII was silent during the Holocaust and did nothing to help Jews, and even tag him with the labels “Hitler’s Pope” and “Nazi collaborator.” All of this flies in the face of history, but Pius’ detractors persist nonetheless. With investigations into Pius’ possible canonization in high gear, we would not be surprised if the attacks against him were to grow louder and more frequent.
So when we found out that a middle school teacher in Lake Bluff, Illinois gave an assignment to her students pinpointing the people who were responsible for the Holocaust—listing Pius XII alongside of such monsters as Himmler and Goebbels—we swung into action.
We sent a letter of protest to the principal and copies of the Catholic League volume on Pope Pius XII, as well as Rabbi David Dalin’s work The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, to the teacher. Both of these publications show clearly that during World War II, Pope Pius XII was one of the best friends European Jews had.
What we got back was a very grateful and professional response from the teacher. She had no idea that the pope had played such an important role in seeking to undermine Hitler and rescue hundreds of thousands of Jews. She merits an “A” in our book.