The League’s April 10, 2001 ad on Pius XII in the New York Times.

Here’s what the New York Times said about Pius XII during the war:

  • “If the Pope in his Christmas message had intended to condemn Hitler’s system, he could not have done it more effectively than by describing the ‘moral order’ which must govern human society.” (editorial, December 25, 1940)
  • “The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas.” (editorial, December 25, 1941)
  • Catholic Church leaders “are virtually the only Germans still speaking up against the Nazi regime.” (news article, June 8, 1942)
  • “This Christmas more than ever he [Pius XII] is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent.” (editorial, December 25, 1942)
  • Vatican Radio is quoted saying, “He who makes a distinction between Jews and other men is unfaithful to God and is in conflict with God’s commands.” (news article, June 27, 1943)
  • Commenting on the 1,200 German priests interned at Dachau, the Times says, “The arrests are linked with strong anti-Nazi and anti-war movements in the predominantly Roman Catholic section of Germany.” (news article, August 13, 1943)
  • Remarking on the German bishops’ pastoral letter condemning Hitler (which ended by thanking Pius for his leadership), the Times says, “The letter abounds in sly but fearless thrusts at the false god and Nazi tenets.” (news article, September 6, 1943)
  • When a Soviet house organ tries to tag the Vatican pro-Nazi, the Times goes ballistic: “Of all the incendiary literary bombs manufactured in Moscow…and thrown with such lighthearted recklessness into the unity of Allied nations, none is likely to do greater damage than Izvestia’s unjust and intemperate attack upon the Vatican as ‘pro-Fascist.'” (editorial, February 4, 1944)
  • After Rome was liberated, the chief Rabbi of Rome, Israele Anton Zolli, formally expressed the gratitude of Roman Jews “for all the moral and material aid the Vatican gave them during the Nazi occupation.” (news article, July 27, 1944)
  • When the war ended, the Times ran many stories detailing the praise that Jewish leaders bestowed on Pius. Included was the one which recorded a gift of $20,000 to the Vatican by the World Jewish Congress “in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecution.” (news article, October 11, 1945)

Sir Martin Gilbert, the noted European historian, recently said that the test for Pius “was when the Gestapo came to Rome in 1943 to round up the Jews.” Gilbert writes, “And the Catholic Church, on his direct authority, immediately dispersed as many Jews as they could.” Which is why Gilbert thanks Pius in his latest book, Never Again: A History of the Holocaust.

In short, the case that Pius XII was “Hitler’s Pope” is a vicious lie.

William A. Donohue
PresidentCopyright © 1997-2011 by Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
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