Director of Italian newspaper joins in defense of Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII

.- The director of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Paolo Mieli, said last week Pope Pius XII was a Pontiff “in line with the history of the Catholic Church of the 20th century,” who during the Nazi persecution did not doubt in extending a hand to the Jews hiding in churches, convents, seminaries, and therefore the black legend surrounding him does not have any historic basis.

“Since 1963 the focus has been on Pius XII in search of evidence of his culpability, but nothing has been found,” Mieli told L’Osservatore Romano.  “Moreover, studies have brought to light abundant documentation that testifies to how the Church provided Jews with fundamental assistance.”

According to Vatican watcher Sandro Magister, the interview was carried out by Maurizio Fontana and by the director of the L’Osservatore Romano, Giovanni Maria Vian.

In the extensive interview, Mieli, who is from a Jewish family and whose relatives died in a Nazi concentration camp, underscored the heroic role played by the Church during the Nazi occupation of Rome.

“The Church put herself completely at their disposition: all of the basilicas, all of the churches, all of the seminaries and all of the convents hosted and extended a hand to the Jews.  So much so that in Rome, where two thousand Jews were deported, 18,000 were able to be saved,” Mieli said.  While the “Church of Pius XII” can’t claim to have saved all 18,000, she can say that she “contributed to saving most of them,” Mieli wrote.

He underscored the witness of Rome’s chief Rabbi in 1944, Isaac Herzog, who said at the time, “The people of Israel will never forget what Pius XII and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion that constitute the basis of an authentic civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history. It is a living sign of divine providence in this world.”

“That same year,” Mieli added, “Sergeant Joseph Vancover wrote: ‘I wish to speak of the Jewish Rome, of the great miracle that thousands of Jews have found.  The churches, the convents, the friars and the monks, and above all, the Pontiff, have stepped up to help and save the Jews, snatching them from the claws of the Nazis and their Italian fascist collaborators’.”

Therefore, he rejected claims that the Pope was silent and an accomplice of the Nazi crimes.  “Anyone who does not have a prejudiced attitude and makes an effort to get to know Pacelli through the documents cannot help but be surprised by this black legend that has no meaning. Pius XII was a great Pope,” Mieli said.

“If we look at it as a historical event, the black legend is crazy.  But I think that, apart from any controversy, every historian worthy of the name—including the case of people like me who are not Catholic—will work to reestablish the truth,” he said.

Mieli said Pius XII paid the price for his anti-Communism, but he “was a Pope in line with the history of the Catholic Church of the 20th century. If you read what he wrote or listen to his recorded speeches you realize how he also criticized liberalism,” he added.

“Be aware,” he said, “I think this black legend’s days are numbered,” because “historians will do justice to Pius XII.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »


Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: