The director of L’Osservatore Romano, Giovanni Maria Vian, will present a new book entitled, “In Defense of Pius XII. The Reasons of History,” at the Luigi Sturzo Institute of Rome on June 10.
According to Vatican Radio, the book includes numerous texts and articles published by L’Osservatore Romano on Pius XII. It recounts that at the time of his death, the Pope was practically unanimously acclaimed for his actions. Vian will address how it was possible that his image could have changed so much after 1963.
Vian says the first reason for the change in the late Pontiff’s image was the difficult political choices that he made from the beginning of his pontificate, during the tragic war period and at the end of the war.
The Pope was very anti-Communist, and therefore Soviet propaganda painted him as an accomplice of Nazism and its horrors, despite his condemnations of Hitler and of all forms of totalitarianism.
“The second reason was the election of his successor, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. In the book, the author explains that this Pope, who was transitional because of his age, was greeted by the world as the ‘good Pope,’ and was increasingly set in contrast with his predecessor because of his radically different character and style, but also because of the unexpected and resounding decision to convene a council,” Vatican radio reported.
The new book recalls that during the years of World War II, Pius XII carried out an unprecedented humanitarian effort, which saved many human lives, including thousands of Jews.