Pius XII, victim of black legend, says Cardinal Bertone


During a presentation of a new biography on Pope Pius XII, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said the late Pontiff has been the victim of “a black legend” that must be dismantled.

During the presentation of the book “Pius XII: Eugenio Pacielli: A Man on the Throne of Peter,” by Andrea Tornielli, Cardinal Bertone pointed out that the Pontiff faced “a world immersed in violent and irrational passions, out of which has also produced accusations over his supposed silence about the holocaust.”

Speaking to reporters afterwards, the cardinal explained that there are “diverse elements that have contributed to the creation of a black legend about the person of Pius XII; but it is necessary to shed light on this matter.”

“The Palestinian question, the Communist question, have certainly contributed to deflecting the judgment of some against the Pope—who worked precisely for the protection of those suffering most, especially the Jews, in the face of the fanaticism of the Nazi persecution—because in fact the great majority of saved Jews who survived were eternally grateful (to the Pope) and many historians have continued to defend Pius XII,” Cardinal Bertone said.

The prejudice against Pius XII began in large measure in 1963 with the theatrical work “The Vicar” by Hochhuth, which made a caricature out of the person of Pius XII.

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