Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pius XII and The Catholic Church during World War II

THE 15TH ANNUAL MEETING at St. John's University Law School

Post II

I was able to attend Panel # 39 at the conference of The Society of Catholic Social Scientists yesterday. This panel was "The Pius Wars and Sister Margherita Marchione" Sister did not speak, except to mention 1 interesting fact, but at the lunch following the panel she was given an award for her work on Pope Pius XII and World War II.

The panel was moderated by Fr. Edward Krause of Gannon University. First, Kenneth Whitehead, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, gave a review of several books written about Pius XII that refuted the charges of anti-semitism and non-action during WWII. These included:

The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII

The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis

Pius XII, the Holocaust, and the Revisionists

Consensus & Controversy: Defending Pope Pius XII

Did Pius XII Help the Jews?

Righteous Gentiles: How Pius XII and the Catholic Church Save Half a Million Jews from the Nazis

Inside the Vatican of Pius XII: The Memoir of an American Diplomat during World War II

Mr. Whitehead gave an overall summary of the job many people, including those on the panel, have done in showing the charges that Pius XII was silent at the plight of the Jews during WWII was incorrect.

Next, Ronald Rychlak, author of Righteous Gentiles: How Pius XII and the Catholic Church Save Half a Million Jews from the Nazis, gave a talk that mentioned some more details in the fight to correct the perception of Pius XII. He spoke of the sudden attacks on Pius XII that started about 8 years ago and asked why all of a sudden was this an issue? His answer: the chattering classes saw the end of Pope John Paul II's reign approaching and wanted to influence the Church in a different direction. For example, Rychlak mentioned that the last chapter of "Hitler's Pope" was all about Pope John Paul II! Also, the last chapter of "Constantine's Sword" was about the need for a Vatican III. Interestingly, Rychlak pointed out the play The Deputy, the first attack on Pius XII's character, was produced at a time when Pope John XIII was expected to die. (In 1963 he died and the play was first staged). When Rychlak was discussing John Cornwall, Sr. Marchione mentioned that Cornwall has now recanted his thesis of "Hitler's Pope"! Another interesting fact, but the panel pointed out how the damage was already done.

Bill Doino, a Catholic columnist spoke next on "Pius XII: An International Perspective". He mentioned the collection of people, mostly those on the panel, who had been doing important work around the world to correct the errors that are now commonly held about Pius XII. This whole panel was held in the St. John's Law School Moot Court Room, and the verdict was overwhelming against those that had defamed the character of the holy Pope Pius XII. Thanks to these scholars, and to the Catholic League, (Bill Donohue was in the room also listening to the panel) the truth about Pius XII and the Catholic Church during WWII is being told.

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