Pius XII Defended in Israeli Newspaper

American Scholar Says Defamation is «Doomed to Failure»

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JERUSALEM, FEB. 1, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Similar to a defense of Pope Pius XII by French scholar Bernard-Henri Levy, American writer Dimitri Cavalli has published an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in the same vein.

Cavalli hails from New York where he is writing a book on Pius XII. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times; L’Osservatore Romano reported on the Haaretz report today.

In that piece, Cavalli asserted that the «campaign against Pope Pius XII is doomed to failure.»
«[H]is detractors cannot sustain their main charges against him — that he was silent, pro-Nazi, and did little or nothing to help the Jews — with evidence,» Cavalli contended.

The author said the proof that exists shows the contrary.
He noted that in 1933, when Cardinal Pacelli [the future Pius XII] was still secretary of state, he «instructed the papal nuncio in Germany to see what he could do to oppose the Nazis’ anti-Semitic policies.»
The author also points out that Pope Pius XI’s 1937 encyclical «Mit brennender Sorge,» which was drafted by Cardinal Pacelli, was considered by the Germans as a «security threat.»

Then, Cavalli continued, when Cardinal Pacelli was elected Pope on March 2, 1939, «[o]n March 4, Joseph Goebbels, the German propaganda minister, wrote in his diary: ‘Midday with the Fuehrer. He is considering whether we should abrogate the concordat with Rome in light of Pacelli’s election as Pope.'»

Moreover, Cavalli continued, «During the war, the Pope was far from silent.»

And, he asserted: «Unlike many of the Pope’s latter-day detractors, the Nazis understood him very well.

«After studying Pius XII’s 1942 Christmas message, the Reich Central Security Office concluded: ‘In a manner never known before the Pope has repudiated the National Socialist New European Order. … Here he is virtually accusing the German people of injustice toward the Jews and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals.'»

«Pick up any book that criticizes Pius XII, and you won’t find any mention of this important report,» Cavalli reflected.

The author reiterated that during the War, representatives of the Pope «frequently ordered the Vatican’s diplomatic representatives in many Nazi-occupied and Axis countries to intervene on behalf of endangered Jews.»
And he observed that until the Holy Father’s death in 1958 «many Jewish organizations, newspapers and leaders lauded his efforts.» He cited in this regard a 1944 letter to the papal nuncio in Romania, from Alexander Shafran, chief rabbi of Bucharest.

Cavalli concludes, saying, «Perhaps only in a backward world such as ours would the one man who did more than any other wartime leader to help Jews and other Nazi victims, receive the greatest condemnation.»

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On the Net:
 Complete article: www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1144457.html

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