Those among you who have the rare ability to read German (a very beautiful language in its own right; not easy to assimilate for sure, but ready to compensate the one who puts the effort with countless pearls of breathtaking literary beauty) will certain enjoy this blog site.
In the superior two-column format allowed by the Blogspot structure (not found by me on WordPress at the time of beginning this blog, and sorely missed afterwards when changing format or even “blog provider” would have meant a major disruption, pain in the neck and possible loss of information; but I digress…) you will notice that the left column is devoted to the usual, beautifully orthodox, Catholic apologetics, whilst the right column is devoted to none else than the Pastor Angelicus: the favourite of conservative Catholics the world over and the last great Pope: Pius XII.
I translate the best citations therein reported near the original German text:
“Nur die katholische Kirche protestierte gegen den Angriff Hitlers auf die Freiheit. Bis dahin war ich nicht an der Kirche interessiert, doch heute empfinde ich große Bewunderung für die Kirche, die als einzige den Mut hatte, für geistige Wahrheit und sittliche Freiheit zu kämpfen.”
“Only the Catholic Church protested against Hitler’s attacks to freedom. Until then I wasn’t interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone had the courage to fight for spiritual truth and for moral freedom”.
Albert Einstein, 1940.
“In dieser Weihnacht ist der Papst mehr denn je die einsame aufbegehrende Stimme im Schweigen eines Kontinents. ”
“This Christmas, the Pope is more than ever the lonely voice raised amidst the silence of a continent”
New York Times, commenting on Pius XII’s Christmas address, 1942.
“Die katholische Kirche und das Papsttum haben bewiesen, dass sie so viele Juden, wie sie konnten, gerettet haben.”
“The Catholic Church and the Papacy have demonstrated that they have saved as many Jews as they could”
Raffaele Cantoni, Head of the Jewish Welfare Committee during the War, 1946.
“Mehr als alle anderen haben wir Gelegenheit gehabt, die Güte und Edelmütigkeit des Papstes während der Jahre der Verfolgung und des Schreckens kennen zu lernen in einer Zeit, da es schien, dass für uns keine andere Hoffnung mehr bestand.”
“More than any other had we the opportunity to know the goodness and noble mindedness of the Pope during the years of persecution and terror, in times when it seemed that for us there was no other hope anymore”.
Elio Toaff, Roman Chief Rabbi, 1951.
“Die ganze Welt schwieg über die Schoah, und da will man jetzt nahezu die gesamte Verantwortung für dieses Schweigen auf die Schultern des Souveräns legen, der weder Kanonen noch Flugzeuge hatte; der sich zweitens bemühte, seine Informationen mit denen zu teilen, die solche Waffen hatten, und drittens, in Rom und anderswo eine große Zahl derer zu retten vermochte, für die er die moralische Verantwortung trug.”
“The entire world kept silent during the Shoah, and now they want to unload almost all the responsibility for this silence on the shoulders of the Sovereign who had neither cannons nor aeroplanes; who, secondly, went to great lenght to share this information with those who had such weapons and, thirdly, in Rome and elsewere succeeded in saving a great number of those, for whom he carried moral responsibility”
Bernhard-Henry Levy, 2010
I understand that the celebrations for the upcoming beatification of the saintly, but rather ineffective (other would say: catastrophical) John Paul II will divert some attention, for the time being, from this truly saintly, truly courageous, truly Catholic, truly great Pope. Still, even in the weeks leading to what will certainly be a huge media event we should never forget the towering figure of our beloved Pastor Angelicus.
Pave the way Foundation is a Jewish organisation promoting the understanding among religions . This is not en “ecumenical” effort, mind; rather, the foundation has the aim of removing non-theological differences among different religions. This is also not the usual micro-organisation set up by two or three nutcases inventing conspiracies, but a highly regarded institution uniquely received en bloc (more than 150 of them) by the late Pontiff John Paul II.
“Pave the way Foundation” has spent four years reconstructing a coherent view of the attitude and actions of Eugenio Pacelli – and later, of Pope Pius XII – in front of Nazi oppression and persecution of the Jews. Among the immense quantity of documents analysed, a small selection of representative pieces of historic documentation has been put together in a power point presentation. This 56-minutes documentary (in the proper sense of the word, as the only thing showed are….. documents) allows everyone following the presentation to have a very clear idea of the relentless, intelligent, prudent but at the same time very courageous action of Pope Pius XII in the face of such a dangerous, determined and godless mass destruction machine.
Whilst the presentation is rather long, the nature of it allows its exam a bit at a time if so wished. The fact that one can go back and forth only through the audio commentary (no possibility of autonomously switching pages) makes of it more of a video documentary than a presentation. Still, the material is easy to follow, highly impressive, attentive to every aspect of the Pope’s activity (and to his great personal courage, to the point of putting his own life at risk) and highly credible particularly in light of the circumstance that the documents showed are, as repeatedly stated, only a small part of the vast quantity of documents supporting the case of the Foundation.
Let me say it once again: this is a Jewish foundation. It goes to show that when reasonable analysis takes the place of self victimhood and ideological (read: liberal) hate of a conservative and fiercely anti-Communist Pope, understanding is easily possible and can bring both side on the same side; in this case, on the side of such a great – and for this reason so greatly slandered – Pope.