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5.01.2006    |    Pope Pius XII
If the only thing you knew about Pope Pius XII was from the mainstream media, you might be excused for thinking that Pio XII was nothing but a lackey of the Nazis, a willing accomplice to the Holocaust. On the other hand, the truth is harder to see, and, for those of us who still love the Roman Church, a bit of a relief.

Just a couple of extracts. First, from a message sent by Golda Meir, minister of foreign affairs, and later prime minister of Israel, on the occasion of Pius' death in 1958 (source: A Question of Judgment: Pius XII & the Jews, By Dr. Joseph L. Lichten):
We share the grief of the world over the death of His Holiness Pius XII. During a generation of wars and dissensions, he affirmed the high ideals of peace and compassion. During the ten years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims. The life of our time has been enriched by a voice which expressed the great moral truths above the tumults of daily conflicts. We grieve over the loss of a great defender of peace.
Then, from this article at the Jewish Virtual Library:
The vindication of Pius XII has been established principally by Jewish writers and from Israeli archives. It is now established that the Pope supervised a rescue network which saved 860,000 Jewish lives - more than all the international agencies put together.
Especially note that "more than all the international agencies put together." Not to mention more than Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the two wartime leaders who, God be thanked, won the war, but basically denied real steps (like bombing railroad tracks leading to death camps; like allowing more Jewish refugees into their nations) that could have saved Jewish lives. Many Jewish lives.

Pope Pius XII did not say much in public. But the European Church did quite a bit. For which I, at least, am thankful.


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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.