Investigation not necessary - Catholic Courier

Investigation not necessary

To the editor:

I was happy to read in the Courier that some scholars are diffident about the possible canonization of Pope Pius XII.

Many dreadful and untrue charges have been leveled at Pius XII. He was a pious and good man, and he may well have helped Jews living in Rome. It does not seem to me that we need to question this pope’s virtue, or his compassion for suffering people, or explore the Vatican archives for details about this pope’s life.

What we do know without any doubt is that the leader and spokesperson of the world’s Roman Catholics did not speak out against Nazi tyranny. To do so would have been impolitic. It might have led to trouble for the pope and for the church leadership in general. Pius XII chose diplomatic ambiguity — in effect, silence. There is an axiom of the law: Silence gives consent.

Be that as it may, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#828) states that canonization requires the practice of "heroic virtue". Could anyone seriously claim that Pius XII’s silence during the Second World War was an example of "heroic virtue"?

James Stephen Taylor

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