Surprised by article - Catholic Courier

Surprised by article

To the editor:

The article, "Catholic scholars ask pope to slow process of Pope Pius XII’s cause," is deeply troubling. It not only undermines the Church’s authority and Her ability to decide canonizations, but also sows seeds of doubt among the faithful. I was surprised to find it in the Courier.

The objectors should know that tens of thousands of documents demonstrate Pius’ righteousness during World War II and the Holocaust. In fact, print journalism at the time of the war was uniformly supportive of the pope. The New York Times, in 1941 proclaimed: "The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas… he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all … the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism … he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace." Pius’s actions are numerous and include behind the scenes orders to open all convents and monasteries to house Jews and to make Castle Gandolfo a refuge.

For anyone willing to look, the truth is easy to find. There have been countless books written, interviews done, and sources reviewed. Israeli diplomat Pinchas Lapide wrote in 1967, "The Catholic Church under the pontificate of Pius XII was instrumental in saving as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands. This figure exceeds by far those saved by all other churches and rescue organizations combined." I suggest people start with the book "Hitler, the War and the Pope," by Ronald Rychlak. I would also recommend avoiding John Cornwell’s book "Hitler’s Pope" which has been oft refuted. This is a cause we should be proud to support.

Nerina Bellinger

Victor, N.Y.

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