Soldier of Christ: The Life of Pope Pius XII

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As it was, Pius XII missed all the opportunities.

Soldier of Christ: The Life of Pope Pius XII by Robert A. Ventresca

Oddly enough, after the war Pope Pius XII, who had marked it by his public taciturnity, became increasingly loquacious. Encyclicals, pronouncements, speeches and obiter dicta flowed from him in ever-growing volume, most of them on entirely non-political subjects. He delighted in receiving and talking to Hollywood stars, sportsmen, celebrities and visiting firemen to Rome almost his last audience was given to Alec Guinness. This was the period, of course, when the conmen crept in too. There had earlier been rumours of the aged pope seeing miraculous visions, which this book says were well-founded.

Thus Pius XII went to eternity in an atmosphere of eccentric religiosity verging on scandal. But his papacy was inglorious, to put it mildly.

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Edward Lucas. Well, the Vatican made a little mistake. Unfortunately, the most eminent Holocaust historians are mostly English, American, or Israeli. The result was that a true treasure of historical documents was widely ignored. I work with an American Jewish organization, the Pave the Way Foundation, specializing in interreligious dialogue, which greatly supported me during my research. For several times we met with the Secretaries of State of the Holy See, first Cardinal Bertone, then Cardinal Parolin, and were always assured that it was only a question of months until the archives would open.

I waited and waited, but nothing happened. At the same time, those who know assured me that 90 percent of all relevant documents were already published in those eleven volumes.


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  • Soldier of Christ: The Life of Pope Pius XII by Robert A. Ventresca | Times Higher Education (THE)?

I started to read and evaluate them and found out that they indeed deliver a coherent picture of what happened: we might not have all stones of the mosaic, but 90 percent are enough to create a clear picture. This is what I tried in my book. When one day the archives open [to the general public], I might add some details here and there—but the overall reconstruction of the events will still be valid.


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  5. Those documents show us a completely different Pius XII than the black legend which, as we know today, was created and promoted by the Soviet KGB to interfere into the papal elections, the conclave of Now we have all the facts together to clear his memory and to show the Pacelli-pope how he really was: a man who scrupulously tried everything to save as many human lives as possible during the greatest humanitarian crisis in history….

    The truth about him can only bring them together. The Jewish Talmud teaches us that he who saves one human live, saves an entire world.

    My Take: "Soldier of Christ" (Subject Matters)

    Pius XII saved nearly a million Jewish lives. A public gesture would have destroyed all possibilities to help them. To say it frankly: Pius XII did not want to buy the applause of the free world or future generations with the blood of innocent Jews or Catholics. For him, saving lives was his priority and highest moral duty.

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    I hope that my book, that the facts I document, convince all skeptics to change their opinion. Regarding the archives, the earlier they open, the better. And I am sure, not too many additional historians would even come and do research themselves, after they would find out that 90 percent of all-important documents are already published, even on the Internet. But it is important as a symbolic act: To convince the world, including the Jewish community, that the Vatican indeed has nothing to hide.

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    Soldier of Christ: The Life of Pope Pius XII by Robert A. Ventresca | Times Higher Education (THE)

    Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter. Overheard in a sane classroom, a century in the future… […]. The four volumes span thousands of years, from the ancient world through to today the four volumes are: […]. At the same time, these teachings strongly suggest grave deficiencies […]. Paul Fussell points out that one of the great social divides is between those who read to be surprised, and those who read to have their notions confirmed. I hope that readers, regardless of their social class, real or assumed, will consider all of the evidence regarding Pope Pius XII without preconceptions.

    After all this time, the man deserves nothing less than the best assessment that serious scholarship can provide. This instance, among many others, is why the teaching of history must not be abandoned in the fashionable obsession with vocational training alone.

    Not Hitler’s Pope, But No Saint Either

    Shoah catastrophe, calamity, destruction not holocaust which signifies a burnt sacrificial offering to a god or God. He certainly was more pro-active than Winston Churchill. For many of the faithful we already reguard Pius XII as a Saint, eventually the Church will catch up to the sense of the faithful. Pio XII pray for us. This is no crown of thorns; it is not even a kind of Purgatory. Frankly, the rush to canonize 20th century Popes is more troubling than the delay in canonizing Pius XII, however worthy he may be.

    Although Hochuth and Cornwell may have received the approbation of the left in this world, their efforts will no doubt be fully accounted for when saints and sinners are finally reckoned. I agree with the history presented in the article. Whenever I see article on this subject I notice that the authors are missing the obvious which is: Why were Catholic men permitted to join the Axis armies and commit some of the most evil atrocities in the history of mankind? Over 18 million German men served in the German military, SS and Gestapo and based on the census almost 7 million were Catholic.

    Over 4 million served in the Italian military and almost all were Catholic. Most of the 1.


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    Until recently this was the official doctrine of the Catholic Church if a Catholic woman had an abortion: 1 She was automatically excommunicated 2 She was not allowed to receive Holy Communion 3 She was required to go to the local bishop to receive absolution order to remove the excommunication. Contrast this with the Catholic men who fought in the Axis armies and killed millions.

    What to read next

    Indeed chaplains were permitted to minister to soldiers in the front line and celebrate Mass with Holy Communion for the soldiers. Serving in the military was not even considered a sin. The proper response by the Pope, cardinals and bishops in the axis countries should have been to publicly and privately advise Catholic men that they would be excommunicated and not receive Holy Communion if they supported these regimes in any way, including military service.

    Pope Pius XI should had done this with the Italian invasion of Ethiopia,where thousands of Christians were killed by the Italian army, including hundred of monks. If this had been done with that invasion and all subsequent invasions by the Italian, German and Hungarian armies the war would have been very short.