The New York Times has lots of laughably bad coverage, especially when it comes to the Church. A current article is titled “Why a Rush to Pius XII Sainthood?” Yeah it’s only been over 50 years since he died. Yeah that’s a real rush job.
The question of Pius’s wartime record remains open, and will stay that way as long as the relevant archives are closed.
I guess he means the archives that were opened up ahead of schedule in 2003, though an archive of 16 million documents will take time to totally sift through. Much of the wartime documents have been made available and the whole archive up to 1958 is not going to throw anymore light on this. The main thing is the archives are not closed to researchers.
So what was the rush? The answer is politics — which does not make for an edifying religious spectacle. The common perception, disputed by the Vatican, is that by pairing Pius XII with John Paul II in the Dec. 20 decree, Benedict had hoped to satisfy both the conservative and the liberal wings of the Catholic Church.
What? This is so nonsensical it is hard to pry apart. Of course when labels such as conservative and liberal are used it always leads to confusion. If anything both Popes could only be seen as on the conservative side if you were going to apply such a label. The Spirit of Vatican II types and Women’s Ordination supporters would never call Pope John Paul II liberal. Pope John Paul II was loved by many people, but certainly not all that much by the self-proclaimed progressive Catholics.
The article goes on with this line of reasoning of taking Pope Benedict’s action with a political point of view and of course also quotes from the infallibly wrong-headed Fr. Reese for support.
This article is quite disingenuous by not specifying all that we do know about Venerable Pope Pius XII and the actions he took largely behind the scenes to save the Jews that he could. No mention is made that the Jewish community for years after the war had nothing but praise for the actions of this Pope. In the last several years along with many fine books on Venerable Pope Pius XII and his wartime record there have even been books written by Jews defending this great Pope.
In a recent article Gary L. Krupp of the Pave the Way foundation has become a defender of this Pope. He had assumed like many others that the charges against Pope Pius XII were true and he says he was shocked to find during his years of compiling the documentary evidence just how wrong this was. His recent article was “Friend to the Jews.” The fact is there is really no documentary evidence showing any kind of animus towards the Jews and a wealth of evidence showing quite the opposite.
When articles come out condemning Venerable Pope Pius XII it shows a total lack of journalistic integrity and just plain bias – common enough for the NYT. He wants to frame this as a conservative liberal divide and I would say he is just projecting his own motives.
Many people were surprised by Pope Benedict XVI advancing the cause of Pope Pius XII. After all there had been plenty of stories about how his cause had stalled – plenty of stories that were totally wrong. Sure Pope Benedict does have to make prudential political decisions during his papacy. Canonizations sometimes become political such as the case of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thomas More who were canonized much later due to political reasons. I don’t believe that Pope Benedict sees either of these two Venerable Pope’s as being political at all. I think it is much more accurate to look at what Pope Benedict does as advancing the truth. If men live lives of heroic sanctity and their causes prove this then there is no real reason why their cause should not be advanced. It does not matter that some people have a bad opinion of him or that they think he could have done more to help the Jews. Besides the decree of Heroic Sanctity does not mean that every prudential decision he made was perfect.
In some ways I am glad for some of the negative press thrown on this wartime Pope. As a result I have learned much more about this Pope that died days before I was born. All that I have learned has made me appreciate and admire this man. I enjoy saying Venerable before his name and hope within my lifetime to be able to call him a saint.
What annoys me the most is the revisionist history. There was no negative view of Pope Pius XII in regards to the Jewish people until the 1963 Rolf Hochhuth’s play, “The Deputy.” There is strong evidence that play was a KGB-directed and financed bid to smear Pius. It is only after this point that this view grew. This is so sickening that a play could be used as the basis to slander this pope. The fact that Hitler attempted to kill Pope Pius XII never factors into their view. No evidence matters, except for some play.
The calumnious abortofanatics, detractors, distorters, exaggerators, and Obama-worshipping idiots at NYTass should be working this story:
“The question of B. Hussein Obama’s citizenship/birthplace remains open, and will stay that way as long as the relevant archives are closed.”
John Paul II was conservative in many things but in other areas very liberal. It’s just an odd paradox.
On the issue of the death penalty as he deals with it in “Evangelium Vitae”, I suspect one would have to go back to the early pre-canon and thus pre-Romans 13:4-as-canon Church of the 5th century and prior to find a Pope more inclined against capital punishment. His liberalism therein is of an inferior type and I say that because he actually never deals with Romans 13:3-4 at all and he likewise sequesters from the readers’ view in EV the death penalty part of Genesis 9:5-6 and yet he quotes other parts of that same passage repeatedly as perennial throughout the encyclical for a different purpose which shows that he knew the text and rejected it in some sense as perennial also. That sense is more than hinted at in section 40 of EV where he says this about some Old Testament violence:
“Of course we must recognize that in the Old Testament this sense of the value of life, though already quite marked, does not yet reach the refinement found in the Sermon on the Mount. This is apparent in some aspects of the current penal legislation, which provided for severe forms of corporal punishment and even the death penalty. But the overall message, which the New Testament will bring to perfection, is a forceful appeal for respect for the inviolability of physical life and the integrity of the person.”
Herein he is being completely liberal in ascribing implicitly the death penalties of the “law” not to God as the Biblical text claims they are…but to a lack of refinement within the Jews. His seeing the Sermon on the Mount as overcoming this lack of refinement is faulty since in Acts 12 after the sermon on the mount, God has an angel kill Herod for accepting the crowd’s use of “god” for Herod himself and God has the angel leave the body out in the open to be eaten by worms. Hence the very lack of refinement in violence that bothered John Paul continues by God Himself in the NT epistles….which must have escaped John Paul’s memory.
But he also had a truly admirable liberalism wherein he understood in “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” the non believer and problems in conversion in terms which would make the very conservative Catholic reach for a glass of Bacardi Select and long for Pope Eugenius.
For John Paul saw the unbeliever in some cultures as having not an excuse but a great extenuating circumstance for not giving the gospel even an initial hearing…ie because in some parts of Islam e.g., such an initial dalliance with Christian books can spell death. Also in traditional areas of mainland China, children follow the religion of the father of the family under the threat of perduring emotional rejection not under threat of death but not much lighter than that…when a parent tells a child “you are dead to me” which happens there in some families. But John Paul understood that if great fear could invalidate a marriage vow, then great fear could also understandably prevent unbelievers in such cultures from giving an initial opening to hearing the Word at all…not so much rejecting it…as never really even hearing it initially.
John Paul understood that and I was blown away to read those parts of him.
The NY Times would do well to check its own archives about Pope Pius XII since many of its post WWII articles about him tell a whole different story than what is in this article. But then given the Times recent track record of fake stories, errors & revisionism this article is no surprize.
In his book The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, Rabbi(!) David G. Dalin notes that the effort to blacken the name of Pius XII didn’t really take hold until after John Paul II ascended the Petrine Throne.
“Very few of the many recent books about Pius XII and the Holocaust are about Pius XII and the Holocaust. … The Holocaust is simply the biggest club available for liberal Catholics to use against traditional Catholics in their attempt to bash the papacy and thereby to smash traditional Catholic teaching — especially on issues relating to sexuality, including abortion, contraception, celibacy, and the role of women in the Church. The anti-papal polemics of ex-seminarians like Garry Wills and John Cornwell (author of Hitler’s Pope, of ex-priests and other lapsed or angry liberal Catholics exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda of forcing changes on the Catholic Church today” (pp. 2-3).
Lenin (I think it was) said, “Whoever controls the news controls the truth.” Our allies and we may have a presence in the media, but we’re still two or three decades behind the “culture of death’s” infiltration and subversion … not only of the news and entertainment outlets but also of the sciences. That’s why we don’t hear about the religiously conservative Jewish scholars defending both P12 and JP2, why we only hear the whines from the secular Jewish and quasi-Catholic journalists.
I think I am the first person to say this.
When all of the 6 million pages are finally catalogued and the archives open and nothing negative is found the cry will go up that the Vatican edited out the bad stuff. Mark my words.