By Paul O’Shea (auth.)
The papacy of Pius XII (1939-1958) has been a resource of near-constant feedback and debate because his loss of life, quite as a result of his alleged silence throughout the Holocaust. Paul O'Shea examines his little-studied pre-papal lifestyles to illustrate that Pius was once neither an anti-Semitic villain nor a 'lamb with out stain.'
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Additional info for A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe
Jesus expanded his original statement by saying that the freedom he spoke of was freedom from sin. And if “the Jews” understood this, they would not be trying to kill him. 44, 47). Those who heard Jesus’s word, and believed, were the true children of God. Through their communion with God, they would overcome the hatred of the world and come to the fullness of the truth. It becomes clear that “the Jews” are not among the true children of God. ”15 This assertion became more powerful after it was incorporated into the liturgy of the Catholic Church.
Augustine’s anti-Jewish theology found echoes in the teaching and preaching of Pius XII. The ancient teaching was so entrenched in Catholic thinking, religious practice, and canon law, and its tenacity so great, that it would be arguing against reason to suggest the pope was not inf luenced by it or that his reaction to the persecution of the Jews was not, in part, shaped by it. Augustine’s teaching was quite simple. Using the by now customary interpretations of Jewish involvement in the death of Christ, Augustine developed his thesis.
Achille Ratti was Nuncio to Poland during the siege of Warsaw in the summer of 1920. He stayed at his post while most of the diplomatic corps left the capital. 33 There is little doubt that Ratti attributed the lifting of the siege and the rout of the Red Army to divine intervention. Like Pacelli, Ratti developed a lifelong distrust of atheistic communism that evolved into veritable paranoia in the later life of both men—and, in the case of Pacelli, rendered him insensible, for the only time, to diplomacy.
A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe by Paul O’Shea (auth.)