Pope Pius Xii And Wwii- The Church Essay

1116 Words Dec 10th, 2015 5 Pages
Pope Pius XII and WWII- The Church Responds to the Holocaust
In 1935 Eugenio Pacelli gave a speech about the Nazi party in which he made the following statements: “They [The Nazis] are in reality only miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel. It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of the social revolution, whether they are guided by a false conception of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult.”(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1963) Those statements were a very strong public condemnation of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and its leader, Adolf Hitler, by a high ranking official of the Roman Catholic Church as a vatican nuncio. Four years later that Nazi Government initiated one of the greatest tragedies in human history, World War II and the Holocaust. On March 2, 1939, that same Vatican official became Pope Pius XII and on September 1, 1939, World War II began with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany.
As the leader of the Roman Catholic Church “in the world” during that great human tragedy, the actions and inactions of Pope Pius XII during the war and especially when the ongoing attempted extermination of the Jews was known to be taking place has been the subject of intense debate. Recollections of that 1935 speech by Eugenio Pacelli strongly condemning the Nazis as a “blood cult” surely led to expectations that Pius XII would issue even…

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