Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pope Pius XII: "Be proud to be a Jew!"

Pope Pius XII prays for peace

Pope Pius XII prays for peace

In recent times, the some people have been maligning the memory of the Holy Pontiff Pope Pius XII. A professional smear campaign seems to have been undertaken against this wartime Pope who, among other things, promulgated and defined the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the bull Munificentissimus Deus.

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He also established my diocese of Penang in 1955 and appointed Msgr. Francis Chan as its first Bishop.

He also wrote one of my favourite treatises on the liturgy, Mediator Dei. Other favourites include Humani Generis, Divino Afflante Spiritu, Haurietis Aquas and Fulgens Corona.

I really think that the Vatican should beatify and canonize him immediately if there is sufficient proof and the required number of miracles have been obtained. Bowing to political pressures in a matter that God has chosen to reveal by allowing miracles to happen through the intercession of the blessed Pontiff is unbecoming.

Pope Pius XII petting sheep at Castelgandolfo

Pope Pius XII pets sheep at Castelgandolfo

Here's the latest in a long string of new evidence that has once again confirmed the reports of Pope Pius XII's activity in saving Jewish lives during the war and corroborated the memory of his contemporaries., including those of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, a brilliant scholar who converted to the Catholic Church after the war and took the name Eugenio, after Pope Pius XII.

In his book, Antisemitismo, Rabbi Zolli states: "World Jewry owes a great debt of gratitude to Pius XII for his repeated and pressing appeals for justice on behalf of the Jews and, when these did not prevail, for his strong protests against evil laws and procedures."

Zolli, who found shelter in the Vatican during the war stated: "No hero in all of history was more militant, more fought against, none more heroic than Pius XII in pursuing the work of true charity!...and this on behalf of all the suffering children of God."

Throughout his papacy. Pope Pius XII was almost universally, regarded as a saintly man, a scholar, a man of peace, a tower of strength, and a compassionate defender and protector of all victims of the war and genocide that had drenched Europe in blood. At the end of the war Western nations paid tribute to his efforts on behalf of the oppressed. When Pius XII died, Jews praised him for his help and were among the first to express sorrow and gratitude for his solicitude during the Holocaust.

Hitler's Pope indeed. Humph.
Pope Pius XII with bird

In the context of who were among his audience and where he was, the speech was even more courageous.

Pope Pius XII blesses infant
Pope Pius XII with child

Code: ZE06120328

Date: 2006-12-03

"Be Proud to Be a Jew!" Pius XII Told Visitor in '41

Incident Was Published in Palestine Post

ROME, DEC. 3, 2006 (Zenit.org).- An article published in 1944 by a young German Jew in the Palestine Post, the future Jerusalem Post, points up Pope Pius XII's appreciation for the "Chosen People."

The article was published April 28, 1944, on Page 6 and headlined "A Papal Audience in Wartime." It was signed by a "refugee"; a footnote states that the article's author arrived in Palestine on the ship Nyassa.

The writer recounts that in autumn of 1941 he was received in audience along with numerous other people by Pius XII.

When the young Jew approached the Pope, he revealed that he was born in Germany but was a Jew.

The Holy Father responded, "What can I do for you? Tell me, my son!"

The young Jew told Pius XII about a group of shipwrecked Jewish refugees, saved by Italian warships in the Aegean Sea, who were then starving in a prisoner of war camp on an island. The Pope listened carefully and showed concern about the physical and health conditions of the Jewish prisoners.

According to the article, Pius XII then said to him: "You have done well to come and tell me this. I have heard about it before. Come back tomorrow with a written report and give it to the secretary of state who is dealing with this question. But now for you, my son. You are a young Jew. I know what that means and I hope you will always be proud to be a Jew!"

Then, the author of the article wrote, the Pope raised his voice, so that everyone in the hall could hear it clearly: "My son, whether you are worthier than others only the Lord knows, but believe me, you are at least as worthy as every other human being that lives on our earth! And now, my Jewish friend, go with the protection of the Lord, and never forget, you must always be proud to be a Jew!"

Archival find

The author goes on to say that, after having uttered these words in a pleasant voice, Pius XII lifted his hands to give the usual blessing, but he stopped, smiled and touched the author's head with his fingers, and then lifted him from his kneeling position.

Pius XII uttered these words during an audience attended by cardinals, bishops -- and a group of German soldiers.

Details of this incident were discovered in an archive in Tel Aviv University by William Doino, contributor to the magazine Inside the Vatican, and author of an annotated bibliography on Pius XII, published in "The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII" (Lexington Books, 2004).

According to Doino, "This testimony is significant because it shows the attention and great love with which the Pontiff regarded the Jews, in addition to reaffirming the rejection of the Nazi racial theories that pointed to the Jews as the last of the earth."

On this matter, Doino will publish a full-scale commentary in an upcoming issue of Inside the Vatican magazine, in which, among other things, he will evaluate the importance of this testimony for Pius XII studies.

Pope Pius XII lies in state at Castelgandolfo

Pope Pius Lying in state at Castelgandolfo

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