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Secular Take on Pius XII

11. March 2010

An excellently researched article from a secular view on the truth about Pope Pius XII and the question of whether he did enough to fight against the Nazis in WWII.

Then there is an irony here: If you’re the church, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Moderns lament those medieval days when popes and prelates melded with princes and politics, but then turn about and say that the church didn’t do “enough” to stop the owners of arguably the most powerful military on Earth. But while nothing is ever enough to one bent on criticism, the days of a pope summoning Crusader armies to vanquish the barbarians du jour are long gone.

This brings us back to quiet heroism and Oskar Schindler. Krupp has pointed out that in Judaism “the highest form of charity is anonymous charity,” and he says that this is what Pius is “guilty” of. Yet anonymous help is sometimes driven by necessity as much as nobility. Sure, we often like our heroes spitting in the eye of 1,000 devils while dodging 1,000 bullets, but bravery that kills innocents is no virtue. Many have observed that whenever the church spoke out, reprisals against Christians and Jews alike intensified. And this could only be observed because the church did speak out. This — and the fact that a dead savior saves no one — is the reason why, like Schindler, Pius had to work his miracles in secret. Unlike Schindler, though, who is admired for using a pretense of friendship with Nazis to save 1,200 lives, Pius is condemned for using an occasional pretense of neutrality to save the better part of one million. read more

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