Wednesday, April 14, 2010

St. Pius XII?

I've always found the allegations against Pope Pius XII to be motivated by either an animosity against the Catholic Church or by a significant misunderstanding on the historical record. Could Pope Pius XII have done more, certainly, but he nonetheless accomplished a great deal.

Ultimately the historical record will justify his actions. The Church in considering Pius XII for sainthood has declared his life to be one of heroic virtue. In the end, the real judgement lies with that Ultimate Arbiter, Jesus Christ. Yet, I would think (though I cannot know the will of God), that it will be a judgment found in his favor.

Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel said upon Pope Pius XII's death: "We share in the grief of humanity at the passing away of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII. In a generation afflicted by wars and discords he upheld the highest ideals of peace and compassion. When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace."

Albert Einstein said of the Church: "Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, but the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, but they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers . . . . they too were mute. Only the Church . . . stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. . . I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration . . . . and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly."

Even the New York Times, today that bastion of enmity toward the Catholic Church, spoke glowing words about Pope Pius XII's heroic witness. They identified him as a "lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent"

Under the Roman Sky is a small movie that is attempting to defend the Pope and provide a glimpse at his heroic virtue.

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