This biography discusses Pope Pius XIII's wartime silence over the Holocaust and exposes the patent anti-Semitism that led to his fateful concordance with Hitler - a partnership that smoothed the Nazis' path to power and saw the Vatican immensely enriched, financially and politically. In examining Eugenio Pacelli's early career and subsequent rise ...
This biography discusses Pope Pius XIII's wartime silence over the Holocaust and exposes the patent anti-Semitism that led to his fateful concordance with Hitler - a partnership that smoothed the Nazis' path to power and saw the Vatican immensely enriched, financially and politically. In examining Eugenio Pacelli's early career and subsequent rise to papal apotheosis, the author firmly indicts a Pope whom many regard as the most powerful churchman in modern history; one never held to account for the conduct of himself or his church during one of humanity's darkest hours.
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The book is very well written and full of information on the Vatican and Nazi Germany during WWII
Mar 27, 2013
Eugenio Pacelli, aka Pius XII, engineered further strengthening of the autocratic governing structure of the Roman Catholic Church. That was his be all and end all. A 'Vicar of Christ' on earth in name only, he, in essence, backed the Fascist regime in Italy and the NAZI regime in Italy in order to strengthen his control over the local churches. Though knowing of atrocities committed by the NAZIs throughout Europe and by Catholic priests in Croatia, among other places, he did not condemn the perpetrators. In fact, he used veiled language that might, if one stretches their imagination, allude to some sort of un-Christ-like behavior by some people. Reading this book also made me aware that some 'dogmas' of the Catholic church are relatively recent, the Immaculate Conception dates from 1854 and papal infallibility from 1870. Using Vatican sources as well as material from other archives, Cornwell paints a picture of the wartime pope that leads one to believe that the 'esteemed' head of the Church was guilty of the mortal sin of pride and, because of his silence in the face of evidence of 'the final solution' and other atrocities, other sins as well.
Feb 10, 2011
I didn't know about this as it has it in the book, it really opened my eyes.
Dec 1, 2007
Yellow Journalism at it's Best
This book, a basic scree against the Catholic Church, is riddles with inaccuracies, shoddy scholarship, and fictional history. Cornwell ignores the huge deposit of historical documents which proclaim the thankful Jewish response to the pope's actions during the war. Dozens of international jewish groups paid tribute to the pope's saving actions during the war, in which it is estimated that he saved 800,000 jewish people from the Nazi holocoust. For a much more comprehensive work on this subject, I refer the reader to "Hitler, the War, and the Pope" by Ronald J. Rychlak. Rychlak devoteds a chapter of his book to demoloshing the scholarship in Cornwall's work, and deals with the sources with integrity, revealing the truth of the pope's actions during the war.
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