HITLER'S POPE is the previously untold story of the man who was arguably the most dangerous churchman in history: Eugenio Pacelli. Pious XII, pontiff from 1939 to 1958 and long controversial as the Pope who failed to speak out against Hitler's Final Solution. Here is the full story of how Pacelli in fact prompted events in the 1920s and 30s that ...
HITLER'S POPE is the previously untold story of the man who was arguably the most dangerous churchman in history: Eugenio Pacelli. Pious XII, pontiff from 1939 to 1958 and long controversial as the Pope who failed to speak out against Hitler's Final Solution. Here is the full story of how Pacelli in fact prompted events in the 1920s and 30s that helped sweep the Nazis to unhindered power. In the first decade of the twentieth century Pacelli was a brilliant Vatican lawyer who helped shape a new ideology of unprecedented papal power. As papal nuncio in Munich in the 1920s, he used cunning and moral blackmail to impose Rome's power on Germany. In 1933, he negotiated a treaty with Hitler, the Reich Concordat, which ensured that the Nazis would rise unopposed by the most powerful Catholic community in the world-sealing, by Hitler's own admission-the fate of the Jews in Europe. Until now, historians have only focused on one episode and one issue regarding Pius XII: his silence during the Holocaust. But John Cornwall documents how Pius's wartime reticence was consistent with a career dedicated to enhancing papal power and that he had a personal antipathy toward the Jews-for which Cornwall offers striking new evidence. Drawing on research from secret Vatican and Jesuit archives made available only to the author, this is a firm and final indictment of Pius XII's papacy and its consequences for the Catholic Church today.
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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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