The essence of Pope Benedict´s visit to England seems to be the following
1. No mention at all of the serious threat to the Jews of Israel, and the danger to them from an Iranian Fascist Government led by Ahmadinejad, which has threatened Israel with war on many occasions
2. No mention of the Fascists who seek the destruction of Israel, called “Palestinians”, that is Abbas and Fatah, Hamas, and outside Iran, Hizbullah and Arab Fascist and antisemitic activity in most Arab countries
3. No support or defence of Israel from this Pope
4. No mention of Christians, and Catholics, being driven out of Iraq
5. In general, a serious cover provided to Islam and Sharia Law in a score of countries, in many of which Catholics are being killed.
But the key to Benedict lies in the Middle East. Israel is the Homeland of the Jews and the record of the Vatican towards the Jews is the worst possible, and was the centre of antisemitism in the world
Pope Benedict evades all of these issues and lectures the British people about them being “secular”. What a nerve this guy has!
At the centre of this Papal visit to Britain is not that weird cleric John Henry Newman, friend of Chesterton and of all people TS Eliot, but is the record of the Vatican during the Holoicaust.
This is an extract from Jewish Virtual Library on the issue:
(Extract on Pius 12 during Holocaust starts here)
Pope Pius XII’s (1876-1958) actions during the Holocaust remain controversial. For much of the war, he maintained a public front of indifference and remained silent while German atrocities were committed. He refused pleas for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general. Privately, he sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews.
The Pope was born in 1876 in Rome as Eugenio Pacelli. He studied philosophy at the Gregorian University, learned theology at Sant Apollinare and was ordained in 1899. He entered the Secretariat of State for the Vatican in 1901, became a cardinal in 1929 and was appointed Secretary of State in 1930.
Pacelli lived in Germany from 1917, when he was appointed Papal Nuncio in Bavaria, until 1929. He knew what the Nazi party stood for, and was elected Pope in 1939 having said very little about Adolf Hitler’s ideology beyond a 1935 speech describing the Nazis as “miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel.” Pacelli told 250,000 pilgrims at Lourdes on April 28, “It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of the social revolution, whether they are guided by a false conception of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult.” He believed National Socialism was “profoundly anti-Christian and a danger to Catholocism.”(1)
Even as Cardinal, Pacelli’s actions regarding Hitler were controversial. Hitler took power on January 30, 1933. On July 20 that same year, Pacelli and German diplomat Franz Von Papen signed a concordat that granted freedom of practice to the Roman Catholic Church. In return, the Church agreed to separate religion from politics. This diminished the influence of the Catholic Center Party and the Catholic Labor unions. The concordat was generally viewed as a diplomatic victory for Hitler.(1a)
Pacelli was elected Pope on March 2, 1939, and took the name Pius XII. As Pope, he had three official positions. He was head of his church and was in direct communication with bishops everywhere. He was chief of state of the Vatican, with his own diplomatic corps. He was also the Bishop of Rome. In theory, at least, his views could influence 400 million Catholics, including those in all the occupied eastern territories – the Poles, Baltics, Croatians, Slovaks and others.(2)
As soon as he was appointed Pope, Pacelli did speak out against the 1938 Italian racial laws that dealt with mixed marriages and children of mixed marriages.(3) However, he issued no such condemnation of Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) which occurred in November 1938, and which recent evidence shows he was informed of by Berlin’s papal nuncio. As the security of the Jewish population became more precarious, Pius XII did intervene the month he was elected Pope, March 1939, and obtained 3,000 visas to enter Brazil for European Jews who had been baptized and converted to Catholicism. Two-thirds of these were later revoked, however, because of “improper conduct,” probably meaning that the Jews started practicing Judaism once in Brazil. At that time, the Pope did nothing to save practicing Jews.(4)
Throughout the Holocaust, Pius XII was consistently besieged with pleas for help on behalf of the Jews.
In the spring of 1940, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Isaac Herzog, asked the papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Luigi Maglione to intercede to keep Jews in Spain from being deported to Germany. He later made a similar request for Jews in Lithuania. The papacy did nothing.(5)
Within the Pope’s own church, Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna told Pius XII about Jewish deportations in 1941. In 1942, the Slovakian charge d’affaires, a position under the supervision of the Pope, reported to Rome that Slovakian Jews were being systematically deported and sent to death camps.(6)
In October 1941, the Assistant Chief of the U.S. delegation to the Vatican, Harold Tittman, asked the Pope to condemn the atrocities. The response came that the Holy See wanted to remain “neutral,” and that condemning the atrocities would have a negative influence on Catholics in German-held lands.(7)
In late August 1942, after more than 200,000 Ukrainian Jews had been killed, Ukrainian Metropolitan Andrej Septyckyj wrote a long letter to the Pope, referring to the German government as a regime of terror and corruption, more diabolical than that of the Bolsheviks. The Pope replied by quoting verses from Psalms and advising Septyckyj to “bear adversity with serene patience.”(8)
On September 18, 1942, Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, wrote, “The massacres of the Jews reach frightening proportions and forms.”(9) Yet, that same month when Myron Taylor, U.S. representative to the Vatican, warned the Pope that his silence was endangering his moral prestige, the Secretary of State responded on the Pope’s behalf that it was impossible to verify rumors about crimes committed against the Jews.(10)
Wladislaw Raczkiewicz, president of the Polish government-in-exile, appealed to the Pope in January 1943 to publicly denounce Nazi violence. Bishop Preysing of Berlin did the same, at least twice. Pius XII refused.(11)
The Pope finally gave a reason for his consistent refusals to make a public statement in December 1942. The Allied governments issued a declaration, “German Policy of Extermination of the Jewish Race,” which stated that there would be retribution for the perpetrators of Jewish murders. When Tittman asked Secretary of State Maglione if the Pope could issue a similar proclamation, Maglione said the papacy was “unable to denounce publicly particular atrocities.”(12) One reason for this position was that the staunchly anti-communist Pope felt he could not denounce the Nazis without including the Communists; therefore, Pius XII would only condemn general atrocities.(13)
The Pope did speak generally against the extermination campaign. On January 18, 1940, after the death toll of Polish civilians was estimated at 15,000, the Pope said in a broadcast, “The horror and inexcusable excesses committed on a helpless and a homeless people have been established by the unimpeachable testimony of eye-witnesses.”(14) During his Christmas Eve radio broadcast in 1942, he referred to the “hundreds of thousands who through no fault of their own, and solely because of their nation or race, have been condemned to death or progressive extinction.”(15) The Pope never mentioned the Jews by name.
In a September 1940 broadcast, the Vatican called its policy “neutrality,” but stated in the same broadcast that where morality was involved, no neutrality was possible.(18) This could only imply that mass murder was not a moral issue.
The Pope’s indifference to the mistreatment of Jews was often clear. In 1941, for example, after being asked by French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain if the Vatican would object to anti-Jewish laws, Pius XII answered that the church condemned racism, but did not repudiate every rule against the Jews.(16) When Petain’s French puppet government introduced “Jewish statutes,” the Vichy ambassador to the Holy See informed Petain that the Vatican did not consider the legislation in conflict with Catholic teachings, as long as they were carried out with “charity” and “justice.”(17)
Robert Wistrich notes that “by the end of 1942, the Vatican was among the best-informed institutions in Europe concerning the Holocaust. Except for the Germans or perhaps British intelligence, few people were more aware of the local details as well as the larger picture.”(17a)
On September 8, 1943, the Nazis invaded Italy and, suddenly, the Vatican was the local authority. The Nazis gave the Jews 36 hours to come up with 50 kilograms of gold or else the Nazis would take 300 hostages. The Vatican was willing to loan 15 kilos, an offer that eventually proved unnecessary when the Jews obtained an extension for the delivery.(19)
Pius XII knew that Jewish deportations from Italy were impending. The Vatican even found out from SS First Lieutenant Kurt Gerstein the fate of those who were to be deported.(20) Publicly, the Pope stayed silent. Privately, Pius did instruct Catholic institutions to take in Jews. The Vatican itself hid 477 Jews and another 4,238 Jews were protected in Roman monasteries and convents.(21)
On October 16, the Nazis arrested 1,007 Roman Jews, the majority of whom were women and children. They were taken to Auschwitz, where 811 were gassed immediately. Of those sent to the concentration camp, 16 survived.(22)