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Pope Francis And Pius Archives
Tue, 03/19/2013 - 20:00

During the current era of warming Jewish-Catholic relations, initiated in 1978 by the late Pope John Paul II and continued by the recently retired Benedict XVI, some dividing points between the Jewish and Catholic communities surfaced. Among them were the resurrected Latin Mass that calls for the conversion of the Jews, and the lifting of a Holocaust-denying priest’s excommunication.

But one issue has kept its position atop Jewish concerns: the legacy of Pius XII, the man who led the Vatican during World War II, turning a blind eye, according to many critics, to the Nazi persecution of Europe’s Jews; that included the Jewish community of Rome, members of which were rounded up, literally, outside Pius’ windows. Only a full opening of the Vatican’s wartime archives, which hold the full accounting of what Pius XII said and wrote in privacy as the Holocaust raged, will offer a full picture of his actions, members of the Jewish community, and to a lesser extent, some prestigious members of the Catholic community, maintain.

The Vatican has largely kept the archive doors closed. It has allowed selected scholars access to selected documents, and has promised a gradual opening of more records — far from what an honest historical accounting demands.

The change in the Vatican last week offers hope that this situation may change for the better. The election of Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, by the College of Cardinals as the successor to Benedict sent a strong signal of a change in style at the Holy See. Francis, according to al reports, is a modest man, who during his years moving up the Catholic hierarchy in his homeland, maintained constant and close ties with Argentina’s active Jewish community, celebrating Jewish holidays in synagogues and protesting terrorist attacks that were aimed at Argentine Jews.

Among the friends he made among Argentine Jewry is Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who co-authored with the then cardinal a 2010 book, “On Heaven and Earth,” which devoted a chapter to an analysis of Pius’ “attitude” toward the victims of the Final Solution.

Rabbi Skorka, in an interview with The Jewish Week’s Stewart Ain, said the cardinal called for an opening of the archives. Thr Rabbi said he is optimistic that Cardinal Bergoglio, as Pope Francis, will “search for all of the details and … open all the archives. He will use this opportunity to learn the truth.”

A full opening of Vatican records will go a long way to easing Jewish suspicions about the role the Church played — or failed to play — in using its influence to mitigate Nazi Germany’s atrocities against the continent’s Jews. On the other hand, many defenders of Pius XII in the Jewish and Catholic communities maintain that he clandestinely saved thousands of Jews by ordering the Church’s convents and seminaries to open their doors to endangered Jews. Opening the archives also runs a risk for the Vatican. Revelations that Pius XVI indeed was hostile, or at least indifferent, to the suffering of millions of Jews would greatly embarrass the Church, which has steadily defended the wartime pontiff and taken steps to elevate him to sainthood, and they would threaten the concept of papal infallibility.

If Pius was wrong about his dealings with the Third Reich, other pope’s views about other issues may be open to question.

Pope Francis, to all appearances, is a man committed to truth. A decision to fully open the Vatican, no matter the consequences, would be a clear demonstration of his further commitment.

Pius Archives, Pope Francis

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It is there in the Good Friday Services - not in a Mass - as there is none on Good Friday.

Dear Friends, please don't think of the Latin Mass as only "calls for the conversion of the Jews". It does this only on Good Friday. Otherwise it is a very beautiful liturgy that means much to many. Please know it for something else. The former Pope also toned down the language that used to be there - which I thought pretty awful.

Peace to all.

It is the argument of a number of respected scholars, not the least Klaus Scholder, that the historical center of gravity of the relations between the papacy, the Vatican, and the Third Reich were in 1933. The treaty negotiated between Pacelli, as Cardinal Secretary of State, and Pius XI, gave benefits to Catholic education at the time when educational benefits were being withdrawn from Jews in Germany. The Holy See thus became a mitlaufer, or fellow traveller: one who takes benefits from the tyrant while ostensibly aloof from his ideology. The cirumstance demoralised opponents, scandalised the young, and gave comfort to the Nazis abroad. The mItlaufers did more damage than card carrying Nazi members of the churches and professions. Pacelli, moroever, was complicit in encouraging the Zentrumspartei to vote for the enabling act, giving Hitler dictatorial powers, and immediately dissolving itself when the act was passed. The wartime discussions --- the silence, the assistance given to refugees, some of whom were Jews --- are a red herring, and distract from the terrible mistakes made by the Holy See from the very outset of the regime coming to power. Pius XI and Pius XII were Hitler's popes in the sense that their policies were ideal for Hitler's purposes.

"the resurrected Latin Mass that calls for the conversion of the Jews," show me where in the current liturgy of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass that this call for the conversion of the Jews appears? it doesn't so why bring it up? this is the missal I use and it doesn't have the prayer your refer to

Was Pope Pius XII secretly in league with Adolf Hitler? No, says Rabbi David G. Dalin—but there was a cleric in league with Hitler: the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. As Pope Pius XII worked to save Jews from the Nazis, the grand mufti became Hitler’s staunch ally and a promoter of the Holocaust, with a legacy that feeds radical Islam today. In this shocking and thoroughly documented book, Rabbi Dalin explodes the myth of Hitler’s pope and condemns the myth-makers for not only rewriting history, but for denying the testimony of Holocaust survivors, hijacking the Holocaust for unseemly political ends, and ignoring the real threat to the Jewish people. In The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, you’ll learn: · The true history of Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust—how the Catholic Church did more than any other religious body to save Jewish lives · The real history of the Church and the Nazis—including the Nazi plan to kidnap the pope · The real agenda of the myth-makers: hijacking the Holocaust to attack the very idea of the papacy—especially the papacy of the late Pope John Paul II—as well as Christianity and traditional religion as a whole · Hitler’s cleric—Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who advised and assisted the Nazis in carrying out Hitler’s Final Solution · How Pope Pius XII rescued Jews—and deserves to be called a “righteous gentile”—while the grand mufti of Jerusalem called for their extermination Full of shocking and irrefutable detail, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope is sure to generate controversy, and more important, to set the record straight. If you want the truth about Pope Pius XII, about the Catholic Church, the Jews, and the Holocaust, and about how the myth of Hitler’s pope plays into the culture wars of our own time—and how the fact of Hitler’s mufti is a vital source of radical Islam today—you must begin here. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG