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Defends Pope Pius XII
Wed, 03/10/2010 - 19:00

Although many of the victims of the Holocaust were indeed Jews, many Poles, Italians and Catholics also died at the Nazi concentration camps (“Catholic Scholars To Pope: Slow Down On Pius Sainthood,” Feb. 26).

I commend the Vatican for moving Pope Pius XII a step closer to sainthood. Despite largely Jewish efforts to cast a dark shadow over Pope Pius XII ’s good character, he and the Catholic Church saved more Jews in Europe during the Second World War than any other party, with the only exception being the Allied liberating armies themselves.

In 1946 Isaac Herzog, chief rabbi of Jerusalem wrote a letter to Pius XII thanking him for helping Jews during the Holocaust and for “sheltering thousands of children, who were hidden in Catholic institutions.”

Hamilton, Ontario

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Your journal should know that Paul Koskoski appears to be an extreme Catholic who writes to papers in other countries, including Europe, UK, Ireland, US, about matters affecting his church. He appears to be a fanatical defender of popes, particularly the current one, and defends his church against all comers and all current charges, against all evidence, He appears to be a man to be avoided and regarded with considerable skepticism. Definitely not worth entertaining or, least of all, publishing.
What Pope Pius XII do or did not do during WWII should not be compared to what other world leaders did. So, it's irrelevant if he saved more Jews than, say, Churchill, because these two leaders were in very different circumstances. Pope Pius XII did not stand up to Hitler, but almost any nation that could did. Pope Pius could fight Hitler and his policies in ways no nation could. He, as opposed to any other nation, had the hearts and ears of half a billion Catholics, including those fighting on the side of evil, and those perpetrating the most heinous crimes. He, as opposed to Roosevelt or Churchill, had direct access to these millions of Catholics through an intact Church communication network. He, as opposed to any other world leader, could have appealed to these people’s conscience. But he chose not to. As he told a correspondent for L’Osservatore Romano when he asked the Pope whether he was not going to protest the extermination of the Jews: “Dear friend, do not forget that millions of Catholics serve in the German armies. Shall I bring them into conflicts of conscience?” Gabriel Wilensky --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Author Six Million Crucifixions: How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust Follow me on Twitter at Become a Fan on Facebook at ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------