July 2, 2012 |
A Holocaust museum in Israel has slightly softened its rhetoric regarding the inaction of Pope Pius XII in the face of the deportation of Jews during World War II. Yad Vashem -- the cultural center for Holocaust studies in Jerusalem -- changed the wording on an explanatory wall panel that is part of an ongoing display. The modified wall panel, which was installed Sunday, incorporates views of those who defend the Pope. Pope Pius XII has long been a figure of contention between the Vatican and Israel.
March 27, 2010 |
This has been a tough Lent for the Roman Catholic Church. Its seemingly endless sexual abuse scandal finally has seeped into the papal apartments, and the Vatican's response to this week's revelations suggests that far too little has been learned from this squalid affair. Until now, Pope Benedict XVI had seemed to be taking a far more forthright approach to the problem than his predecessor, John Paul II, most recently in a blistering "pastoral letter" to the entire Irish church. This week, however, the New York Times published a pair of stories suggesting that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- the future Pope Benedict -- participated in precisely the sort of secrecy and administrative negligence that has been at the root of this scandal.
February 2, 2009
Re "Vatican resolute on Holocaust denier," Jan. 28 I was astonished to read that the pope has rescinded the excommunication of anti-Semitic Bishop Richard Williamson, who claims the Holocaust never happened. As a cradle Catholic, I am appalled that the prelate of my church would hide behind the legal technicalities of canon law to allow this obviously loathsome man to resume his affiliation with Catholicism. This is as horrifying to me as learning that Pope Pius XII at the time of the Holocaust turned a blind eye to the annihilation of Jews, Gypsies and anyone else who did not measure up to the Third Reich standards.
July 15, 2007 |
THERE comes a moment in life when the weight of memory and emotion can lead to action. For Saul Friedlander, that moment arrived when he stumbled upon a misfiled Nazi document in Bonn, during research for a book on U.S.-German relations before World War II. During 1941, as news of Hitler's atrocities began spreading, Pope Pius XII had warmly invited the Berlin Opera to perform selections from Wagner at the Vatican, according to a formerly secret telegram that Friedlander read.
July 5, 2006
ON A VISIT TO THE AUSCHWITZ death camp in late May, Pope Benedict XVI said, "In a place like this, words fail." Those are especially understandable words coming from a man of faith whose native country carried out the Holocaust and who was conscripted into the Hitler Youth and the German army. As it happens, though, words can give new understanding to the most horrific events of the past.
August 22, 2003 |
Newly discovered U.S. diplomatic documents including a confidential memo written by the future Pope Pius XII indicate that whatever the pontiff's failings to publicly confront Adolph Hitler, he came to privately believe that compromise with the Nazi regime was "out of the question." A year before Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli -- the future Pius XII -- cautioned against compromise in a 1938 memo intended for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a U.S.