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NEW STUDY OF CATHOLIC CHURCH AND WORLD WAR 11

Catholic News Service

When the Vatican’s wartime archives open to researchers March 2, it will be just the start of what should be a long, slow process of studying, analyzing and publishing findings, said the Vatican’s archivist and librarian.“We have to have the patience to wait and listen to the results” dozens of scholars are expected to produce over the coming years from what is known to be “inevitably slow and complex” work, Cardinal Jose Tolentino Calaca de Mendonca told reporters Feb. 20.

Only by expecting and letting scholars take the time to do their job thoroughly can the examination and discussion of this controversial wartime period have “certain” and document-based evidence, he said.The true task of a historian, he said, is to understand and submit to the truth, untangling the reasons behind historical events.“The church is not afraid of history and faces the assessment of historians and researchers with trusting certainty” that the meaning and spirit of what was done will be understood, Cardinal de Mendonca said.

The cardinal was one of a number of Vatican archivists who spoke with reporters at the Vatican press hall about the upcoming opening of the archives related to the wartime pontificate of Pope Pius XII.A vast amount of materials from the period of 1939 to 1958 will be available for consultation and study by qualified scholars or academics.

The materials come from not just the Vatican Apostolic Archives, but also multiple other archives, such as from the Vatican Secretariat of State, which include documents regarding internal church governance and the Holy See’s relations with states, nongovernmental organizations and the international community.Johan Ickx, director of the archive of the section for relations with states, told reporters staffers have digitized almost their entire archive, starting with 1939 and reaching just shy of 1958, since they only “started doing it nine years ago.”

“We are now past 1.3 million documents” already scanned and available online for study or to request printed copies, he said.To offer an example of what one could find, he said, “There are documents of ambassadors coming to the Holy See,” meeting with Vatican officials and staff, expressing their opinions, concerns and plans, and documents or correspondence related to other diplomatic contacts and activity.There also will “certainly be documents” related to a hypothetical or “presumed” plan by the Nazi regime to kidnap Pope Pius, he added in response to a question.

Ickx said, “I think the researchers that come will be astonished when they see” all that is in their archive.Much is already known from the extensive research carried out in other archives around the world, but the opening at the Vatican “will still change something, that is, for understanding the truth better. I am certain of this,” he said.

Other archives making their documentation available from the time period include the congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Evangelization of Peoples and Eastern Churches, the Apostolic Penitentiary and the Fabbrica di San Pietro, the Vatican office in charge of St. Peter’s Basilica.By Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service

PAT SAYS

I have always held the view that the Vatican made a balls of WW11 and the persecution of the Jews.

I am, of course, ready to be corrected by scientific and objective study.

I welcome the new open study.

I look forward to see its outcome.

80 replies on “NEW STUDY OF CATHOLIC CHURCH AND WORLD WAR 11”

Pacello, by his own words was anti Jewish. He helped Hitler to power and also helped him to get rid of Catholic dissent in Germany. Worse still, he trivialised the Holocaust but took credit after the war for condemning the Nazi’s. He was a total hypocrite and a liar. Nothing new there then from the man in the White dress from Rome.

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@ 11:11pm, you bring to mind Matthew 7 —
‘’Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits…
… A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’’
Could it be that nothing has changed from the Roman hierarchical intellectual, moral and emotional stance? Just asking

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4.06
It’s interesting that you’re much more annoyed by a misspelling than by anti-semitism in a future pope.
Are you anti-semitic, too, then? 😕

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Have to wonder why Pius was elected Pope after a one day conclave. Did the Catholic Church fear the Nazi’s and elect Pacelli Pope because he was the papal nuncio to Germany during the rise of the Nazis and had ingratiated himself with them due to his anti Semitic beliefs. Pius X11 was a weak man who chose protecting the firm over speaking out about indescribable torture. In other words, like his successors, he was a cover up merchant. Essential part of the CV for any Cardinal aspiring to become head honcho – good at covering up abuses. And they claim these men are Christs representative on Earth. The Pope should apply for the newly vacated chief exec job in Disney. After all he’s good at fairy tales and make believe. Get him to swop jobs with Mickey Mouse. Now that I would like to see 😂

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He was the obvious choice: Secretary of State and Camerlengo. The average age of participants was 67. At 62 he was one of the youngest. Nothing sinister in any of that.

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My God! What a loaded statement by Cardinal Jose Tolenteno Calaca de Mendonca (Jeez! I wish Latinos would learn the art of brevity in personal naming.):
‘The Church’ he said, ‘is not afraid of history and faces the assessment of historians and researchers with trusting certainty.’ 😅
This guff should set alarm bells a clanging in every academic’s head. First, the Church may not be afraid of history in general, but it is caca scared of ITS history, since there is little in it that isn’t either unedifying or risible; occasionally, there is both similtaneously. In fact, the Church is so caca scared of its history that it took nearly 500 years for it to apologise, in the year 2000, to a bemused world for the fundamental causal role it had in the Protestant Reformation. And much to the chagrin of the Curia, I can tell you, of which some believed that an apology would be tantamount to admitting that the Church is, despite all the high-blown drivel to the contrary, absolutely fallible after all. The Church played no bit part in the Reformation: it was the star turn. And the Curia knew it. 😃
And the Church is so caca scared of its history that it spent, in The States, literally millions of ordinary Catholics’ money to mount legal challenges against widening the Statute of Limitations on child-sexual-abuse cases by priests.
And it is so caca scared of its history that it enforced, by Canon Law, absolute silence in cases of child-sexual abuse, for the most part under pain of excommunication, and when this was relaxed, through financial payments.
The Church is so caca scared here (and, for all the ‘good’ priests and the Cathbots reading the blog, the evidence for this is overwhelming) that it will go to almost ANY lengths, even to criminal lengths, to conceal what its popes, bishops, priests, nuns, and brothers have done. Does anyone seriously doubt that it will go to such lengths again? To conceal whatever anti-semitism Pope Pius XII (‘Hitler’s Pope’?) and his ministers might have been up to before, during, and after the Holocaust? Anti-semitism isn’t just hostile conduct towards Jews, or indifference to any plight they might have suffered: anti-semitism can be expressed also in doing less for them than could have been done. And here, I suspect, the Church is more vulnerable, and open to just criticism.
If anyone is naive enough (aside from the ‘good’ priests and the Cathbots 😅), to believe that there has been no redaction and censorship of the digital archive the Vatican is going to release to academics (and then, to carefully selected…or ‘friendly’… ones), he is an utter fool. But there is, as they say, one of these born every minute. And the Catholic Church, with its history of encouraging familes to breed with the abandon of rabbits in springtime, is choc-full o’ ’em. 😆

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“Opening of the Archives’ We need to view this statement with considerable caution. There will be a good deal of redacted material and material that will simply not be available for scholars and others to peruse.
I would be very interested in documents relating to pro fascist cardinals such as Nicola Canali the wartime Governor of the Vatican City State who used the war to spy on and plant spies in the service of allied diplomats.
Will we see such documents or maybe relating to the war era paedophile Cardinal Caccia Dominioni?
I suspect such material will never see the light of day

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NatLog,
Could these document not be confiscated under any legal-grounds; possibly under the Geneva convention or similar?

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4.45
Not possible, I’m afraid. The Vatican is an independent, city state.
If you consider the trouble law enforcement agencies in The States are having in getting RC dioceses to hand over secret files on accused priests, you’ll understand this better.

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I am sorry to say I have a rare disagreement with you here, but I don’t think you’ve got it quite right. The Vatican makes a balls of *everything* it comes into contact with, not just WW2. Everything is marked by the motivation of maintaining the power and privilege of the tiny city state, and everything else, including human life, goes down the drain. You cannot entrust the functionaries of this city state with anything, not buildings, lives or even the vessels of the altar, because their sole purpose is to serve the state and support its prestige and power.

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@ 5:17am
You make a very valid point; if I tried to pick apart anything you have stated I would find great difficulty indeed.
I too am familiar with the damage these people continually cause — they leave a trail of destruction in their wake and do not care who or what they damage. I know!

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8:13am
Do you really think you need an answer to that question!
And anyhow, there is always the Liverpool approach whereby possible documentation and facts could, possibly, be concerned: throw everything in the bottom drawer; possibly, close your eyes; possibly, and pretend it’s a sunny day outside; false smiles and let’s all hold on tight til the bitter end—the very bitter end! Only thing is, people are not stupid and until those who think this to be the case change their position, very quickly, then the problem will not go away. It will continue to snowball, faster and faster.

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Pat, if you are not a research historian, making so dismissive a comment is cheap – and we all know you’d love if the research and analysis now possible will flatten the Vatican. I’d like you to give a more learned, intelligent contribution and validate your “opinions” with proper accurate, reliable research by academics.

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I’m not going to jump to any premature judgement about what will be revealed in these archives. Some clues we have from other sources. It will take many years for the academics, scholars and writers to come up with some definitive history of the actions and behaviour of the Vatican and the Catholic Church during the 30s and 40s. It will no doubt be interesting. But, it is going to take some time. I may well not be around when the books appear ! Some of what will emerge will be noble, some of it will be grimy. Let us wait and see.

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Bp Pat, do you think the republic of Ireland will have any cause for concern on the opening up the Vatican archives covering the period they euphemistically describe as “the emergency?”

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Personally speaking I feel the Republic of Ireland has cause for concern regarding the coronavirus. now that a northerner has brought it onto the island, and the situation may become an ’emergency’

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Fr Sugar-Ray Kelly will be dancing the Quickstep to I’m a Believer by The Monkees on Sunday, Bp Pat, week 9. Will he trouser another €4,000? I wonder.

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11.20: You silly, childish, moronic idiot. FFS, go and open your eyes to the real concerns and needs of people whom you might be able to help and support. Your ad nauseam, begrudging jealousy against Fr. Ray is rather tiresome and infantile. If you helped as many charities and individuals as Fr. Kelly has done and continues to do, you can then offer your crappy comment. Good luck to Fr. Ray. Get a life.

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I recently saw the film about Franz Jägerstatter who is now honoured as a martyr owing to his refusal to take the oath to fight for Hitler. Interestingly the question running through the film is not only was he right to refuse but whether he had the right to take a decision which would adversely affect his wife, mother and children and go against his community. He was not only sacrificing himself but them too, and I think this was the question which Pius agonised over. Now some readers of this blog might well have taken the heroic option, but I am pretty sure I would have knuckled down and hoped for better times. At the end of a very long film, I confess I wish Jägerstatter had not done what he did. It was only decades later that he became one of those “good Germans” who resisted; at the time if seemed he died for nothing. As has been discussed in other contexts, do we need heroes?

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1.16

The phrase ‘good Germans’ refers not to those who resisted the Nazi holocaust of the Jews, but to those who looked away from it.

Franz J. was not trying to be a hero: he did offer to serve as a paramedic in the Wermacht. This was refused, and he was beheaded.

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The sticking point was his refusal to take the oath. Good German is clearly a matter of persepective, just as his friends and neighbours were angry with him for not – from their point of view – caring for his family but abandoning them to their fate. I am merely suggesting – without picking up facts and figures from Wikipedia – that moral choices are rarely clear cut. The same is true on issues such as abortion. Fine to take the moral high ground over hundreds of young girls forced to carry to term pregnancies as a result of rape in a country such as Paraguay when you are a male priest say in Washington. Likewise I do not quite get the drive to condemn Pius XII for not having involved ordinary Catholics in opposing the Holocaust when the Allied Powers who were in a position to have acted also knew and did nothing.

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2.28
The phrase ‘good Germans’ is idiomatic. It means those who turn a blind eye to the criminal atrocities committed by the State. Its origin is the collective collusion (and, perhaps, moral complicity) of many Germans in the Nazi holocaust of the Jews. If you were using the phrase in a different sense in your post at 1.16, you should have stated so, to avoid confusion.
As for moral choices, they are, on the contrary, usually highly clear-cut. On those occasions when they appear otherwise, it is not intellectual obscurity that makes decision-making about them problematic, but emotional reluctance on our part to do what we know is the right thing, however hard it might seem.
If your reference to Wikipedia was meant as an insult to me, then you’ve jumped on an old bandwagon. If you are going to attempt to insult me again, then, please, try being original, because I tire, very easily, of uncreative bores.
As for Pius and his failure to call upon ordinary Catholics in Germany to oppose Nazism, you do know, I presume, that the canonisation of Thomas More, in 1935, was more than a spiritual rite of passage for this former Lord Chancellor of England. It was also highly symbolic, and a moral precedent for the papacy: a man who resisted the might of the English state under the tyrannical King Henry VIII, and who suffered martyrdom for it, was being presented by the Vatican, under Pope Pius XI, as a role model of holy resistance to the Catholic western world, in a time of rising fascism in Europe.
And since when were Christ’s vicars meant to take a moral lead from secular Allied powers?

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Magna is quite wrong about the significance of “good Germans”: the term refers to those who kicked the trend and had the moral courage to resist. However, his point about Thomas More is a good one, and he is right to point to the significance of his canonization in 1938. I still think, however, that Pius XII’s reluctance to bring down a firestorm upon German Catholics for whom he had pastoral responsibility is understandable – and what good would it have achieved? The moral clarity which Magna discerns in himself is not vouchsafed to everybody, and thank God for that: there is a terrible cost to certainty, which is not usually borne by those who suffer its effects. Still nice to wallow in your own rectitude – and as for tiring of bores, that’s a bit bloody rich, me thinks!

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Anonymous 28th Feb 2020 — 1:16 pm = I recently saw the film about Franz Jägerstatter who is now honoured as a martyr owing to his refusal to take the oath to fight for Hitler.
………………………….
Here’s the trailer.

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4.54
Oaths of loyalty to political leaders and vows (or promises) of obedience to RC bishops: is there a difference, in principle?
Under both circumstances, great evil was commited, and great evil thrived, rationalised and subjugated by those in power. Whether it was Jewish persecution, or the sexual persecution of young people and its cover-up in the RCC. In one respect then, RC priests are no better than those who made an oath of loyalty to Hitler.

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7.00

(Sigh 😩) The idiomatic phrase ‘good Germans’ means precisely what I said. You clearly haven’t researched its meaning (not ‘significance’). Check the Urban Dictionary; you’ll find it online.

And Thomas More was canonised in 1935 (19 May), not, as you stated, in 1938. I do hope you are not teaching 20th-century Euopean history to gullible teenagers.

A firestorm on the Catholic population of Germany had Pius called on them to resist the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler? Your reasoning is as poor as your ability in historical research. Roughly half the population of Germany at the outbreak of WWII was Roman Catholic. And Catholics comprised a large part of the German armed forces. It would have been utterly impractical, and politically suicidal, for Hitler to have turned on his Catholic population had it protested, en masse, the atrocities of his regime. Roughly half the armed forces (Catholic servicemen) would have gone into mutiny over it. The war would have been lost sooner for Hitler than it was, and he would have suffered retribution from the German people. Something, perhaps, along the lines dished out to Mussolini in 1945.

You are an idiot, like many RCs, to believe the fig-leaf excuse broadcast by the Vatican post-war for Pius’ inaction over the persecution of German Jews. This level of propaganda finesse would have made Goebbel’s proud. But then, as Hitler himself said (paraphrasing) the bigger the lie, the more easily it will be believed.

I don’t doubt he had people like you in mind. 😕

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The Irish state tried to play both sides during WW2. DeValera hedged his bets just in case the Nazi’s won. He was relatively silent on the Holocaust, taking the “Rome line”. I fear that the archives which are to be released will have been heavily censored as they will not wish to show Pacelli in a bad light. Pacelli’s actions(or lack of action), just like DeValeras were ones of cowardice. De Valera and Pacelli were more interested in self preservation than anything else. The firm must survive at all costs. To take the plaudits after the war is a clear example of Pacelli being a liar. Sadly for the RCC, despite all the dressing they tried to put on it, history cannot be rewritten. The Catholic Church is a disease ridden organisation far removed from the teachings and actions of Christ. That church itself is not behind the door in meting out its own torture and abuses of human beings. As children we lived in fear of these monsters. We knew what they were capable of. They were jack boot Nazis. For those who say otherwise, history will tell a different story. Does this institution know no shame. “Confess your sins to one another that you may be healed”. Not cover up your sins and hope they go away

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You are, of course, right about the Vatican’s likely defensiveness of Pius XII. Can you imagine how it would look to the world we’re it known that Rome had canonised an anti-semite? It would call into question not only its judgement, but its reliability, and very authority, to declare sainthood for anyone. Oh, wait! That bus has already gone. It did canonise the rabid anti-semite, John Chrysostom. He was the first ‘saint’ to use the word ‘deicide’ (God-killer) of the Jews.

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Magna Carta 28th Feb 2020 — 2:02 pm — “Can you imagine how it would look to the world we’re it known that Rome had canonised an anti-semite? It would call into question not only its judgement, but its reliability, and very authority, to declare sainthood for anyone …
You’re right. They’d never do it.
For example when Pope Francis certified Cardinal Hlond’s “heroic virtues” and declared him “venerable,” in 2018 the assessment was based in part on Hlond’s defence of Jews.
Oy Vey!
https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/pope-francis-and-the-problematic-sainthood-cause-of-cardinal-august-hlond

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“Magna Carta”at 2:02pm – Pius XII was never canonised. In any case, Pius will come out better than your hate-filled, poisonous and vicious little mind will be able to cope with.

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Bishop P. at 2.15

His proclamation as a saint is pre-congregational (before the institution of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints), so, yes, his canonisation is vox populi. As indeed were many others. All of these, including Chrysostom’s, are accepted by Rome. In fact, Chyrsostom is celebrated as a Doctor of the Church. His feastday (a Memoria) is on 13 September.

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Historical inaccuracy once again from MC. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints 1969, was the successor of Congregatio sacrorum rituum, established in 1588 by Sixtus V. However, many saints were canonised for hundreds of years before this.
J. Chrysostom and many others were recognised as saints by bishops of their diocese. In the 10th Century John XV was the first pope to canonise a saint.

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4.44
Indeed.
From the video, the Vatican postulators for Hlond’s cause for canonisation didn’t actually deny the clearly anti-semitic nature of published statements by this man during his seminal time (before his, er, ‘exile’) as Poland’s premier Catholic cleric: they say the statements were just ‘misinterpreted’. But how else is one to understand the unambiguous and indiscriminate meaning of statements that urged Catholics to stay away from Jews, and not to read Jewish publications?

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5.14

I meant to say ‘how it would look to the world, WERE Rome to canonise an anti-semite’. My apology for the mistake.

I don’t for one moment doubt that Pius will come out of this very well indeed: after all, the Vatican has had centuries of practice in stage-managing events.

The Vatican will release to the world only what archived documents it wants to release; it will try to control the narrative about Pius as favourably, and as rigidly, as it may.

You are a gullible fool if you believe otherwise.

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Anonymous 28th Feb 2020 — 1:26 pm — “The Irish state tried to play both sides during WW2. DeValera hedged his bets just in case the Nazi’s won … ”
………………………………………………………………………
Ireland and the Irish State cooperated massively with the UK – and right from the start.

The thing is that all the archives relating to the UK’s dealings with neutral and a Axis-Occupied countries are still Top Secret and permanently sealed. Those who could sensibly comment on these things keep their mouths, so that those who do write on the subject …

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10.10

The truth is never twisted; uncomfortable for some, but never twisted.

I realise that you are looking at the Church, especially at its history in recent decades, through highly tinted rose-coloured spectacles. In a way, I don’t blame you: this is how you have been taught to see: Catholics were raised with an idealised, almost utopian, vision of Church. It can be personally devastating to see the ugly face of truth about the Church once those spectacles have been pulled off by hardened facts about her true character.

Your hostility towards me is a desperate attempt to hold water through open fingers: to maintain belief in an ever-discredited illusion. Again, I don’t blame you: we all prefer to remain with the familiar. But better grimy reality than than fools’ gold.

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1:49. What an ill advised and ignorant comment to make. “An axe to grind”? If you think that’s what speaking the truth is then you are very misguided. Who slighted me? No one slighted me but the church I was raised in has let me and millions of others down by its actions, by its lies, it’s double-speak, it’s abuses, it’s coverups, it’s beatings. Tell me poster at 1:49 can you honestly say that the actions of the RCC are Christ like. Regarding today’s post, can you honestly say that Pacelli’s actions during the war were Christ like? Christ was a Jew . We’re Pacelli’s anti Semitic views Christ like?

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Get a grip. If that’s what worries you day in and day out then you haven’t got much of a life, do you?Ranting oversensitive fool more like.

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In relation to Anon@ 6:24:
Unclear who or what is referred to.
Use of “do” instead of “have” in second sentence.
No space after second sentence.
No verb in final sentence.
Assessment: Lack of analytical contra argument. Comprises no more than a negative rant.
Marks: 2 out of 10.

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Pat do you know why everyone names their child after him around that period? My brother Eugene’s full name is Eugenio Pascelli Pius Mc******. Wish I had the chance to ask my mother.

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People in the past often put a Pope’s name on their child.

Some Irish people thought he was Irish – Pa-Kelly.

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there was 10 of us in family and the boys were named after the saint closest to their birth date and us girls were named after some of the nuns in the mercy convent.

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My dad was a philosophy student and he wanted to call a brother Thomas Aquinas. My mother objected.

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My mother’s liking for dance orchestra leader Victor Sylvester led to her foisting the confirmation name “Silvester” on me despite my protests. I’m 75+ and my siblings still tease me with it!

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Should Pius XII have absolved German Catholics from their obligation to the government they had voted for, as Pius V had done in 1570 against the renegade Queen Elizabeth, whom Mary herself had named as her heir? The result was to step up the action against English Catholics. We consider their martyrdom glorious, but did Pius XII have the right to subject German Catholics to such reprisals? The British government had little trouble in abandoning the Poles to their fate under Stalin – the very people Britain and France had gone to war to protect.

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4.07
Pius made no such sovereign absolution in 1570; that is a euphemism, and misleadingly so on the part of Pius, since it presents his conduct here as morally principled and motivated solely by this when it was anything but. In that year, Pius issued a bull, which stated Elizabeth’s excommunication AND a call for English Catholics not only to rebel against their queen, but to assasinate her, for which deed, he declared, not only would there not be sin, but that whoever carried it out would gain merit in Heaven.
You speak of papal rights, effectively, to order ‘subjects’ to sacrifice their lives for whatever popes consider worthy. They have no such rights, anymore than had Pius to sanction murder in the name of Christ.

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Also, on the advice of the Vatican, the republic refused to take any of the 12,000 Jewish ‘Kindertransport’ children who came to the UK in 1938/39. Not one.

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I would appreciate if you let me remain anonymous as I have attained some local notoriety recently and don’t really wish to aggravate my situation.

This article from “The Jewish Telegraph Agency” website I think adds nicely to today’s discussion both for its main thrust and also contrasts “now and then” priests in the public eye. It is also an eye opener to those who think that nothing was being done to help the Jews during the war. I hope their efforts although maybe small are much more meaningful than the broad global canvas that some of today’s commentators seem to possess. The 80 Jews of Polish and Czech origin who arrived in England today 77 years ago did have considerable help both in their countries of origin and those they passed through on the their hazardous trip.

The Doctor Grimley referred to in the following was a priest of the Nottingham Diocese and a minor clerical celebrity of the Wireless age when ears were tuned in to such programmes as the “Brains Trust”. I don’t think that Father Grimley (incidentally I was baptised by him) would have been up to waltzing etc as he was not only large of brain but also of midriff.

London, Feb. 26 1943 (JTA) – A suggestion that Rudolph Hess be exchanged for 100,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied countries was made today at a mass-meeting in Leicester called to protest the Nazi extermination of millions of Jews in Europe. The suggestion was voiced by Dr.Bernard Grimley, vice-chairman of the Leicester Christian Council.

In the House of Commons today, Home Secretary Herbert Morrison stated that he “was keeping under observation” an anti-Semitic Scottish publication called The Vanguard. Queried as to why he has failed to take action against the magazine, Morrison stated that he felt that it would be better not to take steps against the obscure publication, and thus avoid giving it any publicity.
Eighty Polish and Czechoslovak Jews, who succeeded in escaping from France to a neutral country several months ago, arrived here today.

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5.18: Indeed Bucks, you may.mske snide, ign8rant remarks about Pooe St. John Paul 11 and Pope Emeritus Benedict but one thing we know for certain, you don’t honour your saint’s name, PATRICK. You have a long, hard journey to make before you’d come close to having anything of ST. PATRICK’S SPIRIT OF CHRIST. Your nastiness, hypocrisy, very mean spiritedness, arrogance, self righteous, double standards, fakey bishopric – are and would be alien to the humility, prayerfulness and Christianity of St. Patrick. You dishonour this noble Saint. So, take a long hard LENTEN look into your own heart, life, soul and mind. Less of your readiness to slam others into the ground.

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As the target of Magna’s spleen at 8:46pm, I have to ask why a man who prides himself on his education and knowledge has to resort to insults and invective to make a point. He might impress his gullible followers such as Leitrim Len, but, in my view and that of many weary others on this blog, only makes himself look petty and ridiculous. However, he is Pat’s house pet, and out of our charity we might as well indulge him as this blog appears to be all he has.

Magna gets annoyed when caught out on his dependency on Wikipedia. Harmless enough but embarrassing for him when he uses whatever he has picked up there to dismiss me – for example – as an ignorant idiot. He was quick to tell me that Jägerstatter had volunteered to be a “paramedic”. He lifted this fact from Wikipedia, as is clear because the word, though used in the Wiki article on Jägerstatter, is a neologism not current during WWII. Magna then does not consider necessary context that this too would have required him to take the Hitler oath, as he would have been serving in the Wehrmacht. Everything that happened to Jägersatter depended on his refusal to take the oath, which was my point.

I made a careless slip getting the date of Thomas More’s canonization out by three years, though it makes little difference concerning the context of the time and political situation. Magna is childishly pleased with himself for having done his research – from Wikipedia.

Magna’s recommendation to consult something called the Urban Dictionary regarding the term good German is even more preposterous. It most assuredly does not describe supporters of the Nazi regime. It is sometimes used sarcastically to refer to those who took the line of mental reservation, giving “necessary” outward support to the regime while deploring its actions in their hearts. Clearly this was widespread, and my original point was to confess that most of us too would have likely gone along with that. It was, of course, the very approach urged upon Franz Jägerstatter by a multiplicity of advisors including his neighbours, parish priest and lawyer: rightly or wrongly he refused.

A more informed reflection on the “good German” which includes men such as Dietrich Bonhöffer can be found in the following link. Unfortunately access is restricted, but that should present no difficulty to an academic.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/good-germans

Regarding the firestorm which would have descended upon German Catholics, had the Church condemned Hitler and called for resistance to his elected government, virtual history is always problematic. There is no doubt that Hitler viewed the Catholic Church as a hindrance to his dream of a Nazi Paradise and intended to move against it once victory in the war was assured. Had he taken stronger measures against the Church before that, there is no historical evidence to support Magna’s fantastical assertions that Catholic soldiers would have mutinied or there would have been mass civil disobedience. Not only were many Catholic bishops such as Michael, Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich sympathetic, Hitler’s government was still regarded as legitimate as evidenced by Cardinal Bertram of Breslau’s call for all churches in his diocese to hold a Requiem for the Führer in 1945 – cp. de Valera’s signing the book of condolence in the German Embassy in Dublin. As well as Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, there were many state-sanctioned “persecutions” of the Church in more overwhelmingly Catholic countries such as anti-clericalism in France, Italian Nationalism and the expulsion of the Pope, persecution in Mexico during the 1930s and so on against which ordinary Catholics simply carried on as best they could. Had more Catholics resisted Hitler in response to some statement by the Pope, those few brave enough to resist would have been dealt with harshly. Depending upon the numbers involved, the firestorm to which I referred would have been postponed until Hitler’s victory in Europe was assured when the Catholic Church could have been subjected to the same of sanctions as Stalin imposed upon the Russian Orthodox. Or more likely, the Church would have done a deal. Who know’s?

All things are open to civilized discussion. Again and again Magna ruins the useful contributions he often makes owing to his inability to engage: he has to be right, and anyone who dares to suggest a different point of view is dismissed as an idiot. This is the language of an extremist and a ranter, who substitutes insults and invective for dialogue. And yet the same man calls the Church to account for intransigence and irrationality. You can be better than this, Magna!

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12.47

You’re a very sore loser indeed. And you keep getting wrong pertinent facts. I did not post at 8.46. I presume you are referring to my post at 8.14.

As for the insults and the abusive language you attribute to me, are you having a laugh? Re-read your post: it contains more than enough insults and abusiveness about me for you to be focused on anyone else’s. There is a rule here: if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out to others.

I am not going to waste any more time debating you on Franz J., because you lost the debate ages ago…but are too egotistical to acknowledge the fact.

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The pertinent fact to which Magna refers concerns the exact time of one of his innumerable obsessive posts. He does not, nor can he, refute any of the points I address which are well outside his competence. He says that he is not going to waste any more time – in fact Magna wastes time every day on this blog – debating me on Franz Jägerstatter. Well, in the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

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