Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF), a NY based “non-sectarian organization dedicated to achieving peace by closing the gap in tolerance, education and the practical relations between religions, through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges,” has announced that its founder, Gary L. Krupp, will deliver a series of lectures in Rochester, NY, hoping to “shed enlightenment on the longstanding controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII.”
The popular record of Pius XII’s (1876-1958) is that he was indifferent to the suffering of the Jews, and remained silent while German atrocities were being committed. He refused pleas for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general. Privately, supposedly, he spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews.
This information has created a worldwide controversy, splitting Jews and Catholics, according to Krupp. In general, he says, Catholics consider Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) “a defender of human rights and specifically of the Jews.”
Fans of alternative history fiction would probably be thrilled with this one.
“Due to the negative information promulgated worldwide, Jewish sentiment is the opposite,” Krupp acknowledges, citing a “negative book” that even refers to Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope.”
“Hitler’s Pope,” published in 1999 by the British journalist and author John Cornwell, examines the actions of Eugenio Pacelli, who became Pope Pius XII, before and during the Nazi era, including the charge that he assisted in the legitimization of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany, through the pursuit of a Reichskonkordat, a treaty between the Holy See and Germany, in 1933.
The book is critical of Pius’ conduct during the War, arguing that he did not do enough, or speak out enough, against the Holocaust. Cornwell suggests that Pius, who had served as the nuncio to Germany, subordinated opposition to the Nazis within the Church. The author also accuses Pius of antisemitism, which was why he made such meaningless efforts to spare European Jews.
Krupp is delivering a series of lectures December 5th and 6th 2013, at St. John Fisher College and at the Jewish Community Center in Rochester. In these talks, he will present documentation that his organization has collected in the past 8 years, and “simply ask the audience to come to their own conclusion.”
Do come armed with your iPads and Wikipedia for fact checking. I’m certain you’ll be hearing enough revised history in these appearances to make some clocks in the room start going backwards. As in this cite from his press release:
“The debate is over,” says Gary Krupp. “Those who attack Pius XII still do not have a shred of documented evidence to support their claims. They base their theories on the books and research of historical revisionists whose research is weak and faulty. Every charge against Pius XII can be proven wrong. The problem is getting this information out there so that fresh, neutral minds can review and process it and render an opinion.”
Marvin Hier wrote in 2010 in the Washington Post, that after Cardinal Pacelli (the future Pius XII) signed the Concordat with Hitler in 1933, which guaranteed the safety of Catholic institutions in Germany in exchange for the Church’s silence on the 1933 laws excluding non-Aryans from public office, and later the infamous 1935 Nuremberg Laws—his boss, Pius XI, “became very troubled by his deal with the ‘devil’ and the more he observed their inhumanity and deceit, the more determined he was to confront them.”
In 1937 Pius XI “lambasted those who worshiped the superiority of race. A year later, when the Austrian Cardinal Innitzer welcomed Hitler’s takeover of Austria, Pius XI summoned him to the Vatican and forced him to issue a humiliating public retraction.”
Then, according to Hier, Pius XI “ignored his own inner circle of advisors and instructed an American Jesuit priest visiting the Vatican, Father John Lafarge, to write an encyclical condemning racism and antisemitism.”
Father Lafarge did a great job, so much so that his document was too shocking for Rome, and the cardinals delayed sending it to be signed by the ailing Pope, who kept asking for it but never saw it until it was too late.