Pope Pius XII’s role before and during the Holocaust, both as Pius XI’s Secretary of State and as wartime pope, is the subject of ongoing controversy. The controversy began at war’s end when the existence of ratlines, a system of Vatican approved escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe to avoid prosecution for war crimes, came to light. It intensified in the early 1960s when…..
Article 16 of the Reich Concordat of 1933 required Catholic bishops and priests to swear an oath of allegiance to the Third Reich. It read:
“Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following…..
During the Third Reich several Roman Catholic prelates were known as “Brown Bishops” (brown being the official color of the Nazi movement), because of their enthusiastic support of Nazism, including Konrad Gröber of Freiburg, Adolf Bertram of Breslau (photo above), Michael Buchberger of Regensburg, Antonius Hilfrich of Limburg and Military Bishop Franz Josef Rarkowski . Clearly, their…..
On July 20, 1933, at a formal ceremony in Rome, only six months after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII) on behalf of Pope Pius XI, signed the Reich Concordat between Nazi Germany and the Vatican, making it the first treaty between the new regime and a sovereign state. At the…..
For close to two millennia, popes have had an enormous impact on the world stage: in religious, geopolitical, legal, social, artistic and cultural matters. Because for so many centuries popes participated as advocates or critics in every important moment of history, papal history has mirrored the history of Western civilization. Popes were absolute monarchs of the Papal States…..
I have been asked to reflect on two questions: What has it been like being a Catholic male? What am I thinking now?
I am a cradle Catholic, youngest of five children, born in 1945, to Italian immigrant parents in Rochester, NY. Our home was within walking distance of three churches, St. Andrews, St. Philip Neri,…..
Pope Pius XII’s role before and during the Holocaust, both as Pius XI’s Secretary of State and as wartime pope, is the subject of ongoing controversy. The controversy started at war’s end when the existence of ratlines, i.e., a system of Vatican approved escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe to avoid prosecution for war crimes,…..
My introduction to the Holocaust came in 1959 when, as an eighth grader at Benjamin Franklin High School in Rochester NY, I read “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
My next encounter with the Holocaust…..