Times of Israel: Last year, Pope Francis announced that on March 2, 2020, he would open the Vatican Archives for the pontificate of Pius XII. It is a long awaited move, as controversy has swirled for decades over Pius XII’s lack of action to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Indeed, the canonization of Pius XII has been delayed – if not totally derailed — due to questions about his reluctance to use the Church’s moral influence during this dark period.
“The Church is not afraid of history,” proclaimed Pope Francis in his official announcement of the archives’ scheduled opening.
Vatican archivists, led by Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, have prepared for years for this ahead-of-schedule opening (archives are usually opened 70 years after the end of a pontificate). In addition to the Vatican Secret Archives (recently renamed the Vatican Apostolic Archives), a number of other archives from the pontificate of Pius XII from 1939 to 1958 will be opened. It will take years for scholars to comb through the approximately 17 million pages of documents expected to be released. Read More …
Opinion: Of the 17 million pages, do any explore the anti-Semitism embedded in the Catholic church since the writings of Augustine in the 4th century AD?
(Saint) Augustine “Judaism, since Christ, is a corruption; indeed, Judas is the image of the Jewish people: their understanding of Scripture is carnal; they bear the guilt for the death of the Savior, for through their fathers they have killed Christ.”
Or the writings of Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, a contemporary of Augustine?
(Saint) John Chrysostom held Jews responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus and of deicide (killing God) and added “the synagogue is a place worse than a brothel and a drinking shop; it was a den of scoundrels, the repair of wild beasts, a temple of demons, the refuge of brigands and debauchees, and the cavern of devils, a criminal assembly of the assassins of Christ.”
Or that the anti-Semitism of the early church can be found 1100 years later in the writings of Martin Luther, a Catholic priest?
I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God’s word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.
Archived documents show that one pope, Pius XI, who had relied on the advice of his Secretary of State, who would become Pius XII, had a late-in-life change of heart toward anti-Semitism/Fascism and commissioned a US Jesuit priest to compose an encyclical that was never presented bishops due to the pontiff’s death.
Pius XII never presented the letter, leaving many to believe that thousands maybe millions could have been saved from Hitler’s final solution.
Was Pius XII anti-Semitic, or was it his long relationship with Germany and his belief that the Nazis would ultimately win the war, or both?
If the scholars examining the documents want to know if Pope Pius XII looked away from the extermination taking place against Europe’s Jews, a look at the Catholic Church from the writings of its patriarchs should be examined.