More recently, some authors and journalists have accused Pope Pius XII of having been “Hitler’s Pope,” even suggesting that Pius XII assisted with the Nazi holocaust. Recent secular and Jewish scholarship however, has shown that this claim is false and inspired by anti-Catholic bigotry. I imagine that the accusations will continue now that Pius XII is moving forward in the process of beatification and sainthood.
John Cornwell’s polemical Hitler’s Pope (1999) was recently answered by Rabbi David G. Dalin’s book The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis (2005). Rabbi Dalin presents archival evidence demonstrating that Pope Pius XII rescued thousands of Jews during World War II. Rabbi Dalin even suggests that Pius XII be canonized by Yad Vashem (Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority) as a “Righteous Gentile” for his heroic work on behalf of the Jewish people.
Rabbi Dalin also notes that the primary polemicists against Pius XII are either ex-seminarians (Gary Wills and John Cornwell) or ex-priests (James Carroll). The rabbi expresses his frustration toward these lapsed Catholics who have manipulated the tragedy of the holocaust to grind an axe with the papacy and the Catholic Church.
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