(23-May-2013 10:55 AM)calitennis127 Wrote: John needs to read Mr. Dalin's book - closely. In particular, he needs to pay attention to all of the ways in which Pius XII has been slurred. To both John and Kieran, I have to say, I am not "exaggerating" one bit. The standard belief among American leftist opinion in schools and in the media is that Pope Pius XII aided and abetted Hitler. If you say it, people think you sound very smart and they will generally applaud you, nodding their heads.
so you go from "all who go to college and read NYT" to "leftist opinion". that's one step. but i stand by what i said: i have American friends and acquaintances, college-educated, nyt- (and even more washpost-) reading democrat-voting (or even further to the left). none have seemed to have such a simplistic and wrong view as the one you presented as common knowledge among them.
(23-May-2013 10:55 AM)calitennis127 Wrote: On now to John's point about Pope Pius XII maybe not speaking out enough. Again, you need to read the book John and pay close attention to certain parts of it. Here are just a few of the facts and considerations that Dalin presents on this question of why Pius XII didn't throw a hissy fit for future generations to applaud:
- Pope Pius XII did not excommunicate Hitler or issue more confrontational pronouncements because he felt it would jeopardize the safety of many Jews being hidden, particularly in Italy and Rome, and he also was concerned that the Nazis would begin an intense campaign of persecution against Catholics given their anti-Christian attitudes.
- Dalin cites this quote from Marcus Melchior, the former chief rabbi of Denmark and himself a Holocaust survivor: "it is an error to think that Pius XII could have had any influence whatsoever on the brain of a madman. If the pope had spoken out, Hitler would probably have massacred more than six million Jews and perhaps ten times ten million Catholics, if he had the power to do so."
- Dalin also cites this quote from the Jewish lawyer Robert M.W. Kempner, who served as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials: "every propaganda move of the Catholic Church against Hitler's Reich would have been not only 'provoking suicide,'...but would have hastened the execution of still more Jews and priests."
- Rabbi Dalin also offers this example in support of Pope Pius XII's decision: he points to the Nazi response to the protests of the Catholic clergy in Holland; they protested more often and more vociferously than the religious hierarchy of any other Nazi-occupied country, in particular with a letter in July 1942 signed by Dutch bishops that protested the deportation of Jews from the Netherlands; and, what happened? Well, from Holland, the highest percentage of Jews of any Nazi-occupied nation in Western Europe (79%) were deported to death camps
- Moreover, Pius XII was worried about Catholics and their safety due to sentiments such as these:
From Hitler himself: "You can be a Christian or a German. You cannot be both"
From Baludur von Schirach, the leader of the Hitler Youth: "The destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement"
Josef Goebbels expressed desire to exterminate "after the last Jew, the last priest"
From the historian W.D. Rubinstein, explaining that Hitler's upbringing in Austria left him with a disdain of Catholicism and the Catholic monarchy "only slightly less vicious than that which he shows to Jews and Communists"
alright, as Kieran (as he actually reads other's posts rather than browse through them looking for details to jump at) said - I'm not actually disagreeing with you all that much in regards to Pius XII - just saying that i don't think the public opinion is as unequivocally negative as it is; and that criticism is not just based in anti-catholic leftist propaganda bias, but comes from the fact that history's most atrocious crimes are a rather emotional subject for many, and that this is part of why the discussion on Pius XII is what it is. he's not the only one, though. as i tried to point out, the Holocaust, the Shoah are so incredibly hurtful human memories that everyone who was involved in whatever way is subject to brutal judgement. just think of the discussions of the FunktionshÃ¤ftlinge or look up Benjamin Murmelstein (or even the controversies between Austrian chancellor Kreisky and Simon Wiesenthal).
however, you and (in a more reasonable manner) Kieran are of course right in that the catholic church will always be on the receiving end of extra scrutiny in a lot of affairs - Shawn wonderfully laid out some of the reasons for that (which i had tried to, but couldn't quite phrase as clear), and his view of why it isn't right to do so.
moving on, two subjects here: first, the question of how the comparatively silent ways of Pius XII might have been more or less succesful than if he had spoken out. first, as you pointed out, i shouldn't have attributed Pius XII as "silent" without adding "compared to Pius XI" at every instance. if you do read my posts carefully, though, you'll see that i actually do make the distinction and do acknowledge that Pius XII Did speak out. but compare Summi Pontificatus and Mit Brennender Sorge, and you'll see the difference that i mean. (btw, from your list of actions by Pius XII, aside from speeches made in the 20ies, long before the Machtergreifung, when the Nazis were mostly a threat to the conservative governing powers in germany, and aside from actions under of Pius XI, you're pointing to moves made in diplomatic channels; so that's Exactly what i was trying to point out (while at the same time acknowledging he was actually vocal beyond that; funny that those are the instances, like the christmas adress, you do not point to, instead almost re-enforcing my point about his preferment of diplomatic channels.)
so yes, Pius XII was vocal at times, but not like XI, and not all the time; regarding moments like Razzia of Rome, we can see how Pius XII actually tried to use the Threat of speaking out in order to save many (yet not all). I think Melchior and Kempner (not sure how the latter's being jewish is relevant here, but alright) do have a very valid opinion. the other side, though, is that we'll always be left to wonder what have happened had he sought full confrontation. Melchior said "if he had the power to do so". whether or not he (Hitler) would've had that power is the question. we don't know how a full-on confrontation in '39, 42, or even 44 by the Pope would've affected the course of events. Kempner speaks of "suicide" - yes, maybe that is what some would have expected from such a religious leader. to round up his cardinals, march to the jewish ghetto and say "what you're about to do on those of our brethren, you'll have to do unto us as well". martyrdom.
as i said, i'm not to judge past decisions, and there's few positions more difficult to be in than that of a wartime pope, i'm sure. my martyrdom example? who's to say that his cardinals wouldn't have rounded up, at the prospect of sure death, and off'd the pope himself, electing a more nazi-compatible pope? but what i'm saying is that you shouldn't deny the sincerity of those who see wrong when the supposably biggest of moral authorities did not act and speak ever more drastically against the world's greatest evil. if not in the face of these atrocities, when then would "throwing a hissy fit", as you thought fit to describe more drastic opposition, be adequate, indicated, necessary?
(btw, again, the fear of communism maybe should be viewed as another motive in there. i think the "hidden anti-semitism" of the original Cornwell is rather lame, the fear of the left wing taking over, in a country with as strong a communist movement as Italy, especially before the US had entered the war, was probably very real, and to a good degree responsible for the course that Pius XII took. maybe he thought risking all-out confrontation would have resulted in the fashist and conservative cancelling each other out, and socialist forces taking over, resulting in many more million dead, and the church and faithful targeted even more explicitely. that, as hurtful as it is, would in my opinion be a very understandable motive for carefully choosing when and when not to risk confrontation. i think this perspective is even more valid if we look at the course of action in WWII. did Pius XII start speaking up more drastically in late '42 because the Nazi crimes got ever worse? or did he, in part, do so because in November '42, the US had entered the Mediterrenean Theater, making a defeat of the Nazis that Doesn't lead into communist supremacy in europe more likely? i think both are relevant aspects.)
second, the Nazi aggression against catholicism and catholics: noone is disputing that either. for both ideological and power-political (an absolutist leader cannot accept another authority next to him) reasons, Nazism was set to be at war with Catholicism. in my close family, the ones who opposed the Nazis was the side of the family that was the most devout catholic. and Hitler viciously targeted those who did act and speak against them (there was a "Priest's block" in Dachau, after all). yet the question that persists is would he have been able to win a confrontation with the Holy See, had the church set all institutions against the regime. maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't have. once again: i think it's stupidity to claim that the Pope would have been successful. but i also think it's understandable if someone says that at a sight of these crimes, he would've been obliged by his standards, that of the catholic church, to at least try.
(23-May-2013 10:55 AM)calitennis127 Wrote: John is simply unaware of the nature of American political discourse. If you were to go on MSNBC and say that Pope Pius XII was complicit in the Holocaust, everyone would nod in gleeful agreement at your alleged historical perspective. If you were to go on Bill Maher's show and denigrate Pope Pius XII's World War II actions, all of the historically ignorant audience members would clap approvingly, applauding your supposed historical awareness.
I am not "exaggerating" one bit. I am characterizing the political climate in America exactly for what it is. If you don't believe me, move here for a year or two. Watch MSNBC and read NYT/Washington Post op-eds. After that, you will walk away saying Cali was right on point.
Bill Maher is NOT the general political climate. If you go on Fox and Friends saying that global warming is a hoax manufactured by the DNC, you'd be applauded as well - does that mean that this is the general political climate? your claim fits the general motive presented by conservatives, though, that the oh-so-mean, socialist media machinery is force-feeding the people with leftist-liberal ideas. it might be true that the conservative is a little lacking in the "presentable intellectual with mass-appeal" segment; which in part might be because of the near impossible task it has to try (at least since Reagan), reconciling socially conservative (christian) motives with economically libertarian goals, while at the same time trying to portray themselves as "no compromise"-minded. to bridge that gap is a tight rope walk while juggling flaming chainsaws, and it's no surprise that few are able and willing to do so. but that's a whole other discussion to have.
back on topic - you are aware that you did ignore my pointing out how Cornwell's initial ideas have actually been criticised In the general media and by the author himself?
also, i must ask how you can know so well that i'm simply unaware? i'd reckon (as in fact i do often read NYT and WashTimes op-eds, do watch CNN, have watched some MSNBC as well as Fox News at times, watch Maher, Colbert and Stewart, log on to HuffPost as well as the NationalReview, had a subscription to TIME for two years running) that i'm probably more exposed to North-Eastern politico discussion than a good portion of the US. and btw, there's colleges in Kentucky and Kansas, and great universities still founded and run in catholic tradition as well; there's probably hundreds of thousands of students in ardently conservative christian colleges and universities; so it's not like there's no schools outside of the left(ist propaganda machinery that you fear and despise so much), which is part of why your original post was so blatantly exaggerating.
it's funny though - three US Americans have posted on topic in this thread. shawn and you, with a decidedly pro-Pius XII opinion, and DarthFed, who says he's never heard of what you said was so much set in stone in college-world USA. thank god your old nemesis huntingyou set foot in here to blabber off-topic with some anti-religious brouhaha, to make you feel you're in the right on your supposably defensive position.
lastly, it's "Joseph" Goebbels and "Baldur", to be nitpicking (jk here, just a little fun regarding what you did to hunting. please don't return the favor - as you know, English is not my first language, plus i'm replying in short breaks at work, so i'm rather sure my posts are quite error-filled.)
(23-May-2013 11:05 AM)shawnbm Wrote: There are some illuminating posts here by all. I have enjoyed the to and fro. One reason, in my personal opinion, the Catholic Church, its popes and bishops get broadswiped so often in the press and the history books is because folks really like to say that if you (meaning the institution) are not wholly holy through and through at all times, then you should not dare "to judge others" as if you (the institution) have "higher moral ground". The idea is that this is hypocrisy. I understand some feel that way about the Catholic Church, but is a flawed view.
This is because the Catholic Church is like an ark, so to speak; it has, does and always will contain sinners and saints--at all levels of the institution, both lay and clerical/religious. It does not judge as an institution and it does not believe it (the institution) occupies any higher moral ground than anyone else as a matter of personal or corporate morality in human affairs.
What the Catholic Church DOES affirm and pronounce, though, is what is believes is a sacred deposit of faith (of dogmas, doctrines, beliefs) that it is POWERLESS to modify or change. So, it is duty bound to disagree and call erroneous those beliefs, positions, doctrines, etc. that are inconsistent with what the Church believes has been revealed as Sacred Truth by the LORD. Hence, it may appear the Church is looking down its corporate nose to "judge" homosexually oriented people who engage in homosexual acts and proudly declare this to be God-given rather than embrace chastity, women who can't be ordained to the priesthood "as a matter of equal civil rights", or that one's relationship with the Almighty is personal to the person and can be "equally" truthful as anything the Catholic magisterium teaches--but that is not so. The Catholic Church--notwithstanding how unpopular its position is as handed down through time--cannot and will not espouse a doctrine, dogma or belief that runs counter to the Sacred Faith and Tradition. That is not judging others or putting itself on higher moral ground; it is merely passing on the Sacred Trust, whether others like it or not.
The Church at one time did become too overtly political and it needed to be reformed, which it did and still continues to do. The core teachings did not change--indulgences and prayers/masses for the repose of the souls of the departed are still part of the Faith, notwithstanding the Protestant "Reformation"--and they never will. Catholicism teaches that certain things are immutable and constitute Truth throughout all time--it is not to offend or hurt people. To the contrary, she believes if folks follow these things, they will be happier and live eternally as such.
that, my friend, is an excellent post. thank you very much.