Sunday, January 17, 2010
Enough with the Pope Bashing!!!
I never really intended this blog to be all about Catholicism... nor did I ever expect to take such a defensive stand along with it.... but lately, the media seems to be flooding us with so much Anti-Catholic sentimentality, that I can't help but be a wee bit annoyed at best.
There is a vendetta against anything dealing with the papacy.. past or present. Pope Benedict can't blow his nose without the world glaring at him. Now, to make matters worse, a section of the world's Jewish community are all hot and bothered again because Benedict's predecessor, Pius XII (who reigned during WWII) is under investigation for sainthood.
I have always had a special place in my heart for Judaism, and love the rich symbolism in Jewish tradition and culture. That being said, I am quite saddened by so many in the Jewish community who in the name of unity and brotherhood, so fiercely and incorrectly condemn Pius XII. It's almost as if they need something to yell about. There seems to always be a militant group in any organization that is just never satisfied.
The media want to sell newspapers and magazines.. so controversy assures them of readers. I wish people would do their OWN research before believing everything they see on GOOGLE. We live in a time where research is easier than ever... try doing a little on your own before you believe something you see or hear on the news. Ask yourself what bias the reporter may have.. and in some cases, the bias is blatantly obvious.
Think about it... if Pius XII had just sat by and done nothing in support of the Jews, then WHY did the chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Anton Zoller convert to Catholicism, and change his name to Eugenio Zolli.... taking the Pope's birth name as his new first name?? Wouldn't he of all people be upset with the Pope if Pius XII had really done nothing??
Pius XII was in a very dangerous position during the war which many critics trivialize. He had no army to defend him and the Vatican except for the Swiss Guard which would have been no match for the German and Italian military. He was also responsible for the well beings of the Catholics in his care living in the German occupied territories who could (and did) suffer as a result of the Vatican's public stance.
Pius XII chose to do his work behind the scenes.. which was not a bad idea. After all, had he spoken out more and directly attacked the Nazis in the way in which modern thinkers believe he should have, he might just as easily be criticized for sticking his nose into the problem and making it worse for the Jews and Catholics in occupied Europe had the Nazis retaliated against his outspokenness.
Instead, Pius XII gave much support to the underground in Europe, and opened the doors of the Vatican and his summer home of Castel Gondolfo to Jewish immigrants and refugees. Had this been discovered, the Vatican would surely have been attacked as it would have been seen as a breach of Vatican neutrality. There are many Jews alive today who were given shelter and refuge in the Vatican museums, and even babies that were born in the Pope's own bedroom in his summer residence of Castel Gondolfo. What world leader during WWII can boast of that type of personal generosity???
Let us not forget that Great Britain did not enter the war because of sympathy for the Jews. The Americans did not enter the war to help the Jews. The allies entered the war because of their own personal safety and interests. There was no battle cry to help save those who were being killed by the Nazis by countries who had the armies to do something about it. And yet, people like to jump down the throat of Pius XII for not doing ENOUGH? How about applauding what he DID manage to accomplish under the constraints he was working under?? No one even makes a peep about Canada who refused to allow Jewish refugees into the country stating that, Canada does not have a Jewish problem, and we do not wish to import one.
Hind sight is always 20/20.. and it's easy to look back knowing what we do now and seeing what could have been done.. what should have been done. I believe that based on what resources he had, Pius XII did a lot to protect his flock as best he could, as well as his Jewish brethren.
Stop reading trash like Hitler's Pope and do some real research of your own. Pius XII was (to my knowledge) the only world leader (spiritual leader) who opened up his own home to Jewish refugees. That in itself makes him a hero because that act alone saved lives.