Sunday, April 26, 2009

Portuguese Papacy?

Good Shepherd Sunday


During WWII, Pope Pius XII directed that should the Nazis ever follow through on their threat to abduct him, his resignation would be effective immediately. The cardinals of the Vatican would then move to neutral Portugal and elect a successor. Pope Pius told his advisers the person the Nazis would have under these conditions "would not be Pius XII but Eugenio Pacelli" (his name before he was elected Pontiff).

Hitler had ordered the kidnapping because he feared that Pius would further criticise the Nazis' treatment of the Jews. Pius was loathed by the Nazis for speaking out about the Holocaust and for behind-the-scenes efforts to save Italian Jews who otherwise would have been sent to death camps.

"Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty."
- Albert Einstein

"During a generation of wars and dissensions, he affirmed the high ideals of peace and compassion. During the ten years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims. The life of our time has been enriched by a voice which expressed the great moral truths above the tumults of daily conflicts."
- Golda Meir, Israeli Prime Minister 1969-1974


Paddy O'Hare said...

Thanks for this post, Sean. Pope Pius XII was a great and holy Pope, who because of his moral and spiritual stature has been vilified by the enemies of Christ with a desperation worthy of Satan himself, who "goeth about as a raging lion."

Kindred Spirit said...

What a perfect post for Good Shepherd Sunday, Sean! Pope Pius XII was truly persecuted as was his Master. It's good to read the truth.