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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Church and the Holocaust Note 3

Paraphrased from the conclusion of Susan Zucotti's "Under his very Window".

It is true that, following the liberation f Rom, Jews began to acknowledge the compassion and help provided by Pope Pius XII during the Shoah. And this continued after the war ended. And while Golden Meir praised the Pope after his death for having "raised his voice in favor of the Jews", she must have been referring to the claims of papal intervention on the Jew's behalf. Because there had been no meaningful protest.

Whenever there's a discussion on the Church's responsibility for the Holocaust, all these and more are rightly mentioned by its defenders. However, expressions of gratitude are not proof of the truth of the Church's claims. Just proof that jews believed those claims. The gratitude, I am sorry to say, was largely misplaced. While individual men and women of the Church deserve thanks, the pope had very little to do with they actions.

Jews who took shelter in Church institutions could not know why they were allowed to enter. They naturally assumed it was due to the pope's intercession. It was not. Many would assume that no individual monastary, hospital or school would act without prior papal approval, etc., who, perhaps embarassed by the popes silence during the holocaust, were eager to share their credit with the Vatican.

The pope did not speak out against Italy's anti-jewish laws.
The Vatican did almost nothing to provide extra food or medicene to the refugees of Ferramonti. Thank God for Father Lopiniot, not Pope Pius. Lopiniot did what he had to do to get private donations to help. Lopiniot did it all but gave credit to the pope when the truth was the pope had done nothing.

Just one example.

Also, it was good politics to thank the pope after WWII -- to foster good will between jews and non-jews. After all, non-jews had almost succeeded in completely destroying us.

Gratitude from Jews after WWII proves nothing.


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