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what is the catholic church's view on the holocaust?
I need to know this for school
- imacatholic2Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Shoah was one of the worst human tragedies in history.
"Pius XII? This is the only human being who has always contradicted me and who has never obeyed me." Adolf Hitler --- from Hans Jansen's The Silent Pope? (2000)
In October 1958 in front of the United Nations General Assembly, Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel, said of Pope Pius XII at his death :
''During the 10 years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and commiserate with their victims.''
Some of the Jewish organizations that praised Pope Pius XII at the time of his death for saving Jewish lives during the horror of the Nazi Holocaust were:
+ The World Jewish Congress
+ The American Jewish Committee
+ The American Jewish Congress
+ The Anti-Defamation League
+ The Central Conference of American Rabbis
+ The National Conference of Christians and Jews
+ The National Council of Jewish Women.
+ The New York Board of Rabbis
+ The Rabbinical Council of America
+ The Synagogue Council of America
No serious scholar contests the evidence that Pius XII took direct and indirect measures to save Jews from the Nazi death machine.
At the start of World War II, Pope Pius XII’s first encyclical was so anti-Hitler that the Royal Air Force and the French air force dropped 88,000 copies of it over Germany. Here is a link to the Summi Pontificatus: Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on the Unity of Human Society, October 20, 1939: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encycli...
Unfortunately the Soviet Union and others had been trying to convince the world that the Catholic Church was pro-Nazi since the death of Pope Pius in 1958. Here are some sources:
+ The KGB made corrupting the Church a priority: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTUzYmJhMGQ5Y...
+ The KGB campaign against Pius XII: http://www.the-tidings.com/2007/021607/difference....
+ Pius XII and the Jews: http://web.archive.org/web/20010919100700/http://w...
See also "The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews From the Nazis" by Rabbi David G. Dalin which has compiled further overwhelming proof of Pope Pius XII"s friendship for the Jews beginning long before he became pope.
"Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly. "
- Albert Einstein, Time Magazine, December 23, 1940 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,7...
+ The Holy See vs. the Third Reich by Ronald J. Rychlak http://soli.inav.net/~jfischer/oct98/ronaldrychlak...
+ Jewish Historian Praises Pius XII's Wartime Conduct by Michael Tagliacozzo http://academics.smcvt.edu/pcouture/jewish_histori...
+ Did Pius XII Remain Silent? by Fr William Saunders http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0...
+ Pius XII and the Jews: The War Years, as reported by the New York Times by by Rev. Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni, H.E.D. http://www.catholicleague.org/pius/piusnyt/bio.htm
With love in Christ.
- 1 decade ago
In 1998 the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews issued an extensive document on the Shoah (link below). You can read it to get the Church's full statement about it.
Remember too that thousands of Catholic priests were killed, along with nuns and millions of Catholic lay people (yes, millions; 6 million people were murdered in Poland alone, about half of those being Jews, and the other half mainly Catholic.)
See also this document from a secular source, the Holocaust Teacher Resource Center, which says, "Nazi ideology viewed "Poles"- the predominantly Roman Catholic ethnic majority- as "sub-humans" occupying lands vital to Germany. As part of the policy to destroy the Polish resistance, the Germans killed many of the nation's political, religious, and intellectual leaders. They also kidnapped children judged racially suitable for adoption by Germans and confined Poles in dozens of prisons and concentration and forced labor camps, where many perished."
This of course is not to take away attention from the horrible suffering inflicted on the Jews, but also to remember the Nazis' other victims who suffered as well.
- Uncle JoeLv 71 decade ago
The Catholic Church differs from many groups in only one way that I know of regarding the holocaust - blaming the NAZI regime for all 11.5 million people slaughtered in the death camps. Most people know the NAZI scum killed 6 million Jews, but they also killed nearly as many non-Jews. Retarded people, sick people, old people, defiant Catholics and other Christians, "Gypsies", and anyone who was not a pro-Hitler pure Caucasian was at risk of being killed by the NAZI party just for existing.
It should be remembered always by everyone that Jews were singled out for special savage extermination, AND that many others also were killed. The atrocities committed by the NAZI party were most obviously inflicted on Jews, but almost anyone could become a victim. Catholic and other wise scholars often try to emphasize the fact that dictators and tyrants are not safe for any human being.
I am Roman Catholic.
Peace be with you.
EDIT: Anyone who claims that Adolf Hitler was a practicing Catholic is a liar, an ignoramus, or both. If he ever was Catholic, he surely was not practicing Catholicism at any time in his adult life.
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- eltsLv 41 decade ago
@Gorgeoustx ---- Hitler was baptized a Catholic, but he was not a practicing Catholic. The number of Catholics that were massacred was outweighed only by the number of Jews. It's not hard to determine that Hitler was anti-Catholic just as he was anti-Semitic, and that Pope Pius XII would be in opposition to Hitler because Hitler was murdering his people.
And if the intentions of Pope Pius XII were in any way questionable, as you claim, they are in stark contradiction to his actions, which were irrefutably anti-Hitler.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Those who do not remember the past are bound to repeat it.
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Practice the holy rosary for world peace and for your own inner and spiritual renewal.
Practice the heaven sent devotions in the Pieta Prayer book and greater will your rewards be in heaven.
We love you all.Source(s): Jesus christ
- Anonymous1 decade ago
At that time, Hitler was a Catholic, and the church did NOTHING to try to change anything.
Long-buried Vatican files reveal a new and shocking indictment of World War II's Pope Plus XII: that in pursuit of absolute power he helped Adolf Hitler destroy German Catholic political opposition, betrayed the Jews of Europe, and sealed a deeply cynical pact with a 20th-century devil.
By the middle of 1997, 1 was in a state of moral shock. The material I had gathered amounted not to an exoneration but to an indictment more scandalous than Hochhuth's. The evidence was explosive. It showed for the first time that PaceIli was patently, and by the proof of his own words, anti-Jewish. It revealed that he had helped Hitler to power and at the same time undermined potential Catholic resistance in Germany. It showed that he had implicitly denied and trivialized the Holocaust, despite having reliable knowledge of its true extent. And, worse, that he was a hypocrite, for after the war he had retrospectively taken undue credit for speaking out boldly against the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
*****I love it when the ignorant try to deny Hitler was a Catholic. Seek an education.Source(s): http://www.reformation.org/hitler_pope.html
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Their view? As in do they deny it, you mean? No, they don't. That's one of the very few things the Catholic Church is right about.
- PaulCypLv 71 decade ago
View? That it was the greatest mass murder in the history of the world. What other rational "view" is there?Source(s): Catholic deacon
- JennaLv 51 decade ago
They have always condemned it as very evil.