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Why is Vatican traditionally on German and not on Polish side?

Lyzko 25 | 7,009
10 Feb 2020 #31
The only Pope to date who truly built bridges between Christians and Jews in a substantive way, was Wojtyla!
During WWII, Pius sold out to Faschism in order to save face, and the Papacy got a black eye from which she hasn't yet completely recovered.

John Paul II did the most to try to heal those wounds.
AntV 2 | 240
13 Feb 2020 #32
During WWII, Pius sold out to Faschism in order to save face, and the Papacy got a black eye....

Absolute baloney!

If you're talking about the 1933 Concordat, it's easy to look at it through a post-WWII lens and make moral judgments, but that's a practice in historical reactionism. In 1933, the Church enter an agreement to not openly oppose the Reich government and in turn the Reich would allow the Church to preserve and keep independent its institutions and churches. Once the Reich broke the agreement, Pius assumed his vocal opposition of the Nazis (he opposed them when he was stationed in Germany during the Nazi rise). He tampered down his public opposition when it became clear that his public attacks were causing an increase of Catholic persecution by the Nazis. However, he secretly promoted that Catholic institutions do everything to protect Jews. Probably the most powerful illustartion of Pius not selling out the fascism was the Chief Rabbi of Rome during the Nazi oppression converted to catholicism after the war because of Pius' courage and witness of charity to the Jewish people.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
13 Feb 2020 #33
The Catholic Church was known to have collaborated, both the Vatican as well as within Germany itself, e.g. Dr. Ludwig Mueller and so forth!

It was the Protestants, with the exception of Bishop Graf Galen of Muenster, such as Niemoeller and Bonhoeffer, who were most outspoken against Hitler.

>Die weisse Rose< was not a specifically religious resistance organization, although it is true that all participants, the Scholls, Prof. Huber, and Father Delp were Catholics, the last one, a prominent Church man.
AntV 2 | 240
13 Feb 2020 #34
Focus, Lyzko, focus. :). You're drifting off the road.

You made two claims:

1) That in the 2000-plus years of popedom, the ONLY pope to ever build substantive bridges amongst Catholics and Jews was JPII, and
2) Pope Pius sold out to fascism--and he did it to save face.

As I said, the 1933 Concordat was about the Church surviving a regime that was fundamentally at odds with the Church. To preserve its existence and independence in internal governance, the Church agreed to not openly oppose the Reich government--Hitler misinterpreted the meaning of the Concordat as meaning the Church supported the Reich (but that was not Pius' fault, it, but Hitler's). That's not selling out to fascism. If it is, then you would have to say Roosevelt and Churchill sold out to Communism by allying with Stalin and the Soviets--and you're going to be hard pressed to find a more sober-minded anti-communist than Winston Churchill.

Pius not only commanded that Catholic institutions protect Jews, but he did it himself by providing Jews shelter in the Vatican and the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. Plus, the historical record shows that he was constantly contact with foreign diplomats to apprise them of the Jewish situation and use the Church as a vehicle of intelligence sharing.

Pius (and foreign diplomats, BTW) knew the way to maintain the position of rescuing Jews (and keep Catholics from persecution--priests and religious were persecuted by Nazis also, Dachau alone imprisoned 1000's of Catholic priests) was to maintain the appearance of neutrality. Notice the word "neutrality", which is different than "collaboration".

Anyhow, I still stand by my assertion that your post was absolute baloney--but don't take it personally. :)
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
13 Feb 2020 #35
Thing is, it's not nor will it ever be baloney!

I too stand by my facts, not my own opinions. Don't take it personally. :)

Ck out the history of "passes" (Persilscheine) allowed to Ex-Nazis to escape to Nazi-friendly South American countries towards the end of as well as after WWII.

I ought to have said, "stand by THE facts."
Then again, it does depend on which history you read.

Pius XII was a curious figure though!
On the one hand, he did indeed persevere and speak out against Bolshevism and Nazism in the very beginning, this though changed much later during the War.
Tacitus 2 | 1,030
14 Feb 2020 #36
I think you are too harsh in your assesment.

The Church under Pius XII did in fact a lot to help jews, e.g. by falsifying baptism certificates, and the pope himself was later thanked by the newly established state of Israel for this help.

He also - unlike some of the more conservative cardinals- never had any illusions about the nature of Nazism, and even wrote a highly critical enzyklia about it. He only stopped with his open criticism when it became clear that this did more harm than good, (by making the Third Reich crack down on all priests who published it for example), but he nevertheless encouraged those who criticized the regime, e.g. the famous archbiship Galen of M√ľnster. Something that is often overlooked is that for most of his pontificate, Europe was basically devided between two totalitarian regimes who were deeply antireligious and who used to persecute priests. Not to mention how the Vatican was directly in reach of the Third Reich. In the end, he had to manouver under those difficult circumstances with limited ressources (as Stalin quipped: How many divisions does the pope have?) and without any guarantee (far from it in fact) that the worst part would be over by 1945. While there is certainly room for criticism, it can not be doubted that the Church had a very positive influence from 1939-1945.
AntV 2 | 240
14 Feb 2020 #37
I ought to have said, "stand by THE facts."

I think you got it right the first time. ;)

[He spoke] out against Bolshevism and Nazism in the very beginning, this though changed much later during the War.

More baloney! Your reading seems to be select articles from the internet. His change from speaking out wasn't a change in thought, but a matter of prudence to protect Catholics and Jews.

No doubt this a complex issue that is easy to make black-and-white moral judgments rom the comfort of our peacetime living rooms, but the contemporary realities of that time demanded prudence. What seems to accompany the criticisms against Pius is that the moral imperative to speak out against the evils of nazism were paramount and that prudential judgment had no place--it's a kind of scorched Earth kind of mentality.

You should check out books written by Rabbi Donald Dalin and Ronald Rychlak.

The defamation of Pius started with a play in the 1960's that wasn't based on historical research. Also, consider how Yad Vashem has gradually been softening its tone against Pius.

Ck out the history of "passes" (Persilscheine) allowed to Ex-Nazis to escape to Nazi-friendly South American countries.

What's your point? Are you claiming Pius had something to do with de-nazification policy or that he procured safe passage of known nazis to S.A.?

Look, there's no doubt that anti-semitism existed (and still exists) within the Church and that even some churchmen were supportive of the Nazi regime (at least at the beginning). But, none of that means Pius was a fascist sell-out or anti-semitic.


Good post!
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
14 Feb 2020 #38
@AntV, as a history professor, I've read copiously over the years on this subject, yes, even the perfervid scribblings of Messrs. Irving and various "Historikerstreitler", namely Nolte and Hillgruber and so don't need your condescending remarks! I also never once labled Pius XII an anti-Semite per se. The Vatican most definitely DID choose to look the other way on numerous former Nazis, not the least of whom was a certain Alois Brunner:-)

As a historian yourself, I concur with your comments, yet it is equally true that Pius' conflicted reactions to both the Jewish Question as well as Nazism in general made him the object of severe criticism after the War as well.
AntV 2 | 240
15 Feb 2020 #39
@ Lyzko

I apologize if I came off condescending. I see where you might think I was. My sincerest apologies. I still think your analysis is baloney, though. :)

I'm genuinely interested in understanding your reasoning in coming to the conclusion that Pius XII was a sell-out to fascism.

You having read copiously about the subject would know that before 1939, Church programs, institutions, and, even, liturgical services were being assaulted. That Catholic publications were being censored--Catholic publications couldn't even publish dates of pilgrimages or catholic club meetings. That Catholic leaders, priests, and religious were being imprisoned and fined--priests were even tried for treason because they were accused of importing and exporting currency. Catholic schools and unions were disbanded by pressure from the Reich, etc., etc., etc.

You'd also know that during the war, 1,000s of Catholic priests and religious were sent to the death camps. That when the Dutch bishops spoke out against Jewish deportations, Catholics were persecuted (a good number of them Jewish converts). That many Polish Catholics suffered reprisals when the vatican would speak out. Plus, the other examples mentioned before and the context that Tacitus laid out, which is no small matter, and the fact that many Jews during that period praised and defended Pius.

I would think that these things can't easily be dismissed when considering what role Pius played. To say Pius sold out to the fascists seems that you are not giving these points adequate consideration.

So what's your reasoning?
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
15 Feb 2020 #40
Had the Vatikan though never entered into a Konkordat/Concordat, perhaps the former would have had more leeway in negotiating a palpable stance which might have stymied Hitler as well as Mussolini from gravitating towards complete autonomy as they did.

However, this would come under the "Guesswork School" of historiography of which no serious historian aka historiographer whom I know or studied under is a fan:-)
AntV 2 | 240
15 Feb 2020 #41
Who's "the former"? How would not entering into the Concordat been a better negotiating position? Are you suggesting Hitler and Mussolini's ambitions were somehow dependent upon Vatican approval?

However, this would come under the "Guesswork School" of historiography

But, isn't that exactly what you are doing? Guessing what would have happened if the Concordat wasn't signed?
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
15 Feb 2020 #42
Ya see that! I promised I wouldn't and I broke my promiseLOL

I am suggesting that Mussolini in particular would have perhaps had closer ties with the Vatikan, that's for sure.
Even a lapsed Catholic theoretically nevertheless remains a nominal Catholic.
AntV 2 | 240
15 Feb 2020 #43
You shouldn't go around breaking promises, Lyzko! What promise did you break?

Anyhow, the Concordat was entered into with the Reich government, not Mussolini. If signing the Concordat was considered to be a wink and a nod to the Fascists, wouldn't Mussolini have closer ties to the Vatican already? How would have not signing the Concordat created a more friendly environment for the Vatican to have closer ties, thereby a better negotiating position, with the Fascists? Also, how would Italian influence made the situation better? Is there evidence that Mussolini had significant influence over Hitler--my understanding is there isn't any evidence of such, but there is evidence Hitler didn't give much care to what Mussolini had to say.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
15 Feb 2020 #44
Factually one-hundred percent correct!
Whilst I see no particular flaw in your logic, there is though no doubt that the Vatican has received a black eye over the decades, not only on the part of Israel as well as the Jews.
AntV 2 | 240
15 Feb 2020 #45
But, that's the issue: is the black eye legitimate?

I argue that according to the empirical evidence we have, it is not. I think it's beyond a reasonable doubt that Pius was acting prudential in his public policy, while behind the scenes actively promoting and supporting efforts to save Jews, as well as protecting Catholics and the institutional church so it could carry on its temporal mission during a very difficult and evil time. If I'm not mistaken, up until Hochhuth or Hocktuth (can't remember the guy's name) wrote his play in the early '60s, many Jews and even the State of Israel had a favorable opinion of Pius (I might need to be corrected on the support of the State of Israel, but many individuals Jew attested to Pius' efforts to protect Jews).

The reason I think it is important to fix this flawed perception of Pius is that his cause for canonization is being considered and if the Church finds he's worthy to be proclaimed a saint, you know as well as I that there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth in Israel and throughout the Jewish world--hell, the political pressure has already paused his beatification. There will be great political tension between the Vatican and Israel, which is not good for the Middle east.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
16 Feb 2020 #46
Rolf Hochhuth, Friedrich Duerrenmatt among several other post-War German-language authors were heroes of the pen and brought out skeletons in the closet, long hoped to have been dead and buried.

Tacitus 2 | 1,030
17 Feb 2020 #47
Yeah no, what Hochhuth did was a defamation campaign likely sponsored by the SED to weaken the authority of the church with very little basis in reality. I mean I like to criticize the church for their sins in the past, but the slander of Pius was just unfair and unjust. I have read several biographies about him, and none thought that this was in any way justified. It is not that his pontificate was perfect - then again none is - but singling out some flaws and overlooking all the good he did is not a fair assesment.

Anyway the vatican has now declassified the last documents about Pius, perhaps there will be new revelations, but that seems doubtful.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
17 Feb 2020 #48
Once again though, Tacitus, as a historian, you're also well aware of the dangers of revisionist history.
Ever since the so-called "Historikerstreit" in the early '70's and well into the present, there's been a tendency world wide, not only in Germany by a long shot, to marginalize the significance of various institutions at the time in facilitating Hitler's maintaining power. Sadly, the Vatican has become a casualty, many of her wounds, barely able to be healed.

Ck out a recent >SPIEGEL< article from several weeks ago, "Der Daemokrat", a disturbing expose of Hoecke's attempt to curry favor with the SPD in order to work his fatal agenda into local Parliament from his home state of Thuringia!

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