Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Silence as a Battle Tactic

Amos 5:13
Therefore the prudent man is silent at this time, for it is an evil time.

Wisdom guided him to act quietly, averting overt confrontation to keep channels open and help save many. Humility and timidity were practical battlefront tactics. Even though his quiet manner would later be condemned as inaction, it was the hidden actions that saved many lives, and saving lives was the objective, not the approval, glory, and praise of the world.

"After years of research in documentary evidence and eyewitness testimony, what we found shocked us."

What would be different had he spoken out more vociferously against the Nazi regime?

Pius XII strikes me as a polished diplomat far more worried about the Allied bombing of Rome than about the thousand Roman Jews who were being deported by the Germans to their deaths in Auschwitz, virtually under the windows of the Holy See.

Was it fear of further German reprisals? A latent anti-Semitism? Was it his visceral anti-Communism which also led him to hope for a Nazi victory in the East? Or perhaps the desire to spare German Catholics a conflict of conscience between their loyalty to Hitler, the fatherland, or their Church? Whatever the reasons, this was hardly heroic conduct.

Those vilifying Pius, and defaming his memory, however, have received the most media attention:

Pius XII’s oratorical restraint did not equal inaction.

... the majority of Orthodox rabbis denounced Zionism and preached quietism ...

For twenty years it was considered a self-evident truth that the Church was a member of the victim class during the Second World War and Pope Pius was mentioned with Churchill and Roosevelt as part of a triumvirate of good.


"Now, at a distance of 65 years, a throng of latter-day critics insists that Pius should have spoken out against the Nazis more explicitly, or more loudly. But I propose that Einstein, Safron, Perlzweig, Herzog, Sharett, Meir and Israel Eugenio Zolli were in a better position to judge."

Pius XII Saved More Jews than Schindler, Rabbi Says

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