Showing posts with label Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Church. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

ISIS Bombs Assyrian, Armenian Churches in Syria

The St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal, Syria, was bombed by ISIS yesterday.
The St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal, Syria, was bombed by ISIS yesterday.

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

(AINA) -- According to reports from Syria and also the Turkish press, ISIS has bombed two churches in Syria, the St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal and the St. Rita Tilel Armenian Church in Aleppo. The churches were bombed yesterday.

Located on the Khabur river in the Hasaka province in Syria, Tel Tal is one of the 35 Assyrian villages that was attacked by ISIS on February 23. ISIS captured nearly 300 Assyrians in those attacks and subsequently released 23, all from the village of Tel Goran. The remaining Assyrians are still being held captive.


Read more by clicking below:
ISIS Bombs Assyrian, Armenian Churches in Syria



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Human Rights Leaders Plead With Obama to Stop 'Nazi' Campaign Against Christians

A woman mourns with the framed picture of a man said to be among the 30 Ethiopian victims killed by members of the militant Islamic State in Libya, in the capital Addis Ababa, April 21, 2015. Ethiopia said on Monday that the 30 Christians shown being shot and beheaded in Libya on a video purportedly made by Islamic State were its citizens (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri).


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

WASHINGTON -- After viewing the video that was released April 19, showing the murder of two groups of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State terrorists, Jewish and Christian human rights groups have issued a joint statement calling on President Obama to intervene with force to stop the ongoing extermination of Christians in the Middle East.
In a gruesome repeat of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February, masked IS militants marched 15 Ethiopian Christians along Libya’s shore of the Mediterranean Sea and beheaded them. Another group of 15 was shot in another murderous act in an area of Libyan shrub land.

Open Doors USA, a global advocacy group for the persecuted, was joined by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, in condemning the killings and calling for the United States to intervene.

In a joint statement, the groups claimed to have alerted Western governments for months “that a religious genocide of Christians was taking place” with little response, and took particular aim at President Obama for his lack of action.

While we welcome the White House acknowledgment that these victims were targeted because of their faith, much more needs to be done,” wrote David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, along with colleague Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, who serves with him as director of interfaith issues.

They chided the president to fully acknowledge the “religious extremism” and “theologically fueled hatred” that is at the heart of Islamic State terrorism. Likewise, they called on him to lead NATO to “forge an action plan” to protect Christians in the Middle East.

We must not stand idly by and watch as thousands of Christians are murdered for their faith,” they said.

Calling the Islamic persecution of Christians a type of “Nazi ideology” that unabated “will continue to infect the hearts and minds of the ever-growing number of youth around the world,” they said, “The time to act is now.”


Read more by clicking below:
Human Rights Leaders Plead With Obama to Stop 'Nazi' Campaign Against Christians



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Egyptian Christians Face Harassment, Violence in Attempting to Rebuild Church



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Coptic Orthodox Christians in the small village of Samalout, 137 miles south of Cairo, unexpectedly received permission from local authorities to rebuild their destroyed church building. Permits to build or rebuild local village churches in Egypt are rarely granted and usually bring strong Muslim opposition.

However, when the construction work started last week, Muslim extremists in the village stirred up a group to forcibly stop the work. Eventually, the Samalout police department called for a meeting between leaders from the church and more than 100 Muslims from the village who didn't want the church rebuilt. Police attempted to persuade the angry crowd to allow the construction of the church to take place with without opposition.

After the meeting ended with no resolution, the angry Muslims returned to the village. They took to the streets, shouting: "Egypt will become an Islamic State." They also chanted hostile slogans against Christians and stoned the houses of some Christians. That brought fear to the hearts of peaceful Christians of the village.

Although Christians had legal permission to build the church, the hardness of fanatic Muslims in their village did not allow them to build their church.


Read more by clicking below:
Egyptian Christians Face Harassment, Violence in Attempting to Rebuild Church


Elderly nun gang raped trying to stop robbery in India, police say | Fox News

March 14, 2015: Students of Convent of Jesus and Mary School participate in a protest against the gang rape of a nun in her 70s by a group of bandits when she tried to prevent them from robbing the Christian missionary school in Begopara, (AP)


The following excerpts are from FoxNews.com:

KOLKATA, India – A nun in her 70s was gang-raped by a group of bandits Saturday when she tried to prevent them from robbing a Christian missionary school in eastern India, police said, the latest crime to focus attention on the scourge of sexual violence in the country.

The nun was hospitalized in serious condition after being attacked by seven or eight men at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in Nadia district, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the West Bengal state capital of Kolkata, a police officer said.

The men escaped and police are searching for them, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The robbers tied the school's security guards with ropes early Saturday and entered the nuns' room, where the women were sleeping. They took one of the nuns to another room when she tried to block their way and then raped her, the officer said.

The woman who was attacked is either 71 or 72 and is the oldest nun at the school, he said.


Read more by clicking below:
Elderly nun gang raped trying to stop robbery in India, police say | Fox News




Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Assyrian Christians Captured As ISIS Attacks Villages in Syria

Kurdish fighters in front of a church in the village of Tel Jumaa on Wednesday (Reuters).
Kurdish fighters in front of a church in the village of Tel Jumaa on Wednesday (Reuters).


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

ISTANBUL -- The reports are horrifying, something out of a distant era of ancient conquests: entire villages emptied, with hundreds taken prisoner, others kept as slaves; the destruction of irreplaceable works of art; a tax on religious minorities, payable in gold.

A rampage reminiscent of Tamerlane or Genghis Khan, perhaps, but in reality, according to reports by residents, activist groups and the assailants themselves, a description of the modus operandi of the Islamic State's self-declared Islamic caliphate this week as it prosecuted a relentless campaign in Iraq and Syria against what have historically been religiously and ethnically diverse areas with traces of civilizations dating to ancient Mesopotamia.

The latest to face the militants' onslaught are the Assyrian Christians of northeastern Syria, one of the world's oldest Christian communities, some speaking a modern version of Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

Assyrian leaders have counted 287 people taken captive, including 30 children and several dozen women, along with civilian men and fighters from Christian militias, said Dawoud Dawoud, an Assyrian political activist who had just toured the area, in the vicinity of the Syrian city of Qamishli. Thirty villages had been emptied, he said.

The Syriac Military Council, a local Assyrian militia, put the number of those taken at 350.

Reached in Qamishli, Adul Ahad Nissan, 48, an accountant and music composer who fled his village before the brunt of the fighting, said a close friend and his wife had been captured.

"I used to call them every other day. Now their mobile is off," he said. "I tried and tried. It's so painful not to see your friends again."

Read more by clicking below:


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Piece By Piece, Middle Eastern Christianity is Being Shattered



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Still reeling from last week's news of the Islamist beheading of 21 Coptic Christian migrant workers in Libya, Middle Eastern Christians were again targeted by a large scale Islamist terror attack with thousands of victims Monday, in Syria. Islamic State jihadists laid siege to a string of Christian Assyrian villages, along the Khabour river, in northeastern Syria, kidnapping or killing scores of residents. Those abducted are now in imminent peril and thousands more who were expelled have joined the ranks of mendicant displaced.

Piece by piece, Middle Eastern Christianity is being shattered.

What this means for the Islamist militants are gains in strategic ground and further headway in the goal of religious cleansing. In other words, the Islamic State also known as ISIS is still winning -- militarily and politically. And despite upbeat statements about our counter-terrorism strategy by new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and last week's Counter Violent Extremism conference at the State Department, our side -- those who oppose this barbarism -- finds itself still back on its heels.

Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East emailed that sources in the city of Hassakah, reported that some 3,000 of the villagers managed to flee, either to that city or to Qamishly, where they are being sheltered in churches. According to his source, who requested anonymity, the captives included "50 families in Tel Shamiran, 26 families in Tel Gouran, 28 families in Tel Jezira, and 14 young people (12 males and 2 females) who were defending Tel Hormiz." Milad, a 17-year-old man, was "martyred."

Since a family averages five people, this translates to over 120 Christians captured by ISIS. The Islamist militants reportedly separated the captives, men from women and children -- a pattern also seen when ISIS attacked Iraq's Yizidi community on Sinjar mountain last August. The Syrian Christians' fate is unknown but could include murder, enslavement, rape or traded as a hostage. Churches in the seized villages could be seen ablaze from the opposite river bank.

Syrian-Catholic Archbishop of Hassakah-Nisibi, Jacques Behnan Hindo, told the Vatican press Fides that the Christians feel like they are "abandoned into the hands" of ISIS.

The Archbishop explained:

"Yesterday American bombers flew over the area several times, but without taking action. We have a hundred Assyrian families who have taken refuge in Hassakah, but they have received no assistance either from the Red Crescent or from Syrian government aid workers, perhaps because they are Christians. The UN High Commission for Refugees is nowhere to be seen."


Read more by clicking below:
Piece By Piece, Middle Eastern Christianity is Being Shattered

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Former Assyrian Church Leader and Two Christian Converts Arrested in Iran

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Iranian security agents arrested an Assyrian pastor and two Christian converts who were his guests at his Tehran residence on December 26, 2014, according to Mansour Borji, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Iranian Churches.

Borji told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the full reasons for the arrest of Pastor Victor Beth Tarmez, a former leader of the Tehran Pentecostal Assyrian Church, and his guests remain unknown, but that at the time of the raid on his home, agents stated that they were arresting the individuals because they "participated in an illegal gathering." The "illegal gathering" was a Christmas party Tarmez was holding at his home and his guests were Zoroastrian, Muslim, and Christian citizens.

"There was a Christmas party at Pastor Victor's home. He and his wife and son and 14 guests were there. When agents entered the home, first they searched all the personal belongings of the guests, then they videotaped their faces, and then they searched the premises. Eventually, they arrested Pastor Tarmez along with two Christian converts and confiscated some property from the home," Borji told the Campaign.

"During a short phone call to his family on December 29, Pastor Victor informed them that he is held at Evin Prison. We have no information about the status of the two Christian converts arrested on the same day. All we know is that they have not been released yet," added Mansour Borji.


Read more by clicking below:
Former Assyrian Church Leader and Two Christian Converts Arrested in Iran


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Christian Groups to Rally for Protection in Iraq


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Across the ancient cities and villages of Iraq, an "N" word also is used out of hate.

Members of the extremist group known as ISIS spray paint the letter "N" in blazing red on the homes of those they deem different. Scrawled in Arabic and pronounced "noon," the N stands for Nazarene, or follower of Christ, and to an outsider, it may look like a happy face.

But ISIS uses it as a mark of death. It warns Christian families who live in those homes to convert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or prepare to die.

"There is a Christian genocide happening in Northern Iraq and no one is doing anything about it" said Delilah George, a 31-year-old Assyrian woman and Valley Village resident. "My people are experiencing unspeakable horror and grief at the hands of these radicals."

Since the takeover in June of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS has targeted the Christian population, whose faith has been present for almost 2,000 years. In the last two weeks, Assyrians were forced to leave their ancestral homeland under the threat of death. Many have been beaten, robbed and brutalized, or killed along the way as they search for a safe haven.

The sadness, frustration with the lack of public awareness and even anger has prompted George and countless Assyrians to hold a rally Saturday at the Federal Building in Los Angeles. Dubbed "Demand for Action," the Los Angeles event is one of nearly 40 worldwide to be held also on Saturday across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.


Read more by clicking below:
Christian Groups to Rally for Protection in Iraq



Monday, July 28, 2014

Five Killed in Bombing of Catholic Church in Nigeria



The following excerpts are from ChristianPost.com:

At least five people were killed and eight others injured in a bomb attack on a Catholic church in Nigeria's northern city of Kano on Sunday. The bombing was blamed on the Islamist terror group Boko Haram.

The Saint Charles Catholic church, which is situated in Kano's Sabon Gari (foreign quarter) area, a mainly Christian area, was attacked shortly after the end of Sunday mass, police spokesman Frank Mba told Agence France Presse.

"We suspect an IED (improvised explosive device) that was thrown from across the road," the spokesman said.

In a separate incident in Kano city on Sunday, police prevented a woman from carrying out an attack outside a university, following which she blew herself up. Five police officials were injured while isolating her.

Following the two incidents on Sunday, Kano's emir cancelled the celebration of the Eid festival, which marks the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan.


Read more by clicking below:
Five Killed in Bombing of Catholic Church in Nigeria


Saturday, July 26, 2014

PHILIPPINES - LIBYA Filipino priest warns that the lives of 13,000 Filipinos in Libya are in danger - Asia News



The following excerpts are from AsiaNews.it:

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) - As Libya's political crisis plunges the country into ever greater chaos, a Filipino priest in Tripoli urges his government to ensure the safety of some 13,000 Filipinos trapped in the country.

Fr Amado Baranquel, pastor of the Church of Mary Immaculate in the Libyan capital, issued his appeal after radical Islamists killed a Filipino in Benghazi "for not being a Muslim."

The victim was a 50-year-old construction worker who was abducted and killed on Wednesday.

This has caused panic among Filipinos in Libya who are unable to leave because ports and airports have been destroyed.

Read more by clicking below:
PHILIPPINES - LIBYA Filipino priest warns that the lives of 13,000 Filipinos in Libya are in danger - Asia News


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nicaragua’s bishops to meet with Ortega, declare days of prayer : News Headlines - Catholic Culture


The following excerpts are from CWN:

  • On May 21, Nicaragua’s bishops, along with the apostolic nuncio, will meet with President Daniel Ortega, whom a bishop recently said has undertaken a “devious persecution” of the Church.
  • Ortega, a leader of the Marxist Sandinistas who overthrew the authoritarian regime of Gen. Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ruled Nicaragua from the 1979 Sandinista takeover until his loss in the 1990 presidential election. Ortega won the presidential elections of 2006 and 2011.

Read more by clicking below:
Nicaragua’s bishops to meet with Ortega, declare days of prayer : News Headlines - Catholic Culture



Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Christians 'Crucified Again' for Refusing Islam


The following excerpts are from AINA:

  • To the awe of its readership, a recent Daily Mail article reports that the “jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIL],” which is currently entrenched in Raqqa, Syria, “publicly crucified two Syrian rebels in northeastern Syria in revenge for a grenade attack on members of their group.”
  • While the Daily Mail is to be commended for exposing these barbaric acts—along with posting photos of the crucified—it nonetheless minimized their significance, in two important ways: 1) by repeatedly saying things like “even al-Qaeda is distancing itself from ISIL,” and so implying that the act of crucifixion is some wild aberration that even the poster-child of jihadi terror, al-Qaeda, wants nothing to do with it; and 2) ignoring the much “sexier” story that Christians in Syria are also being crucified simply for refusing to embrace Islam (as opposed to the rather mundane but politically more correct story of Islamic jihadis crucifying each other in the context of vendetta killings).
  • Consider the atrocities earlier committed in Ma'loula, Syria, an ancient Christian village where the inhabitants still spoke Aramaic, the language of Christ.
  • According to recent Arabic news media, "a Syrian nun testified to the Vatican news agency that some Christians in Ma'loula were crucified for refusing to convert to Islam or pay jizya" (tribute subjugated Christians are required to pay to their Islamic conquerors in order to exist as Christians, per Koran 9:29).
  • Incidentally, they were crucified by the al-Qaeda linked Nasra Front (so much for Daily Mail's portrayal of al-Qaeda "distancing" itself from the apparently "extra-extremist" ISIL for crucifying its victims).

Read more by clicking below:
Christians 'Crucified Again' for Refusing Islam



Thursday, May 01, 2014

Continued violence against Christians in Orissa : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic World News:

  • Six years after an anti-Christian pogrom in the eastern Indian state of Orissa left several dozen dead and drove 50,000 from their homes, Hindu radicals destroyed a Catholic survivor’s rebuilt home, according to the India Christian Activist Network.
  • The state is now officially known as Odisha.

Read more by clicking below:
Continued violence against Christians in Orissa : News Headlines - Catholic Culture



Egypt: 2 Christians dead in sectarian clashes : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic World News:

  • Sectarian clashes between Muslims and Chrstians have broken out in towns around Assiut, a city of 400,000 in central Egypt.
  • A Muslim driver destroyed the front of a store owned by a Coptic Christian in Paisari, according to the Egyptian news site Copts United. During a reconciliation meeting between the Christian and Muslim communities, violence broke out, leaving 10 injured.

Read more by clicking below:
Egypt: 2 Christians dead in sectarian clashes : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Chaldean patriarch rips Western actions in Iraq: ‘we are a ruined church’ : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic World News:
  • Eleven years after the US invasion of Iraq, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church declared that “we are a ruined church” and said that “1,400 years of Islam could not uproot us from our land and our churches, while the policies of the West [have] scattered us and distributed us all around the world.”
  • “Democracy and change come through upbringing and education rather than through conflict,” said Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, who has governed the Eastern Catholic church since February 2013. “Intervention by the West in the region did not solve the problems … but on the contrary, produced more chaos and conflict.”
  • Referring to the regime of Saddam Hussein, he said that “in the Church of the Ascension, Al-Mashtal, for example, there were about 5,000 families and over 240 students preparing for their First Holy Communion before the regime’s fall.” On “25 April 2014, I celebrated in this church the Holy Mass for First Holy Communion of 13 students only.”

Read more by clicking below:



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gunmen attack Kenyan church, kill 6 : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:

  • Gunmen entered a Protestant church in Likoni, a municipality in southeastern Kenya, and killed six worshippers.
  • Some news agencies reported that the Somali Islamist terrorist organization Al-Shabaab is suspected in the attack. The local Catholic bishop offered his own hypothesis.

Read more by clicking below:
Gunmen attack Kenyan church, kill 6 : News Headlines - Catholic Culture


Indonesian court bows to Islamic militants, revokes permit for Catholic church : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:


  • In the West Java region of Indonesia, Islamic militants have pressured a court to revoke the building permit for a Catholic church, the AsiaNews service reports.

Read more by clicking below:
Indonesian court bows to Islamic militants, revokes permit for Catholic church : News Headlines - Catholic Culture


Saturday, March 15, 2014

More than thirty North Koreans sentenced to death for their faith


The following excerpts are from Live Action News:

  • If there was a question about whether Kim Jong-Un had any intention of heeding the U.N. Report on the rampant human rights abuses in North Korea, or complying with any of its demands, none should remain following the recent revelation by the South Korean press that the brutal dictator is preparing to execute approximately 33 Christians for allegedly attempting to overthrow the North Korean government.
  • The condemned have received this sentence, in reality, for nothing more than having come into contact with South Korean missionary Kim Jung-wook and receiving money to fund underground Christian churches.....

Read more by clicking below:
More than thirty North Koreans sentenced to death for their faith


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pope Pius XII: Misunderstood and Maligned (Part Two of Two)



Pope Pius XII: Misunderstood and Maligned (Part Two of Two)

"Pius XII? That is the only human being who has always contradicted me and who has never obeyed me." Adolf Hitler

Bishop Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, was Papal Nuncio in Bavaria from April 1917, and in June 1920, was also Papal Nuncio to the German Weimar Republic. Early in his Nunciate, in a private letter (November 14, 1923) to Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Cardinal Gasparri, Pacelli denounced the National Socialist (Nazi) Movement as an anti-Catholic and anti-Hebrew threat. He also remarked about Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber, Bishop of Munich (von Faulhaber had said at Advent 1933, "Let us not forget that we were saved not by German blood but by the blood of Christ!" Shots were fired through his study window in 1934, and a Nazi mob broke out the windows of his residence in 1938 because of his opposition to Nazism), had condemned persecutions against Bavarian Jews. During the 1920's and 1930's Pacelli succeeded in negotiating concordats with Bavaria, Prussia, and Baden, but, failed in negotiating with Germany. Pacelli was created a cardinal on December 16, 1929, by Pope Pius XI, and then on February 7, 1930, he was appointed as Vatican Secretary of State. Adolph Hitler did not come into power in Germany until January 30, 1933.

As Vatican Secretary of State, Pacelli made 42 speeches, and 40 of those were speeches that were in opposition to National Socialism. On April 29, 1935 four years BEFORE the war started, with an audience of 250,000 in attendance at Lourdes, France, Pacelli in a speech said that the Nazis “are in reality only miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel. It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of social revolution, whether they are guided by a false concept of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult.” [1] Speeches Pacelli made in addition to private remarks and notes of protest sent to Berlin in his capacity as Vatican Secretary of State, earned Pacelli a reputation among the Nazis as an enemy of National Socialism. Pacelli recognized Hitler for what he was. So much so, that when a Sister asked Pacelli if there was not some good in Hitler, Pacelli said, “This man is completely carried away; everything he says and writes has the mark of his egocentrism; this man is capable of trampling on corpses and eliminating anything that is an obstacle. I cannot understand how there are so many people in Germany who do not understand him, and cannot draw conclusions from what he says or writes. Has any of them even read his horrifying ‘Mein Kampf’?” But, his most scathing denunciation of National Socialism was in Mit Brennender Sorge (With Burning Sorrow), addressed to the German bishops. Although this carried the signature of Pope Pius XI, Pacelli advised and worked with the Pope on this, and Pacelli wrote large sections of it himself. The main point was to urge German Catholics not to abandon their faith for the paganism of Hitler's German National Church. Yet, Pacelli and Pope Pius XI did not fail to attack the racism that was a fundamental mainstay of National Socialism, “Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, a particular form of State, or the repositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the worldly community... whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God.”

When Pope Pius XI died, the German and Italian fascists were not happy at the prospect of Pacelli being elected Pope, even though he had been the German Nuncio. They recognized him as an enemy of fascism, and indeed, there are some indications that Hitler may have tried to influence the outcome of the papal election in order to prevent Pacelli from being the successor. Hardly the reaction one would expect if Hitler deemed Pacelli as being favorable to National Socialism. Upon his election as Pope, the Berlin newspaper, Morgenpost said “The election of cardinal Pacelli is not accepted with favor in Germany because he was always opposed to Nazism and practically determined the policies of the Vatican under his predecessor.’ ” [2] The Nazis then used what they consider most vile to say against Pope Pius XI at his death, and also against the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pacelli. The Das Reich said, “Pius XI was a half-Jew, for his mother was a Dutch Jewess; but Cardinal Pacelli is a full Jew.” Once elected Pope, Pius XII spoke directly about the issue of anti-Semitism. "It is impossible," he said, "for a Catholic to be an anti-Semite; spiritually all of us are Semites". [3]

In his first encyclical as Pope Pius XII, (Summi Pontificatus - On the Unity of Human Society - October 20, 1939) the pope made reference to the war specifically in several paragraphs (see paragraphs 23, 24, 30-32, 51, 60-61, 69-73, 77-78, and 107-108) and once again, the Nazi leadership was not happy with what was said. In Christmas addresses in December 1941 and again in December 1942, though not calling the Nazi government nor leadership by name, Pope Pius XII once again, condemned actions against any people because of race or blood. The people of that era understood who he meant, including the Nazis, and editorials in The New York Times praised Pope Pius XII as the “lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe”. So-called historians, writers, and many of the general public will insist that this wasn't a significant address, yet, the Allies considered it significant enough to reproduce and drop hundreds of thousands of copies of it over Germany. Also understanding who Pope Pius XII meant was the various Jewish organizations in the United States, Canada, and Australia, who lauded Pope Pius XII for his address, and included their approvals in editorials of their respective journals.

The Reich Central Security Office of the Nazis did an analysis of Pius XII's 1942 Christmas address, and in it they said, “It is true, the Pope does not refer to the National Socialists in Germany by name, but his speech is one long attack on everything we stand for…. God, he says, regards all peoples and races as worthy of the same consideration. Here he is clearly speaking on behalf of the Jews.... That this speech is directed exclusively against the New Order in Europe as seen in National Socialism is clear in the Papal statement that mankind owes a debt to "all who during the war have lost their Fatherland and who, although personally blameless have, simply on account of their nationality and origin, been killed or reduced to utter destitution." Here he is virtually accusing the German people of injustice towards the Jews, and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals.”

The bravery of the Holland Catholics in opposing their Nazi oppressors is without question. The bishops of Holland protested publicly, and the people of Holland paid dearly for it. Holland had the highest percentage of Jews (79%) murdered by the Nazis than any other nation in Europe. Over 110,000 Jewish men, women, and children from Holland lost their lives, including a notable Jewish convert to Catholicism who became a Carmelite Sister, Edith Stein, and the priest who delivered the letters to the Catholic bishops, Titus Brandsma. The results of what happened to the Dutch was a most agonizing lesson for Pope Pius XII. In a letter to the Berlin bishop, Konrad von Preysing, Pope Pius wrote , “We leave it to the [local] bishops to weigh the circumstances in deciding whether or not to exercise restraint, ad maiora mala vitanda [to avoid greater evil]. This would be advisable if the danger of retaliatory and coercive measures would be imminent in cases of public statements of the bishop. Here lies one of the reasons We Ourselves restrict Our public statements. The experience We had in 1942 with documents which We released for distribution to the faithful gives justification, as far as We can see, for Our attitude.”

Pope Pius was not the only one who learned a lesson about restraint. The International Red Cross and the World Council of Churches in Geneva never made any statements that might obstruct their work or increase the sufferings of the victims (Jews, Slavs, Christian clergy, gypsies, homosexuals, and Communists) by retaliatory measures for any public statements. Yet Pope Pius XII found it extremely frustrating, even heartbreaking to use restraint. He told Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini (the future Pope Paul VI), “We would like to utter words of fire against such actions; and the only thing restraining Us from speaking is the fear of making the plight of the victims worse”.

As a matter of fact, Pope Pius XII was strongly urged by the bishops of Poland and other occupied countries to use restraint, as with each word from the Vatican, the oppression and persecutions intensified. Archbishop Sapjeha (Krakow) was sent messages from Pope Pius XII by way of a chaplain of a Maltese relief train. The Archbishop immediately threw all the messages in the fire, saying that if ever a copy fell into the hands of the Gestapo, they would kill all Polish priests. Also, a Jewish couple from Berlin who had been held in concentration camps and helped by Pius XII to escape to Spain said, “None of us wanted the Pope to take an open stand. We were all fugitives, and fugitives do not wish to be pointed at. The Gestapo would have become more excited and would have intensified its inquisitions. If the Pope had protested, Rome would have become the center of attention. It was better that the Pope said nothing. We all shared this opinion at the time, and this is still our conviction today.”

So, Pope Pius XII, keeping in mind the necessity of restraint, continued to wage his resistance to the Nazis by working stealthily behind the scenes. He encouraged and instructed bishops, priests, religious, and the laity to work to save Jewish lives whenever and wherever possible. When the Germans occupied Italy, Pope Pius XII worked to ensure the safety of the Italian Jews. In fact, 80% of the Italian Jews were saved, as opposed to the rest of occupied Europe losing 80% of its Jews. When the Nazis first occupied Rome, there were 9,500 Jews, yet when the order was given to round them up, only 1,259 were found. The rest had found safety by Pius' orders at 155 churches, convents, and monasteries around Rome, as well as in the Vatican. The Pope's Palatine Guards went from 300 to 4,000, the additional guards all having the invaluable Vatican City passport. Of these 4,000 “guards”, about 400 were Jews, with 240 hidden in the Vatican itself.

Pope Pius XII began his work to save the Jews of Europe early, as early as when the war broke out in September 1939. When anti-Semitic legislation was passed in Italy, Professor Guido Mendes, a renowned lung specialist who was also a Jew, lost his position. In April 1939, he received an invitation to meet with the Pope in a private audience. Professor Mendes said, "Pope Pius XII ... offered to help me leave Italy and gain admittance to any country I chose," he told the Jerusalem Post in 1965. "When I mentioned Palestine, the Pope promised to intervene with the British authorities and secure a certificate of immigration. Montini (later Paul VI) dealt with the matter, and as a result my entire family arrived in Palestine in 1939."

Pope Pius XII also continued an emigration program established by Pope Pius XI, which helped Jews gain admittance to Brazil. From 1939 to 1941, 3,000 Jews reached the safety of South America through the direct intervention of Pius XII.

The Pope's actions regarding the Jews and Brazil was only the beginning. Between 1939 and 1944, Pius XII supplied passports, money, tickets and letters of recommendation to foreign governments so Jewish refugees could receive visas. Through Pius' efforts, another 4,000-6,000 Jews reached safety. Word of the Holy See's work to rescue European Jews found its way to the United States. On January 2, 1940, the United Jewish Appeal for Refugees and Overseas Needs in Chicago sent the Pope a contribution of $125,000 toward the Vatican's efforts to save "all those persecuted because of religion or race."

When 500 Jewish refugees who had tried to escape to Palestine by boat, were refused entry in every port they tried, they were captured by an Italian patrol boat. They were imprisoned on Italian controlled island of Rhodes until they could be turned over to the Germans. When Pope Pius XII found out about their situation, he contacted the Italian authorities, won the release of the refugees and oversaw their transfer to a hastily erected settlement camp in southern Calabria. Pinchas Lapide (Pinchas E. Lapide, author of Three Popes and the Jews was born in Canada and served during World War II with the 178th Transport Company of the 8th British Army. Later he emigrated to Israel, where he entered government service. He was deputy editor of the Government Press Bureau in the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, and was later appointed Israel's consul to Milan.) of the 178th Transport Company of the 8th British Army recalled: "That is where we found most of them, sound and thankful, on December 23, 1943, the day after our Palestinian unit landed at Taranto."

A few days later, Lapide and the 178th were met at Ferramonti-Tarsia near Cosenza by 3,200 Jews, the entire population of another settlement camp operated by the Vatican. The residents were refugees from Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, who had been saved by Pius XII's intervention. Their camp was under the protection of two papal emissaries who had set up a kosher kitchen for the residents and established a school for the children.

These are just a few examples of Pope Pius XII's efforts to save Jewish lives in occupied Europe, and to prove that his efforts were truly catholic (universal), when the Nazis were pursuing Palmiro Togliatti, Pietro Nenni and Giuseppe Saragat, all leaders of the Italian Communist and Socialist parties, Pius XII hid these men in the basement of the Basilica of St. John Lateran—the Pope's own cathedral.

The record of the Pope's words and actions during the war "The Acts and Documents of the Holy See Relative to World War II" fills ten volumes. Perhaps some of those who are so willing to write such anti-Pius XII lies, are so willing to read and believe them, should actually try reading these ten volumes and learn what actually took place instead of creating their own versions of events to suit their own whims.

When countless others worked to save Jewish lives from the Nazi death machine, they did so silently. No one, not Oscar Schindler, Corrie ten Boom, Raoul Wallenberg, nor others who worked to save Jewish lives, stood on a soap box denouncing Nazi atrocities, nor did they spit on these murderers they found so repulsive. To have done so, would have meant an end to what they could do to save lives. Yet, people who should know better, even people who were survivors or descended from survivors, have forgotten or have not bothered to look at and learn from the truth!

So, you may ask...why didn't Pope Pius XII himself, make known to the world, what he did, and how and why he did it? Why? Because he was at peace with God, and his conscience was clear before God. He knew what efforts he had made on behalf of those suffering in Europe, and when one is at peace with God, no explanation to man is necessary.

Below are some of the statements of appreciation for the efforts Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church made by various figures who lived during those horrible years we call World War 2:


"Allow us to ask the great honor of being able to thank personally His Holiness for the generosity he has shown us when we were persecuted during the terrible period of Nazi Fascism." -Petition of 20, 000 Jewish refugees from Central Europe to Pius XII, Summer 1945

"In the most difficult hours which we Jews of Romania have passed through, the generous assistance of the Holy See...was decisive and A, salutary. It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the: warmth and consolation we experienced because of the concern of the Supreme Pontiff, who offered a large sum to relieve the sufferings of deported Jews, sufferings which had been pointed out to him by you. after, your visit to Transnistria. The Jews of Romania will never forget facts of historic importance." -Chief Rabbi Alexander Saffran of Bucharest, Romania, to Msgr. Andrea Cassulo, papal nuncio to Romania, April 7, 1944

"The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion which. form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of divine Providence in this world." -Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog of Palestine, February 28, 1945

" When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace." -Golda Meir in a cable to the Vatican expressing condolences. at the death of Pius XII, 1958

"The Church and the papacy have saved Jews as much and insofar as they could Christians. Six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis... but there would have been many more victims had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII." -Dr. Raphael Cantoni, a leader in Italy's Jewish Assistance Committee

"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the case of truth: but no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom. But they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks. Only the Catholic Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I had never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration, because the Catholic 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 in Time magazine, December 1940

References:
[1] Robert Graham, S.J., ed., Pius XII and the Holocaust (New Rochelle, New York: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 1988), 106.
[2] Joseph Lichten, “A Question of Moral Judgment: Pius XII and the Jews,” in Graham, 107.
[3] Pinchas E. Lapide, The Last Three Popes and the Jews, p. 118.

Copyright © 2005 Steve Smith. All rights reserved.

Click Here for Part One of Pope Pius XII: Misunderstood and Maligned




:)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Fundraiser for Cataract Surgery