"Je cherche une jeune femme italienne, qui veuille correspondre avec moi. Evidemment (je souhaite) qu'elle soit catholique puisque que, depuis le 13 mai 2007, j'ai décidé d'abjurer la foi musulmane et de devenir un fidèle de l'Eglise catholique romaine", écrit Ali Agca, qui purge une peine de prison en Turquie.
"J'ai décidé de retourner pacifiquement sur la place (Saint-Pierre à Rome) et de témoigner devant le monde entier de ma conversion au catholicisme", poursuit-il dans cette lettre rédigée en italien, selon Diva et donna. "Je voudrais, seulement pour un jour, retourner à Rome prier sur la tombe de Jean Paul II pour lui exprimer toute ma reconnaissance filiale pour son pardon", ajoute-t-il.
Interrogé par l'AFP en Turquie, son ancien avocat Mustafa Demirbag, s'est dit "très sceptique" sur cette conversion. Pour être reconnu comme catholique, une simple déclaration ne suffit pas et un long cheminement aboutissant au baptême est nécessaire. Ali Agca dit en outre avoir exprimé son "souhait (de se rendre place Saint-Pierre) au pape Benoît XVI", sans avoir reçu "aucune réponse jusqu'ici" et affirme avoir informé le Vatican de sa conversion.
"Pour le Vatican, je suis peut-être resté l'homme qui tenta d'assassiner le pape polonais, mais aujourd'hui j'ai changé, je suis un homme différent", affirme-t-il. Jean Paul II avait pardonné à son agresseur qu'il avait rencontré en prison en 1983.
La justice italienne a à son tour passé l'éponge après avoir maintenu l'ancien militant ultra-nationaliste en prison pendant 19 ans, mais l'a remis en 2000 aux autorités turques qui le réclamaient pour purger deux peines auxquelles il avait été condamné en Turquie, l'une pour une attaque de banque commise dans les années 1970 et l'autre pour le meurtre d'un journaliste turc en 1979. (belga/th)
Mehmet Ali Agca, author of the failed attempt against Pope John Paul II in 1981, claims to have renounced Islam and embraced the Catholic faith.
"I am looking for an Italian woman, who wants to correspond with me. Obviously (I hope) she is Catholic because from May 13 2007, I decided to renounce the Muslim faith and becoming a member of the Roman Catholic Church," Agca writes.
"I have decided to return peacefully to the (St Peter's) square and to testify to the world of my conversion to Catholicism," he says in the letter written in Italian.
"Just for a day, I would wish to return to Rome to pray at the tomb of John Paul II to express my filial appreciation for his forgiveness," he adds.
Questioned by AFP in Turkey, his former lawyer Mustafa Demirbag, said he was "very skeptical" about the conversion, given the steps required to receive baptism.
Ali Agca also claimed to have expressed his desire to visit St Peter's Square to Pope Benedict XVI, without having received "no response to date". He also claimed to have informed the Vatican of his conversion.
"For the Vatican, I may still be the man who tried to assassinate the Polish Pope, but now I have changed, I am a different man," he says.
The Belgian web news 7sur7 dated 28 April 2009
Dieu le Roy!
Un des principaux est que Marie vient habiter dans l’âme de telle manière que ce n’est plus l’âme qui vit, mais Marie qui vit en elle et devient, si l’on peut dire, l’âme de cette âme.
Et quelles merveilles Marie n’accomplit-elle pas lorsque, par une grâce vraiment ineffable, elle devient Reine d’une âme?
Elle opère de grandes merveilles et travaille surtout dans les coeurs, et, bien des fois, à l’insu de l’âme elle-même, parce que si celle-ci se rendait compte de ce qui passait en elle, elle s’exposerait au danger de perdre cette beauté, à cause de la vanité.
Marie est la Vierge féconde, et dans toutes les âmes où elle va demeurer, elle fait bourgeonner la pureté de coeur et de corps, la droiture d’intentions et d’abondantes bonnes oeuvres.
Ne croyez pas que Marie, la plus féconde des créatures pures, qui arriva au point de produire un Dieu, demeure désoeuvrée dans une âme fidèle.
Ce sera précisément elle qui fera vivre incessamment l’âme pour Jésus Christ, et fera vivre Jésus dans l’âme:
“Mes petits enfants, vous que j’enfante à nouveau dans la douleur jusqu’à ce que Christ soit formé en vous”(cf. Gal 4,19)
Comme Jésus venant au monde a voulu être le fruit de Marie, ainsi en-est-il de chaque âme; et dans celles où Marie peut habiter plus librement, se voient mieux ses fruits et chefs-d’oeuvre. (...)
Dieu étant venu au monde la première fois dans l’humilité et le secret par l’intermédiaire de Marie, ne pourrait-on pas affirmer qu’Il viendra aussi la seconde fois par l’intermédiaire de Marie, pour régner en tous, comme l’attend l’Eglise, et pour juger les vivants et les morts?
Personne ne sait quand et comment cela se passera; mais je sais que Dieu, dont les desseins s’élèvent au-dessus des nôtres comme le ciel au-dessus de la terre, viendra au moment et de la manière les plus inattendus des hommes, y compris des plus instruits et plus compétents en Ecritures Saintes, lesquelles demeurent très obscures sur ce point.
Mais je crois aussi que vers la fin des temps, et peut-être plus tôt qu’on ne le pense, Dieu suscitera de grands hommes remplis d’Esprit-Saint et de l’esprit de Marie, à travers lesquels cette divine Souveraine fera de grandes merveilles sur la terre, pour y détruire le péché et établir dans le monde corrompu le règne de Jésus Christ, son Fils."
Priez pour nous.
St Louis de Montfort,
Priez pour nous.
De “La vraie et parfaite dévotion”, de St Louis M. Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), (n. 55-59).
I think this is in, well, absolutely bad taste, while the sneekers do come from France (that in itslf shows style) all I can think of is these must be her worst pair of shoes, so she wore them. A callous man might compare her to Emelda Marcos, but I won't.
First Lady Michelle Obama steps out in Lanvin sneakers and they're only $540!
BY Amy Diluna
DAILY NEWS FASHION EDITOR
Friday, May 1st 2009, 9:25 AM
Michelle Obama and Jill Biden (center) at a Feeding America event. The First Lady could feed quite a few people with what she paid for thesneakers she's wearing.
The kicks, made by high-end French fashion label Lanvin, cost $540.
Michelle Obama has taken casual to a haute new level.
While volunteering Wednesday at a D.C. food bank, the First Lady sported her usual J.Crew cardigan, a pair of utilitarian capri pants and, on her feet, a sneaky splurge: trainers that go for $540.
Not to M.OB... Jackie Kennedy would not have worn jeans outside let alone sneekers at a food bank.
From the Daily Mirror in the United Kingdom
This is the horrific moment a crazed driver ploughs into spectators as he tries to attack the Dutch royal family yesterday.
Five people were killed and 13 injured when he hurtled at high speed towards an open-top bus carrying Queen Beatrix.
Witnesses said the maniac deliberately targeted the royals after crashing through a police cordon, sending terrified bystanders flying through the air.
The drama ended when he smashed his car into a statue just feet away from the bus carrying Beatrix and her family during the popular Queen's Day celebrations.
Local journalist Peter von de Vorst saw the horror. He said: "It was a really nice day. Then you hear a bang and see people flying through the air. This must be a joke or a strange prank. Then, suddenly, panic, and that's when you realise something terrible has happened."
Queen Beatrix later told the country: "What began as a great day has ended in a terrible tragedy that has shocked us all deeply."
None of the royal party was hurt in the attempted attack at Apeldoorn, 60 miles south-east of Amsterdam.
But Dutch TV footage showed a stunned Crown Prince Willem- Alexander and wife Princess Maxima watching the drama.
Princess Maxima held her hand over her mouth in horror.
Police found the driver, a 38-year-old Dutch man not known to them, slumped at his wheel and covered in blood after the smash.
He was taken to hospital where he later died. Detectives who searched the Suzuki car ruled out terrorism.
Queen's Day celebrations around the rest of Holland were cancelled after the tragedy.
Just another example of the hatred of Royals around the world.
May God defend Queen Beatrix and her family.
INSIDE WASHINGTON: Taxpayers to get rude surprise
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Millions of Americans enjoying their small windfall from President Barack Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit are in for an unpleasant surprise next spring.
The government is going to want some of that money back.
The tax credit is supposed to provide up to $400 to individuals and $800 to married couples as part of the massive economic recovery package enacted in February. Most workers started receiving the credit through small increases in their paychecks in the past month.
But new tax withholding tables issued by the IRS could cause millions of taxpayers to get hundreds of dollars more than they are entitled to under the credit, money that will have to be repaid at tax time.
At-risk taxpayers include a broad swath of the public: married couples in which both spouses work; workers with more than one job; retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from their pension payments and Social Security recipients with jobs that provide taxable income.
The Internal Revenue Service acknowledges problems with the withholding tables but has done little to warn average taxpayers.
"They need to get the Goodyear blimp out there on this," said Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
For many, the new tax tables will simply mean smaller-than-expected tax refunds next year, IRS spokesman Terry Lemons said. The average refund was nearly $2,700 this year.
But taxpayers who calculate their withholding so they get only small refunds could face an unwelcome tax bill next April, said Jackie Perlman, an analyst with the Tax Institute at H&R Block.
"They are going to get a surprise," she said.
Perlman's advice: check your federal withholding to make sure sufficient taxes are being taken out of your pay. If you are married and both spouses work, you might consider having taxes withheld at the higher rate for single filers. If you have multiple jobs, you might consider having extra taxes withheld by one of your employers. You can make that request with a Form W-4.
The IRS has a calculator on its Web site to help taxpayers figure withholding. So do many private tax preparers.
Obama has touted the tax credit as one of the big achievements of his first 100 days in office, boasting that 95 percent of working families will qualify in 2009 and 2010.
The credit pays workers 6.2 percent of their earned income, up to a maximum of $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples who file jointly. Individuals making more $95,000 and couples making more than $190,000 are ineligible.
The tax credit was designed to help boost the economy by getting more money to consumers in their regular paychecks. Employers were required to start using the new withholding tables by April 1.
The tables, however, don't take into account several common categories of taxpayers, experts said.
--A single worker with two jobs making $20,000 a year at each job will get a $400 boost in take-home pay at each of them, for a total of $800. That worker, however, is eligible for a maximum credit of $400, so the remaining $400 will have to be paid back at tax time -- either through a smaller refund or a payment to the IRS.
The IRS recognized there could be a similar problem for married couples if both spouses work, so it adjusted the withholding tables. The fix, however, was imperfect.
-- A married couple with a combined income of $50,000 is eligible for an $800 credit. However, if both spouses work and make more than $13,000, the new withholding tables give them each a $600 boost -- for a total of $1,200.
There were 33 million married couples in 2008 in which both spouses worked. That's 55 percent of all married couples, according to the Census Bureau.
-- A single college student with a part-time job making $10,000 would get a $400 boost in pay. However, if that student is claimed as a dependent on a parent's tax return, she doesn't qualify for the credit and would have to repay it when she files next year.
Some retirees face even bigger headaches.
The Social Security Administration is sending out $250 payments to more than 50 million retirees in May as part of the economic stimulus package. The payments will go to people who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, railroad retirement benefits or veteran's disability benefits.
The payments are meant to provide a boost for people who don't qualify for the tax credit. However, they will go to retirees even if they have earned income and receive the credit. Those retirees will have the $250 payment deducted from their tax credit -- but not until they file their tax returns next year, long after the money may have been spent.
Retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from pension benefits also are getting an income boost as a result of the new withholding tables. However, pension benefits are not earned income, so they don't qualify for the tax credit. That money will have to paid back next year when tax returns are filed.
More than 20 million retirees and survivors receive payments from defined benefit pension plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. However, it is unclear how many have federal taxes withheld from their payments.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union raised concerns about the effect of the tax credit on pension payments in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in March.
Geithner responded that Treasury and IRS understood the concerns and were "exploring ways to mitigate that effect."
Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said Geithner has yet to respond to concerns raised by committee members.
"So far we've got the, 'If we don't address this maybe it will go away' approach," Camp said.
IRS withholding calculator: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id96196,00.html
What whorl wind 100 days huh.
It is of no small bit of amazement to me that in the new design of parishes, the tabernacle is secreted away, as though Christ must be hidden from the soldiers.
It shows a lack of respect and of disbelief for the true presence of Christ that He must be hidden away from the faithful. I will be ranting here, sorry, but this needs to come out of me, I had a bad experience yesterday.
Ever ask someone why they kneel when the come into Church? I bet you will find that 5 out of 10 will say to the altar, or the cross. They continue to kneel even though the Eucharist is in another room. I have seen these things.
Is it no wonder that the youth in our churches, and colleges have no respect for the Eucharist...that the crowds in the church laugh and talk?..that the faithful(?) arrive to worship dressed in short pants and an AC/DC t-Shirt chewing gum, on their way to the beach? ...that youtube has desecration of the Euchrist?
Although I like the Novus Ordo, because it requires the Church to teach the entire Bible over a period of 3 years, I am so tired of the ad lib-ing of the Mass. I just do not understand this, "say the black and do the red". Get with it. How hard can it be? It is not a performance... "Today's Mass will be performed by Father... and the St ... Dancers!"
It does not take 68 people in the Sanctuary to communicate the faithful. If there are 2 or more celebrants, it is enough! "Well we don't want the mass to go on forever." Yes I do. I find that I sin less when I am in the Presence of Christ. I don't play golf, or watch baseball or tennis. Believe me when I say the grass can grow. It will wait.
Ok done now.
I begin every new Catechims Class by asking the same question, multiple choice...
The Eucharist represents...
(b) the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ
(c) both of the above
(d) none of the above
You have to read the comments for the answer...
I found out that:
1 day can be converted to one of these units,
I have been alive:
53 years, 8 months, 21 days (excluding today)
2803 weeks (rounded down)
That from the beginning of the Christian era (as calculated from January 1, yr 0)
Or 2009 years, 3 months, 29 days excluding the end date
733,893 days, or
104,841 weeks (rounded down)
If we would have spent 1 trillion a minute from the stimulus bill, since the beginning of the Christian era, we would have about 2 trillion+ to go, or about 2000 years worth of money left.
Note:The From date is a Julian calendar date. The current Gregorian calendar was adopted in United States where Thursday, September 3, 1752 was the first of 11 days that were skipped. This has been accounted for in this calculation.
2009 can be found here...
Copies Are Being Rushed to Rome, Papal Nuncio, USCCB and ND Bishop John D’Arcy
Manassas, Va. – Today, April 29, 2009, the first 300,000 names of individuals who signed the petition at NotreDameScandal.com — opposing the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama at commencement — are being delivered to Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Board of Trustees and the Board of Fellows as they prepare for scheduled meetings on Friday, May 1, at Notre Dame.
As of this morning, more than 344,000 people have signed the petition, but because of the overwhelming numbers it took The Cardinal Newman Society more than 24 hours to prepare the data and print more than 64,000 sheets of paper, double sided, which were then bound in notebooks and sent via FedEx to Father Jenkins and individual members of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows.
Copies of the petitions are also being rushed by The Cardinal Newman Society, which sponsored the petition, to Archbishop Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education; Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican ambassador) to the United States; Francis Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Bishop John D’Arcy, of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who presides over Notre Dame; and Bishop Robert McManus, Chairman of the USCCB Education Committee.
“Only the Notre Dame Trustees and Fellows have direct authority over Father Jenkins, so their meetings on Friday are our best hope for an end to this scandal,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.
“It is critical for all of us to pray that the Trustees and Fellows charged with safeguarding Notre Dame’s Catholic identity will heed the 50 bishops and hundreds of thousands of faithful Catholics urging Notre Dame to withdraw its invitation to President Obama.”
The University of Notre Dame is governed by a 12-member Board of Fellows, including six Holy Cross priests, who are charged with ensuring “that the University maintains its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning.” The Fellows delegate most of their governing authority to the 38-member Board of Trustees, comprised mostly of lay people.
The university’s charter states: "The essential character of the University as a Catholic institution of higher learning shall at all times be maintained, it being the stated intention and desire of the present Fellows of the University that the University shall retain in perpetuity its identity as such an institution."
47 years ago today, one of my favorite saints went to her reward:
Gianna Beretta was born in Magenta (Milan) October 4, 1922. Already as a youth she willingly accepted the gift of faith and the clearly Christian education that she received from her excellent parents. As a result, she experienced life as a marvellous gift from God, had a strong faith in Providence and was convinced of the necessity and effectiveness of prayer.
She diligently dedicated herself to studies during the years of her secondary and university education, while, at the same time, applying her faith through generous apostolic service among the youth of Catholic Action and charitable work among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. After earning degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and there after gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and poor.
While working in the field of medicine-which she considered a “mission” and practiced as such-she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the “very young” and, at the same time, expressed her joie de vivre and love of creation through skiing and mountaineering. Through her prayers and those of others, she reflected upon her vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Having chosen the vocation of marriage, she embraced it with complete enthusiasm and wholly dedicated herself “to forming a truly Christian family”.
She became engaged to Pietro Molla and was radiant with joy and happiness during the time of their engagement, for which she thanked and praised the Lord. They were married on September 24, 1955, in the Basilica of St. Martin in Magenta, and she became a happy wife. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi, in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.
In September 1961 towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she was touched by suffering and the mystery of pain; she had developed a fibroma in her uterus. Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying, and entrusted herself to prayer and Providence. The life was saved, for which she thanked the Lord. She spent the seven months remaining until the birth of the child in incomparable strength of spirit and unrelenting dedication to her tasks as mother and doctor. She worried that the baby in her womb might be born in pain, and she asked God to prevent that.
A few days before the child was due, although trusting as always in Providence, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: “If you must decided between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child - I insist on it. Save him”. On the morning of April 21, 1962, Gianna Emanuela was born. Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of April 28, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you», the mother died. She was 39 years old. Her funeral was an occasion of profound grief, faith and prayer. The Servant of God lies in the cemetery of Mesero (4 km from Magenta).
“Conscious immolation», was the phrase used by Pope Paul VI to define the act of Blessed Gianna, remembering her at the Sunday Angelus of September 23, 1973, as: “A young mother from the diocese of Milan, who, to give life to her daughter, sacrificed her own, with conscious immolation”. The Holy Father in these words clearly refers to Christ on Calvary and in the Eucharist.
Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, during the international Year of the Family.
Thanks and a tip of the beret to Sanctus Christopher.
Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, prier pour nous.
... From the great and brave Mary Ann Glendon, who has announced today she will not attend the commencement and to turn down the prestigious Laetare Medal.
Story here at the First Things blog.
"A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice."
I always ask my Confirmants this question when they are dealing with moral issues, "If you were accused of being a Catholic would there be enough evidence to convict you?" I hope the graduates of the Notre-Dame Class 2009 have this courage.
This woman's first allegance is to God. What Grace!
Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, prier pour nous.
Notre-Dame had hoped that the mere presence of Mdme Ambassadrix would be seen as an offset to Obama and would allow an open debate forum at the commencment. Note to Notre-Dame, a commencement is not the place for open debate, or starting a dialog, it is about the students. The Church's position is clear, (so clear everyone can figure it out, except maybe Fr Jenkins). Obama will not change his mind because he* thinks about the unborn (and newly born) as chattel, fit to live or die at the will of the owner.
...And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead... Luke 15:31
Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, prier pour nous.
* It is hard to be so humble when you are perfect in every way...
Banquet Center Owner Takes Stand for Unborn
In a recent Jeff City Update we shared with you information about an awards banquet held last night by a group calling itself "Faith Aloud." The banquet was organized by pro-abortion activists to "honor" representatives from Planned Parenthood and current and former legislators for their support of the abortion industry. We were disappointed to learn that the event was being held for the second straight year at Orlando Gardens, a prominent south St. Louis County banquet center. We encouraged you to send e-mails to the management expressing disappointment that they would host a party for those celebrating the killing of unborn children.
As a result of those contacts, we are delighted to report that the owners have had a change of heart. General Manager Mike Orlando shared his decision in an e-mail to us: "The Orlando Family is PRO LIFE. Therefore, our family will refuse to receive any profit from this event and donate all of the event's proceeds to the Respect for Life Apostolate at the St. Louis Archdiocesan office. Furthermore, Orlando Gardens will not be hosting any future events for Planned Parenthood."
Praise God for this victory. Please take the time to e-mail Mr. Orlando and thank him for taking this courageous stand on behalf of justice for the unborn. He has demonstrated that he is a businessman of true integrity and conscience.
You can reach Mike Orlando at email@example.com
This is why the midwest is called the heartland of America, and why the east and west coast are so out of touch. I expect that the ACLU and P/P will bring a suit, that is their style...
Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, prier pour nous.
Suresnes, 24 April 2009
To all faithful pilgrims,
By now you've probably heard that the City Council of Paris, at the instigation of Green Party and Socialist members, voted under false pretenses a motion asking the mayor of Paris to deny us access to the Square-Louise Michel (formerly Square Villette) at the foot of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica at Montmartre where we customarily celebrate the closing Mass of the pilgrimage. more...
...en français par l'Abbé Loïc Duverger,
Vous avez sans doute appris que le conseil municipal de la ville de Paris, à l’instigation des élus Verts et socialistes, a voté sous de fallacieux prétextes, un vœu demandant au maire de Paris de nous refuser l’accès au Square Louise-Michel (anciennement Square Villette) au pied du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre où nous avions la coutume de célébrer la messe de clôture du Pèlerinage. encore...
Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, prier pour nous.
Lovely Music to end the night...
Carlos has posted this some time ago. My reading has suffered of late... I have copied it in it's intereity because it is so important.
Inside the Vatican
New evidence is emerging in the bitter controversy over the alleged "silence" of Pope Pius XII, the Pope from 1939 to 1958 (photo) during the Nazi persecution of the Jews (1933-1945). The evidence was examined two weeks ago (March 8 and 9) in Israel at Yad Vashem — the official Israeli memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Here is the first comprehensive report in English on what happened at that meeting, and what it means for the future
The comprehensive report below contains these elements: 1) A general introduction; 2) a translation from the Italian of a report by Italian Pius XII biographer Andrea Tornielli, an old friend of Inside the Vatican, who was present at the recent Yad Vashem meeting; 3) An introduction to a number of Pius XII testimonials; 4) the testimonials themselves.
We believe that this material, taken together, creates a strong case in favor of the course taken by Pius XII during the period of the Nazi regime, and that it reveals how the debate is shifting in his favor, in spite of considerable ongoing resistance from his detractors, who increasingly seem unwilling to allow such persuasive evidence to affect their long-held negative judgments.
We present this material in the hope of reaching greater clarity about the truth of what happened during those years (1933-45), in the conviction that the case made by the detractors of Pope Pius is based on untrue propaganda, and that this has been harmful, not only to the good name of Pope Pius, and so also of the Catholic Church, but also to Catholic-Jewish relations in general.
Since Pope Benedict XVI will be traveling to the Holy Land from May 8 to 15, and intends to visit the Yad Vashem museum, but not to enter because of the negative portrayal there of Pope Pius XII (see photo of the Pius XII poster as it now stands in the Yad Vashem museum), we offer this material now in the hope that, even at this late date, changes can be made which would enable the Pope to visit this special place of commemoration without any shadow of controversy regarding the actions of his predecessor, Pope Pius XII. —The Editor
The Yad Vashem - Pius XII Discussions
The news that Yad Yashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, recently began serious discussions that might lead to revision of its exhibit against Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII), was cautiously welcomed by Pius' defenders, and those involved in interfaith affairs.
Yad Vashem's notorious exhibit, erected in 2005, has provoked strong protests from many Catholics and others from around the world. The exhibit claims that Pius was silent and indifferent toward the evils of Nazism, and did nothing to assist persecuted Jews during the Holocaust. (Photo: a visitor reads the caption on the poster in the Yad Vashem museum.)
This offends both historical truth and Catholicism. It contradicts the best historical scholarship and the effusive praise Pius XII received from the Jewish community and Jewish scholars. It also attacks the person and the institution credited with doing more to save Jewish victims of Hitler than any other single individual or institution.
Yad Vashem can do this only by misinterpreting or ignoring a wide range of witnesses and documents.
From 1965-1981, the Vatican published twelve volumes of primary wartime documents establishing essential facts about the actions of the wartime papacy: each volume runs hundreds of pages; and there is ample source material highlighting the Holy See's humanitarian acts, including those on behalf of persecuted Jews. Alas, these have been perversely interpreted, if not largely unread, by those who have a fixed bias against Pius XII.
More recently released archives, from the pontificate of Pope Pius XI (1922-1939), under whom Cardinal Pacelli served before becoming Pope, have only added to Pius XII's reputation. But they, too, have been largely ignored or "re-interpreted" to fit pre-existing prejudices.
Fortunately the groundswell of support for Pius XII and increasing criticisms of Yad Vashem for its inaccurate exhibit, has caused the Museum to re-think its stand. Evidence of this was a wide-ranging discussion, organized by the Museum, about Pope Pius XII, which took place on March 8th and 9th in Jerusalem.
However, on March 11, a major Catholic news service published a misleading report (out of Jerusalem) on the meeting, concentrating only on one contentious critic of Pius: Michael Phayer, professor emeritus at Marquette University. Regrettably, the supportive positions of more balanced participants, like Italian expert Andrea Tornielli, author of the finest biography of Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII: A Man on the Throne of Peter, not yet translated from Italian), were not presented.
Fortunately, on March 14, the Italian newspaper Il Giornale published Tornielli's own account of the Yad Vashem meeting. He described it as positive but challenging, because the assumptions of some of those present (like Phayer) needed to be more carefully questioned.
It turned out, not unexpectedly, that some still held the discredited theory Pius did not directly instruct Catholics to rescue and protect Jews. The evidence that Pius instructed the faithful to help Jews is now overwhelming — and incontestable. That any reputable historian would question or deny this, at this late stage, is difficult to believe.
Even more astonishing is Sergio Minerbi's contention, drawn from a totally unreliable source, that Pius XII actually collaborated with the Germans during the Nazi round-up of Rome's Jews — a claim emphatically disproved by Volume 9 of the Holy See's wartime documents. It is difficult to understand how any historian could have read and understood those basic documents, and still denied the Pope's actions on behalf of Jews.
In order to provide a more accurate account of what took place at the Yad Vashem meeting, Inside the Vatican publishes its own translation of Tornielli's description of the event.
The Yad Vashem Conference on Pope Pius XII
by Andrea Tornielli (translated from his article in Il Giornale, March 14, 2009)
A closed-door exchange of views took place Sunday and Monday, March 8 and 9, in Jerusalem involving historians with widely differing views on how to understand Pope Pius XII's response to the Holocaust.
It was described as the first of several meetings and was organized jointly by Yad Vashem and the Salesian Order's theological study group of Jerusalem (Studium Theologicum Salesianum).
The purpose of the opening meeting was to explore the current state of scholarly research on the wartime pontiff's responses to the Holocaust, and on his overall regard for the Jewish people.
The setting of the gathering was deeply symbolic and emotional, taking place in a conference room only a few feet from the Hall of the Righteous at Yad Vashem. That hall commemorates non-Jews who risked their own lives to aid Jews being persecuted.
Also in the background of this meeting is the Yad Vashem Museum's controversial display of a large photo of Pius XII (photo), with a caption claiming that the pontiff failed to protest, in any way, against the massacre being perpetrated against the Jewish people; and did little or nothing to help them. The photo-caption was not directly addressed at the meeting. The historians engaged in a polite, uninhibited and wide-ranging discussion that touched on a number of complex circumstances existing at the time, including various private and public statements and actions by and about Pius XII.
Among the scholars invited by the Salesian Fathers to present analyses of their findings on Pope Pacelli were: Professors Thomas Brechenmacher, Jean-Dominique Durand, Sr. Grazia Loparco, Matteo Luigi Napolitano and the author of this report [Andrea Tornielli]. The Vatican's nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, was also present.
Those invited by Yad Vashem to offer assessments were: Sergio Minerbi, Michael Phayer, Paul O'Shea and Susan Zuccotti. Also taking part were Yad Vashem officials.
The director of Yad Vashem, Avner Shalev, opened the meeting by saying that this exchange "will not be the last," adding, "research is progressing on the complex and delicate role of Pius XII."
Nuncio Franco said that the conference was designed for a frank and honest exchange, to promote "a dialogue based on trust" because "all of us are seeking the truth."
He compared a missing key document on the Holocaust with the absence of any explicit orders from Pius to religious to help Jews. Franco said: though no document exists written by Hitler that orders the terrible "Final Solution" against the Jews, no one doubts that it was the Fuehrer himself who planned the genocide. "We would like the same criteria applied to the Catholic Church and the Vatican in light of the absence of a direct written order from the pope commanding the faithful to help Jews," Franco said.
The Church "does not count only documents, it also counts the reality of historical facts," he continued. And the facts do not support the thesis that Pius was "silent" or disinterested. He added that those who make such a charge about Pius are using a methodology of historical research that ignores massive amounts of contrary evidence. Such an approach, he said, has for some time been abandoned by professional historians.
This first session dealt with questions about Pacelli's personality, particularly as revealed in his public and his private statements and attitudes before and during his pontificate. What did these reveal about his regard for Jews? Were there any significant differences in his attitude? What role might these have had in influencing his actions during the War?
Among the points made was that when the future Pius XII went to public school as a teenager, he developed a close friendship with a Jewish classmate, Guido Mendes, whom he helped to leave Italy after the promulgation of Mussolini's shameful racial laws.
Documents were produced from both Zionist archives and the Bavarian nunciature. From Pacelli's November 1917 Bavarian nunciature came an intervention from Pacelli appealing for assistance for the Jewish population of Jerusalem. As a priest, diplomat, cardinal and as Pope, Pacelli never nourished or expressed any adverse sentiments against the Jews. Just the opposite, he expressed deep regard and sympathy for them.
Professor Durand provided in-depth insights on the attitude of Pacelli toward Nazism by citing the reports of the then-nuncio in Germany to his superiors in Rome. These reports show unequivocally how he had explicitly warned about Hitler. Long before almost any one else was aware of the menace of Nazism, he was defining Nazism as "the greatest heresy" of our time. His private letters to his family and friends attest the same thing.
There was also a good deal of discussion about the Concordat of 1933 between the Holy See and Germany, with Phayer repeatedly emphasizing that the attitude of Pacelli was conditioned by his anti-Communism. It was pointed out, however, that it is incorrect to represent the Concordat, which was concluded after the four-powers pact of June 1933, between France, England, Italy and Germany, as in any way a "recognition" of the Nazi regime. The Vatican, as a matter of fact, had also sought to reach a Concordat with the Soviet Union [in the 1920's, even before the German Concordat]. Pius XI accepted the offer of Hitler in an effort try to defend the Church in Germany, well aware that the accord would be immediately violated, as it came to be. This resulted, over the years, in 70 official protests by the Holy See to the Foreign Ministry of the Reich, which for the most part were never answered.
The central and most debated issue of the conference was the Nazi roundup of Rome's Jews, in late 1943. What did the Pope know? Did he personally order the rule of the cloister be lifted and the Jews allowed refuge? Or, did all of that somehow occur spontaneously, without him knowing, and personally authorizing it?
A carefully documented and exhaustive contribution by Sister Grazia Loparco, who is carrying out an intensive study of the question, shows that more than 4,500 Jews were saved in Italy. In Rome alone, 750 religious houses, 220 convents and at least 70 monasteries opened their doors to Jews. This is a statistic that shows the existence of a comprehensive policy, and a network of helpers.
And, if it is certain that no copy of a signed order from Pius XII exists, it is equally true that in the autumn of 1943, with the Germans tightly controlling Rome, many orders were successfully transmitted by word of mouth, thanks to the close relations and contacts existing in the city among religious, priests, prelates, lay leaders and the Holy See. [For documentation of a recently discovered wartime convent diary, providing yet more evidence that Pius XII issued explicit orders to rescue Jews, see ITV's March 11th newsflash, "Turning Point on Pius XII" http://insidethevatican.com/newsflash/2009/newsflash-mar-11-09.htm] In the archives of Civilta Cattolica, for example, there is a document from November 1, 1943, in which Father Giacomo Martegani, then editor of the magazine, after leaving an audience with Pope Pacelli, noted: "The Holy Father has involved himself (or committed himself) to the welfare of the Jews." ["Il Santo Padre's e interessato al bene degli ebrei"]
Still, Professors Minerbi and Zuccotti argued these undeniable and documented life-saving initiatives of the convents were spontaneous, that is, took place without the Pope's orders. However, Father Roberto Spataro, of the Studium Theologicum Salesianum, noted that anyone with firsthand knowledge of how the Vatican works knows that even while there may have been differing positions within the Vatican itself on the question of what to do on behalf of the Jews, no such large-scale activity (as hiding thousands of Jews in Vatican buildings, many of which were cloistered) could have been possible without the blessing of Pius XII himself.
It must also be said that the most shocking, weakly supported and, frankly, unrealistic hypothesis, was the one presented by Minerbi, based on anonymous testimony attributed to an unidentified German official. This unsupported rumor had already been refuted in a collection of documents relating to the Second World War published decades ago [Volume 9, document 383, p. 519, of Actes et Documents]. The groundless rumor claimed that Pius had given his personal "green light" to the deportation of the Roman Jews provided the Germans agreed to carry it out quickly. This allegation runs counter to all the evidence we have about Pope Pacelli, and clearly seeks to present him as a willing and convinced accomplice in the Nazi slaughter!
The Yad Vashem conference represents only the first step in a journey that has just begun: we await the publication of the first meeting and of the various documents presented. The atmosphere was cordial and collaborative, despite the diverging opinions. The meeting offers hope for a different understanding of the figure of Pacelli that will put an end to the "black legend."
A Primer for Understanding the Current Pius XII Debate
The half-century campaign against Pope Pius XII entered a new phase this month with scholarly meetings in Jerusalem. Whether this will end up in spreading more half-truths against Pius, or will actually be a full and fair presentation of the well-documented evidence we have on Pius, is still an open question.
As a necessary background for understanding what is now on-going, Inside the Vatican presents, below, several representative pieces of evidence that offer examples of the kind of clear knowledge now available to scholars concerning Eugenio Pacellis character, conduct and moral leadership. These documents set before the reader a cross-section of basic facts concerning Pacelli's life and leadership of the Church--particularly as they relate to his fight against Nazism, and his efforts to assist Jews persecuted by Hitler and his collaboraters.
Pacelli served as papal nuncio to Germany (1917-1929), Cardinal Secretary of State under Pius XI (1930-1939), and as Pope Pius XII (1939-1958). There are hundreds of pieces of primary and secondary evidence now available that show how he combatted racism and anti-Semitism, in the face of a psychopathic, all-powerful dictator determined to destroy those conceived as his enemies.
The first two articles presented here appeared in prominent Jewish newspapers, between Pius XII's death (1958), and shortly after the attack on him by playwright Rolf Hochhuth (1963).
They report on Pacelli's concern for the Jewish community, before and after the War. Particularly revealing is his little-known friendship with a childhood schoolmate, Guido Mendes. Mendes recalls the remarkable openness the future pope revealed toward the Jewish people and religion — at a time when Catholics and Jews were mostly strangers to one another. Mendes testifies that Pacelli, as Cardinal Secretary of State under Pius XI, helped him and his family escape persecution by Italian Fascists. Notably, Mendes leaped to defend Pius' good name after Rolf Hochhuth attacked the pope, five years after his death, as a weak, time-serving churchman in a completely misleading, play, The Deputy (a.k.a., "The Representative").
Then we present the dramatic testimony of Dietrich von Hildebrand, an eminent Catholic philosopher, who had been marked for death by Hitler because of his outspoken opposition to anti-Semitism and Nazism, and who knew Pacelli when he served as papal nuncio in Germany. (For more on von Hildebrand's struggle against Nazism, and his admiration for Pacelli, see The Soul of a Lion [Ignatius Press, 2000] by his wife, Alice von Hildebrand.) Von Hildebrand's testimony is striking, since he often criticized fellow Catholics whom he thought "soft" toward anti-Semitism and Nazism.
Following von Hildebrand's tribute are contemprary newspaper accounts that establish how the Church, under Pius XII, did indeed "speak out" against anti-Semitism and Hitler's policies--and how this fact was clearly understood at the time, even if it is denied by certain uninformed critics today. The news accounts also document how Pius XII personally intervened to save Jews during the War, by instructing the Catholic clergy and religious to shelter them; and by opening up his own summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, during the German occupation of Rome (1943-1944). No one but Pius had the authority to do this.
Then, we include with the extraordinary Palestine Post report, of June 22, 1944, just weeks after the liberation of Rome. Reporting from Vatican City, the Post describes how "several thousand refugees, largely Jews," came to pay their respect and thanks to Pius XII — the very man Yad Vashem now describes as having remained "silent," and done little to protect Jews during the War.
Clearly, it is time for the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem to correct its falsification of the historical record, and give the wartime pontiff the honor he earned, as did the wartime Jewish community itself.
Jerusalem Post, Friday, October 10, 1958
Ramat Gan Physician Recalls Schooldays with Pius XII
By Mark Segal
“The late pope Pius XII was an excellent pupil at school, and even then spoke of devoting his life to the church,” 82-year-old Prof. Guido Mendes told The Jerusalem Post in an interview at his home here on Thursday.
Prof. Mendes, a lung specialist, studied at the Collegio Romani Gymnasium in Rome with the late Pope. The young looking octogenarian recalled that in the late 1890’s “we were all anti-clerical, but Eugenio (the late Pope) was always outspokenly in favour of the Church.”
He remembered him as dapper in dress, serious in appearance, and always winning academic prizes. For a short time, they had been good friends, and Prof. Mendes recalled visiting the home of the Pacelli family, who were of princely stock and had always been closely associated with the Vatican.
“When Pacelli came to my home, he asked to borrow my copy of Rabbi Ben Hamozeg’s work Apologetica and Dogmatics,” Prof. Mendes recalled.
Their paths separated after their school years — Pacelli going into the Church and Mendes to medical school. They next met in the First World War whilst he was an officer in the Medical Corps and the Pope already a monsignor.
In 1938, with the beginning of the persecution of the Italian Jews, Pacelli’s secretary called from the Vatican to ask the Mendes family if they needed help. The Mendes later escaped to Switzerland and the Vatican secured them certificates to Palestine in 1939.
Met Twice Since War
Since World War II, the Professor had met the late Pope twice, and on both occasions the meeting had been extremely cordial, he recalled. Mendes broached Israel’s opposition to the internationalization of Jerusalem, explaining to the Pontiff that most of the holy places were in any case in Arab hands. The Pope replied: “You realize that the Arabs are laying claim to new Jerusalem as well,” to which Prof. Mendes pointed out that the Russians could also claim rights in an international Jerusalem.
Mr. Mendes recalled that the Pope, meeting survivors of the concentration camps in Italy in 1945, had then predicted “soon you will have a Jewish state.”
Jewish Chronicle, October 11, 1963.
Israelis Defend Name of Pope Pius XII
From our Correspondent
Israelis have now begun to join in the world-wide controversy over The Representative, [a.k.a., The Deputy] the play by Rolf Hochhuth condemning Pope Pius XII’s wartime silence over Hitler’s extermination of the Jews.
Most reactions here, sparked off by the London opening of the play, defend the late Pope and point out a number of individual cases where he was instrumental in saving a limited number of Jews from death. Some critics, however, have said that, on the wider issue of spiritual courage in the darkest chapter of human history, Pope Pius XII, as the leader of 500 million Catholics, should have come out openly for brotherly love and against hatred and the massacre of Jews.
Among the local defenders of Pope Pius XII is a former schoolmate of his in Rome’s Gymnasio Visconti some 70 years or more ago – Dr. Guido Mendes, 87, a former professor of the medical faculty of Rome University, now living in retirement in Ramat Gan.
Dr. Mendes has pointed to the help he and his family received from the late Pope Pius in escaping from European antisemitism during the Second World War and obtaining an immigration permit to what was then Palestine under British rule. He has also stressed that the secretary instructed to give this aid at the time was Monsignor Montini, now Pope Paul VI.
Another Israeli supporter of the late Pope is Mr. Pinchas Lapide, a former member of the British Eighth Army’s Jewish Refugee Committee in Italy from 1943 to 1945, later Israeli Consul in Milan, and now Co-ordinator of Christian Pilgrimages in Israel in the Prime Minister’s Office.
He bases his views on documents he has collected in the course of the past 20 years. Among them is a letter of thanks to Pope Pius XII from representatives of a Jewish refugee camp at Ferramonti-Tarsia, in Southern Italy, written on October 29, 1944, after the Allied liberation of Italy.
“While we have been persecuted and threatened in nearly all European countries, Your Holiness, through His Eminence the Apostolic Nuncio Monsignor Borgongini-Duca, has not only sent generous gifts to our camp but also shows lively and fatherly interest in our physical, spiritual and moral well-being,” the letter says.
It continues: “When we were threatened with deportation to Poland in 1942, Your Holiness extended a protective, fatherly hand and foiled the deportation of the Jews interned in Italy, thus saving us from almost certain death.” Mr. Lapide has copies of other, similar letters handed over for transmission to the Pope between 1944 and 1945.
In 1955 the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra performed part of Beethoven’s Second Symphony before Pope Pius XII “in appreciation and thankfulness for the great work of humanitarian aid performed by Your Holiness in rescuing large numbers of Jews during the Second World War,” and Mrs. Golda Meir was reported in 1956 to have thanked the Pope for having raised his voice on behalf of the Jews.
Among other documents collected by Mr. Lapide is a report by Dr. Ugo Foa, president of Rome’s Jewish community, describing how Pope Pius offered the congregation gold to help pay the ransom demanded by the Germans in 1943 and how he subsequently instructed Catholic institutions in Italy to give refuge to Jews threatened with deportation.
Testimony of Dietrich von Hildebrand
French author G. M. Tracy, in his 1966 book Pius XII Revealed (Decouverte de Pie XII), quotes from a letter on Pius, written to him by Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, noted philosopher, theologian and enemy of the Nazis. The letter was written in response to Tracy’s questions about Pacelli’s years as papal nuncio in Germany [1917-1929, during the rise of National Socialism]:
“I consider coming to know Pius XII during his time as Nuncio in Munich as one of the most beautiful gifts that God has given me in my lifetime. I met with him often and had long discussions with him.
“He is one of those few rare men that I have met whose entire being reflected deep spiritual awareness, brilliance, gentleness and concern for others. He had that indescribable spiritual awareness that is found only in extraordinary religious people. He has almost always been described as a diplomat. If one means by that that he had mastered a number of languages, that he was at ease in various circumstances, possessed of a deep learning and extraordinarily skilled in social circumstances — nothing is more accurate.
“But if it is meant to convey the idea that he, like Pope Leo XIII, Rampolla or Gaspari [previous Vatican secretaries of state], was totally absorbed by politics, had an overriding passion for it, that is absolutely false. He often told me of the difficulties he experienced as Nuncio, how confined and superficial his ministry sometimes was. He longed, as a bishop, to be leading a true pastoral life as the spiritual shepherd of his flock. In Munich he seemed to desire a life out of the limelight, and one senses, a life of profound reflection and meditation.
“What primarily stood out and surprised me was how he joined a keen understanding of problems with a candid openness and directness about solutions – this can be seen in his wonderful short speeches – and also in his deeply spiritual life impregnated with the love of Christ. His presence, his words and gestures could communicate this to the outside world.
“He was an open enemy of National Socialism as early as Hitler’s 1923 Putsch. Because I had been condemned to death by the Nazis, I often spoke to him about National Socialism. He told me that it was as opposed to Catholicism as fire to water. He deplored, as I did, the blindness of our friend, Baron von Cramer-Klett, who, at first, was sympathetic with the Nazis.
“I am overjoyed that you have undertaken a biography of this great Pope, especially because of the atrocious caricature that Hochhuth created, aided by the statements of the very dubious Bishop Hudal [a German collaborator]. Hudal wrote a book in which he tried to prove that National Socialism and Christianity could get along together. This book incurred the disdain of Pius XII and Hudal wanted to avenge himself on Pius by slandering him in a completely false way to Hochhuth. It would be impossible to create a more false depiction of Pius than the one created by Hochhuth.”
London Times, October 1, 1942, A Vatican Visit
....To be disappointed by the absence of a formal benediction of the cause of the United Nations would be to ignore the dual character of the Church of Rome as a spiritual body and as a political corporation. Because the Church refrains from making a pronouncement which would necessarily engage her political form as well as her spiritual essence, it does not follow that the occupant of the throne of Peter, or his higher counselors, are deaf to the appeal of Christians and of others who unite with them in condemnation of armed wickedness. A study of the words which Pope Pius XII has addressed since his accession in encyclicals and allocutions to the Catholics of various nations leaves no room for doubt. He condemns the worship of force and its concrete manifestation in the suppression of national liberties and in the persecution of the Jewish race. The daily newspaper which represents, semi-officially, opinion at the Vatican, avoids the acute controversies of the war. But its unprejudiced account of the handling of social problems in Britain, its generous and honorable citation of “forbidden” Italian authors and its maintenance of the standard of Italian humanism against those of neo-paganism; its plan warnings as to the significance of Nazi race-worship – all these tend to show where sympathy lies at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. The millions of believers, lay and clerical, who maintain a stout front against the oppressions of Nazism and of Fascism in their own or in other countries themselves testify that the sympathies found at the heart of the vast system permeate the whole....
New York Times, June 27, 1943.
Vatican Scores Nazi Laws: Warns French Bias Against Jews is Offense Against God
The Vatican radio once more has denounced the racial laws of the totalitarian States in a broadcast directed to France, a British broadcast reported yesterday. The broadcast, recorded by the Columbia Broadcasting System, quoted the Vatican Radio as follows: "He who makes a distinction between Jews and other men is unfaithful to God and is in conflict with God's commands. As long as men make differences in the treatment of members of the human family, the peace of the world, order and justice will be at stake."
New York Times, February 9, 1944 [During the German occupation of Rome]
Vatican Repeats Pledge of Haven: Church will Always Provide Sanctuary for All, Radio Comments on Raid
The Vatican radio, commenting on the Fascist raid on St. Paul's Basilica last Thursday in which sixty-four Italian officers and Jews who had received sanctuary there were arrested, said tonight that the church would never yield in offering charity to everyone. The radio referred to the 'hospitality granted to the arrested persons' and said: "It is not a paradox, nor is it absurd that the Church is for everybody and for nobody. Charity is above human constitutions. On this point the priest can never yield. It is the demarcation line between good and evil. Men of honest views will permit us to continue with it."
The Palestine Post, June 22, 1944 [shortly after Rome's liberation from German forces]
Sanctuary in the Vatican
Several thousand refugees, largely Jews, during the weekend left the Papal Palace at Castel Gandolfo--the Pope's summer residence near Marino---after enjoying safety there during the recent terror. Besides Jews, persons of all political creeds who had been endangered were given sanctuary at the Palace. Before leaving the refugees conveyed their gratitude to the Pope through his majordomo.
New York Times, January 22, 1964
British M.P. Says Pius XII Helped Jews During War [In the wake of Hochhuth's now-discredited play]
Maurice Edelman, a Labor Member of Parliament, said today that Pope Pius XII told him in 1945 that he had secretly requested the Roman Catholic clergy to give shelter and sanctuary to Jews. "Through this intervention," Mr. Edelman said, "tens of thousands of Jews had in fact been saved." Mr. Edelman, who is a novelist and president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, was referring to attacks on the late Pope in the play, The Deputy, by Rolf Hochhuth.
"Inside the Vatican is a magazine I read cover to cover. I find it balanced and informative. I especially appreciate its coverage of art and architecture. It is not only an important magazine, it is also a beautiful one." —Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard University Law School, former United States Ambassador to the Holy See
Thanks and a tip of the beret to Carlos...
South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) --
University of Notre Dame alumni have withheld a total of $8.2 million in planned donations to the Catholic college as a result of its decision to have pro-abortion President Barack Obama give the commencement address at its upcoming graduation ceremonies. David DiFranco, a Michigan businessman and Notre Dame graduate, started the effort to withhold donations to the college.He has put together a web site, ReplaceJenkins.com, urging fellow alumni to not only withhold donations but to call on replacing ND president John Jenkins, who invited Obama and has strongly defended the decision.
The web site has received over 900 pledges from alumni and donors promising to withhold future donations and several of the largest gifts include estate bequests to the University that have been removed from donors’ wills. “We knew many donors and alums were unhappy with the decision to honor a pro-abortion president, but we never expected this large of a response," DiFranco told LifeNews.com. "We can hardly keep up, and this is only the beginning. We can only imagine what fundraisers at the University are experiencing, but understandably not reporting.”DiFranco says the $8.2 (billion) figure is a very conservative estimate as he and his colleagues are dismissing some bogus claims of withholding donations and have waited on tallying others to verify their accuracy.
"We are speaking directly with donors, and in several cases we have spoken with estate attorneys to confirm that Notre Dame has been stripped from a donor’s will. We are going about this process with a critical eye in order that the numbers we report are accurate," he said.DiFranco told LifeNews.com he thinks the final financial impact for Notre Dame inviting Obama will be monumental.
“As momentum continues to build, we are now certain that the financial penalty resulting from the decision to honor the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, will be enormous," he said. "The fact that this effort is necessary is unfortunate. However, alumni and supporters of Notre Dame have little other recourse than to protest with their pocketbooks.
We will continue our efforts as long as it is necessary to bring about positive change at Notre Dame," he concluded. News of the donations came on the same day that former Vatican ambassador and Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon announced she would not speak at the university nor accept an award from it.