Three Popes and the Jews is a 1967 book by Pinchas Lapide, a former Israeli Consul to Milan, who at the time of publication was a deputy editor in the Israeli Prime Minister's press office.The "three popes" are Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Pope John XXIII (1958-1963), and Pope Paul VI (1963-1978).
The Catholic Herald in its review of the book observed, "The intentions of Mr. Lapide, deputy editor of the Prime Minister's press office in Israel and a pioneer of inter-faith relations, are so excellent that the reviewer finds it embarrassing to point out mistakes. These cast some doubt on the accuracy of the facts and figures of the rescue operations given later in great detail."The Roman Catholic periodical The Tablet observed "Embarrassed enquirers into the alleged "guilty silence" of the papacy over the Nazi extermination of the Jews have had to wait rather long for a comprehensive, well-documented and almost unreserved vindication."
Rabbi David G. Dalin in The Myth of Hitler's Pope calls the book "meticulously researched and comprehensive" as well as "the definitive work by a Jewish scholar on the subject".
Holocaust historian Dr. Susan Zuccotti calls the work "consistently erroneous"as well as "replete with egregious mistakes and distortions". Lapide's work makes many claims to which he himself claims to have been the witness, but also makes other claims, generally without citing sources. One of Lapide's main goals as Consul to Milan was Vatican recognition of the State of Israel, and Zuccotti assesses that "memories of past commissions and omissions were readily sacrificed to the goal of constructing a better future".
John Cornwell states that Three Popes is a "formidable and scholarly riposte to those who would paint Pius XII and the Holy See as villains but it carried the taint of diplomatic self-interest".For example, the book ends with an alleged quotation from "Papa Roncalli" to Maurice Fisher, the Israeli ambassador in Rome, that "I would recognize the State of Israel here and now".
The book is the source of many claims made by defenders of Pope Pius XII about his attempts to save Jews during The Holocaust. In Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy , Zuccotti traces a variety of claims by Pius XII's defenders (cited or uncited) back to Lapide.Roth and Ritner criticize defenders of Pius XII such as Rychlak, Dalin, and William Doino, for drawing on "problematic sources such as Pinchas Lapide"; they note that the book is "filled with errors" and "cited endlessly by papal defenders".
The most famous and widely quoted (and misquoted) claim of Lapide is that "The Catholic Church, under the pontificate of Pius XII was instrumental in saving at least 700,000 but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands" (pp. 214–215). Lapide claimed to have reached this number by subtracting "all reasonable claims of rescue made by the Protestant Churches [...] as well as those saved by Communists, self-described agnostics and other non-Christian Gentiles" from his estimate of 1,300,000 European Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. Lapide gives no calculation or documentation for this figure. Even José M. Sánchez, himself a defender of Pius XII, states that "the undocumented calculation and suggestive wording have been ignored by Pius's defenders. Their uncritical acceptance of Lapide's statistics and statements has weakened their arguments".
The book also contains a quotation allegedly from Pope John XXIII (well known for his own efforts to save Jews) that "In all these painful matters I have referred to the Holy See and simply carried out the Pope's orders: first and foremost to save human lives" (p. 181). Lapide claims that Roncalli personally made this statement to him in 1957 in Venice, although there are no other witnesses. This quote is repeatedly uncritically by Ronald J. Rychlak among others, although Rychlak alters it to say "Jewish lives" instead of "human lives".
Lapide also claims a similar quotation by Pope Paul VI (again repeated by Rychlak), allegedly refusing an award from an Italian Jewish delegation because "All I did was my duty. And besides I only acted upon orders from the Holy Father. Nobody deserves a medal for that." 137), but this time he does not claim to be an eyewitness. Zuccotti regards this anecdote as unconvincing because "there is little evidence that [Paul VI] ever did much for the Jews" and the ADSS even contains examples of his refusing requests for assistance. The quote is also inconsistent with his 1963 article in The Tablet defending Pius XII which claims not that he directed others to save Jews, but that he refrained because it would have been "not only futile but harmful".The source for this quote is again only Lapide (p.
Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2 March 1939 to 1958 when he died. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, such as the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany.
Michael Cardinal Ritter von Faulhaber was a senior Catholic prelate and Archbishop of Munich for 35 years, from 1917 to his death in 1952. Cardinal von Faulhaber rejected the Weimar Republic as rooted in treason and opposed democratic government in general, favoring a Catholic monarchy. Faulhaber publicly recognized the Nazi government as legitimate, required Catholic clergy to remain loyal to the Nazi government, and maintained bridges between fascism and the Church. He ordained Joseph Ratzinger as a priest in 1951, and was the last surviving Cardinal appointed by Pope Benedict XV.
Hitler's Pope is a book published in 1999 by the British journalist and author John Cornwell that examines the actions of Eugenio Pacelli, who became Pope Pius XII, before and during the Nazi era, and explores the charge that he assisted in the legitimization of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany, through the pursuit of a Reichskonkordat in 1933. The book is critical of Pius' conduct during the Second World War, arguing that he did not do enough, or speak out enough, against the Holocaust. Cornwell argues that Pius's entire career as the nuncio to Germany, Cardinal Secretary of State, and Pope, was characterized by a desire to increase and centralize the power of the Papacy, and that he subordinated opposition to the Nazis to that goal. He further argues that Pius was antisemitic and that this stance prevented him from caring about the European Jews.
The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis is a 2005 book by American historian and Rabbi David G. Dalin. It was published by Regnery Publishing.
Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy is a book by Susan Zuccotti which examines the role of the Catholic Church in providing aid to Jews in Italy during the Holocaust, and is critical of the actions of the papacy in this regard.
Pinchas Lapide was a Jewish theologian and Israeli historian. He was an Israeli diplomat from 1951 to 1969, among other position acting as Israeli Consul to Milan, and was instrumental in gaining recognition for the young state of Israel. He wrote more than 35 books during his lifetime. Pinchas Lapide was married to Ruth Lapide with whom he shared his interests and endeavors.
La Civiltà Cattolica is a periodical published by the Jesuits in Rome, Italy. It has been published continuously since 1850 and is among the oldest of Catholic Italian periodicals. All of the journal's articles are the collective responsibility of the entire "college" of the magazine's writers even if published under a single author's name. It is the only one to be directly revised by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See and to receive its approval before being published.
A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair is a 2003 book by the political scientist Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, previously the author of Hitler's Willing Executioners (1996). Goldhagen examines the Roman Catholic Church's role in the Holocaust and offers a review of scholarship in English addressing what he argues is antisemitism throughout the history of the Church, which he claims contributed substantially to the persecution of the Jews during World War II.
Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) is a non-sectarian organization whose mission is to identify and eliminate non-theological obstacles between religions, headed by Gary Krupp. The organization is dedicated to achieving peace by closing the gaps in tolerance, education, and the practical relations between religions through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. PTWF strives to eliminate the use of religion as a tool to achieve personal agendas and to cause conflicts.
The relations between Pope Pius XII and Judaism have long been controversial, especially those questions that surround Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. Other issues involve Pius's Jewish friendships and his attitude towards the new state of Israel.
The relations between Pope Pius XI and Judaism during his reign from 1922 to 1939 are generally regarded as good. The pontiff was particularly opposed to antisemitism, an important issue at the time when Nazi Germany was rising. Certain favourable opinions of Pius XI were subsequently used to attack the perceived silence of Pope Pius XII.
The start of the pontificate of Pius XII occurred at the time of the Second World War and the Nazi Holocaust, which over the course of the war would see the murder of millions of Jews and others by Adolf Hitler's Germany. Pius employed diplomacy to aid the victims of the Nazis during the war and, through directing his Church to provide discreet aid to Jews and others, saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Pius maintained links to the German Resistance, and shared intelligence with the Allies. His strongest public condemnation of genocide was, however, considered inadequate by the Allied Powers, while the Nazis viewed him as an Allied sympathizer who had dishonoured his policy of Vatican neutrality.
Pope Pius XII's response to the Roman razzia, or mass deportation of Jews, on October 16, 1943 is a significant issue relating to Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. Under Mussolini, no policy of abduction of Jews had been implemented in Italy. Following the capitulation of Italy in 1943, Nazi forces invaded and occupied much of the country, and began deportations of Jews to extermination camps. Pius XII protested at diplomatic levels, while several thousand Jews found refuge in Catholic networks, institutions and homes across Italy, including in Vatican City and Pope Pius' Summer Residence. The Catholic Church and some historians have credited this rescue in large part to the direction of Pope Pius XII. However, historian Susan Zuccotti researched the matter in detail and discovered that although the pope was aware of the Holocaust, he did not issue a rescue order. Zuccotti states that there is "considerable evidence of papal disapproval of the hiding of Jews and other fugitives in Vatican properties."
Pope Pius XII's 1942 Christmas address was a speech delivered by Pope Pius XII over Vatican Radio on Christmas 1942. It is notable for its denunciation of the extermination of people on the basis of race, and followed the commencement of the Nazi Final Solution program to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The significance of the denunciation is a matter of scholarly debate.
The conversion of Jews to Catholicism during the Holocaust is one of the most controversial aspects of the record of Pope Pius XII during The Holocaust.
Yad Vashem, the state of Israel's official Holocaust memorial, has generally been critical of Pope Pius XII, the pope during The Holocaust. For decades, Pius XII has been nominated unsuccessfully for recognition as Righteous Among the Nations, an honor Yad Vashem confers on non-Jews who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust altruistically and at risk to their own lives.
The public statements of Pope Pius XII on the Holocaust, or lack thereof, are one of the most controversial elements of the historical debate about Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. Pius XII's statements have been scrutinized as much, if not more, than his actions during the same period. Pius XII's statements, both public and private, are quite well documented in the Vatican Secret Archives; eleven volumes of documents from his papacy were published between 1965 and 1981 in Actes et documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale.
Sister Margherita Marchione is an American Roman Catholic sister, writer, teacher and apologeticist, who dedicated herself in her later years to the defense of Pope Pius XII. A member of the Religious Teachers Filippini for most of her life, she had access to the sisters of her order in Italy, who reportedly sheltered some Jews during the Second World War.
The Pope's Jews: The Vatican's Secret Plan to Save Jews from the Nazis is a 2012 book by the British author Gordon Thomas concerning the efforts of Pope Pius XII to protect Jews during the Nazi Holocaust. The Observer reported in 2013 that "Gordon Thomas, a Protestant, was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before" and had uncovered "evidence on Pius XII's wartime efforts to save Jewish refugees".
During the Holocaust, the Catholic Church played a role in the rescue of hundreds of thousands of Jews from being murdered by the Nazis. Members of the Church, through lobbying of Axis officials, provision of false documents, and the hiding of people in monasteries, convents, schools, among families and the institutions of the Vatican itself, saved hundreds of thousands of Jews. The Israeli diplomat and historian Pinchas Lapide estimated the figure at between 700,000 and 860,000, although the figure is contested.