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Sparks fly at Pius XII debate in London

Majority of the audience failed to be swayed by scholars speaking in favour of the wartime pope

By on Friday, 23 November 2012

Scholars speaking in favour of Venerable Pope Pius XII and his wartime record managed to convince a significant number of people that the Pontiff did the best he could to save Jewish lives from the Holocaust, even if they failed to win over the majority of the audience at a recent lively debate in London.

The Intelligence Squared debate, held last Wednesday in front of a large audience of participants, heard four scholars debate the motion: “‘Hitler’s Pope’: Pius XII did too little to save the Jews from the Holocaust”.

Speaking for the motion were the British historian Viscount John Julius Norwich and UN jurist Geoffrey Robertson. Speaking against were William Doino, a leading expert on Pius XII and his wartime record, and Professor Ronald Rychlak, a law professor at the University of Mississippi and also a leading scholar on Pius.

The “Oxford style” debate, in which scholars debate the motion and the audience votes at the beginning and at the end, predictably provoked some heated discussions.

Doino and Rychlak spent much of the evening presenting fact after fact in defence of Pius XII in an attempt to counter the so-called “Black Legend,” but their opponents were master performers who managed to convince many in the audience through sheer force of rhetoric and style.

“Those in favor of the motion made an eloquent argument and gave a superb performance,” conceded Gary Krupp, founder of the Pave the Way Foundation which has been at the forefront of clearing Pius’s name. But he added: “Unfortunately, it was totally based on erroneous mistranslated rhetoric, which has been repeated over and over again. The documentation we have posted online discredit each of the statements made by Robertson and Norwich.”

“I also find it outrageous,” Krupp continued, “when the revisionists make such eloquent conclusions about what Pius XII should have or could have done. They seem to be oblivious to the reality that the Pope acted in the middle of ground zero, under a constant threat against his Church and his life. I wonder, what did the Archbishop of Canterbury do to save Jews from the safety of London?”

Professor Rychlak and William Doino share their reflections on the debate below.

Professor Rychlak:

“Of course I was disappointed that the vote did not come out our way, but the room began about 3-1 against us and it ended about 2-1 against us, so there was some positive movement.

I had spent the two days prior to the debate at an international conference on Pius XII at the Sorbonne. At that conference, even the “critics” agreed that the term “Hitler’s Pope” was indefensible. Similarly, it was agreed that no one can seriously argue that he was anti-Semitic, and the facts show that he was in contact with and advanced the cause of the anti-Hitler resistance in Germany.

To move from that group of well-informed scholars who were discussing the latest archival findings to a debate over evidence that has long-since been disproven was somewhat problematic. Our opponents hit us with a slew of false charges that we felt obliged to rebut, but that put us on the defensive and made it hard to set forth the strong affirmative case that we have. I wish that I had been able to present our affirmative case, but that’s the way it goes when debating a pre-set resolution at a formal debate.

A few days after the debate, I spoke at the chancery at University College London. Several people there were aware of the debate and were actually quite happy that the vote came out as well as it did.”

William Doino:

“I think the debate went better than expected, considering the challenges Professor Rychlak and I faced. It was clear, given the pre-debate vote, that we began very heavily outnumbered, with a large amount of skeptics – if not very active critics – of the wartime papacy in the audience.

But by the end of the night, we were able to more than double the number of our original supporters (which, percentage-wise, at least, was more than the opposition gained), and win over a healthy number of “don’t knows,” even as there still remained, as was inevitable, those with opposing viewpoints (For a supportive British comment about how our side did, check out this tweet (second tweet) by clicking on here.)

Our opponents basically repackaged and recycled the now thoroughly-disproven claims of John Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope. Because of the strict time limitations, and the structure of the debate, we were not able to answer every outdated error–though we answered many– or present all the evidence we have, so much of which is new and compelling. But I do believe we effectively conveyed our main points:

–that Pius XII, well before he became pope, and well before the Second World War and the Nazi Holocaust broke out, was issuing major warnings about the madness of Hitler, and the evils of racism and anti-Semitism;

—that in the critical six months between his election as pope (March, 1939) and the outbreak of World War II (September 1939), Pius XII issued impassioned appeals to try to prevent the War (and therefore the Holocaust, which the War made possible) from ever happening

—that Pius XII was emphatically not “silent,” and did in fact condemn the Nazis horrific crimes–through Vatican Radio, his first encyclical, Summi Pontificatus, his major addresses (especially his Christmas allocutions), and the L’Osservatore Romano

–that Pius XII intervened, time and time again, for persecuted Jews, particularly during the German occupation of Rome, and was cited and hailed by the Catholic rescuers themselves as their leader and director.

–that he instructed the bishops and nuncios in all the Nazi-occupied lands to take a strong stand against the racial persecutions

–that he inspired the Catholic faithful everywhere

– that he was profusely praised by the Jewish community itself, both during and after the War, and especially at the time of his death, and that these testimonies stand, despite efforts to minimize or explain them away.

We also documented – though not nearly at the length we wanted, again because of time constraints – the Soviet Communist campaign to defame Pius XII, which began in order to turn people away from the Church.

Anything we were not able to cover is more than addressed in our respective books, Hitler, the War, and the Pope by Professor Rychlak, and The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII (the anthology in which my 80,000 word annotated defense of Pius XII appears) – copies of both which were fortunately made available to the crowd at the end of the debate.
There were three other things I found revealing about the debate:

First, although our opponents repeatedly accused Pius XII of being “silent” during the Holocaust, this is what the Times of London–where our debate took place–declared in an editorial on October 1, 1942, in the very midst of the War: “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…”

Commenting on the wartime Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, the Times continued: “Its generous and honorable citation of ‘forbidden’ Italian authors and its maintenance of the standard of Italian humanism against those of neo-paganism; its plain 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 fascism in their own or in other countries themselves testify that the sympathies found at the heart of the vast system permeate the whole.”

Second, our opponents mentioned the Nuremberg War Crimes trials, but made no mention of the fact that Pius XII was a strong supporter of them, and in fact met with the lead prosecutor, Robert Jackson, providing the tribunal with evidence to help prosecute the Nazi war criminals. One of Jackson’s deputies, Robert M.W. Kempner-himself a victim of Nazi persecution– became one of Pius XII’s strongest supporters, and answered the charge that Pius supposedly “never made an energetic protest” against the Holocaust. In fact, said Kempner, “the archives of the Vatican, of the diocesan authorities and of Ribbentrop’s Foreign Ministry contain a whole series of protests–direct and indirect, diplomatic and public, secret and open.” (From the forward to Jeno Levai’s book, Hungarian Jewry and the Papacy: Pius XII Did Not Remain Silent (London Sands, 1968), pp. IX-X)

Third, in the question and answer period, someone asked what St. Peter must have thought of Pius XII when he met him at the Gates of Heaven. There wasn’t any time left to address the gentlemen’s query, but had there been, I would have said:

“I am sure St. Peter was well aware of Pius XII’s high character and conduct, particularly during the War; but if he needed any further proof, he wouldn’t have to cite any Catholic sources, but simply listen to the wartime Jewish community itself. The 1943-1944 American Jewish Yearbook affirmed that Pius XII ‘took an unequivocal stand against the oppression of Jews throughout Europe.’ On February 18, 1944, Rabbi Maurice Perlzweig, the political director of the World Jewish Congress, wrote in a letter to the apostolic delegate in Washington: ‘The repeated interventions of the Holy Father on behalf of Jewish Communities in Europe has evoked the profoundest sentiments of appreciation and gratitude from Jews throughout the world. These acts of courage and consecrated statesmanship on the part of His Holiness will always remain a precious memory in the life of the Jewish people.’ And on February 28, 1944, Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog, of Palestine, sent this message to Pius XII and the Church: ‘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 this most tragic hour of history, which is living proof of divine Providence in this world.”

I do think history is moving gradually in favor of a much more responsible and sympathetic view of Pius XII, as more and more evidence appears. Of course, this is occurring in the context of the complex history of the Church, with all its light and shadows, particularly regarding interfaith relations. Fortunately, the Catholic-Jewish relationship has developed over the years and is now very strong– and I pray it remains so, as I said at the end of the debate, hoping to end on an encouraging note.”

This post first appeared in the National Catholic Register.

  • rjt1

    You are very determined to be contrarian.

  • NewMeena

    The fact remains that this question IS still a matter of debate (among scholars).

    Catholics should not automatically jump onto the pro-Pius bandwagon.

    You must also consider that shortly before and after the end of WW2, prominent Jewish spokespersons might have been keen to establish their pro-western credentials – with sights set on the formal establishment of the State of Israel.

    Having listened to the debate with interest, I admit that I am undecided as to which “camp” offers the more robust argument. It is a complex matter and Catholics, on the one hand, and anti-Catholics on the other, should not suppose that their prejudices are necessarily valid. One “camp” may be right, and the other wrong – or the truth may be elsewhere.

  • NewMeena

    That illustrates exactly what I have been saying.

    It follows from such an attitude that contemporary critics of Pius 12 are ill-informed.

  • NewMeena

    Thank you 12Maria34.

  • NewMeena

    But, unless you are wilfully blinkered, you MUST admit this IS still a matter of debate (among scholars) – as stated by the Israeli memorial museum. 

    Of course you might dismiss all contrary opinion as “illinformed”, and then, by definition, it is only the “well-informed” opinion that agrees with the pro-Pius view.

    But that is a vacuous position. 

  • The Raven

    No, I am asking you to point to a contemporary Jewish critic of Pius XII, who one can reasonably infer was well appraised of the facts and in a position to validly judge the facts.
    The Jewish critics commonly cited were in the US for the duration, without access to information other than that published in newspapers.

  • NewMeena

    These are simply instances of one school of thought and opinion.

    Robinson’s view were strongly supported by others.

    This still IS a matter of debate among well-informed scholars. This is a fact.

  • NewMeena

    No, not simply a contrarian
    Simply determined that Catholics should not support the Pro-Pius 12 cause SIMPLY BECAUSE they are Catholics.And, of course, anti-Catholics should not support the alternative view SIMPLY BECAUSE they are anti-Catholic.

    This should be the case if you are interested in the truth.

    The truth is a matter of debate between well-informed scholars.

  • The Raven

    Most people are well aware that Pius XII’s record is being debated, but will equally be aware that the quality of the debate is often debased by people who want to use Pius XII to reinforce a discourse that they have already bought-in to.
    Yad Vashem’s position on this is little short of weasily.

    I wouldn’t dismiss contrary opinion as “ill informed”, but I haven’t really seen the “Hitler’s Pope” discourse adopted by people who haven’t already decided that they want to bash the Papacy.

  • The Raven


    The alleged case against the Pope was never entertained by lawyers and has not been entertained by academics either.
    That isn’t a difference of opinion, it’s a plain fact.

  • John francis Luke Siple

    Working behind the scenes with no formal record saved the Vatican and helped countless deaths..

  • John francis Luke Siple

    Working behind the scenes with no formal record saved the Vatican and helped countless deaths.

  • John francis Luke Siple

    Very informative debate. I was able to view the vast ignorance of the population, and shows man’s ignorance still in light of the facts. Working behind the scenes with no formal record saved the Vatican and helped countless deaths.

  • Lewispbuckingham

     ‘helped [save] countless deaths;?.

  • polycarped

    Having now found time to watch the debate in full, I think it’s fair to say – facts aside – that despite his obvious brilliance as a scholar of Pius XII, William Doino’s speaking and debating style probably didn’t help in this kind of situation – notably his lack of ‘gravitas’ and his frequent ‘loud’ interjections which made him sound a bit too much ‘on the back foot’ (of course he was technically defending). Geoffrey Robertson’s smug self-importance and arrogance came across in bucket loads, as ever, but in that kind of situation (London’ high society’ debating foum) may well have worked to his advantage. As a QC, he is brilliantly trained to be convincing, even on the basis of shakey evidence. Even though I disagree with his debating position entirely, not to mention his underlying personal anti-Catholic agenda, he technically did a cunning job in using select quotes from Catholic-friendly sources – notably Professor Rychlak and Joseph Ratzinger – in his favour (irrespective of whether or not they were taken out of context). But William Doino and Professor Rychlak deserve great credit for standing up for truth in the face of thinly disguised enemies of the Church who will find any crack in the mortar to renew their onslaught.

  • DreyaPierce

    As an Anglican, I thought Gary Krupp’s comment “What did the Archbishop of Canterbury do to save Jews from the safety of London” absolutely outrageous, or a throwaway simply born of ignorance.

    It is difficult to take seriously Krupp’s inference that London was, in contrast to Rome, some sort of safe bolthole. St Paul’s Cathedral was bombed with incendiaries and Wren’s great masterpiece to the glory of God only survived because of the bravery and devotion of the Cathedral fire wardens. A photograph of St.Paul’s wreathed by the smoke from German air raids is one of the iconic images of WW2. Lambeth Palace was no place of safety either.It was uncomfortably close to London’s Docklands, a major German target, and suffered a direct hit in 1941 when parts of the Palace were gutted.

    Krupp is also apparently unaware that the ABC from 1942 to 1944 was William Temple, one of the greatest of all English archbishops .Temple was one of the founders in 1942 of the Council of Christians and Jews, a body set up to combat anti-semitism and other prejudice in Britain. In 1943 he addressed the House of Lords urging action to be taken on the atrocities carried out by Nazi Germany, and he visited Normandy during Operation Overlord. Temple was a marvellous Christian and warrior for the cause of right.

  • John R Schuh

    As Rychiak points out in his book, Pius could not even protect his priests.  Every protest from the pope led to a crack down by the Nazis.  The pope takes much of the blame for the flaming anti-semticism of French and Austrian Catholics. 

  • Tridentinus

     People who attend debates of this kind usually have preconceived ideas on the subject and as you and Raven agreed, ‘wish to hear their prejudices expertly articulated’. There are no figures to say how many of those who were in favour changed their minds considering 170 declared themselves as ‘don’t knows’.
    The question, however, does not even enter the consciousness of the vast majority of Catholics who are quite content with the behaviour of modern Popes. The robust defence of this much maligned Pontiff from so many quarters, particularly by Jews as  primary witnesses, has been enough for them.
    Ninety-nine per cent of Catholics will be totally unaware that this debate even took place as will probably almost everyone else outside the tiny minority who descended from their ivory towers to take part and ‘hear their prejudices expertly articulated’.
    William Doino and Ronald Rylach were simply responding to accusations made by Lord Norwich and Geoffrey Robertson QC raised by others in the past, notably Rolf Hochhuth and John Cornwell.
    Cornwell was a Catholic who failed in his vocation to the priesthood and subsequently left the Church. It often happens that those who leave the Church experience guilt on account of their apostasy and in order to exorcise that guilt turn their venom and vitriol upon all that they had abandoned.
    Rolf Hochhuth, author of ‘The Deputy’ which inspired Cornwell’s ‘Hitler’s Pope’, later went on to wildly accuse Winston Churchill of being responsible for  the murder of the Polish, General Sikorsky. Despite Hochhuth’s accusation that Pius XII was at least aware of the holocaust he later leapt to the defence of David Irving who denied the holocaust ever happened. What are we to believe?
    Geoffrey Robertson QC is a ‘human rights’ lawyer! Who outside the ‘intelligentsia’ has heard of him. His claim to his 15 minutes of fame relies on his ridiculous attempt in conjunction with Peter Tatchell to have Pope Benedict XVI indicted in the UK during his State visit here in 2009 on charges of covering up child abuse cases by Catholic priests whilst Prefect of the CDF (Holy Office). Robertson’s animus towards the Catholic Church is well-known (he is virtually unknown outside academia) in intellectual circles and well-documented so that his participation in this debate must needs be very suspect stemming from his publicly proclaimed, anti-Catholic prejudices.
    I cannot find any reason why Viscount Norwich chose to take part in this debate. None of his writings which I have perused have suggested that he was interested in or had an axe to grind re: this subject; maybe I have missed something.

  • Tridentinus

    The truth does not depend upon the result of a debate between well-informed scholars. It does not depend upon rhetoric, opinion or even partial knowledge. Truth is that which is (id quod est).

  • Apostolic

    Temple was indeed exemplary, as was ++Arthur Hinsley of Westminster, a tireless advocate of the allied cause, whom Churchill is quoted as saying that he wished he could have been ABC too! When he died during the war, an unprecedented number of senior cabinet ministers attended his funeral, remarkable in those pre-ecumenical times.

  • TreenonPoet

     I completely disagree with your analysis of the motivations of those involved in the debate. I did not want to respond, but I feel I must comment on the part of your comment that mentions child abuse.
    Does Catholicism support the sexual abuse of children by priests and the covering up of such abuse? Do most Catholics? If not, then why would you describe attempts to root out the abuse as ‘anti-Catholic’? Such a response is common on this site. I suspect that those respondents have a religious veneration for popes that blinds them to the possibility that a pope may be at fault.

    The Raven goes so far as to suggest that those attacking the abuse care nothing about abuse and less for the victims of that abuse! This mirrors the ridiculous accusation that atheism was responsible for the Holocaust. In both cases, the ‘logic’ seems to be that religion is good, so the bad must be the fault of those without religion.

    I do not know what religion, if any, Geoffrey Robertson follows. (I had an idea that he was Catholic, but I do not know where I got that idea.) I do not consider myself to belong to the intelligentsia, but I have often read about him supporting the worthy side when the Government have been on the other side, so I think you do him an injustice. Whether he is on the right side in this debate, I do not know, but I think that your dismissal of him is irrelevant and diversionary.

  • TreenonPoet

     I agree, but NewMeena did not write that the truth depends upon the result of a debate, only that it is a matter of debate (as in the process of trying to determine what the truth is).

  • Tridentinus

     Fair enough, you disagree with my analysis of the motivations of those involved in the debate.
    However, I wrote, “His [Geoffrey Robertson's] claim to his 15 minutes of fame relies on his ridiculous attempt in
    conjunction with Peter Tatchell to have Pope Benedict XVI indicted in
    the UK during his State visit here in 2009 on charges of covering up
    child abuse cases by Catholic priests whilst Prefect of the CDF (Holy
    This was an observation en passant in describing the attempt of Robertson and Tatchell to indict the Pope which had not the slightest hope of success and was merely a stunt to malign the Catholic Church and detract from his visit.
    It, in no way, can be interpreted as an attempt by me to justify either child abuse or covering it up. Whether Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect of the Holy Office did or did not attempt to cover it up is not the question here. I was commenting on Geoffrey Robertson’s credentials.
    An attack on Benedict XVI, I would allow he is entitled to make but couple this with an attack on Pius XII suggests to me that his animosity is directed against the Church rather than individual Popes. If you  wish to destroy Catholicism start at the top.
    Child abuse is not limited to the Catholic Church. It is going on to this day amongst a plethora of national and international organisations both religious and secular as well as being perpetrated by individuals. Recent events have suggested that it might be or have been de rigeur in the entertainment industry, the police, the judiciary and even the establishment itself. Where or when have we heard Geoffrey Robertson pontificating on this?
    Catholics are not so naive as to believe that their clergy are without sin; priests, bishops even Popes are human when all said and done, subject to the same temptations as anyone else and equally as liable to succomb as anyone else; they are not all saints. Anti-clericalism, in fact, is more prevalent in the RCC than in any other.
    In somma; the point I was trying to make was that an attack had been made directly upon Pope Pius XII over his handling of the persecution of Jews under the Third Reich. On balance the accusations have been refuted by events since and by and large by the testimony of the Jews, themselves. The same accuser launches an attack over 50 years later on another Pope. Is there not a suspicion that there is an axe being ground here?

  • Tridentinus

    NewMeena wrote, “The truth is a matter of debate between well-informed scholars.”
    I agree but how the Truth is arrived at according to the above statement depends upon who is best informed. Is there not the possibility that the Truth may be discerned by someone not ‘well informed’? Jesus, Himself, asked of Pilate, ‘Quid est veritas’ (What is truth) and left it at that.
    In this age of soundbites, syllogistic argument, alas, no longer plays a part in modern debate; no one argues with the prospect of accepting defeat. Preconceptions, prejudice and to a lesser extent rhetoric determine the outcome of most pseudo-debates these days.

  • Phil Steinacker

    That’s insulting. How DARE you assume you know the hearts and minds of Catholics defending our pope!

    That implies we’re a bunch of mindless cretins who reflexively follow what we’re told by our bishops and the pope.

    No matter the accidental veracity of some of your points, you are an anti-Catholic bigot.

  • Phil Steinacker

    If you’re so committed to unearthing the truth you are wasting a lot of time.
    I’ve been reading the comments and notice your repeated and accurate insistence of your ignorance about the accusations against Pius XII. You also take umbrage at others imputing to you statements or positions you have not stated. Fair enough.
    Besides, I don’t buy your masquerade. If you spent half the time and all the energy consumed in your continuous accusations of Catholic knee-jerk loyalty to the pope instead of being as open-minded as  you allege you are, you’d either slink away with your tail between your legs or you’d apologize and begin your own defense of this unfairly maligned man.
    Get that? You do to others here what you claim is done to you.
    I’ve got news for you, mister. I’ve been following this smear campaign for years so I am absolutely clear on his innocence by now. In fact, a huge portion of the convincing evidence exonerating him has been assembled by several Jews, and many of their sources are also fully Jewish and Israeli as well.
    Frankly, your excuse that the case made by the Church is reasonable but so is that of the accusers is balderdash. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence exonerating Pius XII and the other side’s lies and distortions have been so thoroughly refuted (“devastated” is a better word) that they always fall back on the weakest of all complaints: “he could have done more.”
    That’s easy to say when you are not sitting in the hot seat yourself, bearing responsibility for perhaps millions of lives throughout Europe. That’s the cheap talk you hear from ego and testosterone-driven fools and loud-mouth-drunks who would wimp out if they were in the exact scenario in which they’re so damn certain they’d shine – if only.
    I don’t like your obnoxious tone, and I’m not doing this for you (because I think you are lazy or, more likely, up to no good), but to give you the benefit of the doubt (and to shut you up for a couple hours, at least, if you bother to check them out) here’s a load of links I’ve saved over the years to that effect:
    Pope Pius XII Friend and Rescuer of Jews –
    Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust –
    Pius XII Saved More Jews Than Schindler, Rabbi Says…Interview with Historian David Dalin of New York –
    A Question of Judgment Pius XII & the Jews –
    Pave the Way Foundation Investigating the Papacy of Pope Pius XII –
    Vigorous defense of Pius XII by Pave the Way Foundation’s Krupp –
    Presentation on Pius XII and the Jews – Pave the Way 5 –
    Archives Show Church Excommunicated Nazis (Pave the Way) –
    Document Names Pius XII as Co-Conspirator Against Hitler (Pave the Way) –
    Symposium Finds Stunning Facts About Pius XII (Pave the Way) –
    The Plot to Kidnap Pope Pius XII –
    Venerable Pope Pius XII (a defense) –
    Israeli Vatican ambassador defends Pope Benedict, says Pius XII not ‘Hitler’s Pope’ –
    Direct order from Pius XII to protect Jews uncovered by researchers –
    Exhibit on Pius XII shows historical truth and demolishes black legend –
    Father Gumpel on Pius XII National Catholic Register –
    Claims that Pius XII Was Framed Gaining Support… Former Romanian spy chief discusses how the myth of ‘Hitler’s Pope’ started with Stalin   Daily News  NCRegister –

  • TreenonPoet

    I see your point about an axe being ground, but I would suggest that if that was Robertson’s intent, he would have not chosen an Oxford-style debate about a nuance in a dead pope’s effectiveness as the means by which to back-up his 2010 efforts. (I think a more suitable battleground would have concerned the contribution that the religious mindset made to Hitler’s ‘master race’ ideology, and the licence given by Christianity to such ways of thinking.)

  • August

    As there will always be some people who deny the Holocaust, there will also be some people that will deny what Pius XII did for the jews. Pius XII saved more jewish lives than all the allied countries together.

  • john.mcarthur

    Archbishop Temple broadcast through the World Service when news about what was happening to Jews in Hungary began to filter back:
    “do your utmost to save from persecution, it may be from massacre, those who are now threatened as a result of German occupation…Help them to hide from their tormentors, help them, if possible, to escape. Do all you can to prevent the extermination of people whose only fault is the race from which they are born or the independence of their minds and constancy of their convictions”

    Archbishop Temple addressed the House of Lords in March 1943 in which he referenced the massacre of Jews taking place, urging all means of action and condemned the procrastination of officialdom. He concluded:
    “We at this moment have upon us a tremendous responsibility . We stand at the bar of history, of humanity, and of God”(see Wikipedia article Council for Christians and Jews for citations.)

    It would be interesting to know who funds Gary Krupp’s wages/organization. The New York Times only says “Its board includes New York entrepreneurs and Wall Street managers, most of them Jewish.” Their historical work has been considered as being of no worth. He is an ex-salesman who was awared a papal knighthood, just like Rupert Murdoch, but that doesn’t make him an historian. (See the wikipedia article “Pave the Way Foundation”) 
    Neither is Rychlak and co who are apologists and are prone to one one-sided expositions lacking in balance. That’s a pity since Rychlak in particular could make a far more convincing case for Pius XII by being honest about the anti-Judaism/religious anti-Semitism of the Church that wasn’t dealt with in a significant way until the coming of Pope John XXIII. (See the wikipedia article La Civiltà Cattolica). 

    Pius XII has taken the wrap for the institutional failings of the Church through the previous centuries that rendered the Church incapable of responding effectively, by way of pastoral advice, as soon as the Nazi  movement came to the forefront. 

    Hitler cast up to Cardinal Faulhaber in the mid 1930′s that what the Nazis were doing  to the Jews was only the same as the Church had previously done and the Cardinal had no answer since Hitler was for once telling the truth.
    (see Cardinal Faulhaber Wikipedia article for citations)

    Instead of rejecting Nazism completely they signed a Concordat with the Nazis in 1933 at a time when Jews were already subject to persecution.  Pius XI/XII didn’t like Hitler or the Nazi’s but I think the weight of past history must have been a heavy load when deciding how to respond to them. By the time the reality of Nazi evil was being played out it was too late.