Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nazi paganism and Christian charity…

Not long ago I wrote about the pagan factors in German Nazism. Then a few days later I noticed an article at (15 Jan. 2010) about how Pope Pius XII had created a covert support network for Jews to escape Germany. According to Fr. Giancarlo Centioni (b. 1912), who had lived among German priests as a military chaplain from 1940 to 1945, his fellow Pallottine brethren from Hamburg established "Raphael's Union" to help Jews flee Germany. The fellowship was led by Fr. Josef Kentenich, who is best known as the founder of the Apostolic Movement of Schönstatt, but who was also eventually captured and imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp until the end of the War. In Rome, Fr. Anton Weber, with a direct link to Pius XII, headed the network's relief actions, which included giving travel passes and money––withdrawn and authorized from Pius XII's own secretariat––to Jewish families so they could leave Germany.

A related Zenit article (18 Sept. 2008) mentions how Garry L. Krupp, head of "Pave the Way," an independent foundation committed to promoting inter-religious dialogue, had been brought up to believe that Pius XII was an anti-Semite and a Nazi collaborator. Hence, he "was shocked" to learn, from primary documents and the oral testimony of still living witnesses, that the reality was completely different. Keep in mind that Pius XII not only was the Vatican's Secretary of State, posted in Germany, prior to becoming Pope––and hence had keen insights into the machinations of Hitler, which figured into his consistent criticisms of fascism––, but also succeeded Pius XI, the same Pope, as Jacques Maritain notes in "The Dispersion of Israel", who in 1937 officially condemned Nazi racism and in 1938 said, "Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Spiritually, we are all Semites." (cf. "We Remember" at the Vatican website for documentation and this FAQ by Robert Lockwood for more information).

If anyone would like, I can translate more of the article about Krupp, Pius XII, and Benedict XVI. The same content might be available somewhere in English, but I'm not going to look for it right now.

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