Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII

Overview
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), reigned as Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 of Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.

Before election
Papal conclave
A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, who then becomes the Pope during a period of vacancy in the papal office. The Pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church...

 to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio and Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat
Reichskonkordat
The Reichskonkordat is a treaty that was agreed between the Holy See and Nazi government, that guarantees the rights of the Catholic Church in Germany. It was signed on July 20, 1933 by Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen on behalf of Pope Pius XI and President...

with Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

.
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Quotations

"Only the Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty."

Albert Einstein in Time Magazin 1940, quoted in Three Popes and the Jews by Pinchas E. Lapide (New York: Hawthorn, 1967), p. 251.

"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."

Rabbi Maurice Perlzweig, Political director of the World Jewish Congress. Written February 18|February 18 1944|1944 in a letter to Msgr. Amleto Cicognani, the apostolic delegate in Washington, D.C.

"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 foundation of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world."

Rabbi Isaac Herzog|Isaac Herzog, chief rabbi of the British Mandate of Palestine, March 1945.

"The Church and the papacy have saved Jews as much and in as far as they could save Christians.... Six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis, but there could have been many more victims, had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII."

Dr. Raphael Cantoni, director of the Italian Jewish Assistance Committee, American Jewish Yearbook 1944-1945, 233.

"What the Vatican did will be indelibly and eternally engraved in our hearts. Priests and even high prelates did things that will forever be an honor to Catholicism."

Israel [Zolli], former Chief Rabbi of Rome, 1948.

"If the pope had spoken out, Hitler would probably have massacred more than six million Jews and perhaps ten times ten million Catholics, if he had the power to do so."

Rabbi Marcus Melchior, Holocaust survivor and Chief Rabbi of Denmark, 1950.
Encyclopedia
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), reigned as Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 of Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.

Before election
Papal conclave
A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, who then becomes the Pope during a period of vacancy in the papal office. The Pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church...

 to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio and Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat
Reichskonkordat
The Reichskonkordat is a treaty that was agreed between the Holy See and Nazi government, that guarantees the rights of the Catholic Church in Germany. It was signed on July 20, 1933 by Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen on behalf of Pope Pius XI and President...

with Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. His leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II remains the subject of continued historical controversy. He has been praised by Rabbi David Dalin as a 'righteous gentile' and a Jewish Study found that he had been responsible for saving at least 700,000 Jews and possibly up to 860,000.

After the war, Pius XII contributed to the rebuilding of Europe, and advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies toward vanquished nations and the unification of Europe. The Church, flourishing in the West, experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in the East
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

. In light of his protests, and his involvement in the Italian elections of 1948, he became known as a staunch opponent of communism.

Pius XII explicitly invoked ex cathedra
Ex Cathedra
Ex Cathedra is a British choir and early music ensemble based in Birmingham in the West Midlands, England. It performs choral music spanning the 15th to 21st centuries, and regularly commissions new works....

papal infallibility
Papal infallibility
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when in his official capacity he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals...

 with the dogma
Dogma (Roman Catholic)
In the Roman Catholic Church, a dogma is an article of faith revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church presents to be believed. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basic truth from which salvation and life is derived for Christians. Dogmata regulate the language, how the truth of...

 of the Assumption of Mary
Assumption of Mary
According to the belief of Christians of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and parts of the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglicanism, the Assumption of Mary was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life...

 in his 1950 Apostolic constitution
Apostolic constitution
An apostolic constitution is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the...

 Munificentissimus Deus
Munificentissimus Deus
Munificentissimus Deus is the name of an Apostolic constitution written by Pope Pius XII. It defines ex cathedra the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was the first ex-cathedra infallible statement since the official ruling on papal infallibility was made at the First Vatican...

. His magisterium
Magisterium
In the Catholic Church the Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church. This authority is understood to be embodied in the episcopacy, which is the aggregation of the current bishops of the Church in union with the Pope, led by the Bishop of Rome , who has authority over the bishops,...

 includes almost 1,000 addresses and radio broadcasts. His forty-one encyclicals include Mystici Corporis, the Church as the Body of Christ; Mediator Dei
Mediator Dei
Mediator Dei, a papal encyclical was issued by Pope Pius XII in 1947. The encyclical suggests new directions and active participation instead of a merely passive role of the faithful in the liturgy, in liturgical ceremonies and in the life of their parish. The encyclical also emphasizes the...

 on liturgy reform; Humani Generis
Humani Generis
Humani generis is a papal encyclical that Pope Pius XII promulgated on 12 August 1950 "concerning some false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic Doctrine"...

 on the Church's position on theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 and evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

. He eliminated the Italian majority in the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.A function of the college is to advise the pope about church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory. It also convenes on the death or abdication of a pope as a papal conclave to elect a successor...

 in 1946.

Early life




Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli was born on 2 March 1876 in Rome into a deeply religious, aristocratic
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 family with a history of ties to the papacy (the "Black Nobility
Black Nobility
The Black Nobility are Roman aristocratic families who sided with the Papacy under Pope Pius IX after the Savoy family-led army of the Kingdom of Italy entered Rome on September 20, 1870, overthrew the Pope and the Papal States, and took over the Apostolic Palace, and any nobles subsequently...

"). His parents were Filippo Pacelli (1837–1916) and Virginia (née Graziosi) Pacelli (1844–1920). His grandfather, Marcantonio Pacelli, was Under-Secretary in the Papal Ministry of Finances and then Secretary of the Interior under Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX , born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal...

 from 1851 to 1870 and founded the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano
L'Osservatore Romano
L'Osservatore Romano is the "semi-official" newspaper of the Holy See. It covers all the Pope's public activities, publishes editorials by important churchmen, and runs official documents after being released...

in 1861; his cousin, Ernesto Pacelli
Ernesto Pacelli
Ernesto Pacelli was a financial adviser to Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius X, and Pope Benedict XV and the founder and president of the Banco di Roma from March 9, 1880 until 1916. Pacelli also served as an unofficial link between the Vatican and the Italian government...

, was a key financial advisor to Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

; his father, Filippo Pacelli, a Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 tertiary
Third order
The term Third Order designates persons who live according to the Third Rule of a Roman Catholic religious order, an Anglican religious order, or a Lutheran religious order. Their members, known as Tertiaries, are generally lay members of religious orders, i.e...

, was the dean of the Sacra Rota Romana
Sacra Rota Romana
The Tribunal Apostolicum Rotae Romanae — also called the Sacred Roman Rota, and anciently the Apostolic Court of Audience — is the highest appellate tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church, with respect to both Latin-rite members and the eastern-rite members and is, with respect to judicial trials...

; and his brother, Francesco Pacelli
Francesco Pacelli
Francesco Pacelli, the older brother of Eugenio Pacelli the future Pope Pius XII was born in Rome on February 1, 1872. He died in Rome on April 22, 1935...

, became a lay
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

 canon law
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

yer and the legal advisor to Pius XI, in which role he negotiated the Lateran Treaty in 1929, bringing an end to the Roman Question
Roman Question
thumb|300px|The breach of [[Porta Pia]], on the right, in a contemporaneous photograph.The Roman Question was a political dispute between the Italian Government and the Papacy from 1861 to 1929....

.

Together with his brother Francesco and his two sisters, Giuseppina and Elisabetta, he grew up in the centre of Rome. At the age of 12, Eugenio announced his intentions to enter the priesthood instead of becoming a lawyer. After completing state primary schools, Pacelli received his secondary, classical
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 education at the Liceo Ennio Quirino Visconti Institute, the leading liberal secondary school in Rome, which was dominated by an anti-Catholic atmosphere popular at that time.

In 1894, aged 18, Pacelli began his theology studies at the prestigious Tridentine Collegio Capranica Seminary and at the Jesuit Gregoriana University. However after a few months he had to retire to his family's country estate for health reasons. Having received a special dispensation he continued his studies from home under the faculty of the Seminarium Romanum located in the Palazzo Sant'Appollinaire, later the Lateran University. From 1895 to 1896, he studied philosophy at University of Rome La Sapienza
University of Rome La Sapienza
The Sapienza University of Rome, officially Sapienza – Università di Roma, formerly known as Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza", is a coeducational, autonomous state university in Rome, Italy...

. In 1899, he received degrees in theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

 and in utroque iure (civil
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 and canon law
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

).

Priest and Monsignor



He was ordained
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 a priest on Easter Sunday, 2 April 1899 by Bishop Francesco di Paola Cassetta
Francesco di Paola Cassetta
Francesco di Paola Cassetta was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Council from 1914 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1899.-Biography:...

 – the vice-regent of Rome and a family friend – and received his first assignment as a curate
Curate
A curate is a person who is invested with the care or cure of souls of a parish. In this sense "curate" correctly means a parish priest but in English-speaking countries a curate is an assistant to the parish priest...

 at Chiesa Nuova
Santa Maria in Vallicella
Santa Maria in Vallicella, also called Chiesa Nuova, is a church in Rome, Italy, which today faces onto the main thoroughfare of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele...

, where he had served as an altar boy. In 1901, he entered the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs
Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs
The Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs was a congregation of the Roman Curia, erected by Pope Pius VII on 19 July 1814 by extending the competence to the Sacred Congregation for the Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Kingdom of France , which Pope Pius VI had set up in 1793...

, a sub-office of the Vatican Secretariat of State
Secretariat of State (Vatican)
The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the government of the Roman Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of Vatican City and the Holy See...

, where he became a minutante, at the recommendation of Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli, another family friend.

In 1904, Pacelli became a papal chamberlain
Papal chamberlain
Papal chamberlain was one of the highest honours that could be bestowed on a Catholic layman by the Pope, and was often given to members of noble families. It was mostly an honorary position, but a chamberlain served the Pope for one week per year during official ceremonies...

 and in 1905 a domestic prelate. From 1904 until 1916, he assisted Cardinal Pietro Gasparri
Pietro Gasparri
Pietro Gasparri was a Roman Catholic archbishop, diplomat and politician in the Roman Curia and signatory of the Lateran Pacts.- Biography :...

 in his codification of canon law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

 with the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. He was also chosen in January 1901 by Pope Leo XIII to deliver condolences on behalf of the Vatican to Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 after the death of Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

. In 1908, he served as a Vatican representative on the International Eucharistic Congress
International Eucharistic Congress
In the Roman Catholic church, a Eucharistic Congress is a gathering of clergy, religious, and laity to bear witness to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, which is an important Roman Catholic doctrine...

 in London, where he met Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

. In 1911, he represented the Holy See at the coronation
Coronation of the British monarch
The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia...

 of King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

.

In 1908 and 1911, Pacelli turned down professorships in canon law at a Roman university and The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops...

, respectively. Pacelli became the under-secretary in 1911, adjunct-secretary in 1912 (a position he received under Pope Pius X
Pope Pius X
Pope Saint Pius X , born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was the 257th Pope of the Catholic Church, serving from 1903 to 1914. He was the first pope since Pope Pius V to be canonized. Pius X rejected modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox...

 and retained under Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV , born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, reigned as Pope from 3 September 1914 to 22 January 1922...

) and secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs in 1914—succeeding Gasparri, who was promoted to Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

. As secretary, Pacelli concluded a concordat with Serbia
History of Serbia
The history of Serbia, as a country, begins with the Slavic settlements in the Balkans, established in the 6th century in territories governed by the Byzantine Empire. Through centuries, the Serbian realm evolved into a Kingdom , then an Empire , before the Ottomans annexed it in 1540...

 four days before Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Franz Ferdinand was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Austro-Hungarian and Royal Prince of Hungary and of Bohemia, and from 1889 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia...

 was assassinated in Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

. During World War I, Pacelli maintained the Vatican's registry of prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

. In 1915, he travelled to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 to assist Monsignor Raffaele Scapinelli
Raffaele Scapinelli di Léguigno
Raffaele Scapinelli di Leguigno was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation of the Affairs of Religious from 1918 to 1920, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1915....

 – nuncio
Nuncio
Nuncio is an ecclesiastical diplomatic title, derived from the ancient Latin word, Nuntius, meaning "envoy." This article addresses this title as well as derived similar titles, all within the structure of the Roman Catholic Church...

 to Vienna – in his negotiations with Franz Joseph I of Austria
Franz Joseph I of Austria
Franz Joseph I or Francis Joseph I was Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, King of Croatia, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Galicia and Lodomeria and Grand Duke of Cracow from 1848 until his death in 1916.In the December of 1848, Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria abdicated the throne as part of...

 regarding Italy.

Archbishop and Papal Nuncio




Pope Benedict XV appointed Pacelli as nuncio to Bavaria
Apostolic Nuncio to Bavaria
The Apostolic Nunciature to Bavaria was an ecclesiastical office of the Roman Catholic Church in Bavaria. It was a diplomatic post of the Holy See, whose representative was called the Apostolic Nuncio to Bavaria, a state – consecutively during the nunciature's existence – of the Holy Roman Empire,...

 on 23 April 1917, consecrating him as titular
Titular bishop
A titular bishop in various churches is a bishop who is not in charge of a diocese.By definition a bishop is an "overseer" of a community of the faithful, so when a priest is ordained a bishop the tradition of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is that he be ordained for a specific place...

 Bishop of Sardis
See of Sardis
The See of Sardis was an episcopal see in Sardis. It was one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse, held by metropolitan bishops since the middle to late 1st century, with jurisdiction over the province of Lydia...

 and immediately elevating him to archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

 in the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

 on 13 May 1917. After his consecration, Eugenio Pacelli left for Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

. As there was no nuncio to Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 or Germany at the time, Pacelli was, for all practical purposes, the nuncio to all of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

.

Once in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, he conveyed the papal initiative to end the war to German authorities. He met with King Ludwig III
Ludwig III of Bavaria
Ludwig III , was the last King of Bavaria, reigning from 1913 to 1918.-Early life:...

 on 29 May and later with Kaiser Wilhelm II and Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, who replied positively to the Papal initiative. However, Bethmann-Hollweg was forced to resign and the German High Command, hoping for a military victory, delayed the German reply until 20 September. For the remainder of the war, he concentrated on Benedict's humanitarian efforts.

Pacelli was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Germany on 23 June 1920, and—after the completion of a Bavarian concordat—his nunciature was moved to Berlin in 1925. Many of Pacelli's Munich staff stayed with him for the rest of his life, including his advisor Robert Leiber
Robert Leiber
Robert Leiber, S.J. , close advisor to Pope Pius XII, a Jesuit priest from Germany was Professor for Church History at the Gregorian University in Rome from 1930-1960...

 and Pascalina Lehnert – housekeeper, friend, and adviser to Pacelli for 41 years. In Berlin, Pacelli was Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and active in diplomatic and many social activities. He worked with the German priest Ludwig Kaas
Ludwig Kaas
Ludwig Kaas was a German Roman Catholic priest and politician during the Weimar Republic.-Early career:Born in Trier, Kaas was ordained a priest in 1906 and studied history and Canon law in Trier and Rome. 1906 he completed a doctorate in theology and in 1909 he obtained a second doctorate in...

, who was known for his expertise in Church-state relations and was politically active in the Catholic Centre Party
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

. While in Germany, he traveled to all regions as a pastor, attended Katholikentag
Katholikentag
Katholikentag is a festival-like gathering in German-speaking countries organized by the Roman Catholic laity. Katholikentag festivals occur approximately every 2–4 years in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.-History:...

 (national gatherings of the faithful), and delivered some 50 sermons and speeches to the German people.

In post-war Germany, in the absence of a nuncio in Moscow, Pacelli worked also on diplomatic arrangements between the Vatican and the Soviet Union. He negotiated food shipments for Russia, where the Church was persecuted. He met with Soviet representatives including Foreign Minister Georgi Chicherin, who rejected any kind of religious education, the ordination of priests and bishops, but offered agreements without the points vital to the Vatican. Despite Vatican pessimism and a lack of visible progress, Pacelli continued the secret negotiations, until Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI , born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was Pope from 6 February 1922, and sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929 until his death on 10 February 1939...

 ordered them to be discontinued in 1927.

Pacelli supported the Weimar Coalition
Weimar Coalition
The Weimar Coalition is the name given to the coalition of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , the German Democratic Party , and the Catholic Centre Party, who together had a large majority of the delegates to the Constituent Assembly that met at Weimar in 1919, and were the principal groups...

 of Social Democrats and liberal parties. Although he had cordial relations with representatives of the Centre Party, he did not involve the Centre in his dealings with the German government. Pacelli supported German diplomatic activity aimed at rejection of punitive measures from victorious former enemies. He blocked French attempts for an ecclesiastical separation of the Saar region
Saar (League of Nations)
The Territory of the Saar Basin , also referred as the Saar or Saargebiet, was a region of Germany that was occupied and governed by Britain and France from 1920 to 1935 under a League of Nations mandate, with the occupation originally being under the auspices of the Treaty of Versailles...

, supported the appointment of a papal administrator for Danzig and aided the reintegration of priests expelled from Poland.

Cardinal Secretary of State and Camerlengo



Pacelli was made a Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Santi Giovanni e Paolo (Rome)
Santi Giovanni e Paolo is an ancient basilica church in Rome, located on the Celian Hill. It is also called Santi Giovanni e Paolo al Celio or referred to as SS Giovanni e Paolo....

on 16 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI, and within a few months, on 7 February 1930, Pius XI appointed him Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

. In 1935, Pacelli was named Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.

As Cardinal Secretary of State, Pacelli signed concordats with a number of countries and states, including Baden
Baden
Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

 (1932), Austria (1933), Germany (1933), Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 (1935) and Portugal (1940). The Lateran treaties
Lateran treaties
The Lateran Treaty is one of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 or Lateran Accords, three agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, ratified June 7, 1929, ending the "Roman Question"...

 with Italy (1929) were concluded before Pacelli became secretary of state. Such concordats allowed the Catholic Church to organize youth groups, make ecclesiastical appointments, run schools, hospitals, and charities, or even conduct religious services. They also ensured that canon law would be recognized within some spheres (e.g., church decrees of nullity
Nullity (conflict)
In conflict of laws, the issue of nullity in Family Law inspires a wide response among the laws of different states as to the circumstances in which a marriage will be valid, invalid or null...

 in the area of marriage).

He made many diplomatic visits throughout Europe and the Americas, including an extensive visit to the United States in 1936
Eugenio Pacelli's 1936 visit to the United States
Eugenio Pacelli visited the United States for two weeks in October-November 1936 as Cardinal Secretary of State and Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. At the time, Pacelli was the highest ranking Catholic official ever to visit the US...

 where he met Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, who appointed a personal envoy – who did not require Senate confirmation – to the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 in December 1939, re-establishing a diplomatic tradition that had been broken since 1870 when the pope lost temporal power.

Pacelli presided as Papal Legate
Papal legate
A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters....

 over the International Eucharistic Congress
International Eucharistic Congress
In the Roman Catholic church, a Eucharistic Congress is a gathering of clergy, religious, and laity to bear witness to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, which is an important Roman Catholic doctrine...

 in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 10–14 October 1934, and in Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 on 25–30 May 1938. At this time, antisemitic laws were in the process of being formulated in Hungary. Pacelli made reference to the Jews "whose lips curse [Christ] and whose hearts reject him even today". This traditional adversarial relationship with Judaism would be reversed in Nostra Aetate
Nostra Aetate
Nostra Aetate is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. Passed by a vote of 2,221 to 88 of the assembled bishops, this declaration was promulgated on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI.The first draft, entitled "Decretum de...

 issued during the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

. According to Joseph Bottum, Pacelli in 1937 "warned A. W. Klieforth, the American consul to Berlin, that Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 was "an untrustworthy scoundrel and fundamentally wicked person"; Klieforth wrote that Pacelli "did not believe Hitler capable of moderation, and... fully supported the German bishops in their anti-Nazi stand". A report written by Pacelli the following year for President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 and filed with Ambassador Joseph Kennedy declared that the Church regarded compromise with the Third Reich as "out of the question".

Some historians have argued that Pacelli, as Cardinal Secretary of State, dissuaded Pope Pius XI – who was nearing death at the time – from condemning the Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, and also Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938.Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and...

in November 1938, when he was informed of it by the papal nuncio in Berlin. Likewise the draft encyclical Humani Generis Unitas
Humani generis unitas
Humani generis unitas was a planned encyclical of Pope Pius XI before his death on February 10, 1939, which condemned antisemitism, racism and the persecution of Jews...

("On the Unity of the Human Race"), which was ready in September 1938 but, according to those responsible for an edition of the document and other sources, it was not forwarded to the Holy See by the Jesuit General Wlodimir Ledochowski
Wlodimir Ledochowski
Wlodimir Ledóchowski, S.J. was the 26th Superior-General of the Society of Jesus.He was born on the family estate, Sitzenthal, in Loosdorf, near St. Pölten , the son of Count Antoni Halka Ledóchowski...

. The draft encyclical contained an open and clear condemnation of colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

, racism and antisemitism. Some historians have argued that Pacelli learned about its existence only after the death of Pius XI and did not promulgate it as Pope. He did however use parts of it in his inaugural encyclical Summi Pontificatus
Summi Pontificatus
Summi Pontificatus is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII published on October 20, 1939. The encyclical is subtitled "On the Unity of Human Society." It was the first major encyclical of Pius XII so was seen as setting "a tone" for his papacy. It critiques major errors at the time, such as ideologies...

, which he titled "On the Unity of Human Society."

His various positions on Church and policy issues during his tenure as Cardinal Secretary of State were made public by the Holy See in 1939. Most noteworthy among the 50 speeches is his review of Church-State issues in Budapest in 1938.

Reichskonkordat and Mit brennender Sorge



The Reichskonkordat was an integral part of four concordat
Concordat
A concordat is an agreement between the Holy See of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state on religious matters. Legally, they are international treaties. They often includes both recognition and privileges for the Catholic Church in a particular country...

s Pacelli concluded on behalf of the Vatican with German States. The state concordats were necessary because the German federalist
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 Weimar
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 constitution gave the German states authority in the area of education and culture and thus diminished the authority of the churches in these areas; this diminution of church authority was a primary concern of the Vatican. As Bavarian Nuncio, Pacelli negotiated successfully with the Bavarian authorities in 1925. He expected the concordat with Catholic Bavaria to be the model for the rest of Germany. Prussia showed interest in negotiations only after the Bavarian concordat. However, Pacelli obtained less favorable conditions for the Church in the Prussian concordat of 1929, which excluded educational issues. A concordat with the German state of Baden was completed by Pacelli in 1932, after he had moved to Rome. There he also negotiated a concordat with Austria in 1933. A total of 16 concordats and treaties with European states had been concluded in the ten year period 1922–1932.

The Reichskonkordat, signed on 20 July 1933, between Germany and the Holy See, while thus a part of an overall Vatican policy, was controversial from its beginning. It remains the most important of Pacelli's concordats. It is debated, not because of its content, which is still valid today, but because of its timing. A national concordat with Germany was one of Pacelli's main objectives as secretary of state, because he had hoped to strengthen the legal position of the Church. Pacelli, who knew German conditions well, emphasized in particular protection for Catholic associations (§31), freedom for education and Catholic schools, and freedom for publications.

As nuncio
Nuncio
Nuncio is an ecclesiastical diplomatic title, derived from the ancient Latin word, Nuntius, meaning "envoy." This article addresses this title as well as derived similar titles, all within the structure of the Roman Catholic Church...

 during the 1920s, he had made unsuccessful attempts to obtain German agreement for such a treaty, and between 1930 and 1933 he attempted to initiate negotiations with representatives of successive German governments, but the opposition of Protestant and Socialist parties, the instability of national governments and the care of the individual states to guard their autonomy thwarted this aim. In particular, the questions of denominational schools and pastoral work in the armed forces prevented any agreement on the national level, despite talks in the winter of 1932.

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 was appointed Chancellor on 30 January 1933 and sought to gain international respectability and to remove internal opposition by representatives of the Church and the Catholic Centre Party
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

. He sent his vice chancellor Franz von Papen
Franz von Papen
Lieutenant-Colonel Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen zu Köningen was a German nobleman, Roman Catholic monarchist politician, General Staff officer, and diplomat, who served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and as Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler in 1933–1934...

, a Catholic nobleman and member of the Centre Party, to Rome to offer negotiations about a Reichskonkordat. On behalf of Pacelli, Prelate Ludwig Kaas, the outgoing chairman of the Centre Party, negotiated first drafts of the terms with Papen. The concordat was finally signed, by Pacelli for the Vatican and von Papen for Germany, on 20 July and ratified on 10 September 1933. Father Franziscus Stratman, senior Catholic chaplain at Berlin University wrote 'The souls of well-disposed people are in a turmoil as a result of the tyranny of the National Socialists, and I am merely stating a fact when I say that the authority of the bishops among innumerable Catholics and non-Catholics has been shaken by the quasi-approval of the National Socialist movement'.

Between 1933 and 1939, Pacelli issued 55 protests of violations of the Reichskonkordat. Most notably, early in 1937, Pacelli asked several German cardinals, including Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber to help him write a protest of Nazi violations of the Reichskonkordat; this was to become Pius XI's 1937 encyclical Mit brennender Sorge
Mit Brennender Sorge
Mit brennender Sorge is a Catholic Church encyclical of Pope Pius XI, published on 10 March 1937 . Written in German, not the usual Latin, it was read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches on one of the Church's busiest Sundays,...

. The encyclical was written in German and not the usual Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 of official Roman Catholic Church documents. Secretly distributed by an army of motorcyclists and read from every German Catholic Church pulpit on Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four Canonical Gospels. ....

, it condemned the paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 of the National Socialism ideology. Pope Pius XI credited its creation and writing to Pacelli. It was the first official denunciation of Nazism made by any major organization and resulted in persecution of the Church by the infuriated Nazis who closed all the participating presses and "took numerous vindictive measures against the Church, including staging a long series of immorality trials of the Catholic clergy."

On 10 June 1941 he commented on the problems of the Reichskonkordat in a letter to the Bishop of Passau
Bishop of Passau
The Diocese of Passau is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in Germany. It is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of München und Freising. The diocese covers an area of 5,442 km². The current bishop is Wilhelm Schraml.-History:...

, in Bavaria: "The history of the Reichskonkordat shows, that the other side lacked the most basic prerequisites to accept minimal freedoms and rights of the Church, without which the Church simply cannot live and operate, formal agreements notwithstanding".

Election and coronation



Pius XI died on 10 February 1939. Several historians have interpreted the conclave to choose his successor as facing a choice between a diplomatic or a spiritual candidate, and they view Pacelli's diplomatic experience, especially with Germany, as one of the deciding factors in his election on 2 March 1939, his 63rd birthday, after only one day of deliberation and three ballots. He was the first cardinal secretary of state to be elected Pope since Clement IX
Pope Clement IX
Pope Clement IX , born Giulio Rospigliosi, was Pope from 1667 to 1669.-Early life:Born Giulio Rospigliosi to a noble family of Pistoia, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, he was a pupil of the Jesuits. After receiving his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Pisa, he taught theology there...

 in 1667. He was also one of only two men known to have served as Camerlengo immediately prior to being elected as pope (the other being Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

). His coronation
Papal Coronation
A papal coronation was the ceremony of the placing of the Papal Tiara on a newly elected pope. The first recorded papal coronation was that of Pope Celestine II in 1143. Soon after his coronation in 1963, Pope Paul VI abandoned the practice of wearing the tiara. His successors have chosen not to...

 took place on 12 March 1939. Upon being elected pope he was also formally the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, prefect of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition , and after 1904 called the Supreme...

, prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Congregation for the Oriental Churches
The Congregation for the Oriental Churches is the dicastery of the Roman Curia responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development, protecting their rights and also maintaining whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical,...

 and prefect of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation
Congregation for Bishops
The Congregation for Bishops is the congregation of the Roman Curia which oversees the selection of new bishops that are not in mission territories or those areas that come under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches who deal with the Eastern Catholics, pending papal...

. There was however a Cardinal-Secretary to run these bodies on a day-to-day basis.

Pacelli took the same papal name as his predecessor, a title used exclusively by Italian Popes. He was quoted as saying, "I call myself Pius; my whole life was under Popes with this name, but especially as a sign of gratitude towards Pius XI." On 15 December 1937, during his last consistory, Pius XI strongly hinted to the cardinals that he expected Pacelli to be his successor, saying "He is in your midst." He had previously been quoted as saying: "When today the Pope dies, you’ll get another one tomorrow, because the Church continues. It would be a much bigger tragedy, if Cardinal Pacelli dies, because there is only one. I pray every day, God may send another one into one of our seminaries, but as of today, there is only one in this world."

Appointments



After his election, he made Luigi Maglione his successor as Cardinal Secretary of State. Cardinal Maglione, a seasoned Vatican diplomat, had reestablished diplomatic relations with Switzerland and was for many years nuncio in Paris. Yet, Maglione did not exercise the influence of his predecessor Pacelli, who as Pope continued his close relation with Monsignors Montini (later Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

) and Domenico Tardini. After the death of Maglione in 1944, Pius left the position open and named Tardini head of its foreign section and Montini head of the internal section. Tardini and Montini continued serving there until 1953, when Pius XII decided to appoint them cardinals, an honor which both turned down. They were then later appointed to be Pro-Secretary with the privilege to wear Episcopal Insignia. Tardini continued to be a close co-worker of the Pope until the death of Pius XII, while Montini became archbishop of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, after the death of Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, O.S.B. was a Benedictine monk and Cardinal Archbishop of Milan during World War II...

.

Pius XII slowly eroded the Italian monopoly on the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

; he employed German and Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 Jesuit advisors, Robert Leiber, Augustin Bea
Augustin Bea
Augustin Bea, SJ was a German scholar at the Gregorian University specializing in biblical studies and biblical archeology. He was confessor of Pope Pius XII. In 1959, Pope John XXIII made him cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the first President of the Secretariat for Promoting...

, and Sebastian Tromp
Sebastian Tromp
Sebastiaan Peter Cornelis Tromp, S.J. was a Dutch Jesuit priest, theologian, and Latinist, who is best known for assisting Pope Pius XII in his theological encyclicals, and Pope John XXIII in the preparation for Vatican II...

. He also supported the elevation of Americans such as Cardinal Francis Spellman from a minor to a major role in the Church. After World War II, Pius XII appointed more non-Italians than any Pope before him. American appointees included Joseph P. Hurley as regent of the nunciature in Belgrade, Gerald P. O'Hara Nuncio to Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Monsignor Aloisius Joseph Muench
Aloisius Joseph Muench
Aloisius Joseph Muench was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Fargo from 1935 to 1959, and as Apostolic Nuncio to Germany from 1951 to 1959...

 as nuncio to Germany. For the first time, numerous young Europeans, Asians and "Americans were trained in various congregations and secretariats within the Vatican for eventual service throughout the world."

Consistories



Only twice in his pontificate did Pius XII hold a consistory
Consistory
-Antiquity:Originally, the Latin word consistorium meant simply 'sitting together', just as the Greek synedrion ....

 to create new cardinals
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

, in contrast to Pius XI, who had done so 17 times in as many years. Pius XII chose not to name new cardinals during World War II, and the number of cardinals shrank to 38, with Dennis Joseph Dougherty
Dennis Joseph Dougherty
Dennis Joseph Dougherty was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Philadelphia from 1918 until his death in 1951, and was created a cardinal in 1921.-Early life and education:...

 of Philadelphia being the only living U.S. cardinal. The first occasion on 18 February 1946 – which has become known as the "Grand Consistory" – yielded the elevation of a record 32 new cardinals, almost 50 percent of the College of Cardinals and reaching the canonical limit of 70 cardinals. In the 1946 consistory, Pius XII, while maintaining the maximum size of the College of Cardinals at 70, named cardinals from China, India, the Middle East and increased the number of Cardinals from the Americas, proportionally lessening the Italian influence.

In his second consistory on 12 January 1953, it was expected that his closest co-workers, Msgrs. Domenico Tardini and Giovanni Montini would be elevated and Pius XII informed the assembled cardinals that both of them were originally on the top of his list, but they had turned down the offer, and were rewarded instead with other promotions. The two consistories of 1946 and 1953 brought an end to over five hundred years of Italians constituting a majority of the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.A function of the college is to advise the pope about church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory. It also convenes on the death or abdication of a pope as a papal conclave to elect a successor...

. With few exceptions, Italian prelates accepted the changes positively; there was no protest movement or open opposition to the internationalization efforts.

Earlier, in 1945, Pius XII had dispensed with the complicated papal conclave
Papal conclave
A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, who then becomes the Pope during a period of vacancy in the papal office. The Pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church...

 procedures which attempted to ensure secrecy while preventing Cardinals from voting for themselves, compensating for this change by raising the requisite majority from two-thirds to two thirds plus one.

Liturgy reforms



In his encyclical Mediator Dei
Mediator Dei
Mediator Dei, a papal encyclical was issued by Pope Pius XII in 1947. The encyclical suggests new directions and active participation instead of a merely passive role of the faithful in the liturgy, in liturgical ceremonies and in the life of their parish. The encyclical also emphasizes the...

, Pius XII links liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 with the last will of Jesus Christ.
The Church has, therefore, according to Pius XII, a common aim with Christ himself, teaching all men the truth, and, offering to God a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice. This way, the Church re-establishes the unity between the Creator
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 and His creatures. The sacrifice of the altar, being Christ's own actions, convey and dispense divine grace from Christ to the members of the Mystical Body.

The numerous Liturgy reforms of Pius XII show two characteristics. Renewal and the rediscovery of old liturgical traditions, such as the reintroduction of the Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into...

, and, a more structured atmosphere within the Church buildings. The use of vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 language, favoured by Pius XII, was hotly debated at his time. He increased non-Latin services, especially in countries with expanding Catholic mission activities. The church tabernacle
Church tabernacle
A tabernacle is the fixed, locked box in which, in some Christian churches, the Eucharist is "reserved" . A less obvious container, set into the wall, is called an aumbry....

 holding the Blessed Sacrament
Blessed Sacrament
The Blessed Sacrament, or the Body and Blood of Christ, is a devotional name used in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Old Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, to refer to the Host after it has been consecrated in the sacrament of the Eucharist...

 should be immovably fixed to the altar and, unless another position was thought to be more appropriate, should normally be at the main altar. The Church should display religious objects, but not be overloaded with secondary objects. Modern sacred art should be reverential and reflect the spirit of our time. Priests are permitted to officiate marriages without Holy Mass. They may also officiate confirmations in certain instances.

The most radical of his liturgical changes concerned Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four Canonical Gospels. ....

 and the Paschal Triduum. In the latter, he changed the hour of the celebrations, so that the Mass of the Lord's Supper
Mass of the Lord's Supper
The Mass of the Lord's Supper is the Catholic Mass celebrated on the evening of Holy Thursday. It inaugurates the Easter Triduum, and commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, more explicitly than other celebrations of the Mass....

 was held in the evening, not the morning of Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels...

, the Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

 liturgical service was held in the afternoon, and the Vigil Mass of the resurrection of Jesus
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

 was no longer celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday , sometimes known as Easter Eve or Black Saturday, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter...

, but instead during the night that led to Easter Sunday. He inserted the washing of feet into the Mass of the Lord's Supper and made the distribution of Communion to the faithful a normal part of the celebration: previously the Roman Missal spoke of the consecration only of two large hosts (one reserved for Good Friday) and of small ones for the sick, "if necessary". The faithful were to be given Communion also on Good Friday, when previously only the priest received Communion. In the Easter Vigil service the Pope made many changes. He replaced a prayer said over incense (that apparently arose as a result of understanding "incensum cereum", meaning "the lit candle", as referring to "incensum", meaning "incense") was replaced with one over the Easter candle. He added a completely new ceremony in which the priest inscribed this candle with the Arabic numerals of the date of the year and inserted into it five pieces of incense. He abolished the triple candlestick with the three candles that were lit at different points of the ceremony. He removed the obligation for the priest to read silently by himself the Scripture readings that were being proclaimed to the people, and he introduced a newly composed ceremony of renewal of baptismal promises, in which the vernacular language could be used.

Canon Law Reforms


Decentralized authority and increased independence of the Uniate Churches were aimed at in the Canon Law
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

/Corpis Iuris Canonici (CIC) reform. In its new constitutions, Eastern Patriarchs were made almost independent from Rome (CIC Orientalis, 1957) Eastern marriage law (CIC Orientalis, 1949), civil law (CIC Orientalis, 1950), laws governing religious associations (CIC Orientalis, 1952) property law (CIC Orientalis, 1952) and other laws. These reforms and writings of Pius XII were intended to establish Eastern Orientals as equal parts of the mystical body of Christ, as explained in the encyclical
Encyclical
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop...

 Mystici Corporis.

Priests and Religious


With the Apostolic constitution
Apostolic constitution
An apostolic constitution is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the...

 Sedis Sapientiae, Pius XII added social sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 and social psychology
Social psychology
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. By this definition, scientific refers to the empirical method of investigation. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all...

, to the pastoral training of future priests. Pius XII emphasised the need to systematically analyze the psychological condition of candidates to the priesthood to ensure that they are capable of a life of celibacy and service. Pius XII added one year to the theological formation of future priests. He also included a "pastoral year", an introduction into the practice of Parish work.

The call to constant interior reform and Christian heroism is a central part of the message of Pius XII to all Religious. This means to be above average, to be a living example of Christian virtue. As the secular world has fallen back into Hedonism
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

, the Catholic alternative is the sanctification
Sanctification
Sanctity is an ancient concept widespread among religions, a property of a thing or person sacred or set apart within the religion, from totem poles through temple vessels to days of the week, to a human believer who achieves this state. Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity,...

 especially of Priests and Religious. The strict norms governing their lives are meant to make them models of Christian perfection for lay people, he writes in Menti Nostrae
Menti Nostrae
Menti Nostrae is an apostolic exhortation of Pope Pius XII on the sanctity of priestly life, given in Rome at St. Peter's on September 23, 1950, in the 12th year of his pontificate....

. Bishops are encouraged to look at model saints like Boniface, and Pope Pius X. Priests were encouraged to be living examples of the love of Christ and his sacrifice.

Theology



Pius XII explained the Catholic faith in 41 encyclicals and almost 1000 messages and speeches during his long pontificate. Mediator Dei
Mediator Dei
Mediator Dei, a papal encyclical was issued by Pope Pius XII in 1947. The encyclical suggests new directions and active participation instead of a merely passive role of the faithful in the liturgy, in liturgical ceremonies and in the life of their parish. The encyclical also emphasizes the...

 clarified membership and participation in the Church. The encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu
Divino Afflante Spiritu
Divino Afflante Spiritu is an encyclical letter issued by Pope Pius XII on September 30, 1943. It inaugurated the modern period of Roman Catholic Bible studies by permitting the limited use of modern methods of biblical criticism. The Catholic bible scholar Raymond E...

 opened the doors for biblical research. His magisterium was far larger and is difficult to summarize. In numerous speeches Catholic teaching is related to various aspects of life, education, medicine, politics, war and peace, the life of saints, Mary, the mother of God, things eternal and contemporary. Theologically, Pius XII specified the nature of the teaching authority of the Church. He also gave a new freedom to engage in theological investigations.

Theological orientation


Biblical Research

The encyclical, Divino Afflante Spiritu
Divino Afflante Spiritu
Divino Afflante Spiritu is an encyclical letter issued by Pope Pius XII on September 30, 1943. It inaugurated the modern period of Roman Catholic Bible studies by permitting the limited use of modern methods of biblical criticism. The Catholic bible scholar Raymond E...

, published in 1943 emphasized the role of the Bible. Pius XII freed biblical research from previous limitations. He encouraged Christian theologians to revisit original versions of the Bible in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Hebrew. Noting improvements in archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

, the encyclical reversed Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, which had only advocated going back to the original texts to resolve ambiguity in the Latin Vulgate. The encyclical demands a much better understanding of ancient Jewish history and traditions. It requires bishops throughout the Church to initiate biblical studies
Biblical studies
Biblical studies is the academic study of the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts. For Christianity, the Bible traditionally comprises the New Testament and Old Testament, which together are sometimes called the "Scriptures." Judaism recognizes as scripture only the Hebrew Bible, also known as...

 for lay people. The Pontiff also requests a reorientation of Catholic teaching and education, relying much more on sacred scriptures in sermon
Sermon
A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts...

s and religious instruction.

The role of theology
This theological investigative freedom does not, however, extend to all aspects of theology. According to Pius, theologians, employed by the Church, are assistants, to teach the official teachings of the Church and not their own private thoughts. They are free to engage in empirical research, which the Church generously supports, but in matters of morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

 and religion, they are subjected to the teaching office and authority of the Church, the Magisterium
Magisterium
In the Catholic Church the Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church. This authority is understood to be embodied in the episcopacy, which is the aggregation of the current bishops of the Church in union with the Pope, led by the Bishop of Rome , who has authority over the bishops,...

. "The most noble office of theology is to show how a doctrine defined by the Church is contained in the sources of revelation, … in that sense in which it has been defined by the Church." The deposit of faith is authentically interpreted not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the teaching authority of the Church.

Mariology and the Dogma of the Assumption




As a young boy and in later life, Pacelli was an ardent follower of the Virgin Mary. He was consecrated as a bishop on 13 May 1917, the very first day of the appearances of Our Lady of Fátima
Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fátima is a famous title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appeared in apparitions reported by three shepherd children at Fátima in Portugal. These occurred on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13...

. He consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Immaculate Heart of Mary originally The Sacred Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God, her maternal love for her Son, Jesus, and her compassionate love for...

 in 1942, in accordance with the second "secret" of Our Lady of Fátima. His remains were to be buried in the crypt of Saint Peter's Basilica on the feast day of Our Lady of Fátima, 13 October 1958.

On 1 November 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption:
The dogma of the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary is the crowning of the theology of Pius XII. It resolved a theological difficulty that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception had left open: if the soul of Mary had been created without the taint of sin, yet the Bible states that the wages of sin is death, should it be concluded that Mary, who by definition never sinned, therefore never died? The dogma of her assumption settles the problem by stating that she did not experience the ordinary human death, but was taken to Heaven as a divine gift.

The dogma was preceded by the 1946 encyclical Deiparae Virginis Mariae
Deiparae Virginis Mariae
Deiparae Virginis Mariae , is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII to all Catholic bishops on the possibility of defining the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a dogma of faith....

, which requested all Catholic bishops to express their opinion on a possible dogmatization. On 8 September 1953, the encyclical Fulgens corona
Fulgens Corona
Fulgens corona is an encyclical by Pope Pius XII, given at St. Peter's Rome, on 8 September 1953, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the fifteenth year of his Pontificate...

 announced a Marian year for 1954, the centennial of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, according to which the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin. It is one of the four dogmata in Roman Catholic Mariology...

. In the encyclical Ad caeli reginam
Ad Caeli Reginam
Ad caeli reginam is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII, given at Rome, from St. Peter's, on the feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the eleventh day of October, 1954, in the sixteenth year of his Pontificate. The encyclical is an important element of the Mariology of Pope Pius XII...

 he promulgated the feast, Queenship of Mary. Mystici Corporis summarizes his mariology
Mariology
Roman Catholic Mariology is theology concerned with the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ as developed by the Catholic Church. Roman Catholic teachings on the subject have been based on the belief that "The Blessed Virgin, because she is the Mother of God, is believed to hold a certain...

.

Social teachings




Medical theology
Pius XII delivered numerous speeches to medical professionals and researchers. He addressed doctors, nurses, midwives, to detail all aspects of rights and dignity of patients, medical responsibilities, moral implications of psychological illnesses and the uses of psycho pharmaca. He also took on issues like the uses of medicine in terminally ill persons, medical lies in face of grave illness, and the rights of family members to make decisions against expert medical advice. Pope Pius XII often reconsidered previously accepted truth, thus he was first to determine that the use of pain medicine in terminally ill patients is justified, even if this may shorten the life of the patient, as long as life shortening is not the objective itself.

Family and sexuality
Pope Pius XII developed an extensive theology of the family, taking issue with family roles, sharing of household duties, education of children, conflict resolution, financial dilemmas, psychological problems, illness, taking care of older generations, unemployment, marital holiness and virtue, common prayer, religious discussions and more. Within the overall divine purpose of family life, he fully accepted the rhythm method as a moral form of family planning
Family planning
Family planning is the planning of when to have children, and the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling and...

, although only limited circumstances, within the context of family.

Theology and science
To Pius XII, science and religion were heavenly sisters, different manifestations of divine exactness, who could not possibly contradict each other over the long term Regarding their relation, his advisor Professor Robert Leiber wrote: "Pius XII was very careful not to close any doors prematurely. He was energetic on this point and regretted that in the case of Galileo."

Evolution

In 1950, Pius XII promulgated Humani Generis which acknowledged that evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 might accurately describe the biological origins of human life, but at the same time criticized those who "imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution... explains the origin of all things". Catholics must believe that the human soul was created immediately by God. Since the soul is a spiritual substance it is not brought into being through transformation of matter, but directly by God, whence the special uniqueness of each person.." Fifty years later, Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

, stating that scientific evidence now seemed to favour the evolutionary theory, upheld the distinction of Pius XII regarding the human soul. "Even if the human body originates from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is spontaneously created by God."

Encyclicals, writings and speeches


Pius XII issued 41 encyclicals during his pontificate – more than all his successors in the past 50 years taken together – along with many other writings and speeches. The pontificate of Pius XII was the first in Vatican history, which published papal speeches and addresses in vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 language on a systematic basis. Until then, papal documents were issued mainly in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 in Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Acta Apostolicae Sedis , often cited as AAS, is the official gazette of the Holy See, appearing about twelve times a year. It was established by Pope Pius X with the decree Promulgandi Pontificias Constitutiones , and publication began in January 1909...

 since 1909. Because of the novelty of it all, and a feared occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 of the Vatican by the German Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

, not all documents exist today. In 1944, a number of papal documents were burned or "walled in", to avoid detection by the advancing German army. Insisting that all publications must be reviewed by him on a prior basis to avoid any misunderstanding, several speeches by Pius XII, who did not find sufficient time, were never published or appeared only once issued in the Vatican daily, Osservatore Romano.

Several encyclicals addressed the Oriental Churches. Orientalis Ecclesiae
Orientalis Ecclesiae
Orientalis Ecclesiae is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII. Its topic is St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria.-External links:* – Latin text* – English text...

was issued in 1944 on the 15th centenary of the death of Cyril of Alexandria
Cyril of Alexandria
Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. He came to power when the city was at its height of influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the later 4th and 5th centuries...

, a saint common to Orthodox
Orthodox Christianity
The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:* the Eastern Orthodox Church and its various geographical subdivisions...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Churches. Pius XII asks for prayer for better understanding and unification of the Churches. Orientales Omnes
Orientales Omnes
Orientales omnes Ecclesiae is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII to the faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. It commemorates the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Union of Brest....

, issued in 1945 on the 350th anniversary of the reunion, is a call to continued unity of the Ruthenian Church, threatened in its very existence by the authorities of the Soviet Union. Sempiternus Rex was issued in 1951 on the 1500th anniversary of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon
Council of Chalcedon
The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451 AD, at Chalcedon , on the Asian side of the Bosporus. The council marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates that led to the separation of the church of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 5th...

. It included a call to oriental communities adhering to monophysitism
Monophysitism
Monophysitism , or Monophysiticism, is the Christological position that Jesus Christ has only one nature, his humanity being absorbed by his Deity...

 to return to the Catholic Church.

Orientales Ecclesias was issued in 1952 and addressed to the Eastern Churches, protesting the continued Stalinist persecution of the Church. Several Apostolic Letters were sent to the bishops in the East. On 13 May 1956, Pope Pius addressed all bishops of the Eastern Rite. Mary, the mother of God was the subject of encyclical letters to the people of Russia in Fulgens Corona
Fulgens Corona
Fulgens corona is an encyclical by Pope Pius XII, given at St. Peter's Rome, on 8 September 1953, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the fifteenth year of his Pontificate...

 and a papal letter to the people of Russia.

Feasts and devotions


In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus
Holy Face of Jesus
The Holy Face of Jesus is a title for specific images which some Catholics believe to have been miraculously formed representations of the face of Jesus Christ...

 as Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday is a term used in English-speaking countries, especially in Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, and parts of the United States for the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of fasting and prayer called Lent.The...

 (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter...

) for all Roman Catholics. The first medal of the Holy Face, produced by Sister Maria Pierina
Maria Pierina
Blessed Maria Pierina De Micheli was a Roman Catholic religious Sister who was born near Milan in Italy. She is best known for her association with the Holy Face of Jesus and for introducing a medal bearing an image from the Shroud of Turin as part of this devotion.In April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI...

 De Micheli based on the image on the Shroud of Turin
Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The image on the shroud is...

 had been offered to Pius XII who approved of the medal and the devotion based on it. The general devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus had been approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885 before the image on the Turin Shroud had been photographed.

Canonisations and beatifications



Pope Pius XII canonized
Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process...

 numerous saints, including Pope Pius X and Maria Goretti
Maria Goretti
Maria Goretti is an Italian virgin-martyr of the Roman Catholic Church, and is one of its youngest canonized saints. She died from multiple stab wounds inflicted by her attempted rapist after she refused him...

. He beatified Pope Innocent XI
Pope Innocent XI
Blessed Pope Innocent XI , born Benedetto Odescalchi, was Pope from 1676 to 1689.-Early life:Benedetto Odescalchi was born at Como in 1611 , the son of a Como nobleman, Livio Odescalchi, and Paola Castelli Giovanelli from Gandino...

. The first canonizations were two women, the founder of a female order, Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
- Biography :She was born in the island of Noirmoutier, France of pious parents, on 31 July 1796, and received in baptism the name of Rose Virginie. She entered the community of "Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge" of Tours , in 1814, and made her profession in 1816, taking the name of Mary Saint...

, and a young housekeeper said to have stigmata
Stigmata
Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet...

, Gemma Galgani
Gemma Galgani
Maria Gemma Umberta Pia Galgani was an Italian mystic, venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church since 1940...

. Pelletier had a reputation for opening new ways for Catholic charities, helping people in difficulties with the law, who had been neglected by the system and the Church. Galgani was a woman in her twenties whose virtue became model by her canonization.

World War II




As Cardinal Secretary of State, Pacelli signed a Concordat
Concordat
A concordat is an agreement between the Holy See of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state on religious matters. Legally, they are international treaties. They often includes both recognition and privileges for the Catholic Church in a particular country...

 between Germany and the Vatican at a ceremony in Rome on 20 July 1933.
His pontificate began on the eve of World War II. In the 1937 encyclical Mit brennender Sorge
Mit Brennender Sorge
Mit brennender Sorge is a Catholic Church encyclical of Pope Pius XI, published on 10 March 1937 . Written in German, not the usual Latin, it was read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches on one of the Church's busiest Sundays,...

, drafted by Pope Pius XII when he was still a cardinal, Pope Pius XI denounced Nazism and breaches of the Reichskonkordat. Read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches, it has been described as the first official denunciation of Nazism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 made by any major organization. Nazi persecution of the Church in Germany then began by "outright repression" and "staged prosecutions of monks for homosexuality, with the maximum of publicity." When Dutch bishops protested against the deportation of Jews, the Nazis responded by deporting Jewish converts, including Edith Stein
Edith Stein
Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, sometimes also known as Saint Edith Stein , was a German Roman Catholic philosopher and nun, regarded as a martyr and saint of the Roman Catholic Church...

.

In Poland, the Nazis murdered over 2,500 monks and priests while even more were sent to concentration camps. The Priester-Block (priests barracks) in the Dachau concentration camp lists 2,600 Roman Catholic priests. Pius XII's refusal to censure the German invasion and annexation of Poland was regarded as a "betrayal" by many Polish Catholics and clergy, who saw his appointment of Hilarius Breitinger
Hilarius Breitinger
Hilarius Breitinger, OFM Conv was a German Franciscan prelate made apostolic administrator of the Reichsgau Wartheland during World War II by Pope Pius XII, one of the most controversial examples of the reorganization of occupied dioceses during World War II...

 as apostolic administrator for the Wartheland
Reichsgau Wartheland
Reichsgau Wartheland was a Nazi German Reichsgau formed from Polish territory annexed in 1939. It comprised the Greater Poland and adjacent areas, and only in part matched the area of the similarly named pre-Versailles Prussian province of Posen...

 in May 1942 as "implicit recognition" of the breakup of Poland; the opinions of the Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche - "German in terms of people/folk" -, defined ethnically, is a historical term from the 20th century. The words volk and volkische conveyed in Nazi thinking the meanings of "folk" and "race" while adding the sense of superior civilization and blood...

, mostly Catholic German minorities living in Poland, were more mixed. Although Pius XII received frequent reports about atrocities committed by and/or against Catholics, his knowledge was not complete; for example, he wept after the war upon learning that Cardinal Hlond had banned German liturgical services in Poland. Phayer argues that Pius XII – both before and during his papacy – consistently "deferred to Germany at the expense of Poland", and saw Germany – not Poland – as critical to "rebuilding a large Catholic presence in Central Europe".

During the war, the Pope followed a policy of public neutrality mirroring that of Pope Benedict XV during World War I. In 1939, Pius XII turned the Vatican into a centre of aid which he organized from various parts of the world At the request of the Pope, an information office for prisoners of war and refugees operated in the Vatican under Giovanni Battista Montini, which in the years of its existence from 1939 until 1947 received almost 10 million (9,891,497) information requests and produced over 11 million (11,293,511) answers about missing persons.

In April 1939, after the submission of Charles Maurras
Charles Maurras
Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. He was a leader and principal thinker of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme...

 and the intervention of the Carmel of Lisieux, Pius XII ended his predecessor's ban on Action Française
Action Française
The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

, an organization described by some authors as virulently antisemitic and anti-Communist.

In 1939, the Pope employed Jewish cartographer Roberto Almagia to work on old maps in the Vatican library. Almagia had been at the University of Rome since 1915 but was dismissed after Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's anti-semitic legislation of 1938. The Pope's appointment of two Jews to the Vatican Academy of Science as well as the hiring of Almagia were reported by The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

in the editions of 11 November 1939, and 10 January 1940.

During the Soviet Union's acts of aggression against Finland, the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, Pius XII condemned the Soviet attack on 26 December 1939 in a speech at the Vatican. Later he donated a signed and sealed prayer on behalf of Finland.

On 18 January 1940, after over 15,000 Polish civilians had been killed, Pius XII said in a radio broadcast, "The horror and inexcusable excesses committed on a helpless and a homeless people have been established by the unimpeachable testimony of eye-witnesses."

In his first encyclical Summi Pontificatus
Summi Pontificatus
Summi Pontificatus is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII published on October 20, 1939. The encyclical is subtitled "On the Unity of Human Society." It was the first major encyclical of Pius XII so was seen as setting "a tone" for his papacy. It critiques major errors at the time, such as ideologies...

(20 October 1939), Pius XII publicly condemned the invasion
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

, occupation and partition of Poland
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 under the Nazi-Soviet Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

.
Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 magazine reports that France and Britain were favourably surprised by the encyclical.

On 11 March 1940, The Pope had a personal meeting with German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joachim Ribbentrop, who was visiting Rome. During that meeting, The German Foreign Minister suggested to the Pope an overall settlement between the Vatican and the Reich government in exchange for the Pope instructing the German Bishops to refrain from political criticism of the German government, but no agreement was reached. The Vatican diplomatic record of the meeting describes what transpired as follows:

He (Ribbentrop) answered that at the bottom it is a question of a revolution and that compared with other revolutions the National Socialist Revolution has not caused grave harm to the churches. To which the Pope replied that in reality there had been many injuries – and he continued to point out examples. Ribbentrop underlined that the State spends a great deal for the clergy and the Church. The Pope replied that a great deal has been taken away from the Church, houses, institutions of education – kicking out the legitimate owners malo modo in a few hours. The Holy Father insisted particularly on the schools.


After Germany invaded the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 during 1940, Pius XII sent expressions of sympathy to the Queen of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina was Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. She ruled the Netherlands for fifty-eight years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw World War I and World War II, the economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial...

, the King of Belgium, and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. When Mussolini learned of the warnings and the telegrams of sympathy, he took them as a personal affront and had his ambassador to the Vatican file an official protest, charging that Pius XII had taken sides against Italy's ally Germany. Mussolini's foreign minister claimed that Pius XII was "ready to let himself be deported to a concentration camp, rather than do anything against his conscience."

In the spring of 1940, a group of German generals seeking to overthrow Hitler and make peace with the British approached Pope Pius XII, who acted as a negotiator between the British and the abortive plot.
On 13 June 1940, while the battle of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 was still raging, the Pope issued encyclical Saeculo Exeunte Octavo, which, though relating to Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, made an ambiguous statement about the general situation in the following words: "now, when more than a few European nations have been lost to the Church because of the changes in these calamitous times", which could have referred either to the German occupation or to Communism in Russia.

In April 1941, Pius XII granted a private audience to Ante Pavelić
Ante Pavelic
Ante Pavelić was a Croatian fascist leader, revolutionary, and politician. He ruled as Poglavnik or head, of the Independent State of Croatia , a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia...

, the leader of the newly proclaimed Croatian state
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 (rather than the diplomatic audience Pavelić had wanted). Pius was criticised for his reception of Pavelić: an unattributed British Foreign Office memo on the subject described Pius as "the greatest moral coward of our age." The Vatican did not officially recognise Pavelić's regime. Pius XII did not publicly condemn the expulsions and forced conversions to Catholicism perpetrated on Serbs by Pavelić; however, the Holy See did expressly repudiate the forced conversions in a memorandum dated 25 January 1942, from the Vatican Secretiat of State to the Yugoslavian Legation. Pius XII was well-informed of the involvement of Croatian Catholic clergy with the Ustaša regime
Involvement of Croatian Catholic clergy with the Ustaša regime
Catholic clergy involvement with the Ustaše covers the role of the Croatian Catholic Church in the Independent State of Croatia , a Nazi puppet state created on the territory of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia in 1941...

, even possessing a list of clergymembers who had "joined in the slaughter", but decided against condemning the regime or taking action against the involved clergy, fearing that it would lead to schism in the Croatian church or undermine the formation of a future Croatian state. Pius XII elevated Aloysius Stepinac
Aloysius Stepinac
Aloysius Viktor Stepinac , also known as Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, was a Croatian Catholic cardinal and Archbishop of Zagreb from 1937 to 1960. In 1998 he was declared a martyr and beatified by Pope John Paul II....

—a Croatian archbishop convicted of collaborating
Involvement of Croatian Catholic clergy with the Ustaša regime
Catholic clergy involvement with the Ustaše covers the role of the Croatian Catholic Church in the Independent State of Croatia , a Nazi puppet state created on the territory of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia in 1941...

 with the Ustaša—to the cardinalate. Although Phayer agrees in part with criticisms of Stepinac conviction as a "show trial", he states "the charge that he supported the Ustaša regime was, of course, true, as everyone knew", and that "if Stepinac had responded to the charges against him, his defense would have inevitably unraveled, exposing the Vatican's support of the genocidal
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 Pavelić".

In 1941, Pius XII interpreted Divini Redemptoris
Divini Redemptoris
Divini Redemptoris is an anti-communist encyclical issued by Pope Pius XI. It was published on 19 March 1937. In this encyclical, the pope sets out to "expose once more in a brief synthesis the principles of atheistic Communism as they are manifested chiefly in bolshevism"...

, an encyclical
Encyclical
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop...

 of Pope Pius XI, which forbade Catholics to help communists, as not applying to military assistance to the Soviet Union. This interpretation assuaged American Catholics who had previously opposed Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...

 arrangements with the Soviet Union.

In March 1942, Pius XII established diplomatic relations with the Japanese Empire and received ambassador Ken Harada
Ken Harada (diplomat)
was a chargé d'affaires to Vichy France and a diplomat to the Holy See from Japan. He was appointed as a special envoy to the Vatican, and served in this capacity from 1942 to 1945...

, who remained in that position until the end of the war. In May 1942, Kazimierz Papée, Polish ambassador to the Vatican, complained that Pius had failed to condemn the recent wave of atrocities in Poland; when Cardinal Secretary of State Maglione replied that the Vatican could not document individual atrocities, Papée declared, "when something becomes notorious, proof is not required."

In June 1942, diplomatic relations were established with the Nationalist government of China. This step was envisaged earlier, but delayed due to Japanese pressure to establish relations with the pro-Japanese Wang Jingwei government. The first Chinese Minister to the Vatican, Hsieh Shou-kang, was only able to arrive at the Vatican in January 1943, due to difficulties of travel resulting from the war. He remained in that position until late 1946.

Pius XII's 1942 Christmas address
Pope Pius XII's 1942 Christmas address
Pope Pius XII's 1942 Christmas address was an annual speech delivered by Pope Pius XII over Vatican Radio on Christmas 1942.-Background:Pius XII possessed a specific knowledge of the Holocaust that rivaled that of the Allied governments...

 on the Vatican Radio
Vatican Radio
Vatican Radio is the official broadcasting service of the Vatican.Set up in 1931 by Guglielmo Marconi, today its programs are offered in 47 languages, and are sent out on short wave , medium wave, FM, satellite and the Internet. The Jesuit Order has been charged with the management of Vatican...

 remains a "lightning rod" in debates about Pius XII. The majority of the speech spoke generally about human rights and civil society; at the very end of the speech, Pius XII mentioned "the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline". Reactions of contemporaries and scholars are divided, but the speech did denounce genocide (a term not coined until 1944), although "it is still not clear whose genocide or which genocide he was referring to".

Several authors have alleged a plot to kidnap Pius XII
Alleged plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII
Several authors have alleged a plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII by the Nazis when they occupied Rome during World War II. SS General Karl Wolff stated that he had been ordered on September 13, 1943 to kidnap the pope....

 by the Nazis during their occupation of Rome in 1943 (Vatican City itself was not occupied); British historian Owen Chadwick
Owen Chadwick
William Owen Chadwick, OM, KBE, FBA, FRSE is a British professor, writer and prominent historian of Christianity. He was also a rugby union player.-Early life and education:Chadwick was born in Bromley in 1916...

 and Jesuit ADSS
Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale
Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale , often abbreviated Actes or ADSS, is an eleven-volume collection of documents from the Vatican historical archives, related to the papacy of Pope Pius XII during World War II.The collection was compiled by four...

 editor Robert A. Graham
Robert A. Graham
Father Robert Andrew Graham, SJ was an American Jesuit priest and World War II historian of the Catholic Church...

 concluded that such claims were the invention of British wartime propagandists
Political Warfare Executive
During World War II, the Political Warfare Executive was a British clandestine body created to produce and disseminate both white and black propaganda, with the aim of damaging enemy morale and sustaining the morale of the Occupied countries....

. However, subsequent to those accounts, Dan Kurzman in 2007 published a work which he maintains establishes the plot as fact.

As the war was approaching its end in 1945, Pius advocated a lenient policy by the Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 leaders in an effort to prevent what he perceived to be the mistakes made at the end of World War I. In August 1944, he met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, who was visiting Rome. At their meeting, the Pope expressed the hope that the planned war crimes trials shall not include Italian defendants, since he considered the Italians as victims of the Third Reich.

The Holocaust




In 1939, the newly elected Pope Pius XII appointed several prominent Jewish scholars to posts at the Vatican after they had been dismissed from Italian universities under Fascist
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 leader Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's racial laws. Pius later engineered an agreement—formally approved on 23 June 1939—with Brazilian President
President of Brazil
The president of Brazil is both the head of state and head of government of the Federative Republic of Brazil. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces...

 Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the most for any President, and second in Brazilian history to Emperor Pedro II...

 to issue 3,000 visas
Visa (document)
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...

 to "non-Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

 Catholics". However, over the next 18 months Brazil's Conselho de Imigração e Colonização (CIC
CIC
- Organizations :* Chelsea Independent College* Central Information Commission* Cable in the Classroom* Cadet Instructors Cadre, or le Cadre des instructeurs de cadets in French, sub-element of the Canadian Reserve Force* Canadian International Council...

) continued to tighten the restrictions on their issuance, including requiring a baptismal certificate
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 dated before 1933, a substantial monetary transfer to the Banco do Brasil
Banco do Brasil
Banco do Brasil S.A. is the largest Brazilian and Latin American bank by assets, and the third by market value. The bank, headquartered in Brasília, was founded in 1808 and is the oldest active bank in Brazil — and one of the oldest financial institutions in the world.Banco do Brasil is controlled...

, and approval by the Brazilian Propaganda Office in Berlin. The program was cancelled 14 months later, after fewer than 1,000 visas had been issued, amid suspicions of "improper conduct" (i.e., continuing to practice Judaism) among those who had received visas.

Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

 Luigi Maglione received a request from Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 Isaac Herzog
Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog
Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog , also known as Isaac Herzog, was the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland, his term lasting from 1921 to 1936...

 in the Spring of 1940 to intercede on behalf of Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

 about to be deported to Germany. Pius called Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

 on 11 March, repeatedly protesting against the treatment of Jews. In his 1939 encyclical Summi Pontificatus
Summi Pontificatus
Summi Pontificatus is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII published on October 20, 1939. The encyclical is subtitled "On the Unity of Human Society." It was the first major encyclical of Pius XII so was seen as setting "a tone" for his papacy. It critiques major errors at the time, such as ideologies...

, Pius rejected anti-semitism, stating that in the Catholic Church there is "neither Gentile
Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

 nor Jew, circumcision
Circumcision
Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin from the penis. The word "circumcision" comes from Latin and ....

 nor uncircumcision." In 1940, Pius asked members of the clergy, on Vatican letterhead, to do whatever they could on behalf of interned Jews.

In 1941, Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 informed Pius of Jewish deportations in Vienna. Later that year, when asked by French Marshal Philippe Pétain
Philippe Pétain
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

 if the Vatican objected to antisemitic laws, Pius responded that the church condemned antisemitism, but would not comment on specific rules. Similarly, when Philippe Pétain
Philippe Pétain
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

's regime adopted the "Jewish statutes", the Vichy
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 ambassador to the Vatican, Léon Bérard
Léon Bérard
Léon Bérard was a French politician and lawyer.He was Minister of Public Instruction in 1919 and from 1921 to 1924, and Minister of Justice from 1931 to 1932 and was elected to the Académie française in 1934.Bérard was the Ambassador from Vichy France to the Holy See from 1940 to 1945.-Léon Bérard...

 (a French politician), was told that the legislation did not conflict with Catholic teachings. Valerio Valeri
Valerio Valeri
Valerio Valeri was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Religious in the Roman Curia from 1953 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1953 by Pope Pius XII.President Charles de Gaulle insisted that Valeri be removed...

, the nuncio
Nuncio
Nuncio is an ecclesiastical diplomatic title, derived from the ancient Latin word, Nuntius, meaning "envoy." This article addresses this title as well as derived similar titles, all within the structure of the Roman Catholic Church...

 to France was "embarrassed" when he learned of this publicly from Pétain and personally checked the information with Cardinal Secretary of State Maglione who confirmed the Vatican's position. Yet in June 1942, Pius personally protested against the mass deportations of Jews from France, ordering the papal nuncio to protest to Pétain against "the inhuman arrests and deportations of Jews". In September 1941, Pius objected to a Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

n Jewish Code, which, unlike the earlier Vichy codes, prohibited intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. In October 1941, Harold Tittman, a U.S. delegate to the Vatican, asked the pope to condemn the atrocities against Jews; Pius replied that the Vatican wished to remain "neutral," reiterating the neutrality policy which Pius invoked as early as September 1940.

In 1942, the Slovakian chargé d'affaires
Chargé d'affaires
In diplomacy, chargé d’affaires , often shortened to simply chargé, is the title of two classes of diplomatic agents who head a diplomatic mission, either on a temporary basis or when no more senior diplomat has been accredited.-Chargés d’affaires:Chargés d’affaires , who were...

 told Pius that Slovakian Jews were being sent to concentration camps. On 11 March 1942, several days before the first transport was due to leave, the chargé d'affaires in Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

 reported to the Vatican: "I have been assured that this atrocious plan is the handwork of ... Prime Minister (Tuka
Vojtech Tuka
Vojtech "Béla" Tuka was the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic between 1940 and 1945. Tuka was one the main forces behind the deportation of Slovak Jews to Nazi concentration camps in Poland...

), who confirmed the plan ... he dared to tell me—he who makes such a show of his Catholicism—that he saw nothing inhuman or un-Christian in it ... the deportation of 80,000 persons to Poland, is equivalent to condemning a great number of them to certain death." The Vatican protested to the Slovak government that it "deplore(s) these... measures which gravely hurt the natural human rights of persons, merely because of their race."

On 18 September 1942, Pius received a letter from Monsignor
Monsignor
Monsignor, pl. monsignori, is the form of address for those members of the clergy of the Catholic Church holding certain ecclesiastical honorific titles. Monsignor is the apocopic form of the Italian monsignore, from the French mon seigneur, meaning "my lord"...

 Montini (future Pope Paul VI), saying, "the massacres of the Jews reach frightening proportions and forms." Later that month, Myron Taylor, U.S. representative to the Vatican, warned Pius that the Vatican's "moral prestige" was being injured by silence on European atrocities, a warning which was echoed simultaneously by representatives from the United Kingdom, Brazil, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, Belgium, and Poland. The Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

 replied that the rumors about genocide could not be verified. In December 1942, when Tittman asked Cardinal Secretary of State Maglione if Pius would issue a proclamation similar to the Allied declaration "German Policy of Extermination of the Jewish Race", Maglione replied that the Vatican was "unable to denounce publicly particular atrocities." Pius XII directly explained to Tittman that he could not name the Nazis without at the same time mentioning the Bolsheviks. Pius XII also never publicly condemned the Nazi massacre of 1,800,000–1,900,000 mainly Catholic Polish gentiles (including 2,935 members of the Catholic Clergy), nor did he ever publicly condemn the Soviet Union for the deaths of 1,000,000 mainly Catholic Polish gentile citizens including an untold number of clergy. In late 1942, Pius XII advised German and Hungarian bishops that speaking out against the massacres in the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

 would be politically advantageous. In his 1942 Christmas Eve message, he expressed strong concern for "those hundreds of thousands, who ... sometimes only by reason of their nationality or race, are marked down for death or progressive extinction. On 7 April 1943, Msgr. Tardini, one of Pius’ closest advisors, told Pius that it would be politically advantageous after the war to take steps to help Slovakian Jews.

In January 1943, Pius declined to publicly denounce the Nazi discrimination against Jews, following requests to do so from Władysław Raczkiewicz, president of the Polish government-in-exile, and Bishop Konrad von Preysing
Konrad von Preysing
Johann Konrad Maria Augustin Felix Graf von Preysing Lichtenegg-Moos was a German prelate of the Roman Catholic Church...

 of Berlin. On 26 September 1943, following the German occupation of northern Italy, Nazi officials gave Jewish leaders in Rome 36 hours to produce 50 kilograms of gold (or the equivalent) threatening to take 300 hostages. Then Chief Rabbi of Rome Israel Zolli
Israel Zolli
Israel Zolli was from 1939 to 1945 Chief Rabbi of Rome. After the war, he converted to Roman Catholicism, taking the name Eugenio in honor of Pope Pius XII.-Early years/rabbinate:...

 recounts in his memoir that he was selected to go to the Vatican and seek help. The Vatican offered to loan 15 kilos, but the offer proved unnecessary when the Jews received an extension. Soon afterward, when deportations from Italy were imminent, 477 Jews were hidden in the Vatican itself and another 4,238 were protected in Roman monasteries and convents. Eighty percent of Roman Jews were saved from deportation. Phayer argues that the German diplomats in Rome were the "initiators of the effort to save the city's Jews", but holds that Pius XII "cooperated in this attempt at rescue", while agreeing with Zuccotti that the pope "did not give orders" for any Roman Catholic institution to hide Jews.

On 30 April 1943, Pius wrote to Bishop Graf von Preysing
Konrad von Preysing
Johann Konrad Maria Augustin Felix Graf von Preysing Lichtenegg-Moos was a German prelate of the Roman Catholic Church...

 of Berlin to say: "We give to the pastors who are working on the local level the duty of determining if and to what degree the danger of reprisals and of various forms of oppression occasioned by episcopal declarations... ad maiora mala vitanda (to avoid worse)... seem to advise caution. Here lies one of the reasons, why We impose self-restraint on Ourselves in our speeches; the experience, that we made in 1942 with papal addresses, which We authorized to be forwarded to the Believers, justifies our opinion, as far as We see.... The Holy See has done whatever was in its power, with charitable, financial and moral assistance. To say nothing of the substantial sums which we spent in American money for the fares of immigrants."

On 28 October 1943, Ernst von Weizsäcker
Ernst von Weizsäcker
Ernst Freiherr von Weizsäcker was a German diplomat and politician. He served as State Secretary at the Foreign Office from 1938 to 1943, and as German Ambassador to the Holy See from 1943 to 1945...

, the German Ambassador to the Vatican, telegrammed Berlin that "...the Pope has not yet let himself be persuaded to make an official condemnation of the deportation of the Roman Jews.... Since it is currently thought that the Germans will take no further steps against the Jews in Rome, the question of our relations with the Vatican may be considered closed."

In March 1944, through the papal nuncio in Budapest, Angelo Rotta, the pope urged the Hungarian
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 government to moderate its treatment of the Jews. The pope also ordered Rotta and other papal legates to hide and shelter Jews. These protests, along with others from the King of Sweden, the International Red Cross, the United States, and Britain led to the cessation of deportations on 8 July 1944. Also in 1944, Pius appealed to 13 Latin American governments to accept "emergency passports", although it also took the intervention of the U.S. State Department for those countries to honor the documents.

The Kaltenbrunner
Ernst Kaltenbrunner
Ernst Kaltenbrunner was an Austrian-born senior official of Nazi Germany during World War II. Between January 1943 and May 1945, he held the offices of Chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt , President of Interpol and, as a Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS, he was the...

 Report to Adolf Hitler dated 29 November 1944 on the background of the 20 July 1944 Plot to assassinate Hitler, states that the Pope was somehow a conspirator, specifically naming Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, as being a party in the attempt.

Post–World War II




After World War II Pope Pius XII focused on material aid to war-torn Europe, an internal internationalization of the Roman Catholic Church, and the development of its worldwide diplomatic relations. His encyclicals, Evangelii Praecones
Evangelii Praecones
Evangelii Praecones June 2, 1951) was an encyclical letter of Pope Pius XII about Catholic missions. In it, he described necessary improvements and changes, and the persecution of the Church in some parts of he world. The encyclical was issued in commemoration of the 25th...

and Fidei Donum, issued on 2 June 1951 and 21 April 1957, respectively, increased the local decision-making of Catholic missions, many of which became independent dioceses. Pius XII demanded recognition of local cultures as fully equal to European culture. Continuing the line of his predecessors, Pius XII supported the establishment of local administration in Church affairs: in 1950, the hierarchy of Western Africa became independent; in 1951, Southern Africa; and in 1953, British Eastern Africa. Finland, Burma and French Africa became independent dioceses in 1955.

Persecutions in Eastern Europe and China
While the Church thrived in the West and most of the developing world, it faced most serious persecutions in the East. The Communist regimes in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, Bulgaria, and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 practically eradicated the Roman Catholic Church in their countries.

Church policies toward Poland
Pope Pius and Russia
The difficult relations of the Vatican with the Soviet Union originated in the revolution in 1917
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 and continued through the pontificate of Pius XII, affecting the Orthodox Church and other non-Catholics as well. The Oriental Catholic churches were eliminated in most parts of the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era.

The Vatican and the Church in China
The relations of the Holy See with China from 1939 to 1958 began hopefully with the long withheld recognition of Chinese rites by the Vatican in 1939, the elevation of the first Chinese cardinal in 1946, and the establishment of a local Chinese hierarchy. It ended with the persecution and virtual elimination of the Catholic Church in the early 1950s, and the establishment of a Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association , abbreviated CPA, CPCA, or CCPA, is an association of people, established in 1957 by the People's Republic of China's Religious Affairs Bureau to exercise state supervision over mainland China's Catholics...

 in 1957

Jewish orphans controversy

In 2005, Corriere della Sera
Corriere della Sera
The Corriere della Sera is an Italian daily newspaper, published in Milan.It is among the oldest and most reputable Italian newspapers. Its main rivals are Rome's La Repubblica and Turin's La Stampa.- History :...

published a document dated 20 November 1946 on the subject of Jewish children baptized in war-time France. The document ordered that baptized children, if orphaned, should be kept in Catholic custody and stated that the decision "has been approved by the Holy Father". Nuncio Angelo Roncalli
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

 (who became Pope John XXIII, and was recognized by Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

 as Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous among the Nations of the world's nations"), also translated as Righteous Gentiles is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis....

) ignored this directive. Abe Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

 (ADL), who had himself been baptized as a child and had undergone a custody battle afterwards, called for an immediate freeze on Pius's beatification process until the relevant Vatican Secret Archives
Vatican Secret Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives , located in Vatican City, is the central repository for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, having primal incumbency until death, owns the archives until the next appointed Papal successor...

 and baptismal records were opened. Two Italian scholars, Matteo Luigi Napolitano and Andrea Tornielli, confirmed that the memorandum was genuine although the reporting by the Corriere della Sera was misleading, as the document had originated in the French Catholic Church archives rather than the Vatican archives and strictly concerned itself with children without living blood relatives that were supposed to be handed over to Jewish organizations.

Late years of Pope Pius XII


The last years of the pontificate of Pius XII began in late 1954 with a long illness, during which he considered abdication
Abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

. Afterwards, changes in his work habit became noticeable. The Pope avoided long ceremonies, canonizations and consistories and displayed hesitancy in personnel matters. During the last years of the pontificate, Pius XII procrastinated personnel decisions within his Vatican
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

, and found it increasingly difficult to chastise subordinates and appointees such as Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi
Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi
Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi was an Italian medical doctor who served as Pope Pius XII's personal physician from 1939 until his dismissal in 1956. During his service in the Vatican he was officially titled "Archiatra Pontificio". The pope also made him an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of...

, who, after numerous indiscretions was excluded from Papal service for the last years, but, keeping his title, was able to enter the papal apartments to make photos of the dying Pope, which he sold to French magazines.

Pius XII often elevated young priests as bishops, such as Julius Döpfner
Julius Döpfner
Julius August Döpfner was a German Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1961 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1958.-Early life and ordination:...

 (35 years) and Karol Wojtyla (38 years), one of his last appointees in 1958. He took a firm stand against pastoral experiments, such as "worker-priest
Worker-Priest
Worker-priest was a missionary initiative by the French Catholic Church in particular for priests to take up work in such places as car factories to experience the everyday life of the working class...

s", who worked full time in factories and joined political parties and unions. He continued to defend the theological tradition of Thomism
Thomism
Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, his commentaries on Aristotle are his most lasting contribution...

 as worthy of continued reform, and as superior to modern trends such as phenomenology or existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

.

Illness and death




Since his 1954 illness, Pope Pius addressed lay people and groups about an unprecedented range of topics. Frequently, he spoke to members of scientific congresses, explaining Christian teachings in light of most recent scientific results. Sometimes he answered specific moral questions, which were addressed to him. To professional associations he explained specific occupational ethics in light of Church teachings. Pius granted the Honor of Being the "Catholic University of The Philippines" to the University of Santo Tomas
University of Santo Tomas
The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines , is a private Roman Catholic university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611 by archbishop of Manila Miguel de Benavides, it has the oldest extant university charter in the...

 in Manila, the oldest existing in Asia.

Before 1955, Pius worked for many years with Giovanni Battista Montini. The Pope did not have a full time assistant. Robert Leiber helped him occasionally with his speeches and publications. Augustin Bea
Augustin Bea
Augustin Bea, SJ was a German scholar at the Gregorian University specializing in biblical studies and biblical archeology. He was confessor of Pope Pius XII. In 1959, Pope John XXIII made him cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the first President of the Secretariat for Promoting...

 was his personal confessor. Madre Pascalina Lehnert was for forty years his housekeeper and assistant. Domenico Tardini was probably closest to him.

Pius XII died on 9 October 1958 of acute heart failure brought on by a sudden myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 in Castel Gandolfo
Castel Gandolfo
Castel Gandolfo is a small Italian town or comune in Lazio that occupies a height overlooking Lake Albano about 15 miles south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills. It is best known as the summer residence of the Pope. It is an Italian town with the population of 8834...

, the Papal summer residence. His doctor Gaspanini said afterwards: "The Holy Father did not die because of any specific illness. He was completely exhausted. He was overworked beyond limit. His heart was healthy, his lungs were good. He could have lived another 20 years, had he spared himself."

Botched embalming


Pius XII's doctor, Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi
Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi
Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi was an Italian medical doctor who served as Pope Pius XII's personal physician from 1939 until his dismissal in 1956. During his service in the Vatican he was officially titled "Archiatra Pontificio". The pope also made him an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of...

, reported that the Pontiff's body was embalmed in the room where he died using a novel process invented by Dr. Oreste Nuzzi.

Pope Pius XII did not want the vital organs removed from his body, demanding instead, that it be kept in the same condition, "in which God created it". According to Galeazzi-Lisi
Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi
Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi was an Italian medical doctor who served as Pope Pius XII's personal physician from 1939 until his dismissal in 1956. During his service in the Vatican he was officially titled "Archiatra Pontificio". The pope also made him an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of...

, this was the reason why he and Professor Oreste Nuzzi, an embalmer from Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, used a novel embalming approach invented by Nuzzi.

In a controversial press conference, Galeazzi-Lisi described in great detail the embalming the body of the late Pontiff. He claimed to have used the same system of oils and resins, with which the body of Jesus Christ was preserved. Galeazzi-Lisi asserted that the new process would "preserve the body indefinitely in its natural state" However, whatever chance the new embalming process of efficaciously preserving the body was obliterated by intense heat in Castel Gandolfo during the embalming process. As a result, the body decomposed rapidly and the viewing of the faithful had to be terminated abruptly.

Galeazzi-Lisi reported that heat in the halls, where the body of the late Pope lay in state, caused chemical reactions which required it to be treated twice after the original preparation. Swiss Guards stationed around Pius XII's body were reported to become ill during their vigil.

Funeral


His funeral procession into Rome was the largest congregation of Romans as of that date. Romans mourned "their" Pope, who was born in their city, especially as hero in time of war. Angelo Cardinal Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) wrote in his diary on 11 October that probably no Roman emperor had enjoyed such a triumph, which he viewed as a reflection of the spiritual majesty and religious dignity of Pius XII.

Cause for canonization



The Testament of Pope Pius XII
Testament of Pope Pius XII
The Testament of Pope Pius XII was signed by Pope Pius XII on May 15, 1956, some fifteen months before his death. Unlike the documents of his predecessors and successors , it is a very short document, omitting names, details and designations of individual material belongings.Supporters of Pope...

 was published immediately after his death. Pope Pius XII's cause of canonization
Congregation for the Causes of Saints
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is the congregation of the Roman Curia which oversees the complex process that leads to the canonization of saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification...

 was opened on 18 November 1965 by Pope Paul VI. In May 2007, the congregation recommended that Pius XII should be declared Venerable
Venerable
The Venerable is used as a style or epithet in several Christian churches. It is also the common English-language translation of a number of Buddhist titles.-Roman Catholic:...

. Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 did so on 19 December 2009, simultaneously making the same declaration in regard to Pope John Paul II.

Contemporary


During the war, the pope was widely praised. For example, Time magazine credited Pius XII and the Catholic Church for "fighting totalitarianism
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 more knowingly, devoutly, and authoritatively, and for a longer time, than any other organized power". During the war he was also praised editorially by the New York Times for opposing Nazi anti-Semitism and aggression. Some early works echoed these favorable sentiments, including Polish historian Oskar Halecki
Oskar Halecki
Oskar Halecki was a Polish historian, social and Catholic activist.As a historian, Halecki was an expert on medieval history of Poland and Lithuania, and history of Byzantine Empire....

's Pius XII: Eugenio Pacelli: Pope of peace (1954) and Nazareno Padellaro's Portrait of Pius XII (1949).

Many Jews publicly thanked the Pope for his help. For example, Pinchas Lapide
Pinchas Lapide
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...

, a Jewish theologian and Israeli diplomat to Milan in the 1960s, estimated controversially in Three Popes and the Jews
Three Popes and the Jews
Three Popes and the Jews is a 1967 book by Pinchas Lapide, then Israeli Consul to Milan. The "three popes" are Pope Pius XII , Pope John XXIII , and Pope Paul VI .- Reviews :Rabbi David G...

that Pius "was instrumental in saving at least 700,000 but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands." Some historians have questioned this oft-cited number, which Lapide reached by "deducting all reasonable claims of rescue" by non-Catholics from the total number of European Jews surviving the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

. Catholic scholar Kevin Madigan interprets this and other praise from prominent Jewish leaders, including Golda Meir
Golda Meir
Golda Meir ; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel....

, as less than sincere, an attempt to secure Vatican recognition of the State of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.

When Pius XII died in October, 1958 many Jewish organizations and newspapers around the world paid tribute to his legacy. At the United Nations, Golda Meir, Israel's Foreign Minister, said, "When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict." The Jewish Chronicle in London stated on 10 October "Adherents of all creeds and parties will recall how Pius XII faced the responsibilities of his exalted office with courage and devotion. Before, during, and after the Second World War, he constantly preached the message of peace. Confronted by the monstrous cruelties of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, he repeatedly proclaimed the virtues of humanity and compassion". In the Canadian Jewish Chronicle (17 October), Rabbi J. Stern stated that Pius XII "made it possible for thousands of Jewish victims of Nazism and Fascism to be hidden away..." In the 6 November edition of the Jewish Post in Winnipeg, William Zukerman, the former American Hebrew columnist, wrote that no other leader "did more to help the Jews in their hour of greatest tragedy, during the Nazi occupation of Europe, than the late Pope". Other prominent Jewish figures, such as Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett and Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog expressed their public gratitude to Pius XII.

Pius was also criticized during his lifetime. For example, Leon Poliakov
Leon Poliakov
Léon Poliakov was a French historian who wrote extensively on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.Born into a Russian Jewish family, Poliakov lived in Italy and Germany until he settled in France....

 wrote five years after World War II that Pius had been a tacit supporter of Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

's anti-Semitic laws, calling him "less forthright" than Pope Pius XI either out of "Germanophilia" or the hope that Hitler would defeat communist Russia. Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, a long-time critic of Pius XII's policies during the war and an opponent of clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage to be sinful, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these...

 and the use of Latin as language of the liturgy
Sacred language
A sacred language, "holy language" , or liturgical language, is a language that is cultivated for religious reasons by people who speak another language in their daily life.-Concept:...

, was excommunicated
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

 by Pius XII on 2 July 1945.

On 21 September 1945, the general secretary of the World Jewish Council, Dr. Leon Kubowitzky, presented an amount of money to the pope, "in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecutions."

After the war, in the autumn of 1945, Harry Greenstein from Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, a close friend of Chief Rabbi Herzog of Jerusalem, told Pius how grateful Jews were for all he had done for them. "My only regret", the pope replied, "is not to have been able to save a greater number of Jews."

The Deputy



In 1963, Rolf Hochhuth
Rolf Hochhuth
Rolf Hochhuth is a German author and playwright. He is best known for his 1963 drama The Deputy and remains a controversial figure for his plays and other public comments, such as his insinuation of Pope Pius XII's sympathies for Hitler's extermination of the Jews in the 1963 play The Deputy and...

's controversial drama Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel
The Deputy
The Deputy, a Christian tragedy , also known as The Representative, is a controversial 1963 play by Rolf Hochhuth which indicts Pope Pius XII for his failure to take action or speak out against The Holocaust. It has been translated into more than twenty languages...

(The Deputy, a Christian tragedy, released in English in 1964) portrayed Pope Pius XII as a hypocrite who remained silent about the Holocaust. Books such as Dr. Joseph Lichten's A Question of Judgment (1963), written in response to The Deputy, defended Pius XII's actions during the war. Lichten labelled any criticism of the pope's actions during World War II as "a stupefying paradox" and said, "no one who reads the record of Pius XII's actions on behalf of Jews can subscribe to Hochhuth's accusation." Critical scholarly works like Guenter Lewy
Guenter Lewy
Guenter Lewy is an author and political scientist who is a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts. His works span several topics, but he is most often associated with his 1978 book on the Vietnam War, America in Vietnam, and several controversial works that deal with the...

's controversial The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (1964) also followed the publication of The Deputy. Lewy's conclusion was that "the Pope and his advisers – influenced by the long tradition of moderate anti-Semitism so widely accepted in Vatican circles – did not view the plight of the Jews with a real sense of urgency and moral outrage. For this assertion no documentation is possible, but it is a conclusion difficult to avoid". In 2002 the play was adapted into the film Amen.

An article on La Civilità Cattolica in March 2009 indicated that the accusations that Hochhuth's play made widely known originated not among Jews but in the Communist bloc. It was Moscow Radio, on 2 June 1945, that first direct against Pius XII the accusation of refusing to speak out against the exterminations in Nazi concentration camps. It was also the first to call him "Hitler's Pope".

A former high-ranking KGB officer, Securitate
Securitate
The Securitate was the secret police agency of Communist Romania. Previously, the Romanian secret police was called Siguranţa Statului. Founded on August 30, 1948, with help from the Soviet NKVD, the Securitate was abolished in December 1989, shortly after President Nicolae Ceaușescu was...

 General Ion Mihai Pacepa
Ion Mihai Pacepa
Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the former Eastern Bloc. He is now a United States citizen, a writer, and a columnist....

 stated in 2007 that Hochhuth's play and numerous publications attacking Pius XII as a Nazi sympathizer were fabrications that were part of a KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 and Eastern bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 secret services disinformation
Disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

 campaign, named Seat 12
Seat 12
Seat 12 also known as Operation Seat 12 was an alleged disinformation campaign of communist propaganda during the Cold War to discredit the moral authority of the Vatican because of its outspoken anti-communism...

, to discredit the moral authority of the Church and Christianity in the west. Pacepa also indicated that he was involved in contacting east bloc agents close the Vatican in order to fabricate the story to be used for the attack against the wartime pope.

Actes



In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding The Deputy, in 1964 Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 authorized Jesuit scholars to access the Vatican State Department Archives, which are normally not opened for seventy-five years. Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale
Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale
Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale , often abbreviated Actes or ADSS, is an eleven-volume collection of documents from the Vatican historical archives, related to the papacy of Pope Pius XII during World War II.The collection was compiled by four...

, was published in 11 volumes between 1965 and 1981.The volumes were published by Angelo Martini, Burkhart Schneider, Robert A. Graham
Robert A. Graham
Father Robert Andrew Graham, SJ was an American Jesuit priest and World War II historian of the Catholic Church...

 and Pierre Blet, the latter published a summary of the 11 volumes. All four, most frequently Robert A. Graham
Robert A. Graham
Father Robert Andrew Graham, SJ was an American Jesuit priest and World War II historian of the Catholic Church...

 published articles and books on the subject matter.

Hitler's Pope and The Myth of Hitler's Pope



In 1999, John Cornwell's
John Cornwell (writer)
John Cornwell is an English journalist and author, and a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. He is best known for various books on the papacy, most notably Hitler's Pope; investigative journalism; memoir; and the public understanding of science and philosophy. More recently he has been concerned...

 Hitler's Pope
Hitler's Pope
Hitler's Pope is a book published in 1999 by the British journalist and author John Cornwell that examines the actions of Pope Pius XII 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...

criticized Pius for not doing enough, or speaking out enough, against the Holocaust. Cornwell argued that Pius' 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 argued that Pius was anti-Semitic
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 and that this stance prevented him from caring about the European Jews.

Cornwell's work was the first to have access to testimonies from Pius' beatification
Beatification
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name . Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process...

 process as well as to many documents from Pacelli's nunciature which had just been opened under the 75-year rule by the Vatican State Secretary archives. Cornwell's work has received much praise and criticism. Much praise of Cornwell centered around his disputed claim that he was a practising Catholic who had attempted to absolve Pius with his work. While works such as Susan Zuccotti's Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy
Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy
Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy is a book by Susan Zuccotti.It describes the actions of the Vatican and Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust, claiming the Church stayed neutral even with the full knowledge of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis...

(2000) and Michael Phayer
Michael Phayer
Michael Phayer, born 1935, is a historian and professor emeritus at Marquette University in Milwaukee and has written on 19th and 20th century European history and the Holocaust....

's The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965 (2000) are critical of both Cornwell and Pius XII, Ronald J. Rychlak
Ronald J. Rychlak
Ronald J. Rychlak is an American lawyer, jurist, author and political commentator. He is the Associate Dean For Academic Affairs and the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law, and is known for his published works, career as an...

's Hitler, the War and the Pope is critical as well but defends Pius XII in light of his access to most recent documents.
Cornwell's scholarship has been criticized. For example, Kenneth L. Woodward stated in his review in Newsweek that "errors of fact and ignorance of context appear on almost every page." Five years after the publication of Hitler's Pope, Cornwell stated: "I would now argue, in the light of the debates and evidence following Hitler's Pope, that Pius XII had so little scope of action that it is impossible to judge the motives for his silence during the war, while Rome was under the heel of Mussolini and later occupied by Germany".

In his 2003 book A Moral Reckoning
A Moral Reckoning
A Moral Reckoning, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, who also authored Hitler's Willing Executioners, is a 2003 American non-fiction book examining the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the Holocaust...

, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen asserts that Pius "chose again and again not to mention the Jews publicly.... [In] public statements by Pius XII . . . any mention of the Jews is conspicuously absent." In a review of Goldhagen's book, Mark Riebling
Mark Riebling
Mark Riebling is a U.S. historian, essayist, and policy analyst. He has written on national security, the history of ideas, and Vatican foreign policy during Cold War and Second World War, and is the author of Wedge: The Secret War between the FBI and CIA....

 counters that Pius used the word "Jew" in his first encyclical, Summi Pontificatus, published on October 20, 1939. "There Pius insisted that all human beings be treated charitably – for, as Paul had written to the Colossians, in God's eyes "there is neither Gentile nor Jew." In saying this, the Pope affirmed that Jews were full members of the human community – which is Goldhagen's own criterion for establishing 'dissent from the anti-Semitic creed.'"

Most recently, Rabbi David Dalin's
David G. Dalin
David G. Dalin is an American Conservative rabbi and historian, is the author, co-author, or editor of ten books on American Jewish history and politics, and Jewish-Christian relations. He is currently a professor of history and politics at Ave Maria University, in Florida...

 The Myth of Hitler's Pope
The Myth of Hitler's Pope
The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis is a book written by American historian and Rabbi David G. Dalin and published in 2005 by Regnery Publishing.- Background :...

argues that critics of Pius are liberal Catholics and ex-Catholics who "exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda of forcing changes on the Catholic Church today" and that Pius XII was actually responsible for saving the lives of many thousands of Jews.

International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission



In 1999, in an attempt to address some of this controversy, the International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission (Historical Commission), a group of three Catholic and three Jewish scholars was appointed, respectively, by the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews (Holy See's Commission) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), to whom a preliminary report was issued in October 2000.

The Commission did not discover any documents, but had the agreed-upon task to review the existing Vatican volumes, that make up the Actes et Documents du Saint Siege (ADSS) The Commission was internally divided over the question of access to additional documents from the Holy See, access to the news media by individual commission members, and, questions to be raised in the preliminary report. It was agreed to include all 47 individual questions by the six members, and use them as Preliminary Report. In addition to the 47 questions, the commission issued no findings of its own. It stated that it was not their task to sit in judgment of the Pope and his advisors but to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the papacy during the Holocaust.

The 47 questions by the six scholars were grouped into three parts: (a) 27 specific questions on existing documents, mostly asking for background and additional information such as drafts of the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge
Mit Brennender Sorge
Mit brennender Sorge is a Catholic Church encyclical of Pope Pius XI, published on 10 March 1937 . Written in German, not the usual Latin, it was read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches on one of the Church's busiest Sundays,...

, which was largely written by Eugenio Pacelli. (b) Fourteen questions dealt with themes of individual volumes, such as the question how Pius viewed the role of the Church during the war. (c) Six general questions, such as the absence of any anti-communist sentiments in the documents. The disagreement between members over additional documents locked up up under the Holy See's 70 year rule resulted in a discontinuation of the Commission in 2001 on friendly terms. Unsatisfied with the findings, Dr. Michael Marrus, one of the three Jewish members of the Commission, said the commission "ran up against a brick wall.... It would have been really helpful to have had support from the Holy See on this issue."

Recent developments


Phayer's Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War
Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War
Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War is a 2008 book by historian Michael Phayer which makes use of many new documents that have recently come to light due to Bill Clinton's 1997 executive order declassifying wartime and postwar documents....

(2008) makes use of many documents that have recently come to light due to Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

's 1997 executive order declassifying wartime and postwar documents, many of which are currently at the US National Archives and Holocaust Memorial Museum. These documents include diplomatic correspondence, American espionage, and even decryptions of German communications. Relevant documents have also been released by the Argentine government and the British Foreign Office and other information sources have become available, including the diary of Bishop Joseph Patrick Hurley
Joseph Patrick Hurley
Joseph Patrick Hurley was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of St. Augustine from 1940 until his death in 1967. He also held diplomatic posts in Europe and Asia....

. These documents reveal new information about Pius XII's actions regarding the Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

 regime, the genocides in Poland, the finances of the wartime church, the deportation of the Roman Jews, and the postwar "ratlines"
Ratlines (history)
Ratlines were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. Other destinations included the United States and perhaps...

 for Nazis and fascists fleeing Europe. According to Phayer, "the face of Pope Pius that we see in these documents is not the same face we see in the eleven volumes the Vatican published of World War II documents, a collection which, though valuable, is nonetheless critically flawed because of its many omissions".

A special conference of scholars on Pius XII on the 50th anniversary of his death was held in Rome on 15–17 September 2008, by Pave the Way Foundation
Pave the Way Foundation
Pave the Way Foundation is a non-sectarian organization whose mission is to identify and eliminate non-theological obstacles between religions, headed by Gary Krupp. It has done considerable research on the papacy of Pius XII and has sought to deconstruct negative stereotypes such as "Hitler's Pope"...

, a nonsectarian organization founded by Gary Krupp, a Jewish American that promotes interfaith cooperation. Pope Benedict XVI held on 19 September 2008 a reception for the conference participants, where he praised Pius XII as a pope who made every effort to save Jews during the war. A second conference was held on 6–8 November 2008 by the Pontifical Academy of Life.

On 9 October 2008, the 50th anniversary of Pius XII's death, Benedict XVI celebrated pontifical mass in his memory. Shortly prior to, and after the mass, dialectics continued between the Jewish hierarchy and the Vatican as Rabbi Shear Yeshuv Cohen of Haifa addressed the Synod of Bishops and expressed his disappointment towards Pius XII's "silence" during the war.

On 16 June 2009, the Pave the Way Foundation
Pave the Way Foundation
Pave the Way Foundation is a non-sectarian organization whose mission is to identify and eliminate non-theological obstacles between religions, headed by Gary Krupp. It has done considerable research on the papacy of Pius XII and has sought to deconstruct negative stereotypes such as "Hitler's Pope"...

 announced that it would release of 2,300 pages of documents in Avellino, Italy, dating from 1940 to 1945, which the organization claims show that Pius XII "worked diligently to save Jews from Nazi tyranny"; the organization's founder, Gary Krupp, a Jew, accused historians of harboring "private agendas" and having "let down" the public. The foundation's research led to the publication of the book Pope Pius XII and World War II: the documented truth, authored by Krupp; the book reproduces 225 pages of the new documents produced by the foundation's research. On 17 September 2009, Pave the Way Foundation nominated Pius XII to be listed as Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous among the Nations of the world's nations"), also translated as Righteous Gentiles is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis....

 at the Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

 Holocaust Memorial. The foundation's efforts produced some 3,000 original documents and photos on the life of Pius XII and his work to save Jews during World War II.

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