Catholic-bashers and Pius' Defenders
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Leave it to the New York Times. On the eve of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, this Catholic-baiting newspaper opened its op-ed page to a venomous anti-Catholic rant by Arthur Hertzberg, "a visiting professor of the humanities" at New York University.
Hertzberg slandered no fewer than three popes. Not only did the church of Pius XII remain "silent while Europe's Jews were murdered," he alleges, the church of John Paul II taught Catholics that the "sin of letting the Holocaust happen at its doorstep need not haunt the church ..."
As for Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he is guilty of a mortal sin of omission:
What Cardinal Ratzinger did not do ... was to question the orthodox Catholic position that though individual Catholics can err morally, the church and pope cannot. Until the Vatican reconsiders that outlook, one of the Holocaust's greatest wounds will continue to fester – namely, that the major European institution that stood for morality looked away from genocide.
Reading this, I exploded – in laughter, trying to imagine Professor Hertzberg instructing Cardinal Ratzinger that he must renounce the dogma of papal infallibility. Yet, this is no jesting matter.
For Hertzberg and the Times are perpetuating a blood libel that is Hitlerite in dimension. Just as Hitler blamed Bolshevism on the Jewish people by constantly denouncing "Judeo-Bolshevism," because some Jews had collaborated in the monstrous crimes of Lenin and Stalin, so Hertzberg damns the church because some Catholics participated in the crimes of Hitler.
Beyond a vile slander, this is a moral outrage. For Hertzberg seeks to lay the crimes of a Nazi regime at the door of a church and pope who spoke out with greater moral clarity and did more to save the Jews of Europe than any other institution.
In a brilliant new anthology, "The Pius War," every lie about the church and libel against Pius XII is addressed. Ronald J. Rychlak, Rabbi David Dallin and others scatter the jackal pack with the sword of truth. Here is but a fraction of what they discovered:
* Of the 44 speeches Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pius XII, gave as papal nuncio in Germany from 1917 to 1929, 40 condemned some aspect of Nazi ideology.
Pius XII's sterling record stands for all time. All that has changed is the moral character and commitment to truth of the New York Times. Consider:
* In 1943, Chaim Weizmann, later the first president of Israel, wrote, "The Holy See is lending its powerful help wherever it can, to mitigate the fate of my persecuted co-religionists."
Is it likely Jewish leaders of the war generation would dissemble about a matter like Hitler's pogrom? No. They spoke the truth – and Hertzberg's falsehoods are exceeded in baseness only by his ingratitude.
Pope Benedict XVI should proceed with the canonization of Pius XII, and terminate "dialogues" with men who look on dialogue only as a methodology of moral shakedown.
Patrick J. Buchanan - Chairman | Angela "Bay" Buchanan - President
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