That and this from RC2 at Wheat&Weeds should, but won't, put an end to Catholic bashing during WWII:
This is fascinating. At the start of WWII, the Vatican transferred much of its assets out of Nazi-held countries into the U.S. a new study reveals.The documents show that at the beginning of World War II, the Vatican lost no time in transferring its bonds and gold reserves from areas that were faced with the threat of Nazi occupation to the United States. The U.S. became the financial base from where the universal Church was sustained and administered, with another ten million dollars being invested in the American economy.But that's not all:
As Nogara’s Washington contacts confirm, as of 1939, the Vatican invested enormous sums of money in US Treasury Bills, in important manufacturing and technological companies, in companies such as Rolls Royce, the United Steel Corporation, Dow Chemical, Westinghouse Electric, Union Carbide and General Electric. Patricia McGoldrick even speaks of a flow of money from the Vatican, being used to fund the U.S. war industry which helped in defeating the Nazis.That Pius XII was personally responsible for the rescue of more than 860,000 Jews is now a matter of record -- and now it turns out the Vatican was helping the war effort directly.
Were you aware?
Or was this what you had heard?
Hitler's Pope is a book published in 1999 by the British journalist and author John Cornwell that examines the actions of Eugenio Pacelli/Pope Pius XII before and during the Nazi era, and explores the charge that he assisted in the legitimization of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany, through the pursuit of a Reichskonkordat in 1933. The book is critical of Pius' conduct during the Second World War, criticizing him for not doing enough, or speaking out enough, against the Holocaust. Cornwell argued that Pius's entire career as the nuncio to Germany, Cardinal Secretary of State, and pope was characterized by a desire to increase and centralize the power of the Papacy, and that he subordinated opposition to the Nazis to that goal. He further argued that Pius was antisemitic and that this stance prevented him from caring about the European Jews.
The author has been praised for attempting to bring into the open the debate on the Catholic Church's relationship with the Nazis, but also accused of making unsubstantiated claims and ignoring positive evidence. Some commentators have challenged the book's leading ideas. In 2004, the author stated 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. ... But even if his prevarications and silences were performed with the best of intentions, he had an obligation in the postwar period to explain those actions" He similarly stated in 2008 that Pius XII's "scope for action was severely limited", but that "[n]evertheless, due to his ineffectual and diplomatic language in respect of the Nazis and the Jews, I still believe that it was incumbent on him to explain his failure to speak out after the war. This he never did." In 2009 he described Pacelli as effectively a "fellow traveler" of the Nazis.
That same Wikipedia piece goes on:
A major response to Hitler's Pope came from University of Mississippi law professor Ronald J. Rychlak in his 2000 book on the subject, Hitler, the War, and the Pope. Rychlak was acknowledged by the Vatican to have been given special access to their closed archives for his research.
Rychlak disagreed with Cornwell's claim of having found a "time bomb letter", arguing that the letter in question had actually been written not by Pacelli but by his assistant, and moreover had been fully published and discussed in a 1992 book by Emma Fattorini (a highly respected docent at the University of Rome). With respect to Cornwell's allegations of antisemitism, Rychlak stated that "When Pius XII died in 1958, there were tributes from virtually every Jewish group around the world".
Rychlak also alleged that Cornwell manipulated the photograph on the front cover of the American edition of the book, and incorrectly dated the photo as having been taken in March 1939, the month that Pacelli was made Pope. Rychlak charged that this had been deliberately in order to give the impression that Pius had just visited Hitler when, in fact, the photo had been taken in 1927 as Pius was leaving a reception held for German President Paul von Hindenburg. Robert Royal has also repeated this allegation.
In his 2005 book The Myth of Hitler's Pope, the historian and rabbi David G. Dalin countered Cornwell. Dalin suggested that Yad Vashem should honor Pope Pius XII as a "Righteous Gentile," concluding that "[t]he anti-papal polemics of ex-seminarians like Garry Wills and John Cornwell...of ex-priests like James Carroll, and or other lapsed or angry liberal Catholics exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda of forcing changes on the Catholic Church today." Dalin called the book's conclusions "unverified" and "strongly anti-religious". Eugene Fisher, who has a PhD in Hebrew culture and education, said it was a "sad commentary on the secular media that this anti-Catholic screed was ever published".
In his book The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice, Philip Jenkins said that Hitler's Pope could not be understood except as a series of "very low blows against the modern Catholic Church, and specifically the papacy of John Paul II."
More times than not, criticism of the Church has to be taken with a grain of salt.
To repeat then the wise question asked by RC2:
"So can we stop with the crap about Hitler's Pope already?"