by Michael Smith
Pope Benedict XVI has defended the actions of his predecessor Pius XII during World War II, saying the pontiff spared no effort to try to save Jews.
However, Pope Pius XII has long been accused by Jewish groups and scholars of turning a blind eye to the fate of the Jews. While that may be true there seems to be definitely more than just a neutral position when it comes to the Romani victims of the Holocaust who, like the Jews, were singled out for destruction because of their Race.
The Romani, or Gypsy, People were already being earmarked for genocide – in Germany – as far back as the time just after WWI. Where was the Church, Catholic and Lutheran then and during WWII? Silent if not complicit.
Pope Benedict said that Pius had intervened directly and indirectly but often had to be "secret and silent" given the circumstances.
Pope Benedict said he wanted prejudice against Pius to be overcome. Well, this is rather great from a German Pope with a questionable record during the Nazi time.
Pope Pius was rather very active, and so was the entire Vatican, and this is a fact, in helping German industrialists and worse still SS, Gestapo, and others of the hierarchy, escape with false or Church passports to South America and such locations.
Pope Benedict even seem to go as far as suggesting beatification – and may the gods help us all – of Pope Pius, claiming that Pius showed "courageous and paternal dedication" in trying to save Jews.
Pope Benedict said: "Wherever possible he spared no effort in intervening in their favour either directly or through instructions given to other individuals or to institutions of the Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict said the interventions were "made secretly and silently, precisely because, given the concrete situation of that difficult historical moment, only in this way was it possible to avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews".
Pius was the pontiff from 1939 to 1958 and the Vatican has begun his beatification process.
This stinks of an attempt, a very blatant one, of rewriting history by the Vatican – something they appear to be very good at. The only member of the Catholic Church who ever really stood up for the Jews in the concentration camps – note please that no one ever stood up for the Gypsy – was Father Matthias Kolbe. The rest were rather conspicuous with their silence and their “non-interference”.
Many Jewish groups criticised him for not speaking out against the Nazis, who killed six million Jews.
Pius should be even more criticised for being part of allowing the perpetrators of the heinous crimes against Jews and Gypsies to escape justice by issuing them passports to escape, often in disguise as Catholic clergy, to South America where, as we all know, they not just simply hid. Nay, they continued the work for the Nazi organizations, whatever name they chose to operate under.
When it came to the Gypsy no one of the Churches and no one of the populous, whether in Germany or Poland or elsewhere, helped the Gypsy. In some parts of the occupied territories there were groups of Gypsy partisans or Gypsy groups in the partisans and they seemed to have been the only ones that had some cover. In Poland the good Catholic farmers and burghers pointed out Gypsies to the Nazis, whether those Gypsies were settled and integrated or not, instead of helping them.
To make Pius a saint, or even to beatify him, would be the greatest injustice the Church could do to itself and its standing and the world. But, then again, I doubt they care as long as they can create another saint.
The Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church – I cannot say about the Orthodox, whether Greek or Russian, in this matter – have a lot to answer for to the gods as far as their inaction is concerned with regards to the persecution of the Romani, the Gypsy, in the Nazi era, as well as before and after. All we have seen from the church was in action of it was not actual cooperation and the cooperation still goes on to this very day in certain instances, such as the deportation of the Roma refugees from Macedonia in Germany back to Skopie and other parts of Macedonia some years back.
It remains only one way for the Rom and it is time the Gypsy People understood that and that is “Ourselves Alone”.
© M Smith (Veshengro), September 2008