Un peu d’Histoire.
Nous reproduisons ci-après (et en VO) un article paru dans un magazine anglo-saxon où il est question de la controverse artificiellement entretenue sur l’attitude du pape Pie XII lors de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, sous le titre : Des chercheurs font table rase des atteintes à la réputation du pape Pie XII / Scholars demolish attack on Pius XII’s reputation.
« – U.S. scholars have been examining why, and by whom, the reputation of Pope Pius XII has been blackened. And most of the responsibility lies, it now seems, with liberal Catholics. In 2000 Professor Ronald Rychlak of Mississippi University exposed how John Cornwell’s book, ‘Hitler’s Pope’, seriously distorted the truth on point after point. He concluded : « Cornwell decided that the easiest way to attack the Pope of today was to denigrate Pius XII. »
Pobert P. George, a law professor at Princeton University agrees. He wrote : « Anti-Catholic bigots and anti-papal Catholics have a large stake in preserving the myth that Pius XII was ‘Hitler’s Pope’. » Books attacking Pius have been written by James Carroll (ex-priest), John Cornwell and Gary Wills (ex-student priests), Daniel Goldhagen, Michael Phayer and Susan Zucotti, all Catholics bar Goldhagen.
Last year an American rabbi, David Dalin, in ‘The Myth of Hitler’s Pope’, claimed that the media were using the defamation of Pius in an attempt to discredit Catholicism, as part of today’s culture wars. « Few of the many recent books about Pius XII and the Holocaust are actually about Pius XII and the Holocaust », wrote the rabbi. He added : « The Holocaust is simply the biggest club available for liberal Catholics to use against traditional Catholics in their attempt to bash the papacy and to smash traditional Catholic teaching ».
Two new scholarly books have now completely demolished claims that Pius XII was in any way a friend of the Nazis. According to one reviewer, « they meticulously re-examine the charges » against Pius and, « taken together, absolutely decimate the attacks on his reputation ». They also show why Pius was greatly admired, and why novelist Graham Greene, for example, believed that as a pope « he will rank among the greatest ».
At his death in 1958 Jews everywhere paid immense tribute to him, particularly for his role in saving more than 500.000 Jews from the Nazis. Rabbi Dalin noted that neither Cornwell nor Zuccotti mentions that 3.000 Jews were sheltered at the Pope’s summer residence. « Yet at no other site in Nazi-occupied Europe were as many Jews saved and sheltered for as long as at Castel Gandolfo », he said. Jewish children were even born in the Pope’s apartments.
In 1944 Rome’s Jews came to thank the Pope for the protection he had given them. Pius replied : « For centuries, Jews have been unjustly treated and despised. It is time they were treated with justice and humanity. God wills it and the Church wills it ».
Professor Ronald Rychlak is author of ‘Righteous Gentiles : How Pius XII and the Catholic Church Saved Half a Million Jews From the Nazis’. He agrees with Dalin that Pius should be honoured as a ‘Righteous Gentile’ [en fr. ‘Juste parmi les Nations’]. ‘Pius XII, the Holocaust and the Revisionists’, is a collection of essays edited by Patrick Gallo. – »
Extrait de ‘Alive !’, n° 110, février 2006.