PIUS XII AND THE JEWS: The War Years, as reported by the New York Times

by Stephen M. DiGiovanni, H.E.D.

War on the Church


“This Christmas,” the Times wrote, “more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent. “No Christmas sermon reaches a larger congregation than the message  Pope Pius XII addresses to a war-torn world at this season.” The Times understood what the pope said, whom and what he condemned, even if the proper names were not pronounced.  The Times wrote,

 “But just because the Pope speaks to and in some sense for all the peoples at war, the clear stand he takes on the fundamental issues of the conflict has greater weight and authority.  When a leader bound impartially to nations on both sides condemns as heresy the new form of national state which subordinates everything to itself; when he declares that whoever wants peace must protect against ‘arbitrary attacks’ the ‘juridical safety of individuals’; when he assails violent occupation of territory, the exile and persecution of human beings for no reason other than race or political opinion; when he says that people must fight for a just and decent peace, a ‘total peace’--the ‘impartial’ judgement is like a verdict in a high court of justice.”  The editor ends, echoing the pope’s words that these new states “must refuse that the state should make of individuals a herd of whom the state disposes as if they were lifeless things.” (N.Y. Times, December 25, 1942, p. 16, 2)