Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rabbi Opposes Pius XII's Beautification

Richard Owen of the Times reports from Rome:

The first Jewish rabbi to attend a Synod of Roman Catholic bishops in Rome has used the occasion to to oppose plans to put Pope Pius XII, the controversial wartime pontiff, on the road to sainthood by beatifying him.

Contradicting recent statements by Pope Benedict XVI, Shear-Yashuv Cohen, the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, said Pius XII's "silence on the Holocaust" could not be forgotten or forgiven. He added: "He should not be seen as a model and he should not be beatified, because he did not raise his voice against the Holocaust. He did not speak, either because he was afraid or for other personal reasons".

He added: "He may have helped in secrecy many of the victims and many of the refugees, but the question is - could he have raised his voice, and would it have helped or not? We, as the victims, feel the answer is yes, and I am not empowered by the families of the millions of those who died to say we forget, we forgive."

However Rabbi Cohen made his remarks to journalists at the Vatican in the margins of the three week Synod, and did not refer to Pius XII in his formal address. Instead he spoke on the meaning of the Torah for Jews, and said his presence was a "signal of hope for generations to come " after a history of "blood and tears" between Christians and Jews.

The beatification cause for Pius XII was opened in 1967, but has been opposed by critics of the Pope's behaviour towards Nazi Germany not only as pontiff but previously as Secretary of State and as papal nuncio (ambassador) to Berlin. Last month (September) Pope Benedict, who is to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Pius XII's death on Thursday, insisted that Pius had "spared no effort" to save Jews from Nazi and Fascist extermination. Complete Story

Personally, what I've heard of Pius XII's involvement in WWII has left me conflicted. We don't really know what went on behind the scenes, but my hope is that the Church acted in a manner consistent with being the Church of Christ.

No matter what happened then, sainthood is always a thing of heaven, not earth. Yes, the nominations can be seen as a thing of man, but the miracles are definitely determined by God. If God wants someone recognized as a saint, the miracles will occur. If not, they won't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This coming from a man who has a very low opinion of Jesus Christ, who is Almighty God the Son.