Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What do we think of Paul O'Shea's "A Cross Too Heavy: Eugenio Pacelli, Politics and the Jews of Europe 1917-1943"?

Well, "we" (meaning me) don't think anything yet of the book, because we haven't read it. All we have done is listen to the author on numerous radio programs, such as The Ark, The Religion Report and Sunday Nights. You can see what Brian Coyne thinks here, for one, and here is another take from the History News Network but I would be interested in hearing from anyone else on the matter.

It seems to me that he isn't quite what the beatification cause is looking for in the way of "defence" of the late Pontiff, yet he certainly heads in that direction. I guess I would like to read it with the results of the Pave the Way Conference recently held in Rome by my side.

But here is the question that a priest put to me this afternoon: "Which is more saintly: to have spoken out with the only result being the deaths of many more people, or to be silent in the face of pressure to speak and to do what one possibly could to save those one possible could?"

Who can say? As Rabbi Cohen said: "God is judge".


At Thursday, October 16, 2008 6:13:00 am , Blogger Ttony said...

'As Rabbi Cohen said: "God is judge".'

True, but canonisation, if/when it happens, will tell everybody what God's judgement was.

At Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:57:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

If God grants a miracle or two through the intercession of Pius XII, and if this is recognised through his Church, is he then not telling us what his judgement is?

At Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:37:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

You mean his judgment about Pope Pius’s response to the Holocaust? No, it isn't.

At Friday, October 17, 2008 9:10:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

That's right, Pere. Such a judgement will show that Pius is a Saint and judged by God as holy. But even holy people can and do make mistakes.

Although I'm inclined to think Pius XII did all he could.

At Saturday, October 18, 2008 10:48:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...

You may be interested in a video of the launch of the book at

In you'll also see a very stressed out Stephen Crittenden, no doubt enjoying the fruits of his act of 'self interest'. ;-)

At Sunday, October 19, 2008 10:05:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Louise has a good point. Saints are holy people, not perfect people. There is a difference.

All that said, I still think it might have been more saintly of Pius XII (and not just a "grave mistake" or "error of judgement" or other such thing) to avoid taking actions that, while they would have made him look good, would have resulted in the deaths of many more people.

The upshot of which is that a declaration of sainthood in the case of Pius XII would neither be an approval or disapproval of his alleged "silence" from a political point of view.

At Monday, October 20, 2008 2:45:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

In you'll also see a very stressed out Stephen Crittenden, no doubt enjoying the fruits of his act of 'self interest'.

Because we all know that an act of self-interest could never backfire and lead to stress! ;-)

I tried to go to that url, Tony, but an error cam up.


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