September 4, 2016

POPE VS. HITLER Utterly Refutes Spurious Claim that Pius XII was 'Hitler’s Pope'

Venerable Pope Pius XII

Pope vs. Hitler is a two-hour television docudrama presenting one of the least known stories of World War II. Premiering Sunday night, September 4th, at 9 PM EST on the National Geographic Channel, it explores the role the Vatican played in the conspiracy to assassinate German Führer, Adolf Hitler. Contrary to the assertions of recent anti-Catholic scholars that Pope Pius XII and Hitler were involved in a clandestine alliance, the program definitively shows how Pius XII plotted from the outbreak of war to halt Nazi aggression and eliminate Hitler. Pius found moral justification in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, that allowed the assassination of tyrants in extreme (and extremely rare) circumstances.

Hitler was a megalomaniac who demanded godlike fidelity. The existence of the Church, whose pontiff, he knew, was actively undermining him, proved especially galling. By 1942, Hitler resolved to invade Vatican City and kill the pope.

In September 1939, when the Nazis invaded Poland, Hitler and Pope Pius XII (formerly Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli) had been at odds for nearly a decade. Hitler’s systematic crackdown on the Church inside Germany – including the persecution of priests, destruction of churches and closure of Catholic schools – had incensed the Holy See, and prompted Cardinal Pacelli to establish a network of secret couriers within Germany to relay intelligence about Nazi atrocities to the Vatican.

Pope vs. Hitler portrays Pius XII as attuned to, and deeply affected by, the human suffering of his day. Any claim purporting otherwise is a gross fabrication of the historical record. Upon Pius' death, The Jewish Chronicle declared, "Adherents of all creeds and parties will recall how Pius XII faced the responsibilities of his exalted office with courage and devotion. Before, during, and after the Second World War, he constantly preached the message of peace. Confronted by the monstrous cruelties of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, he repeatedly proclaimed the virtues of humanity and compassion." This program, a rare secular presentation of Pope Pius XII's efforts, underscores such sentiments.

To view an excerpt from the program go here. Watch the trailer on Vimeo.

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