The Pope Pius XII Controversy


One of the most remarkable of phenomena in recent years has been the revival of the controversy over the role of Pope Pius XII during the Second World War, and specifically, over that pontiff's stance with regard to Hitler's effort to exterminate the Jews. First played out nearly forty years ago, beginning during the 1960s, the controversy centered on the question of whether Pius XII was culpably "silent" and passive in the face of one of the most monstrous crimes in human history—when his voice as a moral leader and his action as head of the worldwide Catholic Church might possibly have prevented, or at least might have seriously hindered (so it is argued) the Nazis in their ghastly plans to implement what they so chillingly called the Final Solution (Endlösung) to a long and widely perceived "Jewish Problem" in Europe.
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