Sixty-five years since the conclusion of the Second World War, historians are still grappling with the manner in which Pope Pius XII was involved, behind the scenes to alleviate this global tragedy. Hitler, the War, and the Pope by Ronald J. Rychlak illuminates readers of the intimate and complex diplomatic and spiritual mission Pope Pius XII directed throughout Europe through this conflict. Most importantly, in this book, Mr. Rychlak extensively indicates the true extent of the Catholic Church’s clandestine activities throughout Europe in saving the lives of persecuted Jewish victims of Hitler’s genocide. All of these activities, it should be noted were with the expressed approval and support of Pope Pius XII.
The narrative takes place and recounts the multiple interventions the then Cardinal Pacelli (Pius XII) made on behalf of the Church during the rise of National Socialism in Germany in the late 1920’s until the outbreak of war in 1939. Cardinal Pacelli as the Vatican’s Nuncio (Ambassador) to Germany was able to assist the Conference of German Bishops in their resistance to Adolph Hitler and the rise of this totalitarian government. During the period of German remilitarization, the Catholic Church in Germany suffered tremendous losses of priests and religious, all of whom were incarcerated in NAZI concentration camps because of their opposition to the NAZI political movement. Throughout the war, hundreds of Catholic priest, bishops, seminarians and female religious were summarily executed because they assisted both Catholic and Jewish people alike to escape Hitler’s Germany.
When elected Pope, Pacelli, now Pope Pius XII recognized the Catholic Church’s obligation to provide refuge to thousands of persecuted Jews throughout Europe. On his direct orders, Catholic institutions issued certificates of baptism for persecuted Jews, secretly hid them in convents, monasteries and schools and helped them escape the German Reich.
This great work by Ronald J.Rychak is a historian’s detailed expose of the suffering experienced by millions of people during the upheaval of Europe during the Second World War. Additionally, this book is a testimony to the personal and spiritual involvement of Pope Pius XII in the mission to save the People of the Covenant from German atrocities’. The book further shows the physical sufferings endured by Pius XII during this horrendous period in European history; constant threats to capture the Pope, wartime rationing in the Vatican and threats of military invasion were daily parts of Pope Pius’s life.
Most importantly, the book serves as a definitive collection of proofs that put any anti-Semitic accusations towards Pope Pius XII to complete rest. The collection of documents at the end of the book clearly indicates the role Pope Pius XII as a cardinal and later as pope worked diligently to preserve European peace and protect the Jewish people from NAZI atrocities’.
Readers of this book will finally be able to realize that the cause for the beatification of Pope Pius XII should immediately continue. The claims of his anti-Semitism were the results of erroneous understandings of the Catholic Church’s secretive activities during the Second World War and part of the Soviet backed plan to discredit the Church and Pius XII.
In light of this great book, that not only redacts history, but clarifies the events that without any doubt will be part of the testimony to make Pius XII, blessed and finally a saint of the Catholic Church.
The book is published by Our Sunday Visitor and is available at their website: www.osv.com . The cost of the book is $29.95.

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