Did Pope Pius XII Silence Make Him an Antisemite?

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Introduction

Did Pope Pius XII silence make him an antisemite?

What is antisemitism?

Antisemitism is refers to anti-Jewish prejudice, to feelings of suspicion, contempt, hostility, and hatred towards Jews, both those who follow the religion of Israel and those who are merely of Jewish percentage (1). One who discriminates against or who is hostile towards or prejudiced against Jews is considered an antisemite. The term antisemitism was coined in the 1870s by Wilhelm Marr, a German journalist, who wanted to contrast his supposedly scientific hatred of Jews with religious forms of anti-Judaism. Antisemitism was not something that originated at the beginning of World War II. It actually predates Christianity. Roman authorities worried that Jewish refusal to worship local and imperial gods would jeopardize the security of the state. In 70 C.E. the Romans destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem; sixty years later they dispersed the Jews of Palestine, scattering them far from the region that had been their home. The rise of Christianity made antisemitism much worse. Christianity grew out of Judaism; Jesus himself was a Jew as were the apostles. Yet, early Christians tried to separate themselves from other Jews. Some early Christian accounts blamed Jews for Jesus’ death even though crucifixion was a specifically Roman form of punishment commonly practiced during Jesus’ time. Anti-Judaism had long been a visible part of Christian society. Here are a couple of comparisons of Canonical Law and Nazi measures: Synod of Elvira (306) stated prohibition of intermarriage and of sexual intercourse between Christians and Jews and the Nazi measure stated Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor (1935) , Third Synod of Orléans (538) st...

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...ively by constructing death camps. Once this was done, Jews from the occupied countries of Western Europe were transported to the death camps. The 89,000 Jews in Slovakia were the first to be deported to death camps in Poland from outside the German Reich. (8) The following day, Papal Nuncio in Bern sent the information begging the Pope to intervene. (9) For the next year reports such as these were coming in from surrounding countries. The papal nuncios were relaying this information to the Vatican, so the Pope was completely aware of what was being done to the Jewish people. The repetition of this information over an extended period of time by widely different sources constituted adequate confirmation. The point is that the Pope and his diplomatic officials knew enough about the Jewish genocide to arbitrate.

Statements made by Pope Pius XII about the Holocaust.

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