In order to understand Pope Pius XII’s reasons for his actions during the Holocaust we must first look at the apology submitted by the pope long after the war. Fifty five years after the Holocaust ended, Pope John Paul II quoted a public apology for the actions of the Catholic Church over the past 2000 years (PBS). People were unsatisfied by the Roman Catholic Church’s apology after the war because they felt it was not sincere enough (Kertzer). On March 12, 2000, Pope John Paul II stated: “(translated) We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant” (PBS). The pope did not directly reference the events of the Holocaust, but he did make somewhat of an effort to make amends.
Defending the church
Pius XII tried to protect the Catholic Church from being further persecuted by Hitler and the Nazis. Even though he was expected to attempt to protect the Jews, he had his Ca...
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Blet, Pierre, S.J. Pius XII and the Second World War: According to the Archives of the Vatican. New Jersey: Paulist, 1999. Print.
Gutman, Israel. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1990. Print.
Kertzer, David I. "A Cautious Apology, but It's a Start." Infohio.org. New York Times, 16 Mar. 2000. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.
Lang, Ariella. "The Politics and Poetics of Vatican Holocaust Discourse." Infohio.org. Judaism 207/208.3/4, 2003. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.
Oates, Kathryn. "What Did the Pope Do about the Holocaust." Infohio.org. Catholic Digest 73.6, 2009. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.
Rosenzveig, Charles H. The World Reacts to the Holocaust. Ed. David S. Wyman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1996. Print.
Thomas, Gordon. The Pope's Jews: The Vatican's Secret Plan to Save Jews from the Nazis. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2012. Print.
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