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« Now This Is Frightening | Main | The Title "Doctor" »

August 22, 2006

Comments

bill912

Facts which are inconvenient to their prejudices won't change bigots views, but they might reduce the bigots' influence, and help get them relegated to the kooks corner.

Barbara

Evil registration requirement

The link to the story opened up fine. But if anyone has a problem, you can circumvent that by going to http://www.bugmenot.com/

Type the URL home page in the field next to "Get Logins" and it will provide a set of usernames and passwords to that site.

Scott W

Of course the MSM has apoplexy when just about anyone is sainted: Mother Teresa, Josemaria Escriva, etc.

Scott

J.R. Stoodley

The thing is, many people understandibly do not trust what devout Catholics or the "institution" of the Catholic Church says about its history. What we need is to get secular historians and Jews on our side, but the problem is they find the idea of "Hitler's Pope" so appealing and credible. They also assume, wrongly, that the reason for the "Secret Vatican Archives" is that they reveal something the Church wants to cover up. In reality it is that they contain information which the people at the time had believed would not be revealed until after the deaths of the people of that time, hence avoiding personal embarisment. We have not yet quite reached that point for the 1940s.

Some will never be satisfied with whatever comes out against the idea that Pius XII performed badly in WWII, but hopefully when that archive is opened up and secular historians look at the situation, and if the Jews let go of that anti-Catholic myth then this Pope can be restored to the honored place in history that he deserves and that he had until the 1960s. I hear there was actually talk of his being proclamed "the Great" after his death.

By the way, I am sure that some Jews do not believe in the myth of Hitler's Pope. In fact on The World Over Live on EWTN Raymend Arroyo spoke to a Jewish Rabbi who wrote a book refuting the myth, trying to restore the reputation of a man who he believes was a great friend of the Jews. However, in my personal experience even otherwise rather Catholic-frendly Jews believe that Pope Pius XII was anti-semitic and did nothing to stop the Holocaust. One idea I have heard is that it was the lower level clergy and the religious orders that did the saving, not the Pope who we give credit for it. This discovery, if it becomes widely known (which I doubt) may help get rid of that belief.

Brian Day

Pope Saint Pius XII sounds good.

But why exactly should he be considered a Doctor of the Church?

Karen

"Later, when the convent superior perceived that the SS were flouting the sanctuary of convent enclosures, she had false identity papers drawn up for her guests."

Anyone want to take a stab at the morality of this? I'm not sitting in judgment but I don't see how this isn't a case of choosing a lesser evil (lying) and also wrong for the person being sought out, to comply with it. If a Christian does anything in the way of denying that they are a Christian, then they are not only lying, but denying Christ, and is it not grave matter?

Tim J.

Karen, this reminds me of the OT story of Rahab, the prostitute.

Is lying okay if you are saying to the Nazis, "No, there are no Jews here."?.

Karen

Ah, Tim, now that you mention it, there might be something on that at catholic.com. Because I remember reading about that Rahab predicament.

I just wanted to post back and say that even though I'm unsure, I can *understand* the motives for it and really do not want to pass judgment. I'd just like to be clear on what is really acceptable because, well, it's good to know.

BillyHW

My aunt told me a story about how, as the allies were liberating Italy and the Germans were retreating, the German soldiers got wind that a few Jews were being hidden in the convent in her little village. So just before they left town the Germans passed by the convent and shot the Jews in the back as they were trying to run away.

I have no doubt that P12 worked hard to save as many Jews as he could. And I am disgusted by those who try to rewrite history and make him out to be a Nazi.

But a Doctor of the Church?

He appointed the vast majority of the judases who signed the Winnipeg Statement (virtually unanimously) and surrenderd my once Catholic country to the devil. I have no doubt that I am missing brothers and sisters and friends and perhaps more because of it.

Seamus

Anyone want to take a stab at the morality of this?

I think it could be justified, so long as no one represented affirmatively that what were being handed over to the SS were, in fact, valid papers.

Is lying okay if you are saying to the Nazis, "No, there are no Jews here."?.

Kant (who considered almost this very question, except it was ordinary murders rather than Nazis, and an ordinary victim rather than Jews) and St. Augustine would say no.

J.R. Stoodley

St. Thomas Aquinas would say no too, according to Fr. Mitch Pacwa and his guest, an expert on St. Thomas, on an EWTN Live show.

The definition of lying is telling an untruth with the intention to deceive. This is intrinsically evil and thus can not be done for any reason, even to save the world.

What they should have done and in some cases did do is use menal reservations. Do something like saying indignantly "I would rather die than be caught with Jews in my holy convent" which is true in a sense. Or to take a real life example from the EWTN show, Jews were hidden in the attic of a home under a table. When the Nazis came they asked if there were Jews hidden in the house. The woman answered "They're under the table." They looked under the kitchen table but there was no one there, and they left.

Naturally this is more dangerous than just lying. I do not know if I would have the strength to do it or if I would just knowingly incur a venial sin to save these people and myself under pressure, but assuming what I have heard about the intrinsic evil of lying is true this would be wrong.

Kasia

I'm reminded of a story Corrie Ten Boom told about her sister Nollie being questioned by the Nazis. There were Jews that the family was hiding, one of whom, Annaliese, looked very "Aryan". The Nazi pointed to Annaliese and asked "Is this a Jew?" Nollie answered "yes".

She assured Corrie later from jail that God would spare Annaliese because Nollie had obeyed Him and told the truth. Amazingly, 40 Jews were rescued from their detention place before they could be sent to concentration camps. Annaliese was one of them.

I'm not sure what the moral answer is, and I don't know what I would do, but it's an amazing story. Annaliese had perfectly forged papers, and might never have been questioned. However, when asked directly, Nollie refused to lie. I don't find it a huge stretch that God may indeed have delivered Annaliese (and the 39 other Jews who were rescued) because Nollie was obedient.

BillyHW

For what it's worth, I think C.S. Lewis mentioned in his book Mere Christianity (or maybe it was another one) that he was firmly in the camp of those arguing that lying under such circumstances was not a sin.

Kasia

Seems to me you're right, Billy, and I do have tremendous respect for Lewis. I don't remember what work that was in.

I myself am terrible at lying; even if I manage to carry it off, I usually feel so badly after that I go 'fess up to the person to whom I lied. I'm not sure I'd have that reaction in the Nazi scenario...but of course, that doesn't prove that I'd be right.

Karen

Can't vouch for this, but I found something on Rahab here:
http://www.prca.org/current/Doctrine/Volume%209/NEWS-I-17.htm

Basically, it says that her lie wasn't explicitly or implicitly condemned in Scripture, but would have been and that this is an omission to go on to a greater point. She was rewarded not for her lie, which was wrong, but for her strong faith in God and God's plan for the people she helped to save, even though her faith was not always strong in every way it could have been, which is what led to her, like the rest of us who sin, to lie in the first place. She had very great faith but in spite of it, was misguided by it and did the wrong thing, because of this faith in God's plan, instead of relying on God to take care of things without her lying. Scripture chose not to make an example of her weakness when she erred, but rather to make an example of what she did right, which was have faith in God's plan, both strong and yet imperfect and prone to make mistakes, like any sinner's.

I'd be interested in other interpretations.

John

So the question beckons-when will the Vatican demand an apology from all of the Rabbis, scholars, Foxman etc regarding this great Pope as they do everytime someone of the Catholic ilk even profess their faith as Mel Gibson did in the Passion of the Christ controversy and the latest in his arrest in asking the officer what his faith was

I guess one must be charitable as we do have the One True Faith and our Lord and Savior and millions of others are still searching for theirs

Eric G.

Lying under duress is not a sin.

Dr. Eric

The Nazis had no right to know the answers to their questions, therefore those who protected the Jews did nothing wrong.

As for Pius XII, Santo Subito!

J.R. Stoodley

The Nazis had no right to know the answers to their questions so the people asked had no responsibility to give them that answer, yet if lying is intrinsically evil then they still had no justification to lie.

Eric G., I am curious, what do you base that statement on?

Jamie Beu

Wouldn't it be morally alright to forge the papers of an unjust government? I mean, we are told to obey "rightful" authority. If we have judged (rightly) that the Nazis are *not* rightful authority, than is it not only morally okay to forge documents (to depict Jews as non-Jews), but our responsibility to do so, in order to undermine and bring down that unjust authority?

Ann Margaret Lewis

I'd like to see P12 get props. I'm still waiting for someone to notice Leo XIII, though. Now there's a guy who's been ignored far too long.
--Ann

Eric G.

Mr. Stoodley:

It's my understanding that duress is a mitigating factor in the culpability of one who commits something that is otherwise objectively sinful.

In other words, someone hiding Jews from the Nazis would be morally obligated to try to cover-up their heroic actions by means that did not involve direct lying (e.g. mental reservations, as noted above). But if, under the pressure of the moment, they couldn't think of something and near-spontaneously simp,y said "No, there's no Jews here", this certainly would not be mortally sinful; probably not venially so, I imagine.

John

One must think back to the church before Vatican II, when the emphasis was on the cburch and Worship and even a martyrs death, and not the worship of Man

As millions of Catholics, to be distinguished from Christians were sacrificed and gave their lives willingly so as not to denounce their faith in the name of Jesus, from the first martyr in St Stephen who was stoned to death outside the walls of Jeruselum by these same Jews-Pius XII and many Catholics cant quite understand the uproar and the ongoing movie after movie after saga about the death of these Jews, who should be made martyrs by their rabbis for dying for their faith but are instead a political pawn to get whatever they want as they use this card very well

Vatican II and the proclimation that the Jews had nothing to do with the death of Christ, though scripture before the 4th retranslation of the Bible after Vatican II clearly stated otherwise. We all had a part, even those who denied our Lord as he was dying for our sins on the cross, something those who are Jewish cant understand and continue as they do to Mel Gibson make it an antisemitic notionn

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