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Pope to cancel trip over Pius criticism

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Messenger: Eleazar1234 Sent: 10/19/2008 11:18:36 PM

Pope to cancel trip over Pius criticism
Tension highlights role played in rescuing Jews during WWII
John Phillips (Contact)
Monday, October 20, 2008

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ROME | Vatican officials said Sunday that Pope Benedict XVI will cancel a visit to Israel because of an escalating dispute over whether the late Pope Pius XII - criticized for doing too little to save Jews from the Nazis during World War II - should be beatified.

Mushrooming tension between the Holy See and the Jewish state over Benedict's defense of the reputation of Pius reached the boiling point with a statement by the priest who heads the Vatican office that is examining a request to beatify the World War II-era pontiff, a move that would place him on the path to sainthood.

At the heart of the latest dispute is a caption under a portrait of Pope Pius at Israel's Holocaust museum that claims the pope did not do enough to save Jews from the Nazis.

ASSOCIATED PRESS A visitor looks at an exhibit of World War II-era Pope Pius XII on display at a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem Sunday. The Vatican objects to a caption there that claims Pius didn't do enough to save Jews during the war.

"Benedict XVI is not going to Israel because of a caption in the Yad Vashem museum against Pacelli," said Father Peter Gumpel. Pacelli was Pius's family name before he was elected pope.

The Vatican has indicated its displeasure over the text of the caption under a portrait of Pius hanging at the museum, saying it does not take into account the Jews in Rome who were saved by the church on specific orders of Pius. But an Israeli statement insisted that "the role of Pius XII remains controversial."

"In the context of the open and good dialogue with the Catholic Church, we cannot close our eyes in the face of the controversial historical role of Pius XII and his behavior in the days in which thousands of Jews were sent daily to be massacred."

The caption accuses Pius of having "abstained from signing the Allied declaration condemning the extermination of the Jews" and that he "maintained his neutral position throughout the war."

Israeli President Shimon Peres urged the Vatican on Sunday not to let the contentious reference to Pius stand in the way of the pope's visit. But Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi urged museum officials to make "a new, objective and in-depth review" of the caption, the Associated Press reported.

The spat is fast developing into a controversy between the Vatican and the Jews comparable to the furor that the conservative Benedict unwittingly set off in the Muslim world with a speech delivered in the German city of Regensberg, Vatican watchers say. In the September 2006 lecture, Benedict quoted the 14th-century views of a Byzantine emperor, who asserted that the Islamic prophet Muhammad brought only evil to the world.

If the tension between Israel and the German pope persists, it risks undoing the historic rapprochement between the church and the Jews, which is regarded by most Vatican observers as one of the major achievements of Pope John Paul II, Benedict's Polish predecessor.

Israel's Vatican emissary said Sunday that the Jewish state has renewed an invitation to the Pope to visit the Holy Land despite differences over the possible beatification.

"The invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to come [to Israel] has been renewed and remains," Ambassador Motti Levy told state-run radio. "Our differences can be reduced, but the date of the visit has not yet been set."

Benedict raised Israeli hackles last month when he praised the memory of Pius XII on the 50th anniversary of his death and said he would like to see him beatified.

The Vatican on Saturday urged both Roman Catholics and Jews to stop what it said was applying "pressure" to the pope over whether or not he should promote the sainthood of his Nazi-era predecessor. Pius reigned from 1939 to 1958.

Italy's la Repubblica newspaper reported Sunday what it said was new research into British and American archives tending to reinforce Israeli criticism of Pius.

Italian researchers Giuseppe Casarubbea and Mario J. Cereghino quoted British wartime ambassador to the Vatican D'Arcy Osborne as reporting Pius giving no importance to a roundup of 1,000 Roman Jews who were sent to Auschwitz.
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Messenger: Eleazar1234 Sent: 10/23/2008 11:41:56 PM

The Greatest Sins of Pius XII & The Genocide of Orthodox Christians
Croatian Nationalism & Roman Catholicism are Intermeshed
With the 50th Anniversary of the death of Pius XII, the Vatican is again pushing for his
sainthood. While Pius can be legitimately criticized for his tepid condemnations of the
Nazi Holocaust there is no question he was complicit in the deaths of at least 500,000
Orthodox Christian Serbs, Jews and Roma murdered in Croatia, Bosnia, and Krajina
during the Second World War by the Axis allied Croatian regime.
The First Sin of Pius – Genocide
The first sin of Pius, complicity in genocide of at least 500,000 Orthodox Christian Serbs,
Jews and Roma in Croatia, Bosnia, and Krajina 1941-1945 by the ultra Catholic fascists
known as the Ustasha. The mainstream Orthodox Christians (Pravoslavni) were killed
because of their religion, the main difference between Croats and Serbs. The Ustasha
ranks were swelled by clergy particularly Franciscan monks, priests and seminarians. A
Franciscan monk known as Fr. Satan was commandant at Jasenovac, the chief Croatian
concentration camp, where hundreds of thousands perished and the source of much of the
gold in the so called Ustasha Treasury.
The Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic was welcomed to the Vatican by Pius during the Second
World War and his representative Fr. Krunoslav Drganovic became a fixture at the Holy
See. While the Ustasha were busy butchering coreligionists, Pius praised Pavelic for
outlawing abortion in Croatia. The Papal Legate Marcone in Croatia and
Vatican Bank Plaintiffs
Cardinal Stepinac of Zagreb kept Pius and the Vatican well informed about the
extermination and forced conversions of the Serbs. Pius instead of condemning the
Ustasha blessed them.
The Second Sin of Pius –Obstruction of Justice and Money Laundering
After the collapse of the Ustasha regime in May 1945, the Ustasha leadership fled
towards Italy with their plunder, 200 million Swiss Francs mainly in gold, robbed from
their many victims. Waiting in Rome for the Ustasha Treasury and Pavelic were two high
ranking churchmen. One was the former Ustasha official Fr. Draganovic now Apostolic
Visitor for Croatia reporting directly to Pius’ Undersecretary of State Montini (later Paul
VI). The other was the former treasurer of the Franciscan Order (OFM), Fr. Dominik
Mandic, an Ustasha sympathizer who promoted bizarre racial theories of Croatian
superiority. Pavelic and his associates were hidden at safe houses in Rome until they
could flee to Argentina and the Ustasha Treasury was taken to the Vatican Bank for
The Third Sin of Pius –Historical Cover Up
The Vatican hid Pius’ secret connection to the murderous Ustasha for decades. In 1998
the US State Department released the Eizenstat Report linking the Vatican to the Ustasha
Treasury. This in turn led to the class action lawsuit, Alperin v. Vatican Bank and
Franciscan Order, still pending in the US federal court system for an accounting and
return of the Ustasha Treasury to its rightful owners, the victims of the Ustasha.
The testimony of former US intelligence agent, William Gowen, who reported on the
Ustasha in 1947, has aided the lawsuit. Gowen stated that his investigation in 1947 led
him to believe that the Ustasha Treasury had been concealed at the Vatican Bank and that
the Vatican was implicated at the highest level with Pavelic. Professor Michael Phayer
followed in 2007 with a well researched book, Pius XII & The Cold War, setting the
record straight.
However, instead of seeking truth and reconciliation the Vatican and Franciscans have
fiercely defended against the lawsuit on technical grounds while the few remaining
survivors of the Ustasha atrocities dwindle to handful.
For more information contact:
Dr. Jonathan Levy
Co-counsel for Plaintiffs
Alperin v. Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order
United States District Court for Northern California, Case No. C-99-04941 MMC tel/fax +1 202-318-206

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