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Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII [Hardcover]

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Item description for Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII by Charles R. Gallagher & Society of Jesus New England...

In the corridors of the Vatican on the eve of World War II, American Catholic priest Joseph Patrick Hurley found himself in the midst of secret diplomatic dealings and intense debate. Hurley's deeply felt American patriotism and fixed ideas about confronting Nazism directly led to a mighty clash with Pope Pius XII. It was 1939, the earliest days of Pius's papacy, and controversy within the Vatican over policy toward Nazi Germany was already heated. This groundbreaking book is both a biography of Joseph Hurley, the first American to achieve the rank of nuncio, or Vatican ambassador, and an insider's view of the alleged silence of the pope on the Holocaust and Nazism. Drawing on Hurley's unpublished archives, the book documents critical debates in Pope Pius's Vatican, secret U.S.-Vatican dealings, the influence of Detroit's flamboyant anti-Semitic priest Charles E. Coughlin, and the controversial case of Croatia's Cardinal Stepinac. The book also sheds light on the powerful connections between religion and politics in the twentieth century.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Yale University Press
Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.46" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.96"
Weight:   1.26 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2008
Publisher   Yale University Press
ISBN  0300121342  
ISBN13  9780300121346  

Availability  0 units.

More About Charles R. Gallagher & Society of Jesus New England

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Charles R. Gallagher is currently engaged in theological studies at Heythrop College, University of London. He is the author of Cross and Crozier: A History of Catholicism in the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Charles R. Gallagher was born in 1965.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II
5Books > Subjects > History > World > 20th Century
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > International > Diplomacy
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Reviews - What do customers think about Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII?

Excellent biography of a Patriot Bishop  Apr 12, 2010
Based upon his 1998 doctoral dissertation, Charles Gallagher has given us an excellent and fascinating account of the life of Joseph Hurley, Bishop of St. Augustine, who was also a noted diplomat and activist in the fight against both fascism and communism. Hurley was a man who uniquely straddled the bounds of church and state as he fought to protect his country, his church, and the world from the violent extremism of right and left, though he was a true Conservative to the end of his remarkable career.
Vested in Red, White, and Blue  Apr 4, 2010
Every so often a bolt of ecclesiastical lightning from above transforms an ordinary parish cleric into a man of considerable influence within the Church. In the case of Joseph P. Hurley, the transformation also rendered him an international player in the delicate era of World War II and the Cold War. Charles R. Gallagher meticulously traces the remarkable and controversial career of this American priest, born January 21, 1894 and destined, it seemed, to serve his days from his 1919 ordination in the Diocese of Cleveland.

Hurley was no typical cleric, though. His first choice had been West Point, where he was refused admission. During his seminary days Hurley would meet the man who hurled thunderbolts of opportunity his way, Edward Mooney, Cardinal Archbishop of Detroit. Young Mooney, an early seminary professor of Hurley's, fell out of favor with Cleveland's German bishop, became Hurley's pastor, much to the latter's pleasure.

Under the guise of a "medical leave" Hurley took studies in Europe just as his mentor Mooney became Apostolic Delegate to India, and eventually Hurley became Mooney's secretary. Watching Mooney negotiate on behalf of the Church, Hurley adopted a pugnacious diplomatic style that would serve him with varying degrees of success throughout his career. Hurley eventually became charge d'affaires of the Vatican's Japanese mission in 1933. Hurley's impressions of the militarist, totalitarian Japanese government strengthened his contempt of authoritarian regimes.

By 1934 Hurley, now in the nexus of Vatican planning, was named to the office of Vatican Secretary of State under Cardinal Ottaviani, and by 1936 he was the main conduit to the pope on affairs in the United States, religious and secular. In the same year Hurley tackled a monumental political challenge, the silencing of the American Father Charles Coughlin, a radio preacher whose disdain for Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal was shared--privately, at least--by the bishops. Roosevelt, perplexed by the hierarchy's inability or unwillingness to control him, and looking for a way to communicate directly with American Catholics, sought an entirely new and imaginative approach: direct relations with the Vatican itself.

The obvious conduit was Hurley, who for starters served as ghost writer for Osservatoire Romano's displease with Coughlin and other American prelates. Hurley, an ardent patriot, relished his role in the demise of Coughlin, who had referred to the President as "a liar." [56] Gallagher observes throughout the work that in fact Hurley was himself anti-Semitic [69], a common bias among priests of the day. His mentor Mooney would become Archbishop of Detroit, and thus Coughlin's superior. The radio priest delivered a virulent anti-Semitic address in response to Kristallnacht, November 10, 1938. ABC, NBC, and CBS Radio all struck Coughlin from the air. The Kristallnacht Affair was a watershed moment for Hurley, who supported Roosevelt's crusade for freedom from tyranny while in the employ of a very cautious Vatican which did not appear to be pro-Jewish with the Axis at its doorstep. From this point, the author contends, Hurley actually became an American lobbyist inside the Vatican.

Franklin Roosevelt saw possibilities in Hurley's position. By 1940 Hurley was working closely with Myron C. Taylor, Roosevelt's personal representative to the Vatican. From 1938 through 1940 Roosevelt attempted to use Italy as a moderating force on Hitler. FDR saw the Catholic Church as a major player in maintaining peace. For the war years, at least, this stance maintained Hurley in good stead. He was given considerable latitude to express American goals and actions in official Vatican publications.

Hurley's rise to influence had occurred under the reign of Pius XI. The election of Pius XII [1939] and the latter's official position of impartiality in world conflict did not sit well with his American priest diplomat. Hurley's writings and speeches combined just-war with Allied war efforts and out-and-out US patriotism. Gallagher suggests that American diplomats and Myron Taylor in particular, may have prompted him [101], but there is no doubt that Hurley was speaking his own mind.

Pius XII, not surprisingly, responded in his own way: Hurley was appointed [demoted] to the see of St. Augustine, Florida; Pius XII took a direct hand in this Episcopal appointment. [105] Hurley was stunned. From his chancery office in Florida came the frequent cry, "I am surrounded by fools." But the Roosevelt administration had not forgotten him; Hurley's addresses to religious orders and state lay groups on the dangers of Nazi totalitarianism, including his columns in the "Florida Catholic" diocesan newspaper, were propagated throughout the state, and eventually the nation, as a means of reaching what was, in the war years, a ghettoized Catholic population, many of German and Italian descent. Reaction of US prelates toward Hurley was generally poor. Even Mooney distanced himself from his pupil.

After the war Hurley turned his rhetorical guns against totalitarian communism, and Pius XII appointed him acting chief of the apostolic nunciature in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. By 1945, however, Pius was looking at the world map with new glasses, and Hurley was seen as the man to face down Marshall Tito. However, Gallagher takes time to unravel the ethnic complexities of the region that long predated World War II and the much publicized trial of Cardinal Stepinac, in which Hurley dramatically but unsuccessfully participated.

By 1950 an aging and much more conservative Hurley returned to St. Augustine, where he divided his time between some rather remarkable long range planning for the Church in Florida ["ten acre" Hurley became his moniker for his strategic purchases of future church sites], embarrassing disputes with the new diocese of Miami, and periodic forays into national opinion making, including the Civil Rights Movement, which he opposed on political grounds. Strengths and weaknesses of the man notwithstanding, the life and times of Bishop Joseph Hurley, so well chronicled in this work, stand as testament to the remarkable interplay of Church and state in the twentieth century.

Winner of the John Gilmary Shea Book Prize  Sep 10, 2009
Winner of the American Catholic Historical Association's John Gilmary Shea Prize for the most original and distinguished contribution to knowledge of the Catholic Church, 2008.
"Joe", we hardly knew you!  Feb 16, 2009
An astonishingly detailed account of a Vatican diplomat at a difficult time for both the U.S. and the Church. Archbishop Hurley was an enigma in many ways, to both those of us who (thought we) knew him, and the many other groups with whom he had, or did not have dealings, including the Jewish and African-American communities. He was an unsung, if controversial intellectual among both the American hierarchy and the Vatican diplomats and minions, with whom he frequently crossed swords. What other surprises are still to be mined from the sealed Vatican Archives?
Insight into Religious-Political Complexities and Personalities  Jul 13, 2008
Fr. Gallagher has chosen a worthy subject of historical study in the person of Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley. While this contribution to historical scholarship of the Vatican during the rise of both Nazism and Communism does not shed much additional light on the controversial figure of Pope Pius XII, Archbishop Hurley provides an illuminating focal point for analyzing not only U.S.-Vatican diplomatic relations (an intriguing topic in its own right), but even more so American Catholic attitudes toward U.S. intervention in the Second World War prior to Pearl Harbor and the rampant anticommunism which followed the war. More than anything, Fr. Gallagher's careful--and highly readable--reconstruction of Archbishop Hurley's change of attitudes over the years regarding Catholic-Jewish relations and the push-and-pull of his sometimes contrasting allegiances to Church and State provide a mirror to the many changes in socio-political attitudes that continue to characterize modern American society. Perhaps one lesson to draw from studying the times of Archbishop Hurley and the adventures in which he played a significant role is that it is sometimes better to take the long-view that the Vatican often does and think in epochs, as opposed to focusing on only the immediate concerns of the day. Yet, such temporally extended thinking should not cause one simply to stand by and wait for history to "work itself out"; and thus Archbishop Hurley can serve as a model, sometimes flawed, of a religious "man of action."

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