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Pope Pius XII: Architect for Peace [Paperback]

By Margherita Marchione (Author)
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Item description for Pope Pius XII: Architect for Peace by Margherita Marchione...

Hoping to end the revisionist history that makes Pius Xll a Nazi sympathizer, the author draws on wartime Vatican douments to provide persuasive evidence of the Pope's efforts for peace. Must-reading for both sides of the ongoing controversy.

Publishers Description
Highlights Pope Pius XII's efforts to bring about peace and help victims of the Second World War, especial based on scholarship and pertinent original documents relating to these matters.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Paulist Press
Pages   345
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   1.41 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 2000
Publisher   Paulist Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  080913912X  
ISBN13  9780809139125  

Availability  0 units.

More About Margherita Marchione

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marchione is a member of the Religious Sisters Filippini and professor emerita of Italian language and literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Margherita Marchione currently resides in Morristown, in the state of New Jersey.

Margherita Marchione has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Memoirs of Jews and Catholics in Wartime Italy

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1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Popes
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History

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Reviews - What do customers think about Pope Pius XII: Architect for Peace?

Questions about the defense of Pius  Oct 4, 2007
Initially it is important that discussion of Pope Pius not turn into an unwarranted attack on the Catholic Church. During the last half century, the Church has done a tremendous amount of good. While others considered the goal of feeding the hungry and clothing the poor a platitude, the Church helped. Many Catholic Churches have food kitchens on premises and organized campaigns for helping the poor. Catholic Relief Services have done tremendous good in relieving suffering in other countries and leading a moral and meaningful life is part of the lives of many Catholics, led by the moral teachings of the Church. One must separate discussion of Pius during the Holocaust from the Church itself.

The case against Pius though looks compelling. He signed an agreement with the Nazi party, oversaw the German Catholic Church as attacks on Jews turned in imprisonment, starvation, medical experiment, and extermination of men, women, and children like Anne Frank. His comments were vague and ineffective, and his regime saw the involvement of German Catholics (along with Lutherans) in the most horrible acts known to man.

As one German might have said- they talk about Ben Ladin and the 3,000 people killed on 9/11, we killed that number in one week. We pushed the Jews in, starved them, and then killed them, one week, I helped kill 3,431 and was chastized for being slow. For the average German Catholic, it was church on Sunday, during the week help capture Jewish children and women and others, put them in concentration camps, and arrange for their orderly extermination. So let's look at Pius's defense.

1. Her website summarizes her argument, "Pius XII's critics insist that if he had confronted Hitler directly - publicly excommunicating him and all who supported him - that German Catholics might have risen up in revolt. That is the accusation of the New York Times of March 18. 1998: "The Pope did not encourage Catholics to defy Nazis' orders." The idea that the Pope could bring about massive German defiance is completely implausible.

The Pope had millions of loyal Catholics who listened to him. They followed his teaching regarding not only religious worship, but the most personal things in their lives, whether to remain married, engage in contraception, and how to raise their children. The idea that these Catholics would have ignored the Pope had he spoke forcefully is absurd. Instead, the widespread ignominy of starvation, murder, medical experiments- horrors vastly exceeding any Pagan country, only occurred because of the Pope's perceived submission to Nazi policies.

The Pope might not have toppled Hitler but if he spoke out if he could have mitigated many of the horrors; German Catholics did not divorce or abort in part because of Church condemnation, they did kill Jews and then others because they saw no inconsistency between Nazi doctrine and the Church, particularly after their Pope had signed an agreement with the Nazi government.

While no Christian would embrace Nazism today, then many saw no inconsistency. Constantine's vision of a Christian state seems similar to the Nazi ideal of a Juden-free society, Jesus became so angry at Jewish moneylenders that he turned over their tables and Jewish avarice a theme of Nazi teachings, and Jews were believed to have betrayed Germany for money similar to the way Judas and them betrayed Jesus.

Leaders like John Paul clarified Christian thoughs making it clear that punishing Jews is not Christian; Pius's failure to speak out clearly allowed the myth that one could be a Nazi Catholic to prevail under the end of the war, when even Christians reflected on the horrors, saw the naken starved bodies piled up in Auschwitz and realized what horrors had been committed.

By not striking a moral path and hiding any support for the Jews, Pius failed not only those who could have been saved but his German Catholic followers themselves who once they became used to tormenting and then murdering Jews, went on to kill others, and then sent 10 and 12 years old boys to the war front.

Margione writes, "Did Pope Pius XII help the Jews? Indeed he did. Nor can one claim he was silent. Rather one must speak of his "prudence." That vagueness and equivocation couched as prudence allowed German Catholic to participate in the holocaust and they did. The murder of 1,000,000 Jews in Poland, a country that was 90% Catholic, could not have occurred with the active opposition of the Church. He knew how to speak clearly; no Catholic could fail to know of his Church's opposition to abortion or divorce; but equivocation and vagueness could be construed as permission for those who sought ways to avoid confronting a brutal regime.

Did he help Italian Jews; undoubtedly so, and that dispells the notion that he was anti-semitic. But the many more who died much be layed at his legacy as his followers committed the most horrible acts known to man.

Have Jews subsequently supported him. Few chroniclers of the Holocaust have spoken out for him; and books like Hitler's Willing Executions do not give him the pass Marchione seeks. Politically, have some supported him in a time when Israel has few friends, certainly so. But these have been vague and generalized statement and no careful analysis of his acts.

Would those who opposed Hitler have suffered-undoubtedly so. But it is the role of a religious leader to suggest submission to horrible acts to save one's skin- do you turn your head to a brutal beating because you are worried about the consequences. What about morality. Many would surely have ignored church statements but others would have followed.

Ultimately the scope of suffering and death means we cannot excuse Pius's vagueness and equivocation. Some say Hitler or the government might have been angered if someone said not to exterminate Jews. Whether angry or not, the scope of death and depravity could not have been worse, and a religious leaders could have prompted more to look to their consciences.

Bobby 5000
A Crushing Antidote to Those Who Have Smeared the Pope  Nov 20, 2005
If Sister Marchione's book titled YOURS IS A PRECIOUS WITNESS was a thorough yet polite refutation to those who have smeared Pope Pius XII, her book titled POPE PIUS XII:ARCHITECT FOR PEACE is "a roundhouse to the chops." Sister Marchione thoroughly undermines Pope Pius XII's critics with an array of documents and personal anecdotes that demolishes this Pope's critics.

Chapter one gives numerous personal anecdotes of those whom Pope Pius XII helped during World War II. One should note that this chapter cites books and personal remarks of Pope Pius' contemporaries including Jews who gave Pope Pius XII effusive praise during dangerous times. One should note that not only Catholics, including religious and lay men and women, but also Pope Pius XII literally risked their lives to save refugees including Jewish people. Some of the anecdotes that testify to these facts were written by Jewish refugees.

Sister Marchione makes effective use of historical documents to prove her case of Pope XII's heroism and greatness. One should note on page 97 that she is clear that Pope Pius XII's critics have no documents to support their claim. This is important to those who study history. History without documents is relegated to lying and propaganda which is exactly what Pope Pius XII's critics have done. There is an interesting reference to Golda Meir on page 101 who lauds considerable praise on Pope Pius XII.

Part three of this book gives numerous examples of Pope Pius XII's tireless efforts to help prisoners of war and the persecuted. This heroic man cared for all of those harmed by World War II regardless of their religion. He spent considerable sums of his own wealth to assist those caught by war's tragedies including Jews. Pages 124-126 gives a brief account of Rabbi Israel Zolli's praise of Pope Pius XII. One should note that Rabbi Zolli was Rome's Chief Rabbi during World War II.

Sister Marchione gives Pope Pius XII credit for attempting to extend his influence and help throughout Europe including Eastern Europe. For example, she recounts the Pope's efforts both in Western and Eastern Europe even though Pope Pius XII was confined to his domains in Italy.

For those who rant about Pope Pius XII's alleged anti-Semitism, they would do well to read the remarks addressed to Sister Marchione on page 136 written by Michael Bobrow encouraging the Canonization of Pope Pius XII. One should note that Mr. Bobrow is Jewish and is knowledgable enough to know of Pope Pius XII's dignity and rare courage.

The last part of this book is perhaps the most important. This book contains numerous documents including primary sources that attest to Pope Pius XII's exhausting efforts and heroic stands against those who oppressed innocent victims including Jews during World War II. To those who have smeared Pope Pius XII, these sources are unanswerable.

Sister Marchione has not only done a historical service to a great Pope and hero, she has done invaluable work in the service to historical truth. POPE PIUS XII:ARCHITECT FOR PEACE is a solid work of history and shows careful historical research. One should note that Pope Pius XII's critics have never challenged those who have written honestly about this great man. After reading this book, the reader would know whythis is so. Sister Marchione's book is unanswerable.
Some good points made, much not examined.   Jan 7, 2005
Mechione is a well-intentioned woman whose thesis is that Pope Pius tried to prevent the holocaust. Relying upon items in Vatican files and the efforts of some church members to stem suffering, she argues that Pope Pius was misunderstood. It is clear some Catholics saved Jews at tremendous risk to themselves and that Italian Jews were spared due to the activity of the Vatican as profiled in a well-known movie. Nonetheless, the well-intentioned author fails to address some tough points and glosses over others. Here are a few:

1. The Vatican executed an important concordance with Nazi Germany and later with fascist Italy. These could resonably be construed as their approval, at least allowance of these governments. Religious Catholics could believe that participation in these regimes did not offend Catholic traditions.

2. Some priests and church officials were supporters of the Nazi regime.

3. In the US, Father Coughlin was a vicious anti-semite who told Americans the Jews were trying to involve the US in a fool-hardy war. The depth and spreadth of his anti-semitism and support among Catholics and other Christians can't accurately be conveyed here. What is clear is that Pius did not stop him and his anti-semitic comments could reasonably be construed to represent Church teachings.

4. Temples were looted and burned in Crytallnacht. One priest stood by the temple and said stop do not do this. But 1, only 1. The others stood silent as Jews were terrorized and their places of worship burned. Had Pius vigorously intervened here, the holocaust could have been prevented, at least Catholic participation limited.

5. The extent of suffering and death was high in Catholic countries like Poland. Polish Catholics enthusiastically provided names of Jewish men, women, and family to Nazi officials, so they could be arrested, property taken, and most sent to concentration camps for death. One million Jews could not have been located in Poland without the active support and participation of Polish Catholics.

6. Catholics represented an important component of the German SS, Getstapo, and concentration camp guards. Had they believed their participation in the holocaust was morally wrong or prohibited by church dogma, suffering would have been less.

7. German Catholics, French Catholics and other Nazis attended mass, took communion, refrained from divorce or abortion and followed church teaching all the while arranging to imprison and kill Jews. To suggest that this large-scale murder of Jews took place against the wished of the Vatican strains credulity.
Catholics arrested and killed Jews, at the same time they attended communion, and refrained from divorce and abortion. They followed church teachings at the time.

In short, Catholics played a vital role in helping bring Hitler to power, destroying Jewish synagogues, enforcing racial laws, capturing Jewish women and children, killing them, and bringing the holocaust to its sad conclusion.

8. Did a few Israeli officials say some nice words about Pius. Sure. Remember the time. The new state had been attacked by four separate countries. Aside from the US there were few places for Jews to go. They had been murdered in Germany, France, Poland, Ukraine, and elsewhere. This was a time no offend people.

We can recognize the current Pope as a great man who is bringing people together. We do not seek to level current church members with the sins of the past. However, if the purpose of the book is to set down an accurate record, it fails. Many Catholics seek a defense of Pope Pius just like Capernicus's foes sought to show the planets revolved around the earth. Since neither represent the truth, the efforts are unsuccessful.

Think Pius XII was Hitler's Pope? Think again.  Jan 12, 2002
The book provides an excellent overview of the Pope's role during World War II in light of history. The evidence in support of the Pope is overwhelming, to say the least. An eye-opening refutation of Cornwell's book, "Hitler's Pope."
Outstanding View of Pius XII  Dec 2, 2001
You PAPAL SIN and HITLER'S POPE types better run for it, because Sr. Marchione really lets loose on those who would defame Ven. Pius XII in this book. This book is a very accurate account of Pius XII's actions during World War II, as well as the world's reaction to his proceedings at the time. References to the many praises of Pius XII's activity immediately following his death coming from many peoples of many cultures (including many prominent Jews) are littered throughout the book. There is also an account of his defamation, beginning with the publication of THE DEPUTY. A great read for anyone interested in Church history during World War II.

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