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Hitler, the War, and the Pope


Was Pope Pius XII a Nazi Sympathizer?

For almost 50 years, a controversy has raged about Pope Pius XII. Was the Pope who had shepherded the Church through World War II a Nazi sympathizer? Was he, as some have dared call him, Hitler’s pope? Did he do nothing to help the Jewish people in the grips of the Holocaust?

In a thoroughly researched and meticulously documented analysis of the historical record, Ronald Rychlak has gotten past the anger and emotion and uncovered the truth about Pius XII. Not only does he refute the accusations against the Pope, but for the first time documents how the slanders against him had their roots in a Soviet Communist campaign to discredit him and by extension, the Church.

Let those who doubt but read Rychlak, follow his exquisitely organized courtroom-like arguments. What Professor Rychlak brings to the forum are facts, not rhetoric, dates, not conjecture, evidence, not slander…. The world owes Ronald Rychlak a debt for bringing the truth to light. —Rabbi Eric A. Silver

“In his well-crafted pages … the portrait that emerges is one of an extraordinary pastor facing extremely vexing circumstances, of a holy man vying against an evil man, of a human being trying to save the lives of other human beings, of a light shining in the darkness.”
–John Cardinal O Connor (1920-2000) Archbishop of New York (from the Foreword to the first edition)

“I have read many books on Pius XII, and this is by far the most dispassionate in laying out the context, relevant facts, accusations, and evidence pro and con. The book is highly engaging because it is filled with so many little-known facts. The research has been prodigious. Yet the presentation is as down-to-earth as it would have to be in a courtroom…. This is a wonderfully realistic book.” —Michael Novak
George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy,
American Enterprise Institute

“Despite his many brilliant accomplishments, perhaps no modern-day leader of the Catholic Church has triggered more controversies than Pope Pius XII. Some historians have argued that, in light of the Church s concerns about Communism, he was pro-Nazi during the 1930s. He has been accused of signing the Reichskonkordat as a signal to Adolf Hitler of Rome’s favor; of dissuading Pope Pius XI from condemning Kristallnacht; and of remaining silent in face of proof that the Holocaust was taking place.

In this valuable book, Professor Ronald Rychlak sets the record straight. He paints a vivid picture of the social, political, and religious background against which the papacy of Pius XII took place. In so doing, Rychlak shows him to have been a man of singular wisdom and courage.

Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli was a brilliant student as a young man, fluent in several languages, with doctorates in theology and canon and civil law. He was elected to the papacy just six months before Germany’s invasion of Poland sparked the Second World War in Europe.

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Additional information

Weight 2.2 lbs
Dimensions 6.6 × 1.9 × 9.3 in

Pius XII