Alfred W. Klieforth, US consul general at the Vatican, had a conversation with Pius XII soon after he became Pope in 1939. He reported the conversation to his superiors, including this statement by the Pope: ”He said that he opposed unalterably every compromise with National Socialism. He regarded Hitler not only as an untrustworthy scoundrel, but as a fundamentally wicked person. He did not believe Hitler capable of moderation.” This type of clear eyed analysis is sometimes missing today in the Church which since World War II has often seemed to adopt a de facto pacifism. A small symbolic event yesterday reminds us of why prayers for peace alone are often not sufficient in this Vale of Tears:
As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace.
Always remember that Christ admonishes us both to be as innocent as doves and as wily as serpents.