Saint Joseph the Worker and Communism

Sunday, May 1, AD 2016





Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker.  Pius XII instituted the feast in 1955 as a response to Communist May Day celebrations.  In 1949 he issued the Decree Against Communism which excommunicated all Catholics collaborating with Communist organizations. 

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3 Responses to Saint Joseph the Worker and Communism

  • So is the prelate who happily received with pride a communist crucifix from a tin pot Latin American dictator ipso facto excommunicated as an apostate?

  • I’m still pondering the present pope’s comments about “the nations should distribute the wealth…..”

  • I’m still pondering the present pope’s comments about “the nations should distribute the wealth…..”
    Don L
    I figure that beyond bad translation, Pope Francis’s experiences of Statist market-interventionist crony capitalism in Latin America led him to misunderstand free-market entrepreneurial capitalism in the US and Northern Europe.

    This Pope’s comments apply to corrupt, market interfering regimes in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet countries. And even then, his ‘advice’ is significantly less than optimal–especially for those whose material welfare this Pope professes a wish to help the most, the poor of those countries.

    I’d like to see the Pope preach on the Commandment that forbids coveting thy neighbor’s goods. To covet so is a desire for the unearned. The envy that tempts so many Latin American politicians and their public to covet is one of the Deadly Sins. And greed, properly defined, is the desire for the unearned.

    Those who depend on gifts for their livelihood risk being in the near occasion of the sin of greed. It’s an occupational hazard that has long plagued the Church, Tetzel is an especially scandalous example.

The First Papal Visit to America–Sort Of

Sunday, September 27, AD 2015


To one who turns the pages of your history and reflects upon the causes of what has been accomplished it is apparent that the triumphal progress of Divine religion has contributed in no small degree to the glory and prosperity which your country now enjoys. It is indeed true that religion has its laws and institutions for eternal happiness but It is also undeniable that it dowers life here below with so many benefits that it could do no more even if the principal reason for its existence were to make men happy during the brief span of their earthly life.


The first papal visit to the United States is usually thought to be that of Pope Paul VI in 1965.  However, Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pius XII, visited the United States in October-November 1936, becoming the first man who served as pope to set foot in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  As Papal Secretary of State, foreign travel came as part of the job, but the purpose behind his visit is still something of a mystery.  Some historians have claimed that he struck a deal with FDR by which the United States would establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican in exchange for the Church silencing radio priest Father Coughlin, initially a supporter of FDR but by 1936 a fierce critic.

It was usual for Pacelli to take an annual vacation and he changed plans to visit Switzerland for the United States on short notice.  He met with FDR on November 5, the day after his re-election.  He did secure a promise that he would appoint a personal representative from him to the Vatican, although this promise was not fulfilled until 1939, after Pacelli was elected Pope.

Pacelli never met with Father Coughlin.  During his tour of the US, Pacelli  brushed aside questions about Coughlin from newspaper reporters, although he made it clear that the Vatican did not agree with his criticisms of Roosevelt.

After the election Coughlin did cease broadcasting briefly, although he returned to the radio in 1937.  As for Pacelli, he came away with a keen perception of both the strengths and weaknesses of the Church in the US.  His comments in Sertum Laetitiae, issued in 1939 on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the US hierarchy, now seem prophetic:

12. Among the associations of the laity – the list is too long to allow of a complete enumeration – there are those which have won for themselves laurels of unfading glory – Catholic Action, the Marian Congregation, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; their fruits are the cause of joy and they bear the promise of still more joyful harvest in the future. Likewise the Holy Name Society, an excellent leader in the promotion of Christian worship and piety.

13. Over a manifold activity of the laity, carried on in various localities according to the needs of the times, is placed the National Catholic Welfare Conference, an organization which supplies a ready and well-adapted instrument for your Episcopal ministry.

14. The more important of these institutions We were able to view briefly during the month of October, 1936, when We journeyed across the ocean and had the joy of knowing personally you and the field of your activities. The memory of what We then admired with Our own eyes will always remain indelible and a source of joy in Our heart.

15. It is proper then that, with sentiments of adoration, We offer with you thanks to God and that We raise to Him a canticle of thanksgiving: “Give glory to the God of heaven; for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalms cxxxv: 26). The Lord Whose goodness knows no limits, having filled your land with the bounty of His gifts, has likewise granted to your churches energy and power and has brought to fruition the results of their tireless labors. Having paid the tribute of Our gratitude to God, from Whom every good thing takes its origin, We recognize, dearly beloved, that this rich harvest which We joyfully admire with you today is due also to the spirit of initiative and to the persistent activity of the pastors and of the faithful; We recognize that it is due also to your clergy who are inclined to decisive action and who execute your orders with zeal; to the members of all the religious Orders and congregations of men who, distinguished in virtue, vie with each other in cultivating the vineyard of the Lord: to the innumerable religious women who, often in silence and unknown to men, consecrate themselves with exemplary devotion to the cause of the Gospel, veritable lilies in the Garden of Christ and delight of the Saints.

16. We desire, however, that this Our praise be salutary. The consideration of the good which has been done must not lead to slackening which might degenerate into sluggishness; it must not issue in a vainglorious pleasure which flatters the mind; it should stimulate renewed energies so that evils may be avoided and those enterprises which are useful, prudent and worthy of praise may more surely and more solidly mature. The Christian, if he does honor to the name he bears, is always an apostle; it is not permitted to the Soldier of Christ that he quit the battlefield, because only death puts an end to his military service.

17. You well know where it is necessary that you exercise a more discerning vigilance and what program of action should be marked out for priests and faithful in order that the religion of Christ may overcome the obstacles in its path and be a luminous guide to the minds of men, govern their morals and, for the sole purpose of salvation, permeate the marrow and the arteries of human society. The progress of exterior and material possessions, even though it is to be considered of no little account, because of the manifold and appreciable utility which it gives to life, is nonetheless not enough for man who is born for higher and brighter destinies. Created indeed to the image and likeness of God, he seeks God with a yearning that will not be repressed and always groans and weeps if he places the object of his love where Supreme Truth and the Infinite Good cannot be found.

18. Not with the conquest of material space does one approach to God, separation from Whom is death, conversion to Whom is life, to be established in Whom is glory; but under the guidance of Christ with the fullness of sincere faith, with unsullied conscience and upright will, with holy works, with the achievement and the employment of that genuine liberty whose sacred rules are found proclaimed in the Gospel. If, instead, the Commandments of God are spurned, not only is it impossible to attain that happiness which has place beyond the brief span of time which is allotted to earthly existence, but the very basis upon which rests true civilization is shaken and naught is to be expected but ruins over which belated tears must be shed. How, in fact, can the public weal and the glory of civilized life have any guarantee of stability when right is subverted and virtue despised and decried? Is not God the Source and the Giver of law? Is He not the inspiration and the reward of virtue with none like unto Him among lawgivers (Cf. Job XXXVI:22)? This, according to the admission of all reasonable men, is everywhere the bitter and prolific root of evils: the refusal to recognize the Divine Majesty, the neglect of the moral law, the origin of which is from Heaven, or that regrettable inconstancy which makes its victims waver between the lawful and the forbidden, between justice and iniquity.

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7 Responses to The First Papal Visit to America–Sort Of

  • Teaching Truth for the salvation of souls.
    What a concept.
    Paragraph 22 is beautiful.

  • In fairness, the Holy Father has touched hearts in very meaningful and positive ways. This visit to our Nation may of been a turning point for folks who have been away from the church, away from God. The conversion effect is difficult to gauge. God the Good Shepherd knows his sheep, calls them and searching for the wayward one’s. The positive aspects of his visit must be considered along with the disappointing….in my humble opinion.
    As mentioned many times before, God is in charge. His victory and Glory be now and forever.

  • “As mentioned many times before, God is in charge.”

    Once a priest visited a farmer and was impressed by the crops he was raising on a patch of ground that had hitherto been wasteland. He went on and on about the good crops that he and God were raising. The farmer listened for a while, and then he burst out: “With all due respect Father, but you should of seen this parcel when God was working it by Hisself!”

    Moral: God will usually not step into human affairs, unless we are doing our share, and He should not be counted upon to save us from sloth and folly.

  • Good morning Don.
    My mention of God being in charge wasn’t to be taken as a “throw in the towel,” rather it was mentioned to recall the unforseen works that He is privileged too, and we are not. He makes the seeds germinate with manure.
    Sometimes it stinks to be near this process, but the farmer who trusts in the germination process recalls that he himself didn’t germinate the seed, but the one he trusts did.

    This is not a free pass nor a condemnation statement, rather a belief that God can make the sweetest lemonade out of the most tart of lemons.

    Your views are shared with greatest admiration because they cause deep reflection and the discerning heart & mind will be prepared to follow Christ in this storm, regardless of the helmsman.
    For that I thank you Donald.

  • “My mention of God being in charge wasn’t to be taken as a “throw in the towel,”

    I didn’t take it as such Philip. I simply wished to underline that outside of Scripture one of the truest sayings about the relationship of God and Man is Ben Franklin’s “God helps them who helps themselves.” Too often, and I do not put you in this category, devout Catholics are content to simply rely upon God alone to fix bad situations. That simply is not the way God usually works.

  • Donald.
    I agree with you.
    Too much history to dispute that the Lord fixes bad situation’s, but every now and then we see good results from instruments in union with His will.
    Have a great Sunday.
    Peace to you and your family.

  • Pope Pius XII reflections on his visit here are insightful, loving, beautiful and actionable. They are even more valuable today than 1939. Thanks Donald for bringing this to our attention especially when we have such a contrasting occupant as Pope. Hopefully, the comments of Pope Pius XII will enjoy greater circulation in view of the coming Synod.

In Defense of Pius XII

Wednesday, February 11, AD 2015


Co-blogger Foxfier has a first rate post at The Catholic Stand defending Pius XII:

The guy whose behavior during the Nazi occupation converted the chief rabbi of Rome to Catholicism was working with the Nazis? The guy who was supposedly so silent and passive, at best, did enough that EWTN found a dozen paged of quotes from contemporary Jewish sources that were favorable to his behavior? A Pope who is defended from such accusations by a Jewish historian (formerly of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America) who not only debunks the claims, but describes Pius XII as the greatest friend to Jews of the 20th century? The man who, at his death, got this official condolence from Golda Meir, Israel’s delegate to the UN: “When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace.”

This man gets described as “Hitler’s Pope”?

Ah, such is the power of a well-crafted story, even if that craft is used for evil ends.

I’ll start at the beginning: it was a KGB plot. (I told you this was ridiculous– I can’t help it if the USSR lived down to bad 80s movies.)

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3 Responses to In Defense of Pius XII

Fortnight for Freedom: Pius XII

Monday, June 23, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014



Hattip to Father Z. From the speech of Pope Pius XII to seminarians on the opening of the North American College in Rome on October 14, 1953:



We belong to the Church militant ; and she is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights. No rank of the clergy is spared ; and the faithful—their number is legion—inspired by the valiant endurance of their shepherds and fathers in Christ, stand firm, ready to suffer and die, as the martyrs of old, for the one true Faith taught by Jesus Christ. Into that militia you seek to be admitted as leaders.

Imprisonment and martyrdom, We know, do not loom on the horizon that spreads before your eyes. In an atmosphere of untrammeled freedom, where «the word of God is not bound», the Church in your country has grown in numbers, in influence, in strength of leadership in all that makes for the good of the commonwealth. The college on the via dell’Umiltà has seen your priests increase from twenty-fìve hundred to forty-fìve thousand and more-proud and glorious tribute to the unselfìsh, clear-visioned Catholic family life that prevails among you; a mission country become a seminary of apostles for foreign fìelds. But the Church militant is «one body, with one Spirit … with the same Lord, the same faith, the same baptism».(Eph 4, 4 ff.) And that Spirit calls for more than a dash of heroism in every priest who would be worthy of the name, whatever the external circumstances of time and place.

The spirit of the martyrs breathes in every priestly soul, who in the daily round of pastoral duties and in his cheerful, unrelenting efforts to increase in wisdom and in grace, gives witness to the Prince of shepherds, who endured the cross, despised the shame «when He gave Himself up on our behalf, a sacrifice breathing out fragrance as He offered it to God». (Eph 5, 2.)

We raise a fervent prayer to Mary Immaculate, under whose patronage you have placed your country, to Mary gloriously assumed into heaven, whom you have wished to honour in your chapel here, that she would always show a mother’s loving care of the clergy of America, and guide you, beloved seminarians, bearers of such high hopes, along the way that leads to that holiness which will bring her to recognize in you a greater and greater resemblance to her own divine Son.

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2 Responses to Fortnight for Freedom: Pius XII

June 5, 1944: Liberation of Rome

Thursday, June 5, AD 2014

In the afternoon of the same day, Wednesday, June 7th, the Pope received, in a memorable and moving general audience in the Sala Clementina, some seven hundred grimy Allied soldiers, most of them fresh from battle and all of them in the highest spirits. There were British, French, Americans, Poles, Indians, and men from all the Dominions. The contrast between these varieties of battle-dress and the plumed Swiss Guard in their sixteenth-century uniforms who marshalled them made the deepest impression : here were the centuries meeting, as well as the nations of the free world, at an historic moment in history. The Pope said in English from the throne : “We bless all you here in person, and We send Our blessing to your loved ones at home. We pray that God in His love and mercy may be with you always. Goodbye. Bless you all.” Then he administered the Apostolic Benediction as the soldiers knelt, and came down from the throne, passing among the men as he made his way to leave. Hundreds of soldiers pressed round the common father, trying to kiss his hand or his cassock, and altogether too enthusiastic for the Swiss Guard ; but the Pope himself was entirely unperturbed, smiling, and speaking all the time to those nearest to him. Every soldier who attended was given a rosary which he had specially blessed, in a little envelope bearing the papal crest.

The Tablet, June 17, 1944




The Italian theatre of operations was the forgotten theatre of operations in World War II Europe.  The American, British, Poles, New Zealanders, Australians, South Africans, Brazilians and other Allied troops fought a long and grinding  campaign against a formidable German defense, with advances often painfully won from mountain top to mountain top, up the tough spine of the Italian boot.  Typical of how events in Italy were overshadowed by events elsewhere in Europe was the liberation of Rome on June 5, 1944, a very hard won objective of the Allied 5th American Army and the 8th British Army, which was immediately overshadowed by D-Day the next day.

The above video is color footage showing the entrance of some of the American troops into Rome on June 5, 1944, and an audience they had with Pope Pius XII.

The Pope, like almost all Romans, was joyous to be free from Nazi occupation, and he made that clear when he met with General Mark Clark.

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16 Responses to June 5, 1944: Liberation of Rome

  • Rome was not ‘a very hard won’ objective, in fact it was not an objective at all; it was an ‘open city’ which was taken without resistance when Mark Clark put personal vainglory before duty and disobeyed orders to engage the German 10th Army. The escape of that unit was to result in subsequent Allied casualties which could have been avoided. Alexander should have sacked him, but the US press was lauding Clark as a hero and Churchill, not always a good judge of character, held Clark in some esteem. I understand that after the war some American veterans tried to bring Clark to book, but the authorities intervened and prevented it.

    Don, feel free to dismiss this as ‘complete and utter rubbish’ (without adducing any evidence to the contrary) but you do have a tendency to view history through the distorting lens of national prejudice.

  • “The American, British, Poles, New Zealanders, Australians, South Africans, Brazilians and other Allied troops fought a long and grinding campaign against a formidable German defense…”

    One should also remember the 112,000 men of the French Expeditionary Corps from the Army of North Africa. They were commanded by Général Alphonse Juin (later Maréchal de France) He is credited with the plans for breaking the Gustav line and he was the victor of the battle of the Garigliano.

  • I only use the term rubbish when it is merited John, for example in regard to your asinine statement today that it was ludicrous to view the fight against Nazi Germany as a moral crusade because Hitler made the mistake of attacking his fellow gangster Joe Stalin, as if that derogated in the slightest from the stopping of one of the worst tyrannies ever devised by fallen Man.

    In regard to Clark and his decision to take Rome, you and I have been over this ground before and at time I told you that I agreed with you, so what you are burbling on about this morning is beyond me:

    “No dissing of the” American Eagle” John! Basically your criticism is just, although I think it was less than clear at the time that Clark’s decision to take Rome was the mistake it turned out to be in hindsight. Here is a good overview: As for Montgomery, I rate him fairly highly. I think his Market-Garden plan was brilliant although the execution was wanting. I also agree with this Churchill quote about Montgomery: “Indomitable in retreat, invincible in advance, insufferable in victory.””

  • My great uncle, Tom (RIP) was a tank crew-member with Patton in North Africa and Sicily and fought all the way up the Italian boot ending the war in the Po Valley. He had a picture of Pope Pius XII giving his blessing. My great uncle George was a rifleman in the same division as Audie Murphy. Thay outfit had the record for 56 days in the line, I think. He contracted hepatitis in the fighting. They never talked about Clark. Their world-view was more intimate, as in the tank wherein the German shells would come in and out, and he prayed one doesn’t hit the ammunition or gasoline; and from that little bit of cover from Nazi mortar and MG fire . . .

    Nolan: You are correct about Rome. However, there are a hundred such digs against Clark (and every brass hat since Agamemnon).

    The entire Italian campaign from D-Day at Salerno through the blood-soaked, devastating defeat at the Rapido River, at Anzio, each hill-top in the mountains on the way to Monte Cassino and at Cassino, etc. Italy was a horrific, bloody meat grinder.

    Italy permanently went off the “front burner” beginning the next day, June 6, 1944.

  • Clark was a brave man and an inspiring combat leader. His tactical sense deserted him far too often, alas.

  • Actually, I think that the Germans had it right about Monty – ‘overcautious, habit-ridden and systematic’. Anyone who sees war in terms of a moral crusade puts himself in the same camp as the Islamic jihadists. Public opinion, of course, needs to be reassured that right is on their side, and the British government propaganda machine played on this in the Great War, even persuading the Americans to join in a ‘war for democracy’. Not that the Central Powers did themselves any favours; in 1914 German and Austrian behaviour in Belgium and Serbia respectively went far beyond the norms of civilized warfare.

    The 1930s was a decade of ideology; the Left fell over itself to lick Stalin’s boots and volunteered for the Spanish Civil War which they saw (wrongly) as a conflict between Fascism and Communism. The fact that both ideologies are cut from the same cloth seems to have eluded them. The Right saw Fascism as representing a return to order but in a modernistic 20th century interpretation. Liberal pacifist sentiment put its faith in collective security and the League of Nations. Faced with the threat of German expansion, the sensible course was to keep Mussolini on side, regardless of Abyssinia (then, as now, a benighted and insignificant country which the Italians might have done something with had it been given to them in the general share-out in 1919). The fact that a perception of ‘international morality’ was allowed to override clear strategic considerations was in retrospect a mistake. No such moral scruples prevented the West from allying with Stalin after 1941.

    US hostility to Japan (Britain’s erstwhile ally) had absolutely nothing to do with the nature of the Tokyo regime, and everything to do with control of the Pacific. Does anyone seriously believe Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 in order to impose ‘regime change’ on Germany? Now that would indeed be ‘complete and utter rubbish’. Why did the USA wait for Germany to declare war, more than two years into the conflict, before embarking on her ‘moral crusade’? One isn’t disputing that the western Allies in terms of their regimes had a moral advantage over their enemies (Germany and Japan) although some of their conduct would be difficult to justify morally.

    Wars were fought for national survival or perceived national interest, which in a European context included maintaining the balance of power. The Americans came to realize this after 1945. The Cold War was a classic example of balance of power theory, despite the ideological posturing on both sides.

  • “Does anyone seriously believe Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 in order to impose ‘regime change’ on Germany?”

    Yes, because there was no safety without such regime change. Churchill clearly understood that and he would replace Chamberlain as Prime Minister in May 1940. Anyone who could not see that Hitler and the Nazis were absolute monsters who had to be stopped were fools then and remain fools now.
    “Faced with the threat of German expansion, the sensible course was to keep Mussolini on side,”

    Disagree considering how much Italy cost Germany in the War. Churchill’s quip after hearing that Italy had entered the War: “It’s only fair. We had to have them in the last war.” proved prophetic.

    “US hostility to Japan (Britain’s erstwhile ally) had absolutely nothing to do with the nature of the Tokyo regime, and everything to do with control of the Pacific.”

    More rubbish. Japanese behavior in China led to the stoppage of oil and metals from the US to Japan by the Roosevelt administration in 1940. The Japanese war against had virtually no impact on the US.

    “Why did the USA wait for Germany to declare war, more than two years into the conflict, before embarking on her ‘moral crusade’?”

    Actually the US was aiding Britain by 1940, and fighting an undeclared naval war against Nazi Germany in 1941. Considering that Nazi Germany was not an immediate threat to the US that was an impressive achievement by FDR since many Americans were isolationist considering how the Europeans botched the peace after World War I and now looked to America to come riding to the rescue yet again.

    “The Cold War was a classic example of balance of power theory, despite the ideological posturing on both sides.”

    “Ideological posturing.” Anyone who cannot tell the difference morally between the United States and the Soviet Union is a moral cretin.

    Balance of power considerations and national concerns will always have a role in questions of peace and war, but to exaggerate rate these and ignore the moral considerations of the Western Allies during World War II in opposing the Axis is to be counting the bark on trees and missing the panorama of the forest.

  • John Nolan wrote, “Not that the Central Powers did themselves any favours; in 1914 German and Austrian behaviour in Belgium and Serbia respectively went far beyond the norms of civilized warfare.”
    It began much earlier and ran much deeper than that. Denmark had lost two provinces, France had lost two provinces, and the fall of Paris to the Prussians in 1870 had been seen almost everywhere as the fall of the capital of civilization, the equivalent of the sack of Rome by the Goths. The Saverne incident had shocked the conscience of Europe and, year after year, young men in the lost provinces crossed the frontier to perform their military service in France, knowing they would be forbidden to return to home and family. Unless Germany could be contained, no one could feel secure.

  • The Italian campaign is indeed the mostly forgotten European theater of war. The battles at Anzio and at Monte Cassino were meatgrinders in every sense of the word. In retrospect, the campaign did force Hitler to spend resources in manpower, armaments and fuel that he certainly would have spent elsewhere – had Italy stayed out of the war.

    Anyone who thought the USSR was anything more than an ally of convenience in WWII was crazier than hell. There were such people in FDR’s administrations (Hiss, to start). There are people who bring up the price the USSR paid to defeat Germany in WWII. These people usually omit the fact that Stalin was Hitler’s ally from September 1939 to June 1941. Stalin was stupid enough to trust Hitler and the millions of civilian dead in the USSR and elsewhere paid the price for Stalin’s stupidity. The USSR did not fight a two or three front war, either, while the US and Great Britain did.

    Great Britain was the nation entitled to march into Berlin, not Stalin’s troops. Great Britain stood alone against Hitler while Stalin supplied Hitler with raw materials and carved up Poland with Hitler. The Germans would have surrendered faster to the British and Americans. What a blunder that decision was.

    Germany was expansionist from the time of Frederick the Great – if not sooner – to the defeat of the Nazi dictatorship. Poland, France and others – one way or another, they all were threatened or lost territory to Germany.

  • Some historians have argued that Britain might have concluded a peace with Germany on favourable terms in 1941, since it was clear by then that neither side could invade the other. However, Churchill knew that no agreement with Hitler was worth the paper it was written on. So the nature of the regime in Germany was important, but it is going too far to claim that Britain went to war in 1939 to effect ‘regime change’.

    Had the July 1944 plotters succeeded in killing Hitler and effected regime change from within, would the Allies have negotiated with an anti-Nazi German government whose key figures were military men? Highly unlikely for a number of reasons.

    ‘The Europeans botched the peace after World War I and now looked to the Americans to come riding to the rescue yet again’. It took the Americans over a year to field just two divisions and their military contribution to the defeat of the Central Powers was more potential than actual. However, as intended, it did give Woodrow Wilson the opportunity to join with LLoyd George and Clemenceau in forging the ‘botched’ peace at Versailles.

  • “It took the Americans over a year to field just two divisions and their military contribution to the defeat of the Central Powers was more potential than actual.”

    By the time of the Armistice 2,000,000 doughboys were in France and the US led the Meuse-Argonne offensive with 1.2 million troops. Casualties for America in the 1918 campaigns were 320,000 as opposed to 330,000 for France. French morale was still shaky from the 1917 mutinies and Great Britain was reaching the bottom of its manpower barrel. Additionally America supplied endless money and food to the Allies. But for American intervention I do not think the Allies would have won in 1918, and the War might well have ended in stalemate.

    As for the Europeans botching the peace, Britain and France were unwilling to enforce its terms against Germany. Most Americans assumed that the WWI intervention was a one shot affair and they would not be called upon to exercise long term influence in Europe. They were sadly mistaken.

  • It’s real easy to point at Wilson, George and Clemenceau and point fingers about a “botched peace”. A substantial part of France was destroyed. Clemenceau wanted Germany punished and in retrospect it’s easy to see why, even though he was wrong in demanding the amount of reparations France wanted. France wanted Alsace-Lorraine back and finally got it.

    Wilson was the leading voice in the West that favored the reestablishment of the Polish nation. Great Britain and France weren’t so keen on the idea. Germany did not want to surrender Danzig or Greater Poland. The Allies did not fight Germany in the East and Germany had no intention of surrendering the former Polish territory it held. Poland had to kick Germany out and kick them out they did.

    The German government allowed safe passage of Lenin from Switzerland to Russia and gave him money to help overthrow the czarist government in order to get Russia out of the war. Had Lenin not been allowed to return to Russia there might not have been a USSR.

    The actions of the German government made things a lot worse, before during and after WWI. Contrary to Buchananist belief, the USA’s involvement in WWI did not lead to the rise of Hitler. Germany screwed that up all by themselves. The NSDAP was a minor, fringe, hate group and the German people should have known better than to listen to Hitler’s hateful screeds. Previous German governments took French, Polish and Austrian territory and helped Lenin.

    Lenin wanted to repay the Germans by inciting a Communist revolution there after WWI. Germany had a Communist Party. Lenin wanted to steamroll through Poland. The Red Army was stopped and driven back by the Poles.

    Stalin and Hitler had good excuses to hate Poland. Poland, which didn’t exist for 123 years, embarrassed both Germany and the USSR.

    WWII was an extension of WWI. German means for waging war were not destroyed after WWI and Germany quit in WWI. In WWII Germany was bombed, smashed and wrecked and was forced to surrender and submit to occupation.

  • Penguins Fan

    The most obvious “botch” of the Versailles Treaty was its failure to insist on the Rhine as the Western frontier of German. As Maréchal Ferdinand Foch pointed out, Germany had invaded French territory from the Rhineland five times in a century, 1814, 1815, 1870, 1914 and 1918. That should have been enough. In the event, he remarked, “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years,” a prediction justified by the event.

    The balkanisation of Central and Eastern Europe, pursuant to Woodrow Wilson’s principle of the self-determination of nationalities was another blunder; a standing invitation to intervention by the Great Powers.

    I would add that the way in which the Ottoman Empire was partitioned is the source of most of the troubles in the Middle East today, after half-a-century and more in which Britain, France and Germany had done everything to shore it up. It was grounded on the fallacy that Islam was a moribund superstition and that nationality would trump religion as the bond of political union.

  • Mr. Patterson-Seymour,

    Wilson’s predicament is that he could not support the establishment of Poland and then deny it to others in Europe who had to live as part of someone else’s empire, be it Hungary, the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Baltic states or anyone else – and Poland was going to get back on the map if they had to fight everyone else in Europe.

    The Ottoman Empire was dying. WWI just pushed along the inevitable. The Middle East conflict can be summed up in one word – Islam. Muslims don’t get along with anyone – even other Muslims.

  • Penguins Fan

    As to that, the Regency Kingdom of Poland had already been created in 1915.

    In the Balkans, the solution proposed by the Congress of Berlin, whereby various territories were placed under Austrian administration, whilst Ottoman sovereignty continued to be recognised provided a partial solution, as had a similar method in Egypt and the Sudan, with a British protectorate.

    The Arab revolt against Turkish rule had been preceded by the revolt of the Young Turks against Arab influence that was carried through by the Turkish Republic. Turkish nationalism was as much a solvent of the Empire as Arab nationalism

  • The Regency Kingdom was nothing more than a vassal to the Czar and for the most part existed on paper. Russia did not evacuate the portions of Poland it held until after Lenin seized power. Austria withdrew after the armistice and as stated earlier, Poland kicked Germany out.

    Turks, Arabs – Muslims all, hating each other and everyone else.

PopeWatch: Pius XII

Thursday, May 29, AD 2014



Although it seems that it is almost impossible for a modern pope to escape canonization, Pope Francis does appear to make one exception:  Pius XII.

Without a miracle on his record, the beatification of Second World War-era pontiff Pius XII is stalled, says Pope Francis.
         During a news conference held as Francis returned Monday from a three-day trip to the Holy Land, the pope said that the file on Pius XII is still open.
         “There is still no miracle,” said Francis.      “If there are no miracles we cannot go forward”.

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11 Responses to PopeWatch: Pius XII

  • I can think of one miracle Pius XII did. He never made stupid, off the cuff statements during his entire papacy!

  • Back then that was the norm and not miraculous. Today…

  • Well, the canonisation process seems to have been rendered quite flexible since John Paul II. I don’t see anything to stop a canonisation by Papal pronouncement.

    JP II’s declaration of St Maximilian Kolbe as a “martyr to charity” rather than “odium fideii” was certainly an innovation.

  • If it is miracles that are needed, then why was Teresa Higginson not beatified and sanctified. The unintelligent for the non pedire on her case is utter rubbish. Her Archbishop had ste it in motion but it was stopped by a group of theologians who said the the cult of the Sacred head was just too much. The cult was a very ancient British Custom of praying for Wisdom right back to St Bede

  • I found the Holy Father’s “no miracles yet” excuse for not beatifying Pius XII pretty hollow, given that just last year, he waived the requirement and canonized a fellow Jesuit from the counter-reformation era.

  • Pope Pius was my pope when I was a child in Catholic School. He came to NYC, too.

    Brings back memories. A six-year-old, red-haired yahoo singing in the courtyard of St. Eugene’s Annex Chapel/school.. “O, May we crown thee with flowers today . . . Queen of the Angels . . . . Queen of the May!”

    Today, too, is the real Memorial Day. I have “Last Post/Tattoo” ringing in my head.

  • He is Venerable. A year ago I think pope Francis was considering his elevation. I wonder of Pope Francis wants to shelve it temporarily because he wants to smooth Jewish/Arab efforts, and some Jews do protest.

  • No miracles attributed to Pius XII? I don’t believe that for a second.

    thanks to the wretched play The Deputy and Soviet anti-Catholic propaganda, Pius XII has been smeared for decades. He was a pontiff of heroic virtue. Pope Francis ought to be looking at Pius XII as an example of a pope.

  • I am astounded that Pope Pius XII does not have any miracles. I certainly believe he was saintly as both a Christian and a successor of Peter. We all better get praying 🙂

    The Soviet propaganda machine to which so many fell hook line and sinker was a terrible travesty. While faithful Catholics did not and believe the ‘stuff’ coming from ‘the Deputy’, it did horrendous harm to such a faithful servant of the Lord and the Church.

    I always found that the name which the head rabbi of the Roman Jewish Ghetto took when he converted to Catholicism in the later 1940’s was an extremely helpful ‘weapon’ gainst the lies of “the Deputy”. The head rabbi was baptized as “Eugenio”, Pope Pius XII’s own baptismal name.

  • “There is still no miracle,” said P. Francis. “If there are no miracles we cannot go forward”.
    That’s right: Those are the rules. And PF would NEVER change the rules. Heaven forbid.

The Pope’s Jews

Sunday, February 10, AD 2013


Christopher Johnson at The Midwest Conservative is at it again.  He is a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so ofen in defense of the Faith that I have designated him Defender of the Faith.  He enters the lists now on behalf of the most unjustly maligned man of the last century, Pope Pius XII:

or, Whoops There Goes Another Liberal Cliche:

Pius XII has long been vilified as “Hitler’s pope”, accused of failing publicly to condemn the genocide of Europe’s Jews. Now a British author has unearthed extensive material that Vatican insiders believe will restore his reputation, revealing the part that he played in saving lives and opposing nazism. Gordon Thomas,

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  Who is this guy, some trad Catholic?  Dude, that’s special pleading, that’s not genuine research, you blithering idiot.

a Protestant,

Never mind.

was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before.

The Pope’s Jews, which will be published next month, details how Pius gave his blessing to the establishment of safe houses in the Vatican and Europe’s convents and monasteries. He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.

Thomas shows, for example, that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy. More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics and a network saved German Jews by bringing them to Rome. The pope appointed a priest with extensive funds with which to provide food, clothing and medicine. More than 4,000 Jews were hidden in convents and monasteries across Italy.

During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem’s chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates “are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour”. Jewish newspapers in Britain and America echoed that praise, and Hitler branded him “a Jew lover”.

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14 Responses to The Pope’s Jews

  • “During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem’s chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates “are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour”.

    This is very gratifying to read but it makes me wonder why the opposite opinion ever gained traction in the culture. When that play by Hochhuth came out, the lies it contained should have been refuted immediately.

  • GH: It’s not about the war on Pope Pius. It’s about the war on Holy Mother Church, which they hate for the same reasons the devil hates Holy Water.

    Whatever the lying sacs of excrement say says more about them than about Pope Pius XII, of blessed memory, or any other subverted subject they spout.

  • IIRC, the Pope even hid many folks in Castle Gandalfo.

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  • The Pope’s Actions caused the Chief Rabbi of Rome to convert to the Catholic Church. The Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, praised Pius XII highly for saving over 700,000 Jews , and I believe she named him a Righteous Gentile.

  • As to the Chief Rabbi of Rome Robert he and the Pope were good friends and he was grateful to the Pope for saving Jews. However that was not caused him to convert. Christ spoke to him in a vision. Go to the link below for the fascinating story:

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  • “He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.

    Thomas shows, for example, that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy. More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics …”

    Uh oh. Don’t tell you-know-who that Pius XII is a “liar for Jesus”, just like Lila Rose.

  • True Jay. Pius XII was another “Conman for God” during the War and doubtless has reaped a rich reward from God as a result! The arguments by William Doino and others that Pius never authorized lies or deception to rescue Jews is completely at variance with the historical record.

  • Don’t forget that there was a Soviet disinformation campaign against Pius XII; the KGB and its predecessors were masters of this. There are historians today who still repeat stories of atrocities committed by Ukrainian nationalists which never happened, and the attempt to blame the Katyn massacre on the Germans involved the wholesale manufacture of bogus forensic science evidence. As late as the 1970s their version was still being given credence by the British government.

    Hochhuth could have been a stooge, but more likely was one of Lenin’s “useful idiots”.

  • The Soviet campaign died in the 60s. Long after the demise of the Soviet Union, it seemed that hardly a year passed without some claimed revelation about Pius XII, Hitler’s pope. And who can forget those historians and muckrakers, not all of them disgruntled Catholics, who hinted darkly that the Vatican had a lot of skeletons to hide. But now that the Vatican archives have been catalogued into the war years where are they now? Like many others I too was taken in by the propaganda. Pius could not save his closest brothers and sisters, the priests and nuns who died in the thousands at the hands of the Nazis, all his diplomatic skills could not spare Catholic Poland, yet somehow a word from him was enough to save the Jews. The man endured a living martyrdom, how he must have suffered in those years.

  • Why did people begin to believe the lies about Pius XII about 1965? I’ll tell you why. Because that is when it began to be blazingly clear that the record of ALL the main allies in WWII in the matter of Jewish persecution stank; that Great Britain and the USA had both positively refused to help any persecuted Jews, and, in the full knowledge that Hitler was systematically having them butchered, pretty much said “good luck to it”; that, after the war, the British practically took the place of the Germans as enemies of the Jews, to the point of having Jews thrown into German bamps guarded by German guards, and of systematically supporting and arming the Jews’ enemies in Palestine; and that when President Truman took the elementary step of giving Israel diplomatic recognition, half the Administration was against him. The Soviet Union’s record on matters Jewish, of course, is best left unmentioned. These were countries, the British Empire and the USA, who could perfectly well have let in as many Jews as they wished, countries in fact that lived on immigration; they just did not want them, and they did not want them because they were Jewish. If Hitler killed the lot, well, too bad for them, but really, he’s solved our problem for us. And when the infamy of Britain and America, let alone Russia, in this matter, became clear, there was need of a scapegoat, someone to take the blame, so that we don’t have to dwell on our fathers’ guilt. I have given a larger account of my views here:

  • Yes, it is true that during WWII no one of political importance really cared about the Jewish situation and that was in keeping with the zeitgeist. The Zionist movement was rather countercultural, I guess.

  • Jay Anderson: “Uh oh. Don’t tell you-know-who that Pius XII is a “liar for Jesus”, just like Lila Rose.”
    Any law may be broken to save a human life. This is law. The only country willing to take Jews was Haiti and Papa Doc Trujillo would only accept baptized Catholic Jews. Over 800,000 Jews were accepted into Haiti. The baptismal certificates were wishes for the future. Many of the Jews were baptized by desire.