[ the actual title of this page:]

  ( for ComputerIcon   or   SmartPhone-Icon )


What happens to sheep
when they have
careless shepherds ?

Can "the one true Church"
be absolved of sins which
it has yet to even confess ?

Sections :
Intro ~ 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ [ 5 ]
of R C C  &  the Holocaust

Introduction :

I was raised as a very pious, quite conservative Roman Catholic. I spent a total of 24 years in Catholic schools and seminaries culminating in my ordination to the priesthood and my assignment as a seminary professor. Since then Iíve become a liberal, have left the Catholic Church, and have become very critical of the hierarchy of my once beloved church family. But many of my very extended family and personal friends are still Roman Catholics, and their faith doesnít prevent me from having deep affection for them.
        This webpage draws on my Catholic youth in order to appeal to Roman Catholics in the pews. One of the reasons that I became interested in studying the Jewish holocaust was the astonishing fact that came to my attention some twenty years ago that 98% of the population of Germany during that period identified themselves as "Christians"! Oh my God! That has to mean that it was Christians - not pagans, atheists, or other non-believers - who chose Hitler and the Nazis as their elected leaders, and then obeyed their orders to conduct the Jewish Holocaust. After spending years studying and documenting the horrors suffered by the Jews at the hands of Christians like me throughout that period, I am dedicating this page to the harm done by the R. C. hierarchy in particular to their many millions of Roman Catholic members in the pews, i.e. people like YOU, perhaps, because I love good people like you! I love you infinitely more than the priests, bishops and popes who preferred to let Catholics like you go to hell, rather than risk suffering any pain on their behalf!

A picture is worth a thousand words.

The snapshot below is just one of many such mementos that were sent back home to Germany by soldiers at the front, which illustrate the fact that German Catholics and Protestants in Hitler's employ had little compunction about their job of routinely slaughtering women and children whose only crime was that they had been born into the wrong race and/or religion.


Now, having spent 40+ years  as a clergyman, first in the R. C. church, and then in one of America's leading Protestant denominations, I can't imagine any sincere Catholic or Protestant looking at the picture below, and not viewing the Christian doing the shooting as an even more tragic figure than the Jews being shot,  because the former is earning perpetual damnation, while the latter may well be destined for eternal reward. That is why I've editted the photo and created a special frame for it to show how tragic the Holocaust was for both Christians and Jews, even if in very different ways.


What makes me so sure, you may ask, that this shooter was a Christian? The reason is that 66% of Germans at the time professed to be "Protestant" and 33% "Catholic", while only 1% - which included the Jews - professed some other belief system.  In order to carry out the murder of 10 million people, Adolf Hitler needed help, lots of it. He didn't find the millions of those helpers on planet Mars. Rather, he found them in the pews of the churches of Germany. So the vast majority of Germans who had  innocent blood on their hands during the holocaust, like the guards photographed below by the 2nd in command at Auschwitz, where an average of 6,000 Jews were being exterminated every day, had to be "Christians".



Although the Nazis developed a much more industrialized version of killing Jews in western Europe, where (according to http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/cclist.html) "The Nazis established 15,000 camps in the occupied countries", the more personal Eastern European version of the Holocaust caught in this snapshot captures the very essence of this horrendous crime against humanity of both versions.

And who is to blame for the fate of the millions of Christians, like this shooter, whom Hitler needed to carry out his diabolical plan to exterminate millions of innocent human beings? To be sure, all of the individuals involved bore some of the guilt, but not all of it.  Most Christians may be unfamiliar with the bible teaching below, but every clergyman should be familiar with it, as it is addressed to them in particular.

Ezekiel 33:1-9   "The word of the LORD came to me:
        O mortal, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one of their number as their sentinel; and if the sentinel sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people; then if any who hear the sound of the trumpet do not take warning, and the sword comes and takes them away, their blood shall be upon their own heads, (but you will have saved your life).
        They heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning. If only they had taken warning, they would have saved their lives.
        But if the sentinel sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any of them, they are taken away in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at the sentinel's hand."

Obviously, "the sword" of which Ezekiel warns can be any major threat to the well-being of the community. During the period of the Second World War, the Catholic Church showed that it viewed "communism" as such a threat. Pope Pius XI has issued a powerful condemnation of it in his 1937 Encyclical Divini Redemptoris And in 1949 Pius XII threatened any and all of Italy's Catholics with excommunication if they dared join the Communist Party.

Now the Catholic church viewed Nazism as such a threat in the early 1930's, and warned the faithful against joining the Nazi Party, but all of that changed totally in 1933. At the very moment that this "enemy" was at the gate, and the Nazi Party and Hitler needed just a few more votes in Germany's Reichstag in order to gain complete control of the parliament and make Hitler the country's dictator, the leaders of the Catholic church obliged Hitler by disbanding its very powerful Catholic "Center Party" and  rescinding their ban on Catholics joining the Nazi Party. How could that not be viewed by the Catholic faithful as approval of Adolf Hitler and the new Nazi government?

Some believe that the R C Church adopted the political theory that  "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", and since the Fascists were at war with the Communists, the  church should consider the Fascists its friends.  For whatever reason, no matter how much evil the Nazis perpetrated,during their 12 year domination of Western Europe,  the Catholics of Europe were never warned of the mortal danger to their souls that cooperation with Adolf Hitler's plans for the mass-murder of at least 10 million innocent human beings.

"Holy See" ?
    Isn't it amusing how English–speaking Catholic churchmen insist on translating the Latin "Sancta Sedes" into the meaningless "Holy See", instead of the correct, but silly–sounding "Holy Seat"?

a papal throne
  1. Neither the Catholic, nor the Protestant faithful got the leadership which they had every right to receive from their shepherds.

  2. What kind of Catholic leadership was presiding over Germany when Catholic families were producing not only Adolf Hitler, but a great many of the other high-ranking Nazi leaders like Heinrich Himmler, Josef Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Rudolf Hoess, Julius Streicher, Fritz Thyssen (who bankrolled the Nazi rise to power), Klaus Barbie, and Franz Von Papen were all Roman Catholics, as were the heads of all of these NAZI countries : Leon Degrelle of Belgium, Emil Hacha of Bohemia-Moravia, Ante Pavelic of Croatia, Konrad Henlein of Sudetenland, Pierre Laval and then Henry Petain of Vichy-France. and the R.C. priest, Msgr. Josef Tiso, of Slovakia, who wasn't even defrocked after the defeat of the Nazis. (This is so important that I devote an entire page to the many Roman Catholics in the highest eschelons of the Nazi Leadership).

  3. Although the Catholic church excommunicated any and all Catholics who simply dared to join the Communist Party – even if they harmed no one -, no matter how many mass–murders were committed under the direction of Roman Catholic Nazis, not a single one of them was ever excommunicated?

  4. How many hundreds of thousands, or even millions of  Catholics are going to spend their entire eternity in hell because, instead of being taught to "obey God, rather than man" when it came to the thousands of immoral orders they were given as cogs in the Nazi holocaust machinery, they were taught to be loyal subjects of their civil as well as religious leaders?

  5. At a time when the church regularly forbid the consumption by Catholics of objectionable movies and books, what other message could the faithful get from the church's unwillingness to put Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf on the "its "Index of Forbidden Books"?  Click here for more detail on excommunication and the Index.

  6. What was the message sent to Catholics who saw the "Holy See" became one of the very first independent political entities to recognize Hitler's government in 1933, and

  7. What was the message sent to Catholics who saw the "Holy See" negotiate its unwise "Reich Concordat" with Hitler, just six months after he was in office, thereby giving him unwarranted moral legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of the world?

  8. How could the R.C. hierarchy have been expected to ever seriously oppose Hitler's policies when its church had including a very serious provision in its Concordat with Hitler requiring all Catholic bishops to swear "before God and on the Holy Gospels" not to do so by this formal pact, one of whose key provisions was the following?
  9. Article 16

    Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula :

    Before God and on the Holy Gospels I swear and promise as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and to the [regional - EC] State of . . .
        "I swear and promise to honor the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of my diocese to honor it. In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it."

  10. Once it became clear that it had "made a pact with the devil", why didn't the Church leadership ever repudiate that Concordat? Even after the Nazis began their mass–murdering rampage six years after they came to power, and launched their clearly immoral world war, "the Holy See" could not bring itself to dissolve its union with "the Third Reich" and instruct the faithful that they, too, should distance themselves from this evil regime?  Click here for much more detail on this diabolical deal.

  11. How could the Church in Germany ever be convincing in condemning the Nazi government, while it continued to receive substantial subsidies from that government in support of its parochial schools? ( Unlike our U.S. system, in Germany, the "confessional schools" are part of the state–supported education system.) Was not that constant stream of money a form of bribery making it impossible for the church to "bite the hand that was feeding it"?

  12. Whereas individuals may well be able to determine what is right and what wrong in the area of interpersonal relationships, that is a a much more difficult task where international relationships are concerned. Although the R. C. church has promulgated its principles for determining when war between nation may be justified, as this summary from paragraph 2309 of its official Catechism shows, the Catholic Church teaches that "The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good." (such as the pope and/or a nation's hierarchy)
  13. The "Just War" Principles

    "The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

    • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    • there must be serious prospects of success;

    • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

  14. What the insistence on being "neutral" meant for Pope Pius XII, and Pius XI before him was that they had to treat the Fascist side in this conflict that was braking most of the Just War rules the very same way that they treated the Allied side that was following most of those rules.

  15. And how could the "Holy See" insist throughout WW II that "the Church could not take sides" when it never did anything to counter the message that the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Germany regularly delivered to the members of the Catholic (i.e. universal) Church that they needed to fight for the victory of Nazi Germany?

  16.  When the devout Catholic scholar, Gordon Zahn, went to Germany in the 1950's in the hope of vindicating his beloved church, the only conclusion he could reach from the documentation he found was that :

    "The German Catholic who looked to his religious superiors for spiritual guidance and direction regarding service in Hitler's wars received virtually the same answers he would have received from the Nazi ruler himself."   { German Catholics and Hitler's Wars ( p. 17 )

    The only evidence that he was able to find of German Catholics refusing to be a part of the Nazi military during the 12 years of the Nazi regime was of seven individuals.  And far from being supported by their Church for their opposition to Hitler, the records show that several of these "conscientious objectors", including a priest, were refused the sacraments because they were viewed by the church officials as "bad Catholics". Thanks in large part to Zahn's subsequent publicizing of the heroism of one of these conscientious objectors, in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI "beatified" Franz Jagerstatter.

    As I show at "the conscience of Nazi Germany, this simple peasant was able to figure out by himself and formulated very clearly what neither his bishops nor his pope were able to do. ("I cannot and never will believe that we Catholics must make ourselves tools of the worst and most dangerous anti–Christian power that has ever existed.")

  17. Why is it that, thanks to the very active role played by the local population, the highest percentage of success in making their country "Jew–free" goes to Lithuania, which managed to murder more than 95% of its Jews. In 1939, 85% of that country's citizens identified themselves as "Roman Catholic" (according to Gabriel Wilenski, the author of Six Million Crucifixions ?

  18. When priests heard the confessions of Catholic involved in any way with the Holocaust, what did the soldiers say about their work, and what questions did the priests ask or instructions did they give?  Whether they were military chaplains at the front, or priests back home, surely some of them must have known something about activities such as those recorded by field officers like Jaegher, which shows in excruciating detail how thorough the German soldiers were in carrying out Hitler's plan to exterminate ALL Jews. Here's a sample page (3) from his log:
Jaeger Report

Can you imagine having to explain such a work record
to God Almighty on judgment day?

Where did Nazis go when they died?

Speaking of "judgment day", were the Nazi military buried under crosses in the cemeteries below told that killing innocent people just because they were Jews was no way to achieve their dream of spending eternity with Jesus along with their fellow Christian family and friends?



Why did so many average Germans
support Adolf Hitler so heartily ?

A well–respected German historian has a radical new answer to that nagging question. Hitler, says Goetz Aly, not only made Germans feel important, but also made sure they were well cared–for by the state. He ensured that to the last days of the war not a single loyal German went hungry. Despite near–constant warfare, never once during his 12 years in power did Hitler raise taxes for working class people. He also – in great contrast to World War I – particularly pampered soldiers and their families, providing them more than double the salaries and benefits that American and British families received. As such, most Germans saw their Fuerher as a "warm–hearted" protector, says Aly, author of the new book "Hitlerís Peopleís State: Robbery, Racial War and National Socialism" and currently a guest lecturer at the University of Frankfurt. They were only too happy to overlook the Third Reichís unsavory, murderous side.
       Financing such home front "happiness" was no easy challenge, but Hitler essentially achieved it by robbing and murdering others, Aly claims. Jews. Slave laborers. Conquered lands. All offered tremendous opportunities for plunder, and the Nazis exploited it fully,
        [ from http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2005/03/why_did_so_many.html#sthash.M1S3FUFs.dpuf ]

Saint Edith Stein

In 1998 a famous Jewish scholar named Edith Stein, who had converted to Catholicism and become a nun, and was then killed at Auschwitz in 1942, was canonized by Pope John Paul II.
        But, if Edith Stein was the saint that the church says she was, she would probably have been happier if – instead of canonizing her 65 years later – the pope at the time,  Pius XI, had paid more attention to the letter she addressed to him in the very first year of the Nazi regime, 1933.  Sister Edith warned about the persecution and hatred levied against the Jews. Stein implored for intervention against this inhumanity in these words:

"As a child of the Jewish people who, by the grace of God, for the past eleven years has also been a child of the Catholic Church, I dare to speak to the Father of Christianity about that which oppresses millions of Germans. For weeks we have seen deeds perpetrated in Germany which mock any sense of justice and humanity, not to mention love of neighbor. For years the leaders of National Socialism have been preaching hatred of the Jews. Now that they have seized the power of government and armed their followers . . . this seed of hatred has germinated. . . . But the responsibility must fall, after all, on those who brought them to this point and it also falls on those who keep silent in the face of such happenings.
        Everything that happened and continues to happen on a daily basis originates with a government that calls itself ďChristian.Ē For weeks, not only Jews but also thousands of faithful Catholics in Germany, and, I believe, all over the world, have been waiting and hoping for the Church of Christ to raise its voice to put a stop to this abuse of Christís name. Isnít the effort to destroy Jewish blood an abuse of the holiest humanity of our Savior, of the most blessed Virgin and the apostles? Is not all this diametrically opposed to the conduct of our Lord and Savior, who, even on the cross, still prayed for his persecutors . . . We all, who are faithful children of the Church and who see the conditions in Germany with open eyes, fear the worst for the prestige of the Church, if the silence continues any longer.
        At the feet of your Holiness, requesting your apostolic blessing,"
Dr. Edith SteinĒ

Sr. Steinís letter received no answer.  The Church did not publicly acknowledge her letter until 2003, seventy years after it received it!

the "Vicar of Christ's" values
the true Christ's values:

Shortly after Pope Pius XII replaced Pius XI, he made this lofty promise:     "We feel that we owe no greater debt to our office and to our time than to testify to the truth with apostolic firmness : to give testimony to the truth. . . .   In the fulfillment of this, our duty, we shall not let ourselves be influenced by earthly considerations." Summi Pontificatus (October 20, 1939)
        The principle complaint of most of Pius XII's critics is that he simply didn't fulfill what he clearly recognized as his responsibility.
        Whether the episode reported below is true as claimed by Guenter Lewy in "The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany" , [p. 304] or not, as claimed by Ronald Rychlak in "The Pius War" (p.38), it represents an explanation as good as any other of why Pius XII avoided speaking out clearly and forcefully against the Jewish Holocaust. PiusXIIWhen asked by a reporter named Eduardo Senatro if he was going to do so in response to news of Nazi atrocities, the Pope is reported to have answered,

" Do not forget that millions of Catholics serve in the German armies. Shall I bring them into conflicts of conscience?

When in October 1941 Harold H. Tittmann, the assistant of Roosevelt's special emissary to the Vatican, tried to get the Pope to issue a public protest against the Germans' mass shooting of hostages, he was told that this could not be done since it would jeopardize the situation of the German Catholics."

Yet another reason that some Catholic apologists claim that Pius XII was right to avoid condemning the Nazis publicly was because Hitler might well have "decapitated" the church by kidnapping and imprisoning its pope, etc. Hitler did indeed consider such a possibility and ordered General Otto Wolff, the supreme commander of the SS and the German police in Italy to plan for its execution. The reason this never happened is that the Nazis were afraid of Catholic backlash. But in any event, consider this:

Although popes claim to be the "vicar of Christ", you have to wonder sometimes if they have even read the words of Jesus.
    If interpretted very narrowly, the passage below shows how far from the standard that Jesus set for representatives and followers the Catholic hierarchy have behaved where the children within their own flocks are concerned .

Matthew 18: 3–14  

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!
    Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.
    What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety–nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety–nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost."

Can you imagine, however, that Jesus would have limited his concern to "stumbling blocks", or to the spiritual well–being of children of the Catholic flock? I can't help but believe that in the middle of the Jewish Holocaust he would have said something like "Whoever saves a child (not to mention his innocent parents and grandparents) from Hitler, saves ME."
    And as for the often heard excuse that the "Holy See" was wise not to risk saving Jews because of the harm that might have resulted to the Catholic Church (such as destruction of churches, perhaps even the Vatican, and capture of the pope, etc.), this is how Jesus viewed physical threats from enemies :

Matthew 5: 10–12  

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who went before you."

Matthew 10 :16 . . 33  

"See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; . . . they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. . . . Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. . .
    "A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! "So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
    "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven."
       "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire."

After the Holy See lost most of its "Papal States" in the previous century, Pope Pius XII seems to have felt that it couldn't afford to risk losing more by opposing Hitler. Whether or not it lost its soul in the bargain, God alone may know for sure. Why, in the mean time, would the Catholic Church want to canonize this man?!?

What would Jesus do ?

When Jesus was asked to clarify what the second of the two great commandments was all about, he explained in one of his the most important parables, that action speaks louder than words, and that GOD is not fooled by professions of faith, nor by what may appear lack of faith.  What GOD appreciates and expects in people is a good heart which moves one to "love others as one does oneself", and to "do unto others what one would have others do unto them".  Jesus went out of his way, in his "Parable of the Good Samaritan" to point out that GOD often finds what he is looking for, not in churchy people who hold the right "beliefs", but in "non–believers" who do the right "works".
        Whoever called this the parable of "the Good Samaritan", may have missed the point, because Jesus didn't just highlight the genuineness of the one non–believer.   He contrasted that charitable behavior to the phoniness of the two religious leaders.  Why not refer to this as "the parable of the Faithless Churchmen"?

{ Luke 10 : 25–37 }  

One day an expert on Moses' laws came to test Jesus' orthodoxy by asking him this question: "Teacher, what does a man need to do to live forever in heaven?"  Jesus replied, "What does Moses' law say about it?"  "It says," he replied, "that you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.   And you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself."  "Right!" Jesus told him.  "Do this and you shall live!"
      But, wanting to justify himself, the man asked, "Which neighbors must I love?"   And Jesus replied with an illustration:
      "A Jew going on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by bandits.  They stripped him of his clothes and money, and beat him up and left him lying half dead beside the road.  By chance a priest came along; and when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.  A temple–assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but then went on.

Note:   * The Jewish leaders showed just how much they despised heretical Samaritans when they used that name to insult Jesus in { John 8:48 } :The Jews answered him, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?"

But a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw him, he felt deep pity.  Kneeling beside him the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them.  Then he put the man on his donkey and walked along beside him till they came to an inn, where he nursed him through the night.  The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins and told him to take care of the man.  "If his bill runs higher than that,"  he said,  "I'll pay the difference the next time I am here."
        "Now which of these three," Jesus asked, "would you say was a neighbor to the bandit's victim?"   The man replied, "The one who showed him some pity."   Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."

Now if Jesus expressed this much concern for one Jew, who was only mugged and robbed, how much more concern would he feel for six million Jews (and millions of Christian and other victims as well)?

See these contrasts to
the timidity of "the Holy See" :

  • the Conscience of Nazi Germany, where we show how a simple Austrian Catholic farmer named "Franz Jagerstatter" figured out what the entire German hierarchy combined was unable to do, namely what to think and say about the Nazi regime, even if it meant suffering a martyr's death.

  • those who saved Jews, where we highlight a number of nations where Christians and others did act heroically to save many, if not all, of their Jewish brothers and sisters.

Were the Pope & German
bishops even justified
in fearing Nazi retribution

"The Germans took no retribution on the Norwegian, French, Bulgarian, or Greek churches for championing the Jews, just as they had refrained from acting against the Danes.  The Nazis also took no retribution on Bishop Antonio Santin of Trieste, in northern Italy, who during a mass in early November 1943, with Germans and Italian Fascists present, denounced in the name of Jesus the roundup of the Jews as violations of "charity, goodness, and humanity," and urged that within his diocese "every hand offer help" to them.  The Germans did nothing to him, to his parishioners, to Jews married to Catholics, or to Catholics who had converted from Judaism.  Having suffered no punishment for his actions, Bishop Santin wrote a letter imploring the Pope to help the Jews – "  I humbly beg Your Holiness to intervene with the German ambassador to the Holy See in favor of these unhappy people."  Two weeks later he traveled to the Vatican to make the same plea – all in vain.

That the Pope would bring danger upon himself and the Church for speaking out was then, and is now, a convenient fiction."  Moreover, the Pope himself proved definitively that such considerations played no role whatsoever in his decisions to remain publicly silent while the Germans murdered Jews.  (For) After the Allies liberated Rome on June 4, 1944, the Germans were in the process of gradually deporting the Jews of Trieste, which they still occupied.  The Pope and the Vatican were completely safe.  More than half a year had passed since Bishop Santin's appeal.  Yet Pius XII still did absolutely nothing to help Trieste's Jews.  Fifteen of the twenty–two trains that brought almost twelve hundred Jews mostly to Auschwitz departed Trieste when (i.e. after) the Pope was safely under Allied protection.

Quietly, behind the scenes, Plus XII personally could have also done many things to try to help the Jews, particularly of Italy, with no risk to himself or the Church.  He chose not to." p.53

"The notion that had the Pope spoken out and tried to mobilize Catholics, ecclesiastic and lay, and non–Catholics to resist the Germans' slaughters, then more Jews would have died is about as bizarre and nonsensical an argument as I have read by anyone writing about the Holocaust, except of course the fulminations of Holocaust deniers and their fellow travelers who blame the Jews for their own destruction." 

[ A Moral Reckoning, p. 54]

A powerful summary :

I know of no one who makes the case for the gravity of the moral failure of the Catholic pope and hierarchy when it came to guiding its faithful during the holocaust than Daniel Goldhagen, who wrote the following:

The Church did not tell Catholics that with every antisemitic act of omission or of participation – most obviously by actively participating, in any way, in the mass annihilation of the Jews – they committed a crime against humanity and a sin against God.  The Church thereby allowed Catholics to place their souls at risk for an eternity in hell.  According to the Church, the failure to have warned Catholics is a sin because we incur the "responsibility for the sins committed by others" by "not disclosing them when we have an obligation to do so."  With this offense (and this is, of course, also true of the failure to warn Jews), the Catholic Church, its national churches, two popes, its bishops and priests offended God and failed Catholics as badly as a religious leader can fail those who look to him for guidance.
        The Church, Pius XII, and the clergy (some of this applies also to Pius XI) allowed Catholics to persecute and perpetrate unjust harm upon Jews for one of two reasons: because the churchmen did not conceive of the anti–Jewish onslaught, including the mass killing, as crimes; or because they thought the various components of the German–led violent eliminationist persecution were crimes and, with their silence, chose to allow (act of omission) Catholics to commit them (that is, when they were not also encouraging the criminal acts themselves).  From the standpoint of Catholics, I am not sure which is worse: a Church and Church leaders morally bankrupt or even criminal because they were so besotted by doctrinal hatred and enmity that they gave their moral blessing to one of the greatest crimes in human history, or a Church and Church leaders morally bankrupt or even criminal because, for their own, perhaps political, reasons, they willfully ignored their duty to warn their members against committing deeds they knew to be criminal, and therefore willfully permitted millions of their members to imperil their souls.

It is likely that some combination of both existed, but I find it hard to believe that the overwhelming majority of the Church's European clergy thought that Catholics were committing grievous crimes and mortal sins (including in the nonlethal phases of the eliminationist onslaught) and allowed them to do so by saying nothing.  The bishops and priests would have had to be adopting this difficult and inexplicable position day after day, for years on end.  After all, the Church made clear, right up front, that its fiery encyclical Mit brennender Sorge was "prompted by the desire, as it behooves Us, to secure for Germany the freedom of the Church's beneficent mission and the salvation of the souls in her care. . .   By implication, the silent churchmen did not judge "the salvation of the souls in her care" to be endangered by Catholics' participation in the eliminationist persecution of the Jews.  Germany's Cardinal Faulhaber had declared it "a duty of conscience to speak out" against the so–called Euthanasia program, "for as a Catholic bishop I may not remain silent when the preservation of the moral foundations of all public order is at stake."  Yet he remained silent as Catholics persecuted and killed Jews, so he must have thought that in this case the "moral foundations" remained secure.  Pius XII himself had proclaimed in his first encyclical that his greatest duty was "to testify to the truth with Apostolic Firmness."  Surely, if there was any truth to which he had to testify, then it was to the criminality and mortal sinfulness of the Germans' onslaught against European Jews, and the peril to which Catholics who contributed to it were subjecting their souls.  The Church's willingness to allow Catholics and its clergy to persecute and even kill Jews appears, therefore, more likely to have resulted from the belief that the members of their flock were not endangering their souls – that such acts were not crimes, offenses, or sins. . .

We see then that it is not just the Jewish victims and their families who should be calling for a moral reckoning with the Catholic Church.  The call should be coming (and to a small degree is coming) also from Catholics.  The Church betrayed its Catholic flock by the tens of millions.  Although each one, victimized Jew and morally abandoned Catholic, has a special claim on witnessing such a reckoning, we need not be Jew or Catholic to have a legitimate stake in it.  We need not be afflicted Jews or Catholics, or their actual or spiritual descendants.  All people have the right, indeed the duty, to engage in moral judgment of significant public events, institutions, and actors.  All people have the right and the duty to urge that the conclusions that correctly follow on that moral judgment be widely known and be acted upon.  Although such a moral reckoning will serve everyone, no one has a more urgent need for it than the Catholic Church itself, which does not yet know how to call for what it must."
A Moral Reckoning , by Daniel Goldhagen,  pp. 178–180 }Sunday, July 30, 2017

I have limited myself in these pages to the R. C. church's neglect of the moral well–being of its own members. That is not to say that the moral well–being of Catholics – even millions of Catholics – is more important than the loss of their physical lives by 6 million Jews and 4 million others. Far from it.

Sections :
Intro ~ 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ [ 5 ]
of R C C  &  the Holocaust

Click on this banner to see
the whole picture!

If ever you are moved to critique,
support, or enlighten me,
here's the way to do it :
email image