The Vatican Archives on Pius XII to be Opened

Pius was lying through his teeth.  As Vatican historian Avro Manhattan wrote: “Since all priests are de facto its agents and since its nuncios possess means of information and of pressure not available to other diplomats, the Vatican is certainly one of the world’s most efficient centres of information.  Indeed, it is able to receive circumstantial reports, whether of a religious, economic, social or political nature, on the smallest parish or diocese anywhere in the world.”[31]  And historian Edmond Paris stated: “Thus, this vast army of confessors, penetrating everywhere under orders from three thousand bishops who are obliged to send in a weekly report to Rome on the slightest happening in their diocese – this ‘Intelligence Service’, unparalleled in any state, did not suffice to keep the Pope informed!”  What a liar Pius was.  And as Paris went on to write: “If this was so, what was to prevent [Pius] from switching on his wireless, like any ordinary Mr. Brown?  The BBC would have provided him with all he needed to know of events in Germany, France, Poland and Croatia.”[32]

Pius’ Support of Roman Catholic Persecution in Croatia

In Yugoslavia, Hitler and Mussolini created the Roman Catholic State of Croatia, where the most horrifying and hideous tortures and massacres were perpetrated against Eastern Orthodox Serbs and against Jews.  Yet Croatia’s Ustashi parliament had many members in it who were priests of Rome – and these men gave their blessing to the Ustashi killers.  In particular there were Franciscans and Jesuits, some of whom actually led the Ustashis and urged them on to commit their terrible crimes!

The evil, murderous Ante Pavelitch was placed in charge of Croatia.  On 18 May 1941 Pius XII had a private audience with Pavelitch and his suite.  Pavelitch had stated: “he who could not cut away a child from his mother’s womb is not a good Ustashi.”  “Such was the man – if he can be called such – to whom Pope Pius XII had just granted the favour of a private audience.  Thus the Holy Father did not shrink from shaking hands with an avowed assassin, condemned to death in his absence for the murder of King Alexander I and of Louis Barthou; with a gang-leader accused of the most horrible crimes.  Indeed, on 18 May 1941, when Pope Pius XII received Ante Pavelitch and his band of killers with all due honour, the massacre of the Orthodox was already in full swing in Croatia, concurrently with the forced conversions to Catholicism.”[33]  The brutality and satanic cruelty of the Roman Catholic Ustashi against Jews and Orthodox almost defies description.  It was wickedness born in the depths of hell.[34]

And Pius XII knew about it, and supported it!  “The Vatican was well informed of what was going on inside Ustashi Croatia.  Not only because the Catholic Hierarchy sent the Pope regular reports, but because the Pope had his own personal representative there.  The duty of the Papal Legate was to send regular and accurate information on the exertions of the Catholic clergy and Bishops.  Also on the political and military doings of the Ustashi Government and of its leaders.  Pope Pius XII’s representative on the spot was the Papal Legate, Mgr. Marcone.”  “[He] participated in most of the official and semi-official functions of Ustashi Croatia.  He was an eye witness to the promotion of Pavelic and to Stepinac’s policies of terrorization and Catholicization of Croatia.  He knew of the atrocities and horrors taking place.  He watched the progress of the forcible conversions, was aware of the wholehearted participation of the clergy in the wholesale massacre of thousands of Orthodox Serbs.  All these things he faithfully reported to Pope Pius XII.  In addition, Croatian Bishops wrote dispatches on the Ustashi horrors to the Pope”.[35]

“Pacelli was better informed of the situation in Croatia than he was about any other area in Europe…”[36]

“Do we have to draw attention once more to the fact that the members of that Church [Rome] who sat during four years in the Ustashi Parliament could, in pursuance of article 139-4 of the Canon Law, have accepted this mandate only if duly authorized by the Pope to do so?  Must it again be recalled that the Holy Father never once reprimanded his good servants?… To be sure, he never thought of disowning them, and the heinous Pavelitch… could rightfully take advantage of the flattering words, encouragement and blessings which the Holy Father showered upon him.  No doubt much would be given today to be able to eradicate their trace.  But they remain, well and truly printed in the Croatian papers of the time.”[37]

The pope blessed the Ustashi killers, when he received them in audience on 6 February 1942.[38]

On 12 March 1942, Pius sent this message to Pavelitch: “To Your Excellence’s humble felicitations, We reply with Our thanks and Our wishes for Christian prosperity.”  And for the new year of 1943 Pius sent this telegram to Pavelitch: “For all that you have expressed to Us both in your own name and in that of the Croatian Catholics, We thank you and joyfully send the apostolic benediction to you and to the Croatian people.” There were a number of other such “blessings” and good wishes sent to Pavelitch and his Ustashis at various times.  No wonder the Croatian minister of religion, Mile Budak, declared in August 1941, “The Ustashi movement is based on religion.  All our activity is based upon our devotion to religion and to the Roman Catholic Church.”[39]

The papal legate, Marcone (in white), and Roman Catholic archbishop, Stepinac (seated on his left),
attending a military parade surrounded by Italian, German and Ustashi officers
The papal legate, Marcone, and Ante Pavelitch, leader of Croatia, receive the Nazi salute from a group of young Ustashis

In March 1942 the World Jewish Congress and the Swiss Israelite community sent a cry for help to the Vatican on behalf of the persecuted Jews in Croatia.  They wanted Pius to use his influence to help the Jews.  This memorandum is to be found in the Zionist Archives in Jerusalem.  Yet in October 1998, Gerhard Riegner, a surviving signatory of the memorandum, stated in his published memoirs that the Vatican had excluded this document from the eleven volumes of released wartime documents – “indicating that, more than half a century after the war, the Vatican has still failed to make a clean breast of what it knew about the Croatian atrocities and the early stages of the Final Solution, and when it knew it.”[40]