The Vatican Archives on Pius XII to be Opened

The Vatican Archives on Pius XII to be Opened, PDF format

Francis I Announces the Opening of the Files on Pius XII

Pius XII
Pius XII

It was a long-awaited announcement.  On 4 March 2019 the pope of Rome, Francis I, said:

“I have decided that the opening of the Vatican Archives for the Pontificate of Pius XII will take place on 2 March 2020, exactly one year after the eightieth anniversary of the election to the See of Peter of Eugenio Pacelli.”[1]

Pacelli – Pius XII – was the pope of the Second World War.  He reigned from 1939 to 1958.  He was decidedly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish, refusing to speak up publicly and condemn the Nazi atrocities against the Jews and others.  But the Vatican has always denied that Pius XII supported Nazism, or that he in any way facilitated the annihilation of Jews.  And others have also come to Pius’ defence over the years – including some Jews themselves, such as those who found protection in Roman Catholic convents, some even in the city of Rome itself, during the war.

But the evidence of his complicity was overwhelming at the time, and has continued to accumulate ever since:

Pius’ Support for Nazism and the Annihilation of the Jews

The following is from the author’s book, Satan’s Seat,[2] with added comments:

“Millions of Jews, as well as others, were massacred in the Nazi death camps.  But the Vatican kept silent about the atrocities, because Pius XII, the pope at the time, fully supported Hitler, and Hitler was faithfully serving the interests of the Vatican.”  There have been innumerable well-researched books, etc., which have brought forth overwhelming evidence to demonstrate that Pius XII was thoroughly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish.  We will have to pass by the wealth of evidence that the German priesthood, and Romish priests all over the world in general, fully supported Hitler and Nazism, and confine ourselves solely to the subject of Pius XII himself, and his support of Hitler and Nazism.  For further study, we highly recommend the books listed at the end of this article.

“In fact, the papal support for Hitler was so well-known at the end of the war, that Jesuit and other Roman Catholic authors wrote books and articles distorting the truth, covering up the Vatican’s part in supporting the Nazi dictator.  This has gone on ever since, as part of the Vatican’s attempt to ‘clean up’ its image since the war.  Jesuit historians and authors are claiming Pius was opposed to Hitler, etc., etc.”

It is still going on today, with this – the planned opening of the (doubtless doctored) Vatican Secret Archives – being the latest example.  And even when such researchers are not Romanists or Jesuits – even when they are Jews, for example – they are often very sympathetic to the Vatican and to Roman Catholicism.  To what extent many of them are bribed, lied to, deceived, or even coerced, to make pro-Pius statements, etc., we may never know; but that this goes on is beyond question.

“Roman Catholic cardinals in America taught publicly during the war years that Hitler and Mussolini were God’s instruments to bring the West back to obedience to the pope.”  It is impossible that Pius XII did not know of the work of such cardinals.  He knew, and he approved.

The Documents will be “Doctored”: Pius will Emerge as Pious

Francis has announced the opening of the files on Pius XII to researchers.  But will every single document be available to them?  And can we be certain that the documents will not have been “doctored”?

We wonder.  Nay, we are certain that all will not be above board.  Anyone thinking this through clearly would ask: why has it taken six decades since his death in 1958 to open the archival material to the scrutiny of researchers?  Even if it is true that it is Rome’s usual practice to open the archives for an entire pontificate 70 years after it ended, which means that in Pius’ case they will be opened some eight years earlier than is usual in 2020,[3] why this decades-long wait, given the fact that his pontificate was so controversial, and he has been so heavily criticised during all this time by so many historians for supporting Hitler?  If there was never anything to hide about Pius and his dealings with the Nazis, if everything he did was above board, honest, decent, courageous and for the good of the Jewish people, the world did not need to wait decades for the evidence.  The records of such a wonderful man, if this is what he was, should have seen the light of day decades ago.  Why hide such good deeds?  Why would anyone want to?

All it would have taken was the opening of the Archives to convince the world of his greatness!

And yet for all this time, the Vatican Secret Archives on Pius XII remained firmly off limits.

When making the announcement Francis said: “The figure of that Pontiff, who found himself guiding the Barque of Peter at one of the saddest and darkest moments of the twentieth century, agitated and lacerated by the last world war, with the consequent period of re-organization of the nations and post-war reconstruction, has already been investigated in many aspects, sometimes discussed and even criticized (it could be said with some prejudice and exaggeration).  Today he has been appropriately re-evaluated and indeed placed in the correct light for his many qualities: pastoral, above all, but also theological, ascetic, and diplomatic.”[4]

It is obvious, from these words of his, that as far as Francis is concerned, Pius XII will not emerge seriously tainted when the archival evidence is made available.  Which, again, increases our suspicions that, after many decades of tampering with the evidence, the Papacy now feels it can open the Secret Archives to research.

It is easy now, eight decades after World War Two started, for a pope of Rome to speak of that time as  “one of the saddest and darkest moments of the twentieth century”.  But that is not how the Vatican viewed it at the time!  Not when the Roman Catholic hierarchy was supporting Hitler and Nazism, and Mussolini and Fascism.  Not when there were Roman Catholic priests who were leaders of the Gestapo, and of the Croatian Ustashi.  Not when Hitler’s madness was spoken of as a divine blessing by leading prelates of the Roman Catholic institution.

Note these words of Francis when making this announcement, spoken to the superiors, employees and collaborators of the Vatican Secret Archives: “At the behest of Pope Benedict XVI, since 2006 you Superiors and Officials of the Vatican Secret Archive, as well as of the Historical Archives of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State, have been working on a common project for the cataloguing and preparation of the substantial documentation produced during the pontificate of Pius XII, part of which was already rendered consultable by my venerable Predecessors Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II.  I therefore thank you, and through you also the other Vatican archivists, for the patient and scrupulous work you have done over the past twelve years, and which you are still partly carrying out, to complete this aforementioned preparation.”

Would these twelve years of preparation of all the documentation, by an entire team of archivists, have consisted of nothing more than cataloguing it all?  Even accepting that the documentation is vast and that this work would certainly take years,[5] let us not be so naive as to believe that cataloguing and sorting was all there was to it!  We only have Francis’ own assurance that all the archived material will become available to researchers.   We are being asked to trust a pope of Rome, and all his henchmen, to provide all the documentation.  This would be foolish at any time whatsoever.  Never trust a Jesuit to tell the truth.  Never believe that the Roman Papacy would do damage to itself.  The “opening” of the Archives on Pius XII will not be the opening of all the documentation, no matter what Francis asserts; and much of the documentation that is released for research will be “doctored”.  Of this there can be no doubt.

Francis went on, stating his certainty “that serious and objective historical research will be able to evaluate, in the proper light and with appropriate criticism, the praiseworthy moments of the Pontiff and, without any doubt, also moments of serious difficulties, of tormented decisions, of human and Christian prudence, which to some might have seemed to be reticence, and which instead were attempts, humanly also very hard-fought, to keep the flame of humanitarian initiatives lit during periods of more intense darkness and cruelty, of hidden but active diplomacy, of hope in possible good openings of hearts.”

Yes, no doubt about it: as far as Francis is concerned, Pius will remain pious.  Perhaps with a “flaw” or two brought to light – just to keep everything “objective” – but overall, it has already been decreed that Pius will emerge smelling like a rose.

Francis concluded: “The Church is not afraid of history; rather, she loves it, and would like to love it more and better, as God does!  So, with the same trust of my predecessors, I open and entrust to researchers this documentary heritage.”

Well, some of it, at any rate.  The parts which can be released, and the parts which have been “prepared” for release.  Francis would never have said that Rome is not afraid of history if he thought that any further harm could be done to the Roman Catholic institution by releasing these documents.  Not today.  Not when the Vatican is reeling from the global priestly sex scandal, not to mention other scandals as well.  The last thing Francis needs is for Pius XII to emerge from the Archives as a monster.  No, we can be 100% certain that everything has been well “prepared” for the grand opening of the Secret Archives in March 2020.

Francis was by no means the only one confidently stating that Pius would be exonerated once the archival materials become available.  Romish bishop Sergio Pagano, for example, the head of the Vatican Secret Archives, said that historians will discover a “superhuman work of Christian humanism” when the archives on Pius are opened.[6]  “In other words, Pagano believes the archives will show that the Vatican and Pope Pius XII, far from assisting the German National Socialist regime of Adolf Hitler, took a firm stand against it, and saved many lives, especially in the Jewish community”.[7]

The Whitewashing Has Already Begun

The “pre-launch” whitewashing has already begun, a year before the official opening:

On 20 February 2019, a special delegation organised by Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) greeted Francis in the Vatican.  This is an organisation which seeks to remove obstacles between religions, and which has worked since 2006 to restore the “good name” of Pius XII.  With the delegation was New York State assemblyman Anthony D’urso, whose family is credited with saving a Jewish family in Formia, Italy during World War Two.  D’urso presented the pope with his family diary, citing the actions of the Vatican to rescue Jewish families in Formia.

PTWF director Bennett Solberg presented the pope with original documents revealing how Pius XII acted to end the arrest of the Jewish community in Rome on 16 October 1943.  Solberg gave Francis a copy of a hand-written diary entry in 1943, wherein Augustinian nuns wrote, “today we were asked by the Holy Father to protect the Roman Jews”, and named the ones they sheltered.  Pius lifted the ban of cloister to enable monasteries to shelter women, and convents to shelter men.  He also asked Italian Roman Catholics, and various religious structures throughout Italy, to shelter Jews.[8]

It is not denied that Pius XII protected Jews in Rome and elsewhere.  Many Jews were sheltered in monasteries and convents, and by Italian Roman Catholic families.  This is not new information.  But the reason for doing this was not compassion on the part of Pius XII!  It will be explained later in this article.

Francis was also given the sworn testimony of General Karl Wolff, the commandant of Italy and deputy to Heinrich Himmler.  According to this testimony, Wolff was ordered by Hitler to invade the Vatican, kill any Vatican officials they met, and “rescue” Pius XII by taking him to Liechtenstein, where he would be assassinated.  But when this plot was made known to Pius in September 1943, a month before the arrest of Jews in Rome, he wrote his resignation, stating that if the Vatican was invaded the Nazis would arrest him as Eugenio Pacelli, not Pius XII, and ordering the cardinals to leave Rome, elect a new pope, and form a government in exile in Portugal.[9]

One should in any case be somewhat suspicious of the testimony of a man who was the deputy to Heinrich Himmler.  It is simply Gen. Wolff’s account of what he said happened.  The testimony in itself is not proof.  But even allowing the testimony to be a true account, what does it really prove?  Nothing more than that Pius was a clever strategist and planned for various scenarios which might unfold.   The Roman Papacy always has a Plan B.

The Vatican states that the name of Pius XII was smeared by the Soviet Union’s KGB disinformation subversion, beginning in 1963, five years after his death in 1958.  Gary Krupp, a Jew and the president of Pave the Way Foundation, called this the greatest character assassination of the twentieth century.  He said: “the worst character flaw a Jew can have is ingratitude.  It is important for those who are alive today and who have been deceived by Soviet disinformation for five decades to now be aware who it was who saved them.”  He claimed that historical evidence shows that the Roman Catholic “Church”, under Pius XII, saved an estimated 847 000 Jews during World War Two.[10]

The number saved may or may not be close to the truth.  Yes, there were Jews who certainly were sheltered in Vatican structures throughout Italy.  But the problem with claiming that it was all a Soviet character-assassination plot to call Pius pro-Nazi, is that even if the Soviets exploited the situation, there is plenty of evidence which proves that Pius was pro-Nazi!

Krupp, who once hated Pius XII, became one of his strongest advocates.  Although he and his wife Meredith are Jews, they became the first married couple and the first Jews to be knighted together by the Vatican City State.  They are therefore very pro-Roman Catholic.  He said, “The defamation and character assassination of Pacelli [Pius XII], robbed the Jewish people of the dignity of expressing a measure of thanks to the one religious leader who acted to save more Jews than all the religious and political leaders of the era.  This is to me a Jewish responsibility.”[11]

Let us then examine the record of Pius XII, and see if he deserves the praise of Jews and others.

Pius’ Support for Hitler and Nazism, and for the Extermination of the Jews

Let us examine Pius’ support of Adolf Hitler himself, of the German Nazism which bathed Europe in blood, and of the cruel deaths of millions of Jews.  A vast amount of evidence could be given, but we will confine ourselves for the most part to Pius XII himself.

A German Jesuit, Friedrich Muckermann, wrote a book in 1928 which had a preface written by the cardinal, Pacelli – the future Pope Pius XII.  And in this book Muckermann said: “The Pope is calling for a new Catholic Action crusade…. Catholic Action is sounding the assembly of world Catholicism. It must live its time of heroism… the new era can be won only at the price of bloodshed for Christ.”[12]  This was the writing endorsed by the future pope, Pius XII!

When the Vatican signed a concordat with Nazi Germany in July 1933, it was Pacelli, a cardinal at the time, who signed it on the Vatican’s behalf.  Franz von Papen, privy chamberlain to the pope at the time, said: “The Third Reich is the first power in the world, not only to recognise, but also to put into practice, the high principles of the Papacy.”[13]  Ex-German chancellor Heinrich Brüning stated: “Behind the agreement with Hitler stood… the Vatican bureaucracy and its leader, Pacelli.  He visualized an authoritarian state and an authoritarian Church directed by the Vatican bureaucracy, the two to conclude an eternal league with one another.”[14]

Throughout the years before he became pope, “Pacelli’s policy… had been one of public silence and private indifference on the Jewish issue.  As correspondence between the German hierarchy and Pacelli’s office had repeatedly revealed, the attitude was: the Jews must look after themselves.”[15]

Pacelli, as cardinal, signs the concordat between the Vatican and Nazi Germany, 20 July 1933.
Franz von Papen is seated at his right.

Hitler declared that the concordat had created an atmosphere of confidence that would be “especially significant in the urgent struggle against international Jewry.”  Historian John Cornwell, commenting on this, stated: “First, the very fact that the Vatican had signed such a treaty indicated both at home and abroad, despite Pacelli’s disclaimers on July 26, Catholic moral approval of Hitler’s policies.  Second, the treaty constrained the Holy See, the German hierarchy, the clergy, and the faithful to silence on any issue the Nazi regime deemed political.  To be specific, since the persecution and elimination of the Jews in Germany was now a stated policy, the treaty had legally bound the Catholic Church in Germany to silence on outrages against the Jews[16] (emphases added).  No wonder that as Pius XII, Pacelli remained silent when Jews were being annihilated!

Not long after signing the concordat, Pacelli was to claim that he was disgusted with Hitler and Nazism, that he deplored the persecution of Jews, and that he was forced into signing the concordat to prevent the elimination of the German Roman Catholic “Church”.[17]  Pacelli was lying, as the evidence both before and after the signing demonstrated only too amply.

Pacelli wrote a note to the German embassy, asking that Jews who had converted to Roman Catholicism would not suffer.  Note the wording: his entreaty was “on behalf of those German Catholics who themselves have gone over from Judaism to the Christian [Roman Catholic] religion… and who for reasons known to the Reich government are likewise suffering from social and economic difficulties.”  Read it again! “The very fact of making such distinctions [between Jewish converts to Rome and the rest of the Jews] betrayed, of course, Pacelli’s diplomatic collusion with the overall anti-Semitic policy of the Reich”![18]

Hitler was – and remained – a Roman Catholic, inspired by the Jesuit Order, and many of the top Nazis were closely connected to the Jesuits.  The Vatican supported him to the hilt.  Hitler himself admitted: “I learnt most of all from the Jesuit Order.  So far, there has been nothing more imposing on earth than the hierarchical organization of the Catholic Church.  A good part of that organization I have transported direct to my own party…. The Catholic Church must be held up as an example.”  And Walter Schellenberg, chief of the German counter-espionage, said: “The SS had been organized by Himmler according to the principles of the Jesuit Order.”[19]

As pope, Pacelli wanted the Roman Catholics, Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, to succeed, and for Nazi Germany to conquer the Soviet Union and destroy world Communism.  Just four days after his election, he showed the German cardinals the draft of a letter he was planning to send to Hitler.  This is what it said:

“To the Illustrious Herr Adolf Hitler, Führer and Chancellor of the German Reich!  Here at the beginning of Our Pontificate We wish to assure you that We remain devoted to the spiritual welfare of the German people entrusted to your leadership…. May the prosperity of the German people and their progress in every domain come, with God’s help, to fruition!”[20]

Alexandre Lenôtre, in Rome et la France, wrote: “During the entire inter-war period, Rome’s foreign policy, more and more directly inspired by the Jesuits…. Indeed, the Vatican thoroughly supports the wars of Italian Fascism…. Having become Pius XII, Pacelli is seen to be an out and out pro-integrist and Germanophile.  He is called the ‘German Pope’.  His entourage, his confessor, are German.  In his eyes Germany is called upon to play the role of the ‘sword of God’, of the Church’s secular arm…. In 1939, Pius XII tries to negotiate with the American diplomats… a stalemate peace in favour of Germany.  In 1943, he refuses to condemn publicly the Nazi concentration camps.”[21]

When Hitler invaded Poland, Pius remained silent, even though it was a Roman Catholic country.  He sacrificed his own followers so that Nazism could advance.  He then laboured to get France and Britain to support the Polish enslavement to Nazism.  And when Poland was finally liberated, he refused to recognise the new Polish-German frontier.

In the official report given by the Reich minister of foreign affairs, von Ribbentrop, who met Pius XII in the Vatican in 1940, it is stated: “After the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Reich had transmitted the Fuhrer’s compliments, the Pope opened the interview by recalling his seventeen years of activity in Germany.  He said that those years passed within the orbit of German culture certainly constituted the most pleasant period of his life, and that the Government of the Reich could be assured that his heart beat, and always would, for Germany.”[22]

Yet a very different version of these events, depicting Pius as coldly lecturing von Ribbentrop about the tortures the Nazis had inflicted on the Poles, was spread to the world media at that time![23]  Should we be in any doubt, then, that the opening of the Vatican files on Pius XII will be anything other than a deliberate whitewash of the man?

The French newspaper, La Croix, supported the invasion of France by Germany and received its orders from Germany; and it was able to state, on 28 January 1942: “The Pope sends his blessing to ‘La Croix’, the organ of ‘pontifical thought’.”[24]  Also, the French Roman Catholic hierarchy supported the Nazi invasion and takeover of France.  Yet the day after Liberation, when the government demanded that the Vatican hand over thirty bishops and archbishops whose attitude during the German occupation had been questioned, only three had to resign – thanks to the mediation of the Vatican delegate.[25]

Let us heap up more evidence.

Francois Charles-Roux, Ambassador of France at the Vatican, stated on 22 January 1940: “Pius XII was perfectly aware what cruelties the Germans were committing in Poland.  He also knew of the hardships they were imposing on the Czechs in Bohemia and Moravia…. The evidence of German cruelties is so abundant that Pius XII no longer feels entitled to doubt it.”

Radio Vatican’s own announcer, a priest named Mistiaen, stated: “One of my German colleagues, Father L…, who was in possession of first-hand information, used to bring me overwhelming documents of the inhuman cruelties perpetrated by the Nazis in Poland.”

Camille Cianfarra, the New York Times correspondent accredited to the Vatican, was absolutely correct: “The Vatican was unceasingly and remarkably well informed of the internal situation prevailing in the various parts of Europe…. The periodic reports which the priests… sent to the bishop of their diocese, always got to Rome somehow or other.”[26]

Time and time again, Pius XII was implored, by all kinds of people, to speak out strongly against the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.  He did not do so.  He sometimes spoke in very general terms about the sufferings of the sick and aged, women and children –but not specifically and unequivocally and by name, about the Nazis’ “Final Solution” of the Jews.[27]

Then, in December 1942, during a radio broadcast, Pius finally referred publicly to atrocities being committed.  But did he strongly condemn Hitler and Nazism?  Did he refer specifically to the horrors of the Final Solution, of which he was very well aware?  No.  Instead, at the end of his lengthy radio message, all he did was issue this lame statement: “Humanity owes this vow to those hundreds of thousands, who without any fault of their own, sometimes only by reason of their nationality or race, are marked down for death or gradual extinction.”[28]

That was it.  That was all.  That was the sum total of his protest against Hitlerism and the Final Solution.

And no matter how many clever and imaginative excuses Vatican apologists come up with – and over the decades they have come up with plenty – nothing can justify this feeble protest, the best the pope of Rome could bring himself to utter, as the Nazis continued their deadly campaign to annihilate an entire race.

“It is not merely a paltry statement,” wrote John Cornwell.  “The chasm between the enormity of the liquidation of the Jewish people and this form of evasive words is shocking.  He might have been referring to many categories of victims of the many belligerents in the conflict.  Clearly the exhibition of ambiguous language was intended to placate those who urged him to protest, while avoiding offence to the Nazi regime.  But these considerations are overshadowed by the implicit denial and trivialization.  He had scaled down the doomed millions to ‘hundreds of thousands’ and expunged the word Jews, making the pointed qualification ‘sometimes only’.  Nowhere was the term Nazi or Nazi Germany mentioned.  Hitler himself could not have wished for a more convoluted and innocuous reaction from the Vicar of Christ to the greatest crime in human history.”[29]

On 15 November 1945 – in other words, years after the extermination of Jews by the Nazis had begun – Dr Nerin F. Gun, who had been in concentration camps, was received by Pius XII.  He stated: “I frankly told the Pope how those of us who had been deported were unable to understand why the Vatican failed in its duty to organize some assistance during our imprisonment and why it did not unequivocally condemn the Nazi criminals responsible for the Nazi atrocities, as well as the German people who were their passive accomplices.  The Pope replied: ‘We knew that, for political reasons, violent persecutions had taken place in Germany, but We were never informed of the inhuman character of the Nazi repression.  Never were We allowed to make the slightest intervention or to send the smallest parcel of comforts.’  How was it, we asked, that your representatives in Germany failed to inform you?  ‘The information they had must have been incomplete and it was difficult for them to communicate it to Us…’”[30]

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]

And now we are expected to believe that the Vatican, in 2020, will open the Secret Archives without reservation?  Without keeping many documents on Pius XII hidden away?  Without “doctoring” the evidence that it permits researchers to see?  This is naive in the extreme.  Just as it always has done, it will again exclude damning documents from the public eye.

Throughout this terrible time of persecution of Orthodox Serbs and of Jews, Pius XII said nothing, and did nothing.  Today we are being told that his silence was his attempt to save Jews, etc., fearing that if he spoke up too strongly in condemnation of the Nazis and their puppets, it would only have made things even worse for those they were killing.  What Jesuitical nonsense!  As historian Edmond Paris said: “They are surely very moderate, who wish to see in this attitude of the Pope nothing but a guilty inertia or a passive complacency.  In fact, all this reeks of premeditated crime.  No one can be made to believe that that terror, in which the Croatian Catholic clergy collaborated so passionately, could have come about without the express wish of the Holy See.”[41]

After the war, the looted treasury of the fleeing Ustashi killers came to some $80 million.  “Evidence of the Vatican’s collusion in Rome with the Ustashe regime includes the hospitality of a pontifical religious institution, and the provision of storage facilities and safe-deposit services for the Ustashe treasury, part of which was stolen from the victims of extermination – Serbs and Jews.”[42]  Furthermore, the Vatican assisted Ustashis fleeing out of Europe.[43]  And yet we are now supposed to believe that the wartime pope, Pius XII, knew nothing and was innocent?  It is an outrageous lie, which no sensible person could believe.

Pius and the Protection of Jews in Rome

What about Pius’ protection of Jews in Rome, when Hitler’s Nazis were rounding up Roman Jews for deportation?

In October 1943 the roundup began.  Truckloads of Jews, including large numbers of terrified children, were deported from the city.  As some of the trucks passed near St Peter’s Square, Jews called out for the pope to come to their aid.  John Cornwell wrote: “The scenes enacted that morning had been repeated countless times and in countless places throughout Europe in the previous two years.  The difference was that in this city there was a man with a powerful voice, who commanded the allegiance of half a billion human beings and whose capacity to protest could give even Hitler serious pause for thought.”[44]  Yet Pius said nothing.  Many, even top Roman Catholic prelates, pleaded with the pope to speak up and do something.  He did nothing.  The Jews were packed into a train and taken to Auschwitz and Birkenau.  There they were gassed to death.  More Jews in Rome were arrested and deported, to suffer the same fate.

Right under the papal nose, then, in the very city where the headquarters of the Papal system has existed for so many centuries – the very heart of world Roman Catholicism which arrogantly and falsely claims to be the true Church of Christ – the Nazis deported Jews to their deaths without a word of protest from the man who claims to be the Vicar of Christ on earth!

On 28 October 1943, Hitler’s ambassador to the Vatican, the SS general Baron Ernst von Weiszaecker, sent the following message to von Ribbentrop from the German Embassy to the Vatican in Rome, which was later found in the secret archives of the Wilhelmstrasse: “Although he has been urged on all sides to do so, the Pope has not been led into making any demonstrative reproof against the deportation of Roman Jews.  Despite the fact that he must expect to see this attitude attacked by our enemies and exploited by the Protestant circles of the Anglo-Saxon countries in their anti-Catholic propaganda, he has also done all he possibly could in this delicate question not to strain relations with the German Government.”[45]

Yet ever since the war, the world has been told, by Vatican propagandists, that Pius did all he could to protect Roman Jews!  It is a lie.  He did all he could to please Hitler.  He remained silent about the Jews.  And now the world is being told that this silence was his way of protecting them from even worse atrocities!

It is true that numbers of the remaining Jews in Rome escaped by hiding in Roman Catholic religious institutions in the city – including in Vatican City itself.  And after the war was over Pius made a number of statements of a more pro-Jewish nature.  But this has ever been the way of the Papacy.  When the war was over and Nazism was defeated, the pope decided it was time to change colour again, like the chameleon he always is, and start making noises to the effect that he, and the Vatican, had always supported the Jews and opposed Hitler.  By hiding Jews, he could say, “I did my best to protect them.  This is the evidence.”

In this he fooled many, including western politicians.

Pius Condemns Nazism – but Only After the War was Over!

After the war was over – yes, only afterwards – Pius XII finally condemned Nazism!  Avro Manhattan wrote:

“Then, more than a month after Germany’s complete defeat; above the moans of the millions of bereaved, homeless, wounded, humiliated, and bewildered Germans; above the 9,000 – 10,000 Catholic Churches out of the total of 12,000 in Germany proper which were completely destroyed or seriously damaged by Allied air-raids or land battles; above the burned-out shells of cathedrals looming grimly against the sky – for the first time since the rise of the regime the Pope dared to breathe the word ‘Nazism’ in condemnation.  During a short allocution Pius XII had the moral courage to declare that it was ‘a good thing’ that ‘Satanic Nazism’ had been destroyed.

“That was all.  The Pope had spoken against Nazism at last.”[46]

Again: once Nazism was defeated, the pope of Rome had to change his colours, like the chameleon he was.  He had to give the impression that he had always hated Nazism.  All through the war years, and indeed in the years leading up to it, he had supported Nazism and Hitler, and had remained silent in the face of the Nazi atrocities against the Jews and others; but now that Nazism was defeated he had to present himself as anti-Nazi.

Now it was easy to call it satanic.

Pius Pleads for Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials

After the war and during the Nuremberg trials, Pius XII came to the defence of certain Nazis – including one of the very worst, Franz von Papen.  This evil man was, unbelievably, acquitted at the trials.  And this shows us what to expect when the Vatican Secret Archives on Pius XII are opened; for even at Nuremberg the pope’s reach was long, and it was through his vast influence that von Papen was freed.  If the pontiff of Rome could bring that to pass back in 1946, how much more can be done today, to cover the tracks of Pius and the Vatican?

At the time it was well known to large numbers that Pius XII had been the one to intervene to get his man, von Papen, acquitted.   Strings were pulled.  Favours were called in.  Doubtless bribes, or threats, were used.  But one way or the other, justice was not done.  And many knew it:

“A great voice, it is said, rose in his [von Papen’s] favour, a voice which we, in the concentration camps, vainly hoped to hear declare its reprobation, denounce our misery and castigate our executioners.  But von Papen was far more entitled than we to this intervention.”  Whose was this “great voice” which would not intervene on behalf of those in Nazi concentration camps, but intervened on behalf of Nazi war criminals on trial?  The identity of the “great voice” was not in doubt.  As l’Ordre de Paris of 4 October 1946 declared: “It is both painful and shameful to have to say it, but von Papen’s acquittal is Pius XII’s condemnation.”[47]

Yes!  During the war, Pius remained silent, mute, over the atrocities he well knew were being committed by the Nazis against millions of Jews and others.  Yet after the war, he was not so silent!  Now it was that he spoke up – but for the Jewish victims?  No, not he.  He spoke up for the Nazi war criminals, pleading for them to be let off the hook, saying, “Let us forget the past!”  And the Roman Catholic press took up the theme and repeated it.

“Pope Pius XII was to say that he knew nothing of the German atrocities; as he doubtless knew nothing of those of Croatia and Slovakia; as – in 1933 – when, as Mgr. Pacelli, he knew nothing of the pogroms, the ever-increasing assassinations in Germany, or the 40,000 persons already detained in forty-five camps by the Führer, who had promised him that he would ‘muzzle the anti-clericals’.  But during the trials at Nuremberg, when these atrocities had been laid bare before the eyes of the whole world, by millions of testimonies, irrefutable documents, and films haunting in their horror, what did he do but fly to the aid of the guilty?  He saved Franz von Papen, ‘the man who knew too much’, and with him some of the worst criminals…. Likewise, he sheltered the fleeing murderers in his convents, and later sent them with false passports to safe asylums.  Thus, thanks to him, the leader of the bloodthirsty Ustashis, Ante Pavelitch, ‘the man with twenty kilograms of human eyes’, the monster whom Pope Pius XII covered with good wishes and blessings during four years of massacre, was able to go to Argentina and peacefully enjoy the wealth that had been plundered from his victims!”[48]

John Cornwell wrote: “If Pacelli is to take credit for the use of Vatican extraterritorial religious buildings as safe houses for Jews during Germany’s occupation of Rome, then he should equally take blame for the use of the same buildings as safe houses for Nazi and Ustashe criminals.”[49]  An excellent point!  The very same pope, who hid some Jews in Rome, also hid Nazi and Ustashi murderers!  What does this tell us?  That he acted at all times in the best interests of himself and his beloved “Church”!  The protection of some Jews in Rome was just a cover – in case everything went badly for Hitler in the end.  Then Pius could emerge as a hero for protecting Jews.

And when the bodies of Nazis who were executed at Nuremberg were incinerated instead of being buried, Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper and mouthpiece of the pope, protested with the following words: “This act is not only to be criticized in relation to the five Catholics whose will and faith were violated, but with regard to all those who did not explicitly declare their wish to disregard the Catholic rite of burial.”

Picture it!  Nazi war criminals, men who were involved in the massacre and incineration of Jews and others, were now in death supposed to be accorded proper Roman Catholic funeral rites!  Pius kept silent when millions of Jews and others were incinerated in the Nazi death camps.  But he protested when five Roman Catholic Nazis were cremated after being executed for their crimes.  This was the “morality” of Pius XII.  This was what infuriated, horrified and moved him to speak up.  This is the theology of Roman Catholicism.

Edmond Paris commented on this sarcastically but correctly as follows:  “The Holy Father’s indignation in this matter is most edifying.  But let us admit that we are surprised by it.  If our memory serves us well, the Roman Catholic Church has not always shown this aversion to burning, to judge from the stakes which for centuries she set up for heretics and similar, in Spain and elsewhere.  It is true that these she burned alive.  Theologically, there must be a distinction…. But, to keep to more recent references, the Nazis, in their day, did a lot of incinerating…”[50]

Laura Diaz, Italian member of parliament, was absolutely correct in saying, on 15 April 1948, “The Pope’s hands are dripping with blood!”  And Emilio Bonetti, during the Italian electoral campaign of April 1948, was absolutely correct in saying, “The Pope is a war criminal!”[51]

Only very doctored and whitewashed archival documents could ever hope to – even partially – depict this evil man, Eugenio Pacelli, Pius XII, as anything other than the monster he was.  But the true evidence is still available.  And it must never, ever be allowed to disappear.

April 2019


Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.  For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.

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The Vatican against Europe, by Edmond Paris.  Translated from the French by A. Robson.  The Wickliffe Press, London.  First published France 1959, Second English Edition 1964, Reprinted 1988.

Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell.  Viking, London. 1999.

Convert… or Die! by Edmond Paris.  Translated from the French by Lois Perkins.  Undated.  Chick Publications, Chino, California.

The Vatican in World Politics, by Avro Manhattan.  Horizon Press, Inc., New York.  American edition 1949.

The Vatican’s Holocaust: the Sensational Account of the Most Horrifying Religious Massacre of the 20th Century, by Avro Manhattan.  Ozark Books, Springfield, Missouri.  First Edition 1986.  Second Printing 1988.

Fatal Silence: the Pope, the Resistance and the German Occupation of Rome, by Robert Katz.  Weidenfeld and Nicolson, The Orion Publishing Group Ltd., London. 2003.

Ratlines: How the Vatican’s Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets, by Mark Aarons and John Loftus.  William Heinemann Ltd., London.  First published 1991.

Ustasha Under the Southern Cross, by M. Jurjevic. Published by M. Jurjevic.  Undated.


[1]., March 5, 2019.  Article: “Announcement: Pope Francis to Open Archives on Pope Pius XII on March 2, 2020.”

[2]. Satan’s Seat, by Shaun Willcock, pg. 45.  Bible Based Ministries, first published 1988, fifth edition 2013.  To order this book, go to:

[3]. See Letters from the Journal of Robert Moynihan (editor of Inside the Vatican magazine), March 5, 2019.  Urbi et Orbi Communications, New Hope, Kentucky.

[4]., March 5, 2019.

[5]., March 8, 2019.  Article: “Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, Bishop Pagano, Reflects on Opening of Archives of Pope Pius XII.”

[6]. Letters from the Journal of Robert Moynihan (editor of Inside the Vatican magazine), March 5, 2019.

[7]. Letters from the Journal of Robert Moynihan (editor of Inside the Vatican magazine), March 5, 2019.

[8]., February 21, 2019.  Article: “Historic Vatican Actions to Save the Roman Jewish Community Revealed Through Documents to Pope Francis.”

[9]., February 21, 2019.

[10], February 21, 2019.

[11]., March 28, 2019.  Article: “Thanks to Pius XII, Almost a Million Jews Saved from Nazis, Says Jewish Man who Hated Pacelli but Now Calls Him a Hero.”

[12]. The Vatican against Europe, by Edmond Paris, pg. 199.  The Wicliffe Press, London.  Reprinted 1988.

[13]. The Vatican against Europe, by Edmond Paris, pg. 197.  The Wicliffe Press, London.  Reprinted 1988.

[14]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell, pg. 150.  Viking, London. 1999.

[15]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 188.

[16]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pgs. 152-153.

[17]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pgs. 154-155.

[18]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 159.

[19]The Vatican against Europe, pg. 252.

[20]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 208.

[21]. The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 169-170.

[22]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 175.

[23]. The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 174-175.

[24]. The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 184-185.

[25]The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 187-189.

[26]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 245.

[27]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pgs. 281-291.

[28]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 292.

[29]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 293.

[30]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 244.

[31]. Der Vatikan und das XX. Jahrhundert, by Avro Manhattan, pgs. 17,18, Berlin 1958; quoted in The Vatican against Europe, pg. 244.

[32]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 244.

[33]. The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 200-201.

[34]. See Convert…or Die! by Edmond Paris, Chick Publications, Chino, California; and The Vatican’s Holocaust, by Avro Manhattan, Ozark Books, Springfield, Missouri, second printing 1988.

[35]. The Vatican’s Holocaust, by Avro Manhattan, pgs. 95,98.  Ozark Books, Springfield, Missouri.  Second Printing 1988.

[36]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 256.

[37]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 220.

[38]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 220.

[39]. The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 221-222.

[40]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pgs. 258-259.

[41]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 231.

[42]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 266.

[43]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pgs. 266-267.

[44]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 304.

[45]. The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 273-274.

[46]. The Vatican in World Politics, by Avro Manhattan, pg. 222.  Horizon Press, Inc., New York.  1949.

[47]The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 270- 272.

[48]. The Vatican against Europe, pg.18.

[49]. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII, pg. 267.

[50]. The Vatican against Europe, pg. 275.

[51]The Vatican against Europe, pgs. 14,18.