Friday, October 31, 2008

Myths and Lies

It's stories like these, that prove the maxim: if you lie long and loud enough, people will believe you.

Pius XII was extolled by the Jewish community of his day. The revisionists have taken it upon themselves to say otherwise. The attack was written by ex-seminarians. The rebuttal was written by a RABBI. Therefore, I think it's enough to just quote Wikipedia. And yes, I actually read this book.

The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis is a book written by American historian Rabbi David G. Dalin and published in 2005.

Rabbi Dalin first documents how popes through history have defended the Jews, and refuted attacks like the blood libel.

Then he gets to the main part of the book: defending the reputation of the late Pope Pius XII by presenting extensive documentation culled from Church and State archives throughout Europe. Rabbi Dalin suggests that Yad Vashem should honor Pope Pius XII as a "Righteous Gentile", and documents that Pius was praised by all the leading Jews of his day for his role in saving more Jews than Schindler. Pius's admirers included Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog of Israel, Israeli Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett, and Israel's first president Chaim Weizmann.

Dalin writes:

"anti-papal polemics of ex-seminarians like Garry Wills and John Cornwell (author of Hitler's Pope), of ex-priests like James Carroll, and or other lapsed or angry liberal Catholics exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda of forcing changes on the Catholic Church today."

UPDATE: CMR takes on the same subject.


Liberator_Rev said...

Don't you agree that anybody who cites Rabbi David Dalin's book, "The Myth of Hitler's Pope" as proof that John Cornwell's book "Hitler's Pope" that they ought to have the integrity to real BOTH books first?

Actually, since the whole purpose of Dalin's book is to disprove not only Cornwell's book, but "A Moral Reckonning" by his fellow Jew, Daniel Goldhaggen, one ought to become familiar with all THREE books.

I challenge any honest and educated person to read Dalin's book and either of the others and to then say with a straight face that Dalin's book is "scholarship".

Having read all three books, I swear on the bible as a respected clergyman for 50 years that Dalin's book is a comic book compared to the others. There's no sense repeating here what I have spelled out on a web page I devoted to this very topic at JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/Hitlerspope.html

P.S. Rabbi Dalin should be sharing his royalties with me for urging so many people to read his "book" to see for themselves how phony it is.

Nod said...

Thank you liberator_rev for your comment.

Fortunately, I do not rely solely on Rabbi Dalin's work in this matter. It is well known that Rabbi Dalin borrowed the work of Mississippi law professor Ronald J. Rychlak in his 2000 book on the subject, Hitler, the War, and the Pope.

Leaving aside the question of his stature as an author and historian, it is worthwhile to point out that Cornwell, has in substantial part, recanted.

"According a 2004 article in the The Economist, Cornwell's historical work has not always been "fair-minded" and Hitler's Pope specifically "lacked balance". The article goes on to state that Cornwell, "chastened", had admitted as much himself, in a later work, The Pontiff in Winter, citing the following quote as evidence:

I would now argue, in the light of the debates and evidence following 'Hitler's Pope', that Pius XII had so little scope of action that it is impossible to judge the motives for his silence during the war, while Rome was under the heel of Mussolini and later occupied by the Germans."

Authors (and newspapers)with an axe to grind must always be taken with a large grain of salt, since their motives are not pure.

Liberator_Rev said...

Let me guess.
When you say, "Authors (and newspapers)with an axe to grind must always be taken with a large grain of salt, since their motives are not pure."
Catholics who believe with not a hint of salt every word spoken in defense of their pope have no axe to grind and have supernatually pure motives.

If you are impressed with Dalin's book, I challenge you to read BOTH of the books that he wrote his book to refute and to THEN claim that Dalin is the better scholar.

You will then understand why Goldhaggen is a respected professor at Harvard University, while s a "Jewish Rabbi" Dalin is "acclaimed" only by conservative Catholics, as a professor at a recently created Catholic University with a student body that has climbed to a total of about 600, and wasn't even accredited until this past June.

Nod said...


You are passionate but you do not persuade.

The careful reader will note that I made no claims as to Rabbi Dalin's prowess as an author or a historian.

The grain of salt comment was more to illustrate that one must consider the source of one's information, not to proclaim any self-righteousness. The original source for this post was the London Telegraph, not a source I would consider reputable.

I do not consider myself to be an accomplished historian, but neither am I an uncritical, unthinking Papist sheep as you suppose me to be. Your comments to that effect are insulting, sir. I am a bit surprised at your arrogance, your tone.

The Church has had many scoundrels in her midst, including Popes. Their apostolic office does not keep them from personal sin. I have read non-Dalin sources regarding Pius XII, including his contemporaries, and I find their view the more compelling.

I have done you the service of examining your profile, your history, your ideology to which you are so passionately subscribed. You appear to have reduced all things to a label. I have considered the source.

As for myself, I make no claim, except to be a sinner upon whom Christ has had great mercy.

Good day to you.

Liberator_Rev said...

Despite your attempt to distance yourself from Dalin ("The careful reader will note that I made no claims as to Rabbi Dalin's prowess as an author or a historian.")
Why did you go through such pains to promote what he said, if you were not impressed by it?

And as for your assertion "You are passionate but you do not persuade."
The pages of my web site have been viewed 572682 times so far this year.
Maybe I didn't persuade YOU, but go back to being fooled by "Rabbi" Dalin.
If you ever get bored talking to yourself, feel free to join us at JesusWouldBeFurious.Org.

P.S. If you had read my page on Hitler's Pope, you would know that the claim that Cornwell "recanted" is overblown.

Nod said...

While I welcome honest intellectual discourse, ad hominem attacks are simply out of place. Rudeness and shameless self-promotion will not be tolerated.

As a self proclaimed ex-priest and liberal, you have an axe to grind, I understand that.

That just underscores the main point of this post: that if you repeat a lie long enough and loud enough, people will believe you.

If by talking to myself, you mean rejecting unjustified claims by ex-religious Willis and Cornwell, and revisionists Goldhaggen and Hochhuth (1963 "The Deputy"), and rather keeping company with Herzog, Meir, Sharett, Weizmann, Zolli, Lapide, Rychlak, Caroll, de Wohl, Grolier, and about 860,000 rescued Jews, then I don't think that I'll be bored any time soon. I'll even keep company with that liberal bastion the New York Times (Dec. 25, 1941, p. 20 & Dec. 25, 1942, p. 10),

"To prevent retaliation, he did not refer to Nazism by name, but people of that era still understood him, including the Nazis. According to The New York Times editorial on December 25, 1941 (Late Day edition, p. 24):

"The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas... he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all... the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism... he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace."

Also The New York Times editorial on December 25, 1942 (Late Day edition, p. 16) states:

"This Christmas more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent... Pope Pius expresses as passionately as any leader on our side the war aims of the struggle for freedom when he says that those who aim at building a new world must fight for free choice of government and religious order. They must refuse that the state should make of individuals a herd of whom the state disposes as if they were lifeless things."

Also, the 1996 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (V8.01) under Pius XII, "Wishing to preserve Vatican neutrality, fearing reprisals, and realizing his impotence to stop the Holocaust, Pius nonetheless acted on an individual basis to save many Jews and others with church ransoms, documents, and asylum."

Also, the Israeli consul, Pinchas E. Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1967) critically examines Pope Pius XII. According to his research, the Catholic Church under Pius XII was instrumental in saving 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps (p. 214).


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