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Pope Pius XII - Literature

Researchers may find useful Saul Friedlander, Pius XII and the Third Reich (New York: Octagon, 1986); Carlo Falconi, The Silence of Pius XII (London: Faber & Faber, 1970); Saul Friedlander, Pius XII and the Third Reich (London: Chatto & Windus, 1966); Nazareno Padallaro, Portrait of Pius XII (London: J. M. Dent, 1956); Alexander Ramati, While the Pope Kept Silent (London: Allen & Unwin, 1978); John Pollard, The Vatican and Italian Facism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis, and Soviet Intelligence (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991); Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis, and Swiss Banks. New and rev. ed. (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1998); David Alvarez and Robert A. Graham, SJ, Nothing Sacred: Nazi Espionage Against the Vatican 1939-1945 (London and Portland, Oregon: Frank Cass, 1997).

After World War II, complaints began to be heard of Pacelli's indifference to the plight of Europe's Jews. British historian John Cornwell began research for Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII believing that "if his full story were told, Pius XII's pontificate would be exonerated." Instead, he emerged in a state of "moral shock," concluding that "Pacelli displayed anti-Semitic tendencies early on and that his drive to promote papal absolutism inexorably led him to collaboration with fascist leaders." Cornwell depicts Cardinal Secretary of State Pacelli pursuing Vatican diplomatic goals that crippled Germany's large Catholic political party, which might otherwise have stymied Hitler's worst excesses.

In an interview in The Bulletin (Philadelphia, Sept. 27, 2008), author John Cornwell stated that since the publication of this book, his views had changed, noting: "While I believe with many commentators that the pope might have done more to help the plight of the Jews, I now feel, 10 years after the publication of my book, that his scope for action was severely limited and I am prepared to state this," he said. "Nevertheless, due to his ineffectual and diplomatic language in respect of the Nazis and the Jews, I still believe that it was incumbent on him to explain his failure to speak out after the war. This he never did."

In The Myth of Hitler's Pope, Rabbi David G. Dalin argues that "As Pope Pius XII worked to save Jews from the Nazis, the grand mufti became Hitler's staunch ally and a promoter of the Holocaust, with a legacy that feeds radical Islam today. In this thoroughly documented book, Rabbi Dalin "explodes the myth of Hitler's pope and condemns the myth-makers".

In Pius XII and the Holocaust: Understanding the Controversy, Jose M. Sanchez, a professor of history at St. Louis University, comes to "conclusions offer nods to both the critics and defenders of Pius XII, but because his summary statement is more gray than black or white, readers looking for the sort of spice dished up by Hitler's Pope will doubtless be left disappointed. ... He concludes that Pius' dual responsibilities as vicar of Christ and leader of the church became impossible to reconcile."

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