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83 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and Very Human Look At Pope Pius XII
Although the title may be somewhat sensational and a bit misleading, this is an absorbing and disturbing book that ultimately questions the degree to which Pope Pius XII suffered from a number of worldly ambitions and perceptions that actively interfered with his prosecution of the Lord's work during the beginning of his own papacy during World War Two. I personally...
Published on June 12, 2000 by Barron Laycock

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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too biased
I don't like this book because I think that it is bad research, and even worse targetting at misleading the masses. BTW I am not Catholic, so I have no interest or particular reason to defend Pius XII. The argumentation of the book is poor and the evidence very selective. Cornwell ignored the mass of evidence that sustained the contrary thesis, and the reasons that led...
Published on October 27, 1999


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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too biased, October 27, 1999
By A Customer
I don't like this book because I think that it is bad research, and even worse targetting at misleading the masses. BTW I am not Catholic, so I have no interest or particular reason to defend Pius XII. The argumentation of the book is poor and the evidence very selective. Cornwell ignored the mass of evidence that sustained the contrary thesis, and the reasons that led Pius to use a soft policy for helping the Jews (Hitler reacting with more persecution when the pope would condemn antisemitism strongly, and Hitler's becoming full of hate just by hearing the word "Jew".) For those who are interested in a much better book on the same topic, I definitely recommend Pierre Blet's book on Pius XII. (Pius XII and the Second World War : According to the Archives of the Vatican)
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102 of 127 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars From a Protestant perspective, this book is unfair, October 31, 1999
By A Customer
You have to read 370 pages into this book to get to the crux of the matter, Cornwell's real aim:
"Those who long for the realization of collegiality in the Catholic church may also come to accept, in the light of this narrative ... that papal autocracy, carried to the extreme, can only demoralize and weaken Christian communities. ... It has been the urgent thesis of this book, however, that when the papacy waxes strong at the expense of the people of God, the Catholic Church declines in moral and spiritual influence to the detriment of us all."
I have no illusions about the power of the Papacy to inflict harm needlessly and unconsciously on the Christian church. I have no doubt that past popes have been responsible for death and destruction to further their own political power. However, I do not think Cornwell presents a credible case to damn Pius XII. He merely presents an indictment of the papacy as a strong, reactionary, unresponsive office badly in need of reform from his own perspective.
To do this, he invokes the name of Hitler in the title, conjuring up all the evil of history associated with that name, hoping some will rub off on the pope. He then calls him by his Christian name, stripping him of title and making him into a faceless bureaucrat. Finally, he associates him with every evil of the era, from fascism to McCarthyism, hoping for some revolt against John Paul II at the end, in a chapter which seemed hastily added on and beside the point until you arrive at page 370, the next to last page.
This is history as polemic, and not necessarily well done either. The section dealing with Pius' death is, frankly, dispicable. Because of the nature of the work as revealed at the end, this book calls all of its conclusions into suspicion. If Pius stood idlely by while the Holocaust was going on, he was no more guilty of the same moral astigmatism when presented with a choice between communism and fascism that many of that era were. One would expect a biography of FDR entitled "Hitler's President." But such a criticism would be unfair in that case, and in this.
A final word on Cornwell's thesis: John Paul II has stood against so-called reformist movements, such as liberation theology, the push to ordain women and homosexuals, a more modern view of contraception, etc. If one has a problem with a strong, centralized leadership standing in the way of "reform," there are plenty of denominations to choose from besides Catholicism, a sect not known in the past for its visionary reform. But speaking as a Protestant, frankly, Catholicism without a strong Papacy would be ridiculous, and I think Martin Luther would agree with me.
And to the reader from New Jersey: Americans don't necessarily like sugar coated history. We just don't chase after every damned red herring thrown to us by dubious historians ready to abandon credible history based on their own axe-grindings. The author and those who agree with him should instead find a better way of pursuing Catholic reform instead of dishonoring the memory of those unable to defend themselves.
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145 of 182 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Revisionist account not convincing, January 15, 2000
By A Customer
I personally could care less whether Pope Pius XII was a good pope or a bad pope. Anyone who knows Vatican history knows that there have been both kinds of popes in the history of the Church... and it's certainly possible that Pius XII was the callous, immoral fraud that Cornwell depicts him as being. But there are two things that have always troubled me about this denunciation of Pius XII plainly also despise the Catholic Church for other reasons; and, more significantly, (2) the people who actually LIVED through World War II (including the former Chief Rabbi of Rome) had only PRAISE for Pius XII's courage when dealing with the Nazis (who were, by the way, stationed with tanks about 100 yards from where the pope slept!). Cornwell fails utterly to explain why, if Pius XII was so bad...
1. Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel, said upon Pius XII's death that " During the ten years of Nazi terror, when our people passed through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims."
2. Elio Toaff, the Chief Rabbi of Rome during the Nazi terror, said, "More than anyone else, we have had the opportunity to appreciate the great kindness, filled with compassion and magnanimity, that the Pope displayed during the terrible years of persecution and terror."
3. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, said that, "with special gratitude we remember all he has done for the persecuted Jews during one of the darkest periods in their entire history."
4. The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Isaac Herzog, sent the Pius XII a personal message of thanks on February 28, 1944, in Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion which form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for us unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of divine Providence in this world."
5. The New York Times, in its Christmas editorial of 1941, said of Pius would be expected to express in time of war. Yet his words sound strange and bold in the Europe of today, and we comprehend the complete submergence and enslavement of great nations, the very sources of our civilization, as we realize that he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all."
6. Former Israeli diplomat and now Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Pinchas Lapide stated that Pius XI "had good reason to make Pacelli the architect of his anti-Nazi policy. Of the forty-four speeches which the Nuncio Pacelli had made on German soil between 1917 and 1929, at least forty contained attacks on Nazism or condemnations of Hitler's doctrines. . . . Pacelli, who never met the Führer, called it `neo-Paganism.' "
7. Lapide, in his book "Three Popes and the Jews," insisted that the Catholic Church saved more Jewish lives than all other relief efforts (such as those of the International Red Cross, the Haganah, and American Jewish organizations) Catholic Church had been the instrument is thus at least 700,000 souls, but in all probability it is much closer to . . . 860,000."
8. Albert Einstein, again someone who fled Hitler personally and lived through the the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty."
In conclusion, it is plainly obvious that Pius XII didn't do enough to save Jewish refugees in Europe -- anyone who has visited Dachau or Yad veh-Shem, as I have, knows that -- as it is obvious that the Allied Forces, the International Red Cross, and American Jewish groups in the U.S. didn't do enough. No one did enough. Eleven million people were murdered in cold blood. But why is the Catholic Church in general, and Pius XII in particular, singled out for attacks? For Cornwell and other critics of Pius XII to be credible, they have to explain, once again, why SO MANY people (including the most prominent Jews who survived) heaped PRAISE on Pius XII for his efforts on behalf of the Jews. Until Cornwell CAN explain this, his book will appear to be yet another screed against the Vatican by a former Catholic. It is scholarship in the service of rage, a sad waste of talent and time. END
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50 of 61 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As a review in Newsweek says: "Deeply flawed", October 21, 1999
By 
This book is getting a lot of attention. But all the reading I have done, especially the testimony of Jewish leaders during and after WWII concerning what Pius XII did to help the Jewish people, makes me very skeptical about Mr. Cornwell's allegations. I would urge everyone to suspend judgment until they have read a lot of other evidence. A great deal of material, pro and con, can be found on the Internet by searching on "Pius" and "Holocaust".
At present, Amazon is bringing up "Pius XII and the Second World War: According to the Archives of the Vatican" by Pierre Blet, et. al. as a book that others who have bought Mr. Cornwell's book have also purchased. I would point out that Pierre Blet is one of the four persons who edited the 12-volume "The Acts and Documents of the Holy See Relative to World War II". So, he is in an even better position than Mr. Cornwell is to talk about this issue. I realize that he is also potentially biased because he is a Jesuit priest. But then, it is fair to ask what Mr. Cornwell's bias is.
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88 of 116 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Scandal Sells, May 31, 2000
I was fascinated by this book and went on to do some more digging. I found so much material contrary to Cornwell's account that I keep asking myself why an historian would go to such efforts to smear a man who, it seems, saved so many lives. I can only assume that marketing considerations determined the tone of this book.
A few quotes: "When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for it's victims." Golda Meir
"He (Pope Pius)is the only ruler left on the continent of Europe who dares raise his voice at all." New York Times editorial Dec. 25, 1942
"Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign." Albert Einstein (Time magazine 1944)
It is a "regretable irony that the one person in all of occupied Europe who did more than anyone else to halt the dreadful crime...is today made the scapegoat for the failures of others." Jeno Levai (Jewish historian specializing in the Holocaust in Hungary)
"The Catholic Church under Pius XII was instumental in saving the lives of as many as 860,000 Jews" Pinchas Lapide (Israeli diplomat)
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what it claims to be, October 18, 1999
By A Customer
Cornwell is a compelling writer, and he makes a serious case that Pius XII's legacy was not a positive one. As such, this book deserves consideration. But it is not what it claims to be.
Mr. Cornwell would have us belief he was originally sympathetic to Pius XII but that access to previously secret information about the Pope caused him to change his mind. That is, the book claims to be based on new revelation. It's not. It's an analysis of widely known historical information by one critical of the Catholic conservativism that Pius XII advanced.
Mr. Cornwell is first and foremost concerned with criticizing the conservative faction that advocates centralized church authority, enforced doctrinal orthodoxy, and the precedence of personal holiness over social action. His analysis of Pius's papacy is a vehicle for this critique. He dedicates considerable attention to the First Vatican Council, to the papacy of the arch-conservative Pius X, and to the current backslash against the progressive legacy of the Second Vatican Council, all topics that bear no relation to Pius XII's role in the Second World War, the book's ostensive subject matter.
Mr. Cornwell admits that he gained access to archives in possession of the Jesuits by claiming he was favorable to Pius, but pretends that this was true at the time. This seems to me very implausible, since all of Mr. Conrwell's previous books about the Catholic Church have expressed the same anti-conservative, anti-hierarchic orientation that is so evident throughout this work. Moreover, Mr. Cornwell dislikes Pius XII personally. He is not above repeating gossip about his housekeeper or informing us that his corpse was grotesquely putrified at the time of his funeral.
That said, I think the book is worth reading and commenting. I am personally inclined to agree with Mr. Conrwell that Pius XII did more harm than good to the Catholic Church. But readers should keep in mind that this work was not written in good faith.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Innacurate from the beginning, January 12, 2001
Upon first seeing the cover I could tell that the author was going to give twisted truth. The cover of this book is a perfect example. It tries to give the impression that those may be Hitler soldiers, and takes away the open door that is shown in the European title. The reason being, most people reading this book in the US will be average Americans who may not know alot about the history. The book given in Europe would be given to Germans and British people who have alot more understanding and knowledge about what happened. Thats why in the European cover, the opened door is shown and the photo is clear.
All that aside, the author tries his hardest to defend his anti-catholic statements. He gives incomplete accounts, or tries to lead you in the wrong direction.
If you took the time to read this book, take the time to read "Hitler, the War, and the Pope" by Ronald J. Rychlak. That is a direct response to this book.
When reading both, you will see why Jewish historian Michael Tagliacozzo, responsible for the Beth Lohame Haghettaot (Center of Studies on the Shoah and Resistance) in Italy(one of the world's largest museums and centers of documentation on the Holocaust) recently said Pope Pacelli was the only one who intervened to impede the deportation of Jews. Michael Tagliacozzo is still alive and even acknowledges his own life was saved by Pope Pacelli.
You will also see why then Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli converted to the Catholic Church shortly after. Even changing his name to Eugenio to honor the Pope. Even though Zolli claimed he converted for theological reasons, many still believe he converted because of what the Catholic Church did. His book is also sold here at Amazon, "Before the Dawn"by Eugenio Zolli.
So those who are in search for clear objective truth, will not find it hard to see that the Catholic Church in fact did stand strong for the Jews, stronger than anybody of any organization at the time. (...)
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49 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Holy See as skewed by Cornwell, April 23, 2005
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After watching the burial of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II I decided to look back upon his distinguished Papacy. I became involved in researching many of his Apostolic Exhortations, Constitutions and Letters. One of particular interest was, We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah originating in 1998. In this piece the holy father speaks of the tragedy of the Holocaust and in essence demands all of our remembrance. He wrote that the Church should recall "all those times in history when they departed from the spirit of Christ and His Gospel and, instead of offering the world the witness of a life inspired by the values of faith, indulged in ways of thinking and acting which were truly forms of counter witness and scandal." While I agree that there were many of the Catholic faith with an iniquitously close relationship to the Nazi's. However, The Pope and the Roman Catholic Church are by nature institutions unable to command all parishioners or followers. Even the most stirring evocation might reach thousands, but leave some precariously dangling on the fringe, unmoved or unmotivated. In the book The Church Did Not Keep Silent by Jewish Historian, Jeno Levai, he states that Pius PP. XII admitted that everyone including himself could have done more. "If we condemn Pius, then justice would demand condemning everyone else."

Pius PP. XII (Eugenio Pacelli) has been brutally labeled by John Cornwell as "Hitler's Pope." This blanket execratation of a man without the exegetical assistance of facts, is abhorrent regardless of religious affiliation. This is simply the work of those interested in coercing the Catholic Church into following polls rather than steadfastly adhering to doctrinal criterions. David Limbaugh describes this event and other attempts similar to it, as an "anti-Christian Phenomenon." Media outlets, secularists and others have this vested interest in imputing the role of the Catholic Church during this horrendous time in our history. Whatever its origins, these pronouncements do not justify the systematic distortion of historical reality. Peggy Obrecht of the United States Holocaust Museum states in a letter: "...it was the actions of the Protestant Church which yielded up the greater villains ... " To be consistent in my condemnation of nescient finger pointing I find it imperative to disregard some specifics. Ms. Obrecht went on to list examples of particular atrocities committed. While I am not in a position to dispute the validity of such atrocities, I do believe that all religions had coteries guilty of innumerable barbarousness. My contention is these acts are not germane to Catholics or Christians for that matter, simply human nature. The internecine question of responsibility serves only to promote rancor and impel blame. I am quite sure that the great majority of the Protestant faithful acted heroically to preserve human life.

The Israeli consul, Pinchas E. Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews examines Pius PP. XII and his role during this tenuous time. According to Lapide's research, the Catholic Church, under the direction of Pius PP. XII was instrumental in saving 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps. According to Lapide, the contention that the Pope could have saved additional lives by speaking out more forcefully is inaccurate. In reality, the camp prisoners discouraged the Pontiff of speaking out on their behalf. A fact corroborated by a passage in the book Pius XII and the Holocaust, where one author, Jonathan Gorsky, interviewed Sister Pasqualina, who supervised the Pope's household during the war years. She claimed that "the Pope had intended to write about Jewish suffering in 1942, but stopped short when he heard about the savage response to the Dutch bishops' endeavors in Holland." As one jurist from the Nuremberg Trials stated on WNBC in New York, February 28, 1964, "Any words of Pius XII, directed against a madman like Hitler, would have brought on an even worse catastrophe... {and} accelerated the massacre of Jews and priests."

One must remember that the Holocaust was also incontestably anti-Christian. It begs to be noted that six million Jews as well as five million others (three million Catholics) died at the hands of the Nazis'. The latter fact conspicuous in its absence from quite a few historical records. In the December 23, 1940 (p. 38) issue of TIME magazine, Albert Einstein expressed, "Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what once I despised I now praise unreservedly."

As early as 1935, as Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pacelli addressed 250,000 pilgrims at Lourdes: "These [Nazi] ideologues are in fact only miserable plagiarizes who dress up ancient error in new tinsel." During this era, Jewish people had been banned from learned professions. As newly elected Pope, Pius PP. XII invited many of these Jewish citizens, literati and working class alike, back into the Vatican and offered emigration assistance. Pius PP. XII then intervened with diplomats from other countries arranging the necessary documentation for this process to come to fruition.

During lent in 1937 Pius PP. XI issued the encyclical "Mit brennender Sorge" (With burning sorrow) with the assistance of German bishops and Cardinal Pacelli (who later became Pius PP. XII). It was smuggled into Germany and was disseminated throughout all Catholic Churches at the same hour during Palm Sunday 1937. Through this, Pius PP. XI told all German followers that no Christian could take part in anti-Semitism.

Early in 1940, Adolf Hitler attempted to prevent the new Pope from maintaining the anti-Nazi posture and condemnation of their Jacobinical furies he had demonstrated before his election. He sent an underling, Joachim von Ribbentrop, to try to convince Pius PP. XII to alter his sentiment. According to author Joseph Lichten,"Von Ribbentrop, granted a formal audience on March 11, 1940, went into a lengthy harangue on the invincibility of the Third Reich, the inevitability of a Nazi victory, and the futility of papal alignment with the enemies of the Führer. Pius XII heard von Ribbentrop out politely and impassively. Then he opened an enormous ledger on his desk and, in his perfect German, began to recite a catalogue of the persecutions inflicted by the Third Reich in Poland, listing the date, place, and precise details of each crime. The audience was terminated; the Pope's position was clearly unshakable."

Pius PP. XII was a diplomat and not a radical ecclesiastic as he has been painted by some others. Preserving the illusion of Vatican neutrality enabled Vatican City to become a refuge for all people. According to Lapide "He also realized how powerless he truly was against Adolf Hitler. Benito Mussolini could easily cut power to Vatican Radio during any of his broadcasts. "According to the 1996 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (v8.01) Pius PP. 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." Both the international Red Cross and the World Council of Churches were in consensus that relief efforts for the Jewish people would be more effective if the agencies remained relatively quiet and operated unencumbered by promotion or accolade. In reference to the war years Pinchas Lapide quotes Leon Poliakov in conclusion: "[T]he Church's tireless humanitarian efforts in the face of the Hitler terror with the approval and under the stimulus of the Vatican, can never be forgotten. We do not know what were the exact instructions sent by the Holy See to the churches in the different countries, but the coincidence of effort at the time of the deportations is proof that such steps were taken."

At the time of Pius PP. XII's death in 1958, Israel's Golda Meir, who later became prime minister, telegraphed Rome: "...When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict."

William Rubinstein, author of the book, The Myth of Rescue, similarly maintains that the Church could not realistically have done more to save Jews during the war. To those who say that the Church could have done more, it is time to say, 'had others done as much, more Jews would have been saved." He continued, "Hitler, the Nazis, and their accomplices--and only they--bear full and total responsibility for the Holocaust."

Traitors and sympathizers existed within the Church, and for this we all should feel ashamed. Many others were guilty of the sin of omission and indifference. However, Pius PP. XII did not remain silent and did extend the reach of La Santa Sede, assisting innumerous people living under the tyranny of the Nazi regime and its attempted genocide. The Vatican mobilized for all the oppressed and as a result was successful in hundreds of thousands of lives saved. The World Jewish Congress made a large cash gift to the Vatican in 1945; in the same year, Rabbi Herzog of Jerusalem sent a "special blessing" to the Pope "for his lifesaving efforts on behalf of the Jews during the Nazi occupation of Italy." Could 860,000 Jewish lives have been saved through impassivity? When Pius PP. XII died, open letters appeared in the Israeli press suggesting that 860,000 trees be planted in a Pope Pius XII Memorial forest in the hills of Judea. A fitting tribute to a man who planted the seeds of tolerance, compassion, and strength.
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54 of 72 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is Cornwell a historian or a conspiracy theorist?, April 5, 2000
After reading "Hilter's Pope" through twice, I think you would not have much of a book left if you took out Cornwell's criticisms of Pius XII and other popes for trying to ensure that Catholic doctrine is correctly taught and for trying to ensure that Church practice is universally consistent. Disdain for the teaching authority of the Catholic Church and the papacy is on every page.
Even if you hate the idea of a central teaching authority or the fact that the Church isn't run as a democracy, it does not follow, as the author implies over and over again, that someone who believes that a central authority is necessary is the same as a vicious murdering dictator who has dreams of world dominion and will stop at nothing to carry it out.
Cornwell tries to yoke these two disparate figures together in every way possible, trying to tar Eugenio Pacelli, who became Pope Pius XII, with the brush of Hilter's guilt.
Cornwell's main thesis is that Pacelli/Pius XII was power-hungry, and everything he did throughout his career, including his concordat with Hilter, had that single motive. The rhetorical techniques Cornwell uses are impressive, even if reprehensible. A photo of the Pope blessing people in St. Peter's Square is shown on the same page as Hilter on a balcony in front of a huge crowd. A paragraph documenting an action by Pacelli during his diplomatic career will be followed by a paragraph about an unrelated atrocity by a Nazi official, even there is no evident connection between the two. Readers who read through this long book too fast may find these things blurring together to achieve the author's sought-for impression.
It is obvious from the title and book itself that the author was trying to prove that Pius XII, collaborated with Hilter and hated Jews both before and afer he became pope. My understanding is that the pope did not try more directly to stop Hilter because of the very real danger that Hilter would respond with more violent action against Catholics and Jews. Religious practice had been exterminated in countries under Communist rule. The same prospect was hanging over the German church with the rise of the Nazis, even though Hilter gave lip service to the Christian churches.
In spite Hilter's being born Catholic, no one could accuse Hilter of remaining a Catholic. He was a neo-pagan; his fantastic man-made religion built upon the notion of survival of the fittest to conceive of a super race to be achieved by destroying all genetically inferior members of the human species, Jewish and Polish people included, and anyone else who stood in his way. A lot of Catholic clergy who spoke out died in concentration camps, including the priest St. Maximillian Kolbe, who volunteered to die instead of a Jewish family man in one of the camps.
As Pacelli, the Vatican diplomat, and Pius XII, the pope, he saw that a concordat with Mussolini succeeded in buffering the Church in Italy to some degree, and that a concordat with Hilter could have the same effect in Germany...P>Cornwell writes scornfully even about things that wouldn't seem evil in someone else's eyes. For example, Cornwell cricizes Pacelli/Pius XII for his asceticism, his dedication to personal prayer, his hard work, and his devotion to St. Therese, who taught a "little way" to God through love of God expressed through love of the people around us. And from what he writes, Cornwell apparently sees the fact that people loved this pope whenever they got to meet him as due to the pope's evil genius rather than his holiness.
Cornwell described the decay of Pope Pius XII's body after death in horrifying detail (but didn't quote any sources for his information). This final indignity leaves me with an impression contrary to make his point.
Cornwell starts this book saying he got access to secret archives because he told the Vatican archivists about his desire to defend Pius XII, but then he got disillusioned by what he discovered. Cornwell's previously published words show his disdain for the Church dated from before the date of his research on this book, which makes me think that when Cornwell told the Vatican that he wanted to defend Pius XII that Cornwell was not really sincere.
In Cornwell's previous book about the death of John Paul I after a little over a month as pope, Cornwell claimed he had been asked by the Vatican to dispel rumors about the pope's early death, and then he was disillusioned by what he found out after doing his research on that topic.
If you believe what Cornwell writes in these two books, his respect for the Church has risen at least twice until it was deflated twice by his research for two books that coincidentally turn out to be scandalous exposes. It also strains one's credibility that the Vatican would have asked a former seminarian and outspoken critic of the Church to investigate the death of a Pope.
Perhaps Cornwell has proven his ability, not as a historian but a skilled writer of conspiracy theories? END
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53 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hitlers Pope, April 6, 2001
John Cornwell is a Roman Catholic, with very limited intellect about World War II. especially about Eastern Europe, it is cliche to write about the Holocaust, however, there was another genocide going on and today 56 years later it is equally cliche not to mention it, the War was over, then why allow it...! Vladimir Dedijer a Serb Stalinist an associate of Tito (Josef Broz)wrote a book 435 pages almost identical to Cornwell, I decided to call both books 'garbage literature' I feel, Cornwell and Dedijer must have agreed to write this...(!!!)
I would challenge Mr Cornwell to write a book on real facts and not cliche, also where was Mr Cornwell et al after the War when 15.5 million Silesia Germans, Sudeten Germans and 2 million Donauschwaben were exterminated, driven or killed from their expropriated homes stripped of citizenship and birthrights, no, these people were not Nazi Transplants, they lived Poland and Sudetenland more than 600 years, what Irony. Many were deported to Russian slave labor camps "Stalin was slave Riich", I am a survivor of this untold insanity at thirteen years of age I saw 'Hell on Earth many Times over' the war was over, then why ?
My ancesters settled in southern Hungary 1740 hardly Nazis, in 1944 we were driven from our home and never compensated all others were compensated and made whole. I was in three extermination camps in the Serbia actually there wer 50 concentration camps in Yugoslavia most in the Voivodina, Tito and his council should equally made guilty of War Crimes in absentia with Hitler and Stalin, our church did try to oppose... I am still reminded about Cardinal Stepinak of Zagreb who was totured to say what Tito and the partisans wanted to hear. Only blaming the catholic church does History Injustice, we are people too, we have the same Pains... I willing to dicuss this subject intellectually with anyone, we are the "Others" this is not a one sided History, especially, the blaming of the catholic church to that extend is senseless shame on you Mr Cornewell!!! Thank you.
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Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII
Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII by John Cornwell (Paperback - April 29, 2008)
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