|Papacy began||2 March 1939|
|Papacy ended||9 October 1958 (19 years, 221 days)|
|Birth name||Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli|
|Born||2 March 1876
|Died||9 October 1958 (aged 82)
Castel Gandolfo, Italy
|Other Popes named Pius|
The Venerable Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII; Italian: Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), served as the 260th Supreme Pontiff, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.
Before election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Germany. His leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II remains the subject of continued historical controversy.
After the war, Pius XII contributed to the rebuilding of Europe, and advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies toward vanquished nations and the unification of Europe. The Church, flourishing in the West, experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in the East. In light of his protests, and his involvement in the Italian elections of 1948, he became known as a staunch opponent of communism. He signed 30 concordats and diplomatic treaties.
Pius XII explicitly invoked ex cathedra papal infallibility with the dogma of the Assumption of Mary in his 1950 Apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus. His magisterium includes almost 1,000 addresses and radio broadcasts. His forty-one encyclicals include Mystici Corporis, the Church as the Body of Christ; Mediator Dei on liturgy reform; Humani Generis on the Church's position on theology and evolution. He eliminated the Italian majority in the College of Cardinals in 1946.
Pacelli was born in Rome into a deeply religious, aristocratic family with a history of ties to the papacy (the "Black Nobility"). His grandfather, Marcantonio Pacelli, was Under-Secretary in the Papal Ministry of Finances and then Secretary of the Interior under Pope Pius IX from 1851 to 1870 and founded the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano in 1861; his cousin, Ernesto Pacelli, was a key financial advisor to Pope Leo XIII; his father, Filippo Pacelli, a Franciscan Tertiary, was the dean of the Sacra Rota Romana; and his brother, Francesco Pacelli, became a lay canon lawyer and the legal advisor to Pius XI, in which role he negotiated the Lateran Treaty in 1929, bringing an end to the Roman Question.
Together with his brother Francesco and his two sisters, Giuseppina and Elisabetta, he grew up in the centre of Rome. At the age of 12, Eugenio announced his intentions to enter the priesthood instead of becoming a lawyer. After completing state primary schools, Pacelli received his secondary, classical education at the Visconti Institute, which was dominated by an anti-Catholic athmosphere popular at that time In 1894, at the age of 18, he entered the Collegio Capranica Seminary to begin study for the priesthood and enrolled at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Apollinare Institute of Lateran University. From 1895–1896, he studied philosophy at University of Rome La Sapienza. In 1899, he received degrees in theology and in utroque iure (civil and canon law). At the seminary, he received a special dispensation to live at home for health reasons.
He was ordained a priest on Easter Sunday, 2 April 1899 by Bishop Francesco di Paola Cassetta — the vice-regent of Rome and a family friend — and received his first assignment as a curate at Chiesa Nuova, where he had served as an altar boy. In 1901, he entered the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, a sub-office of the Vatican Secretariat of State, where he became a minutante, at the recommendation of Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli, another family friend.
In 1904, Pacelli became a papal chamberlain and in 1905 a domestic prelate. From 1904 until 1916, he assisted Cardinal Pietro Gasparri in his codification of canon law with the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. He was also chosen by Pope Leo XIII to deliver condolences on behalf of the Vatican to Edward VII of the United Kingdom after the death of Queen Victoria. In 1908, he served as a Vatican representative on the International Eucharistic Congress in London, where he met Winston Churchill. In 1911, he represented the Holy See at the coronation of King George V.
In 1908 and 1911, Pacelli turned down professorships in canon law at a Roman university and The Catholic University of America, respectively. Pacelli became the under-secretary in 1911, adjunct-secretary in 1912 (a position he received under Pope Pius X and retained under Pope Benedict XV) and secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs in 1914—succeeding Gasparri, who was promoted to Cardinal Secretary of State. As secretary, Pacelli concluded a concordat with Serbia four days before Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo. During World War I, Pacelli maintained the Vatican's registry of prisoners of war. In 1915, he travelled to Vienna to assist Monsignor Raffaele Scapinelli — nuncio to Vienna — in his negotiations with Franz Joseph I of Austria regarding Italy.
Pope Benedict XV appointed Pacelli as nuncio to Bavaria on 23 April 1917, consecrating him as titular Bishop of Sardis and immediately elevating him to archbishop in the Sistine Chapel on 13 May 1917. After his consecration, Eugenio Pacelli left for Bavaria. As there was no nuncio to Prussia or Germany at the time, Pacelli was, for all practical purposes, the nuncio to all of the German Empire.
Once in Munich, he conveyed the papal initiative to end the war to German authorities. He met with King Ludwig III on 29 May and later with Kaiser Wilhelm II and Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, who replied positively to the Papal initiative. However, Bethmann-Hollweg was forced to resign and the German High Command, hoping for a military victory, delayed the German reply until 20 September. For the remainder of the war, he concentrated on Benedict’s humanitarian efforts.
Pacelli was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Germany on 23 June 1920, and—after the completion of a Bavarian concordat—his nunciature was moved to Berlin in 1925. Many of Pacelli's Munich staff stayed with him for the rest of his life, including his advisor Robert Leiber and Pascalina Lehnert — housekeeper, friend, and adviser to Pacelli for 41 years. In Berlin, Pacelli was Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and active in diplomatic and many social activities. He worked with the German priest Ludwig Kaas, who was known for his expertise in Church-state relations and was politically active in the Catholic Centre Party. While in Germany, he traveled to all regions as a pastor, attended Katholikentag (national gatherings of the faithful), and delivered some 50 sermons and speeches to the German people.
In post-war Germany, in the absence of a nuncio in Moscow, Pacelli worked also on diplomatic arrangements between the Vatican and the Soviet Union. He negotiated food shipments for Russia, where the Church was persecuted. He met with Soviet representatives including Foreign Minister Georgi Chicherin, who rejected any kind of religious education, the ordination of priests and bishops, but offered agreements without the points vital to the Vatican. Despite Vatican pessimism and a lack of visible progress, Pacelli continued the secret negotiations, until Pope Pius XI ordered them to be discontinued in 1927.
Pacelli supported the Weimar Coalition of Social Democrats and liberal parties. Although he had cordial relations with representatives of the Centre Party, he did not involve the Centre in his dealings with the German government. Pacelli supported German diplomatic activity aimed at rejection of punitive measures from victorious former enemies. He blocked French attempts for an ecclesiastical separation of the Saar region, supported the appointment of a papal administrator for Danzig and aided the reintegration of priests expelled from Poland.
Pacelli was made a Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo on 16 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI, and within a few months, on 7 February 1930, Pius XI appointed him Cardinal Secretary of State. In 1935, Pacelli was named Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.
As Cardinal Secretary of State, Pacelli signed concordats with a number of countries and states, including Baden (1932), Austria (1933), Germany (1933), Yugoslavia (1935) and Portugal (1940). The Lateran treaties with Italy (1929) were concluded before Pacelli became secretary of state. Such concordats allowed the Catholic Church to organize youth groups, make ecclesiastical appointments, run schools, hospitals, and charities, or even conduct religious services. They also ensured that canon law would be recognized within some spheres (e.g., church decrees of nullity in the area of marriage).
He made many diplomatic visits throughout Europe and the Americas, including an extensive visit to the United States in 1936 where he met Franklin D. Roosevelt, who appointed a personal envoy — who did not require Senate confirmation — to the Holy See in December 1939, re-establishing a diplomatic tradition that had been broken since 1870 when the pope lost temporal power.
Pacelli presided as Papal Legate over the International Eucharistic Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 10–14 October 1934, and in Budapest on 25–30 May 1938. At this time, antisemitic laws were in the process of being formulated in Hungary. Pacelli made reference to the Jews "whose lips curse [Christ] and whose hearts reject him even today". This traditional adversarial relationship with Judaism would be reversed in Nostra Aetate issued during the Second Vatican Council. According to Joseph Bottum, Pacelli in 1937 "warned A. W. Klieforth, the American consul to Berlin, that Hitler was “an untrustworthy scoundrel and fundamentally wicked person”; Klieforth wrote that Pacelli “did not believe Hitler capable of moderation, and... fully supported the German bishops in their anti-Nazi stand”. A report written by Pacelli the following year for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and filed with Ambassador Joseph Kennedy declared that the Church regarded compromise with the Third Reich as “out of the question”."
Some historians have argued that Pacelli, as Cardinal Secretary of State, dissuaded Pope Pius XI — who was nearing death at the time — from condemning the Kristallnacht in November 1938, when he was informed of it by the papal nuncio in Berlin. Likewise the draft encyclical Humani Generis Unitas ("On the Unity of the Human Race"), which was ready in September 1938 but, according to those responsible for an edition of the document and other sources, it was not forwarded to the Holy See by the Jesuit General Wlodimir Ledochowski. The draft encyclical contained an open and clear condemnation of colonialism, racism and antisemitism. Some historians have argued that Pacelli learned about its existence only after the death of Pius XI and did not promulgate it as Pope. He did however use parts of it in his inaugural encyclical Summi Pontificatus, which he titled "On the Unity of Human Society."
His various positions on Church and policy issues during his tenure as Cardinal Secretary of State were made public by the Holy See in 1939. Most noteworthy among the 50 speeches is his review of Church-State issues in Budapest in 1938.
The Reichskonkordat was an integral part of four concordats Pacelli concluded on behalf of the Vatican with German States. The state concordats were necessary because the German federalist Weimar constitution gave the German states authority in the area of education and culture and thus diminished the authority of the churches in these areas; this diminution of church authority was a primary concern of the Vatican. As Bavarian Nuncio, Pacelli negotiated successfully with the Bavarian authorities in 1925. He expected the concordat with Catholic Bavaria to be the model for the rest of Germany. Prussia showed interest in negotiations only after the Bavarian concordat. However, Pacelli obtained less favorable conditions for the Church in the Prussian concordat of 1929, which excluded educational issues. A concordat with the German state of Baden was completed by Pacelli in 1932, after he had moved to Rome. There he also negotiated a concordat with Austria in 1933. A total of 16 concordats and treaties with European states had been concluded in the ten year period 1922–1932.
The Reichskonkordat, signed on 20 July 1933, between Germany and the Holy See, while thus a part of an overall Vatican policy, was controversial from its beginning. It remains the most important of Pacelli's concordats. It is debated, not because of its content, which is still valid today, but because of its timing. A national concordat with Germany was one of Pacelli's main objectives as secretary of state, because he had hoped to strengthen the legal position of the Church. Pacelli, who knew German conditions well, emphasized in particular protection for Catholic associations (§31), freedom for education and Catholic schools, and freedom for publications.
As nuncio during the 1920s, he had made unsuccessful attempts to obtain German agreement for such a treaty, and between 1930 and 1933 he attempted to initiate negotiations with representatives of successive German governments, but the opposition of Protestant and Socialist parties, the instability of national governments and the care of the individual states to guard their autonomy thwarted this aim. In particular, the questions of denominational schools and pastoral work in the armed forces prevented any agreement on the national level, despite talks in the winter of 1932.
Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor on 30 January 1933 and sought to gain international respectability and to remove internal opposition by representatives of the Church and the Catholic Centre Party. He sent his vice chancellor Franz von Papen, a Catholic nobleman and member of the Centre Party, to Rome to offer negotiations about a Reichskonkordat. On behalf of Pacelli, Prelate Ludwig Kaas, the outgoing chairman of the Centre Party, negotiated first drafts of the terms with Papen. The concordat was finally signed, by Pacelli for the Vatican and von Papen for Germany, on 20 July and ratified on 10 September 1933.
Between 1933 and 1939, Pacelli issued 55 protests of violations of the Reichskonkordat. Most notably, early in 1937, Pacelli asked several German cardinals, including Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber to help him write a protest of Nazi violations of the Reichskonkordat; this was to become Pius XI's 1937 encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge. The encyclical was written in German and not the usual Latin of official Roman Catholic Church documents. Secretly distributed by an army of motorcyclists and read from every German Catholic Church pulpit on Palm Sunday, it condemned the paganism of the National Socialism ideology. Pope Pius XI credited its creation and writing to Pacelli. It was the first official denunciation of Nazism made by any major organization and resulted in persecution of the Church by the infuriated Nazis who closed all the participating presses and "took numerous vindictive measures against the Church, including staging a long series of immorality trials of the Catholic clergy."
On 10 June 1941 he commented on the problems of the Reichskonkordat in a letter to the Bishop of Passau, in Bavaria: "The history of the Reichskonkordat shows, that the other side lacked the most basic prerequisites to accept minimal freedoms and rights of the Church, without which the Church simply cannot live and operate, formal agreements notwithstanding".
|Papal styles of
Pope Pius XII
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pius XI died on 10 February 1939. Several historians have interpreted the conclave to choose his successor as facing a choice between a diplomatic or a spiritual candidate, and they view Pacelli's diplomatic experience, especially with Germany, as one of the deciding factors in his election on 2 March 1939, his 63rd birthday, after only one day of deliberation and three ballots. He was the first cardinal secretary of state to be elected Pope since Clement IX in 1667. He was also one of only two men known to have served as Camerlengo immediately prior to being elected as pope (the other being Pope Leo XIII). His coronation took place on 12 March 1939. Upon being elected pope he was also formally the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, prefect of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches and prefect of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation. There was however a Cardinal-Secretary to run these bodies on a day-to-day basis.
Pacelli took the same papal name as his predecessor, a title used exclusively by Italian Popes. He was quoted as saying, "I call myself Pius; my whole life was under Popes with this name, but especially as a sign of gratitude towards Pius XI." On 15 December 1937, during his last consistory, Pius XI strongly hinted to the cardinals that he expected Pacelli to be his successor, saying "He is in your midst." He had previously been quoted as saying: "When today the Pope dies, you’ll get another one tomorrow, because the Church continues. It would be a much bigger tragedy, if Cardinal Pacelli dies, because there is only one. I pray every day, God may send another one into one of our seminaries, but as of today, there is only one in this world."
After his election, he appointed Luigi Cardinal Maglione to be his successor as Secretary of State. Cardinal Maglione, a seasoned Vatican diplomat, had reestablished diplomatic relations with Switzerland and was for many years nuncio in Paris. Yet, Maglione did not exercise the influence of his predecessor Pacelli, who as Pope continued his close relation with Monsignors Montini (later Pope Paul VI) and Domenico Tardini. After the death of Maglione in 1944, Pius left the position open and named Tardini head of its foreign section and Montini head of the internal section. Tardini and Montini continued serving there until 1953, when Pius XII decided to appoint them cardinals, an honor which both turned down. They were then later appointed to be Pro-Secretary with the privilege to wear Episcopal Insignia. Tardini continued to be a close co-worker of the Pope until the death of Pius XII, while Montini became archbishop of Milan, after the death of Alfredo Ildefonso Cardinal Schuster.
Pius XII slowly eroded the Italian monopoly on the Roman Curia; he employed German and Dutch Jesuit advisors, Robert Leiber, Augustin Cardinal Bea, and Sebastian Tromp. He also supported the elevation of Americans such as Francis Cardinal Spellman from a minor to a major role in the Church. After World War II, Pius XII appointed more non-Italians than any Pope before him. American appointees included Joseph P. Hurley as regent of the nunciature in Belgrade, Gerald P. O'Hara Nuncio to Romania and Monsignor Aloisius Joseph Muench as nuncio to Germany. For the first time, numerous young European, Asian and "Americans were trained in various congregations and secretariats within the Vatican for eventual service throughout the world."
Only twice in his pontificate did Pius XII hold a consistory to create new cardinals, in contrast to Pius XI, who had done so 17 times in as many years. Pius XII chose not to name new cardinals during World War II, and the number of cardinals shrank to 38, with Dennis Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia being the only living U.S. cardinal. The first occasion on 18 February 1946 — which has become known as the "Grand Consistory" — yielded the elevation of a record 32 new cardinals, almost 50 percent of the College of Cardinals and reaching the canonical limit of 70 cardinals. In the 1946 consistory Pius XII, while maintaining the maximum size of the College of Cardinals at 70, named cardinals from China, India, the Middle East and increased the number of Cardinals from the Americas, proportionally lessening the Italian influence.
In his second consistory on 12 January 1953, it was expected that his closest co-workers, Msgrs. Domenico Tardini and Giovanni Montini would be elevated and Pius XII informed the assembled cardinals that both of them were originally on the top of his list, but they had turned down the offer, and were rewarded instead with other promotions. The two consistories of 1946 and 1953 brought an end to over five hundred years of Italians constituting a majority of the College of Cardinals. With few exceptions, Italian prelates accepted the changes positively; there was no protest movement or open opposition to the internationalization efforts.
Earlier, in 1945, Pius XII had dispensed with the complicated papal conclave procedures which attempted to ensure secrecy while preventing Cardinals from voting for themselves, compensating for this change by raising the requisite majority from two-thirds to two thirds plus one.
|“||But it is His will, that the worship He instituted and practiced during His life on earth shall continue ever afterwards without intermission. For he has not left mankind an orphan. He still offers us the support of His powerful, unfailing intercession, acting as our "advocate with the Father." He aids us likewise through His Church, where He is present indefectibly as the ages run their course: through the Church which He constituted "the pillar of truth" and dispenser of grace, and which by His sacrifice on the cross, He founded, consecrated and confirmed forever.||”|
The Church has, therefore, according to Pius XII, a common aim with Christ himself, teaching all men the truth, and, offering to God a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice. This way, the Church re-establishes the unity between the Creator and His creatures. The sacrifice of the altar, being Christ's own actions, convey and dispense divine grace from Christ to the members of the Mystical Body.
The numerous Liturgy reforms of Pius XII show two characteristics. Renewal and the rediscovery of old liturgical traditions, such as the reintroduction of the Easter Vigil, and, a more structured atmosphere within the Church buildings. The use of vernacular language, favoured by Pius XII, was hotly debated at his time. He increased non-Latin services, especially in countries with expanding Catholic mission activities. The location of the Blessed Sacrament within the Church was to be always at the main altar in the centre of the Church. The Church should display religious objects, but not be overloaded with secondary objects or even Kitsch. Modern sacred art should be reverential and reflect the spirit of our time. Priests are permitted to officiate marriages without Holy Mass. They may also officiate confirmations in certain instances.
Decentralised authority and increased independence of the United Churches were aimed at in the Canon Law/Corpis Iuris Canonici (CIC) reform. In its new constitutions, Eastern Patriarchs were made almost independent from Rome (CIC Orientalis, 1957) Eastern marriage law (CIC Orientalis, 1949), civil law (CIC Orientalis, 1950), laws governing religious associations (CIC Orientalis, 1952) property law (CIC Orientalis ,1952) and other laws. These reforms and writings of Pius XII were intended to establish Eastern Orientals as equal parts of the mystical body of Christ, as explained in the encyclical Mystici Corporis.
With the Apostolic constitution Sedis Sapientiae, Pius XII added social sciences, sociology, psychology and social psychology, to the pastoral training of future priests. Pius XII emphasised the need to systematically analyze the psychological condition of candidates to the priesthood to ensure that they are capable of a life of virginity and service. Pius XII added one year to the theological formation of future priests. He also included a "pastoral year", an introduction into the practice of Parish work.
The call to constant interior reform and Christian heroism is a central part of the message of Pius XII to all Religious. This means to be above average, to be a living example of Christian virtue. As the secular world has fallen back into Hedonism, the Catholic alternative is the sanctification especially of Priests and Religious. The strict norms governing their lives are meant to make them models of Christian perfection for lay people, he writes in Menti Nostrae. Bishops are encouraged to look at model saints like Boniface, and Pope Pius X. Priests were encouraged to be living examples of the love of Christ and his sacrifice.
Pius XII explained the Catholic faith in 41 encyclicals and almost 1000 messages and speeches during his long pontificate. Mediator Dei clarified membership and participation in the Church. The encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu opened the doors for biblical research. His magisterium was far larger and is difficult to summarize. In numerous speeches Catholic teaching is related to various aspects of life, education, medicine, politics, war and peace, the life of saints, Mary, the mother of God, things eternal and contemporary. Theologically, Pius XII specified the nature of the teaching authority of the Church. He also gave a new freedom to engage in theological investigations.
The encyclical, Divino Afflante Spiritu, published in 1943 emphasized the role of the Bible. Pius XII freed biblical research from previous limitations. He encouraged Christian theologians to revisit original versions of the Bible in Greek and Hebrew. Noting improvements in archaeology, the encyclical reversed Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, which had only advocated going back to the original texts to resolve ambiguity in the Latin Vulgate. The encyclical demands a much better understanding of ancient Jewish history and traditions. It requires bishops throughout the Church to initiate biblical studies for lay people. The Pontiff also requests a reorientation of Catholic teaching and education, relying much more on sacred scriptures in sermons and religious instruction.
This theological investigative freedom does not, however, extend to all aspects of theology. According to Pius, theologians, employed by the Church, are assistants, to teach the official teachings of the Church and not their own private thoughts. They are free to engage in empirical research, which the Church generously supports, but in matters of morality and religion, they are subjected to the teaching office and authority of the Church, the Magisterium. "The most noble office of theology is to show how a doctrine defined by the Church is contained in the sources of revelation, … in that sense in which it has been defined by the Church." The deposit of faith is authentically interpretated not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the teaching authority of the Church.
As a young boy and in later life, Pacelli was an ardent follower of the Virgin Mary. He was consecrated as a bishop on 13 May 1917, the very day Our Lady of Fatima is believed to have first appeared. He consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942, in accordance with the second "secret" of Our Lady of Fatima. (His remains were to be buried in the crypt of Saint Peter Basilica on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, 13 October 1958.)
On 1 November 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the assumption:
|“||By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.||”|
The dogma of the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary, is the crowning of the theology of Pius XII. In this dogmatic statement, the phrase "having completed the course of her earthly life," leaves open the question of whether the Virgin Mary died before her Assumption, or, whether she was assumed before death; both possibilities are allowed. Mary's Assumption was a divine gift to Mary as Mother of God. As Mary completed her race as a shining example to the human race, the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race.
The dogma was preceded by the 1946 encyclical Deiparae Virginis Mariae, which requested all Catholic bishops to express their opinion on a possible dogmatization. On 8 September 1953, the encyclical Fulgens corona announced a Marian year for 1954, the centennial of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In the encyclical Ad caeli reginam he promulagated the feast, Queenship of Mary. Mystici Corporis summarizes his mariology.
Pius XII delivered numerous speeches to medical professionals and researchers. He addressed doctors, nurses, midwives, to detail all aspects of rights and dignity of patients, medical responsibilities, moral implications of psychological illnesses and the uses of psycho pharmaca. He also took on issues like the uses of medicine in terminally ill persons, medical lies in face of grave illness, and the rights of family members to make decisions against expert medical advice. Pope Pius XII often reconsidered previously accepted truth, thus he was first to determine that the use of pain medicine in terminally ill patients is justified, even if this may shorten the life of the patient, as long as life shortening is not the objective itself.
Pope Pius XII developed an extensive theology of the family, taking issue with family roles, sharing of household duties, education of children, conflict resolution, financial dilemmas, psychological problems, illness, taking care of older generations, unemployment, marital holiness and virtue, common prayer, religious discussions and more. Within the overall divine purpose of family life, he fully accepted the rhythm method as a moral form of family planning, although only limited circumstances, within the context of family.
To Pius XII, science and religion were heavenly sisters, different manifestations of divine exactness, who could not possibly contradict each other over the long term Regarding their relation, his advisor Professor Robert Leiber wrote: "Pius XII was very careful not to close any doors prematurely. He was energetic on this point and regretted that in the case of Galileo."
In 1950, Pius XII promulgated Humani Generis which acknowledged that evolution might accurately describe the biological origins of human life, but at the same time criticized those who "imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution... explains the origin of all things". Catholics must believe that the human soul was created immediately by God. Since the soul is a spiritual substance it is not brought into being through transformation of matter, but directly by God, whence the special uniqueness of each person.." Fifty years later, Pope John Paul II, stating that scientific evidence now seemed to favour the evolutionary theory, upheld the distinction of Pius XII regarding the human soul. "Even if the human body originates from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is spontaneously created by God." 
Pius XII issued 41 encyclicals during his pontificate – more than all his successors in the past 50 years taken together – along with many other writings and speeches. The pontificate of Pius XII was the first in Vatican history, which published papal speeches and addresses in vernacular language on a systematic basis. Until then, papal documents were issued mainly in Latin in Acta Apostolicae Sedis since 1909. Because of the novelty of it all, and a feared occupation of the Vatican by the German Wehrmacht, not all documents exist today. In 1944, a number of papal documents were burned or “walled in”, to avoid detection by the advancing German army. Insisting that all publications must be reviewed by him on a prior basis to avoid any misunderstanding, several speeches by Pius XII, who did not find sufficient time, were never published or appeared only once issued in the Vatican daily, Osservatore Romano.
Several encyclicals addressed the Oriental Churches. Orientalis Ecclesiae was issued in 1944 on the 15th centenary of the death of Cyril of Alexandria, a saint common to Orthodox and Latin Churches. Pius XII asks for prayer for better understanding and unification of the Churches. Orientales Omnes, issued in 1945 on the 350th anniversary of the reunion, is a call to continued unity of the Ruthenian Church, threatened in its very existence by the authorities of the Soviet Union. Sempiternus Rex was issued in 1951 on the 1500th anniversary of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. It included a call to oriental communities adhering to monophysitism to return to the Catholic Church.
Orientales Ecclesias was issued in 1952 and addressed to the Oriental Churches, protesting the continued Stalinist persecution of the Church. Several Apostolic Letters were sent to the bishops in the East. On 13 May 1956, Pope Pius addressed all bishops of the Eastern Rite. Mary, the mother of God was the subject of encyclical letters to the people of Russia in Fulgens Corona and a papal letter to the people of Russia.
In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics. The first medal of the Holy Face of Jesus, produced by Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli based on the image on the Shroud of Turin had been offered to Pius XII who approved of the medal and the devotion based on it. The general devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus had been approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885 before the image on the Turin Shroud had been photographed.
Pope Pius XII canonized numerous saints, including Pope Pius X and Maria Goretti. He beatified Pope Innocent XI. The first canonizations were two women, the founder of a female order, Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, and a young housekeeper said to have stigmata, Gemma Galgani. Pelletier had a reputation for opening new ways for Catholic charities, helping people in difficulties with the law, who had been neglected by the system and the Church. Galgani was a rather young woman in her twenties whose virtue became model by her canonization.
As Cardinal Secretary of State, Pacelli signed a Concordat between Germany and the Vatican at a ceremony in Rome on 20 July 1933. His pontificate began on the eve of World War II. In the 1937 encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, drafted by Pope Pius XII when he was still a cardinal, Pope Pius XI denounced Nazism and breaches of the Reichskonkordat. Read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches, it has been described as the first official denunciation of Nazism made by any major organization. Nazi persecution of the Church in Germany then began by "outright repression" and "staged prosecutions of monks for homosexuality, with the maximum of publicity." When Dutch bishops protested against the deportation of Jews, the Nazis responded by deporting Jewish converts, including Edith Stein.
In Poland, the Nazis murdered over 2,500 monks and priests while even more were sent to concentration camps. The Priester-Block (priests barracks) in the Dachau concentration camp lists 2,600 Roman Catholic priests. Pius XII's refusal to censure the German invasion and annexation of Poland was regarded as a "betrayal" by many Polish Catholics and clergy, who saw his appointment of Hilarius Breitinger as apostolic administrator for the Wartheland in May 1942 as "implicit recognition" of the breakup of Poland; the opinions of the Volksdeutsche, mostly-Catholic German minorities living in Poland, were more mixed. Although Pius XII received frequent reports about atrocities committed by and/or against Catholics, his knowledge was not complete; for example, he wept after the war upon learning that Cardinal Hlond had banned German liturgical services in Poland. Phayer argues that Pius XII — both before and during his papacy — consistently "deferred to Germany at the expense of Poland", and saw Germany — not Poland — as critical to "rebuilding a large Catholic presence in Central Europe".
During the war, the Pope followed a policy of public neutrality mirroring that of Pope Benedict XV during World War I. In 1939, Pius XII turned the Vatican into a center of aid which he organized from various parts of the world  At the request of the Pope, an information office for prisoners of war and refugees operated in the Vatican under Giovanni Battista Montini, which in the years of its existence from 1939 until 1947 received almost 10 million (9,891,497) information requests and produced over 11 million (11,293,511) answers about missing persons.
In April 1939, after the submission of Charles Maurras and the intervention of the Carmel of Lisieux, Pius XII ended his predecessor's ban on Action Française, an organization described by some authors as virulently antisemitic and anti-Communist.
In 1939, the Pope employed Jewish cartographer Roberto Almagia to work on old maps in the Vatican library. Almagia had been at the University of Rome since 1915 but was dismissed after Benito Mussolini's anti-semitic legislation of 1938. The Pope's appointment of two Jews to the Vatican Academy of Science as well as the hiring of Almagia were reported by The New York Times in the editions of 11 November 1939, and 10 January 1940.
During the Soviet Union's acts of aggression against Finland, the Winter War, Pius XII condemned the Soviet attack on 26 December 1939 in a speech at the Vatican. Later he donated a signed and sealed prayer on behalf of Finland.
On 18 January 1940, after over 15,000 Polish civilians had been killed, Pius XII said in a radio broadcast, "The horror and inexcusable excesses committed on a helpless and a homeless people have been established by the unimpeachable testimony of eye-witnesses."
|“||The blood of countless human beings, even noncombatants, raises a piteous dirge over a nation such as Our dear Poland, which, for its fidelity to the Church, for its services in the defense of Christian civilization, written in indelible characters in the annals of history, has a right to the generous and brotherly sympathy of the whole world, while it awaits, relying on the powerful intercession of Mary, Help of Christians, the hour of a resurrection in harmony with the principles of justice and true peace.
- Summi Pontificatus, 106.
After Germany invaded the Low Countries during 1940, Pius XII sent expressions of sympathy to the Queen of the Netherlands, the King of Belgium, and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. When Mussolini learned of the warnings and the telegrams of sympathy, he took them as a personal affront and had his ambassador to the Vatican file an official protest, charging that Pius XII had taken sides against Italy's ally Germany. Mussolini's foreign minister claimed that Pius XII was "ready to let himself be deported to a concentration camp, rather than do anything against his conscience."
In the spring of 1940, a group of German generals seeking to overthrow Hitler and make peace with the British approached Pope Pius XII, who acted as a negotiator between the British and the abortive plot.
In April 1941, Pius XII granted a private audience to Ante Pavelić, the leader of the newly proclaimed Croatian state (rather than the diplomatic audience Pavelić had wanted). Pius was criticised for his reception of Pavelić: an unattributed British Foreign Office memo on the subject described Pius as "the greatest moral coward of our age." The Vatican did not officially recognise Pavelić's regime. Pius XII did not publicly condemn the expulsions and forced conversions to Catholicism perpetrated on Serbs by Pavelić; however, the Holy See did expressly repudiate the forced conversions in a memorandum dated 25 January 1942, from the Vatican Secretiat of State to the Yugoslavian Legation. Pius XII was well-informed of the involvement of Croatian Catholic clergy with the Ustaša regime, even possessing a list of clergymembers who had "joined in the slaughter", but decided against condemning the regime or taking action against the involved clergy, fearing that it would lead to schism in the Croatian church or undermine the formation of a future Croatian state. Pius XII elevated Aloysius Stepinac—a Croatian archbishop convicted of collaborating with the Ustaša—to the cardinalate. Although Phayer agrees in part with criticisms of Stepinac conviction as a "show trial", he states "the charge that he supported the Ustaša regime was, of course, true, as everyone knew", and that "if Stepinac had responded to the charges against him, his defense would have inevitably unraveled, exposing the Vatican's support of the genocidal Pavelić".
In 1941, Pius XII interpreted Divini Redemptoris, an encyclical of Pope Pius XI, which forbade Catholics to help communists, as not applying to military assistance to the Soviet Union. This interpretation assuaged American Catholics who had previously opposed Lend-Lease arrangements with the Soviet Union.
In March 1942, Pius XII established diplomatic relations with the Japanese Empire and received ambassador Ken Harada, who remained in that position until the end of the war. In May 1942, Kazimierz Papée, Polish ambassador to the Vatican, complained that Pius had failed to condemn the recent wave of atrocities in Poland; when Cardinal Secretary of State Maglione replied that the Vatican could not document individual atrocities, Papée declared, "when something becomes notorious, proof is not required."
Pius XII's 1942 Christmas address on the Vatican Radio remains a "lightning rod" in debates about Pius XII. The majority of the speech spoke generally about human rights and civil society; at the very end of the speech, Pius XII mentioned "the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline". Reactions of contemporaries and scholars are divided, but the speech did denounce genocide (a term not coined until 1944), although "it is still not clear whose genocide or which genocide he was referring to".
Several authors have alleged a plot to kidnap Pius XII by the Nazis during their occupation of Rome in 1943 (Vatican City itself was not occupied); British historian Owen Chadwick and Jesuit ADSS editor Robert A. Graham concluded that such claims were the invention of British wartime propagandists. However, subsequent to those accounts, Dan Kurzman in 2007 published a work which he maintains establishes the plot as fact.
In 1939 the newly-elected Pope Pius XII appointed several prominent Jewish scholars to posts at the Vatican after they had been dismissed from Italian universities under Fascist leader Benito Mussolini's racial laws. Pius later engineered an agreement — formally approved on 23 June 1939 — with Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas to issue 3,000 visas to "non-Aryan Catholics". However, over the next 18 months Brazil’s Conselho de Imigração e Colonização (CIC) continued to tighten the restrictions on their issuance, including requiring a baptismal certificate dated before 1933, a substantial monetary transfer to the Banco do Brasil, and approval by the Brazilian Propaganda Office in Berlin. The program was cancelled 14 months later, after fewer than 1,000 visas had been issued, amid suspicions of "improper conduct" (i.e. continuing to practice Judaism) among those who had received visas.
Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Maglione received a request from Chief Rabbi of Palestine Isaac Herzog in the Spring of 1940 to intercede on behalf of Lithuanian Jews about to be deported to Germany. Pius called Ribbentrop on March 11, repeatedly protesting against the treatment of Jews. In his 1939 encyclical Summi Pontificatus, Pius rejected anti-semitism, stating that in the Catholic Church there is "neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision." In 1940 Pius asked members of the clergy, on Vatican letterhead, to do whatever they could on behalf of interned Jews.
In 1941, Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna informed Pius of Jewish deportations in Vienna. Later that year, when asked by French Marshal Philippe Pétain if the Vatican objected to antisemitic laws, Pius responded that the church condemned antisemitism, but would not comment on specific rules. Similarly, when Philippe Pétain's puppet government adopted the "Jewish statutes," the Vichy ambassador to the Vatican, Léon Bérard (a French politician), was told that the legislation did not conflict with Catholic teachings. Valerio Valeri, the nuncio to France was "embarrassed" when he learned of this publicly from Pétain and personally checked the information with Cardinal Secretary of State Maglione who confirmed the Vatican's position. Yet in June 1942 Pius personally protested against the mass deportations of Jews from France, ordering the papal nuncio to protest to Pétain against "the inhuman arrests and deportations of Jews". In September 1941 Pius objected to a Slovakian Jewish Code, which, unlike the earlier Vichy codes, prohibited intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. In October 1941 Harold Tittman, a U.S. delegate to the Vatican, asked the pope to condemn the atrocities against Jews; Pius replied that the Vatican wished to remain "neutral," reiterating the neutrality policy which Pius invoked as early as September 1940.
In 1942, the Slovakian charge d'affaires, told Pius that Slovakian Jews were being sent to concentration camps. On March 11, 1942, several days before the first transport was due to leave, the chargé d'affaires in Bratislava reported to the Vatican: "I have been assured that this atrocious plan is the handwork of... Prime Minister (Tuka), who confirmed the plan... he dared to tell me — he who makes such a show of his Catholicism — that he saw nothing inhuman or un-Christian in it... the deportation of 80,000 persons to Poland, is equivalent to condemning a great number of them to certain death." The Vatican protested to the Slovak government that it "deplore(s) these... measures which gravely hurt the natural human rights of persons, merely because of their race."
On 18 September 1942, Pius received a letter from Monsignor Montini (future Pope Paul VI), saying, "the massacres of the Jews reach frightening proportions and forms." Later that month, Myron Taylor, U.S. representative to the Vatican, warned Pius that the Vatican's "moral prestige" was being injured by silence on European atrocities, a warning which was echoed simultaneously by representatives from Great Britain, Brazil, Uruguay, Belgium, and Poland. The Cardinal Secretary of State replied that the rumors about genocide could not be verified. In December 1942, when Tittman asked Cardinal Secretary of State Maglione if Pius would issue a proclamation similar to the Allied declaration "German Policy of Extermination of the Jewish Race", Maglione replied that the Vatican was "unable to denounce publicly particular atrocities." Pius XII directly explained to Tittman that he could not name the Nazis without at the same time mentioning the Bolsheviks. Pius XII also never publicly condemned the Nazi massacre of 1.8–1.9 million mainly Catholic Polish gentiles (including 2,935 members of the Catholic Clergy), nor did he ever publicly condemn the Soviet Union for the deaths of 1,000,000 mainly Catholic Polish gentile citizens including an untold number of clergy. In late 1942, Pius XII advised German and Hungarian bishops that speaking out against the massacres in the Eastern Front would be politically advantageous. In his 1942 Christmas Eve message, he expressed strong concern for "those hundreds of thousands, who ... sometimes only by reason of their nationality or race, are marked down for death or progressive extinction. On 7 April 1943, Msgr. Tardini, one of Pius’ closest advisors, told Pius that it would be politically advantageous after the war to take steps to help Slovakian Jews.
In January 1943, Pius declined to publicly denounce the Nazi discrimination against Jews, following requests to do so from Władysław Raczkiewicz, president of the Polish government-in-exile, and Bishop Konrad von Preysing of Berlin. On 26 September 1943, following the German occupation of northern Italy, Nazi officials gave Jewish leaders in Rome 36 hours to produce 50 kilograms of gold (or the equivalent) threatening to take 300 hostages. Then Chief Rabbi of Rome Israel Zolli recounts in his memoir that he was selected to go to the Vatican and seek help. The Vatican offered to loan 15 kilos, but the offer proved unnecessary when the Jews received an extension. Soon afterward, when deportations from Italy were imminent, 477 Jews were hidden in the Vatican itself and another 4,238 were protected in Roman monasteries and convents. Eighty percent of Roman Jews were saved from deportation. Phayer argues that the German diplomats in Rome were the "initiators of the effort to save the city's Jews", but holds that Pius XII "cooperated in this attempt at rescue", while agreeing with Zuccotti that the pope "did not give orders" for any Roman Catholic institution to hide Jews.
On 30 April 1943, Pius wrote to Bishop Graf von Preysing of Berlin to say: "We give to the pastors who are working on the local level the duty of determining if and to what degree the danger of reprisals and of various forms of oppression occasioned by episcopal declarations... ad maiora mala vitanda (to avoid worse)... seem to advise caution. Here lies one of the reasons, why We impose self-restraint on Ourselves in our speeches; the experience, that we made in 1942 with papal addresses, which We authorized to be forwarded to the Believers, justifies our opinion, as far as We see.... The Holy See has done whatever was in its power, with charitable, financial and moral assistance. To say nothing of the substantial sums which we spent in American money for the fares of immigrants."
On 28 October 1943, Ernst von Weizsäcker, the German Ambassador to the Vatican, telegrammed Berlin that "...the Pope has not yet let himself be persuaded to make an official condemnation of the deportation of the Roman Jews.... Since it is currently thought that the Germans will take no further steps against the Jews in Rome, the question of our relations with the Vatican may be considered closed."
In March 1944, through the papal nuncio in Budapest, Angelo Rotta, the pope urged the Hungarian government to moderate its treatment of the Jews. The pope also ordered Rotta and other papal legates to hide and shelter Jews. These protests, along with others from the King of Sweden, the International Red Cross, the United States, and Britain led to the cessation of deportations on 8 July 1944. Also in 1944, Pius appealed to 13 Latin American governments to accept "emergency passports", although it also took the intervention of the U.S. State Department for those countries to honor the documents.
From 1941 to 1944, Pope Pius and the Catholic Church were responsible for saving more Jews from Nazi persecution than any other person or institution. Some Israeli scholars estimate that as many as 860,000 European Jews were saved from death through concealment in Church facilities, issuance of fake Baptismal certificates, public appeals and other methods. In one instance, Pius lent the Roman Jewish community part payment of a ransom demanded by the Nazis to save several hundred Roman Jews. Prior to becoming Pope, Pius negotiated a Concordat between the Vatican and Germany, which provided that Jews who had converted to Christianity would not be subject to persecution in Germany as Jews. This provision enabled local priests to save tens of thousands of Jews from deporation by issuing fake Baptism certificates. The World Jewish Congress, American Jewish community, Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem, Rome and Budapest, Golda Meir and many other prominent Jewish representatives praised Pius for his relief efforts and public denunciation of racial persecution. In August 2006 extracts from the 60-year-old diary of a nun of the Convent of Santi Quattro Coronati were published in the Italian press, stating that Pope Pius XII ordered Rome's convents and monasteries to hide Jews during World War II.
The Kaltenbrunner Report to Adolf Hitler dated November 29, 1944 on the background of the July 20, 1944 Plot to assassinate Hitler, states that the Pope was somehow a co-conspirator, specifically naming Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, as being a party in the attempt.
After World War II Pope Pius XII focused on material aid to war-torn Europe, an internal internationalization of the Roman Catholic Church, and the development of its worldwide diplomatic relations. His encyclicals, Evangelii Praecones and Fidei Donum, issued on 2 June 1951 and 21 April 1957, respectively, increased the local decision-making of Catholic missions, many of which became independent dioceses. Pius XII demanded recognition of local cultures as fully equal to European culture. Continuing the line of his predecessors, Pius XII supported the establishment of local administration in Church affairs: in 1950, the hierarchy of Western Africa became independent; in 1951, Southern Africa; and in 1953, British Eastern Africa. Finland, Burma and French Africa became independent dioceses in 1955.
While the Church thrived in the West and most of the developing world, it faced most serious persecutions in the East. The Communist regimes in Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania practically eradicated the Roman Catholic Church in their countries.
The difficult relations of the Vatican with the Soviet Union originated in the revolution in 1917 and continued through the pontificate of Pius XII, affecting the Orthodox Church and other non-Catholics as well. The Oriental Catholic churches were eliminated in most parts of the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era.
The relations of the Holy See with China from 1939 to 1958 began hopefully with the long withheld recognition of Chinese rites by the Vatican in 1939, the elevation of the first Chinese cardinal in 1946, and the establishment of a local Chinese hierarchy. It ended with the persecution and virtual elimination of the Catholic Church in the early 1950s, and the establishment of a Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association in 1957
In 2005, Corriere della Sera published a document dated 20 November 1946 on the subject of Jewish children baptized in war-time France. The document ordered that baptized children, if orphaned, should be kept in Catholic custody and stated that the decision "has been approved by the Holy Father". Nuncio Angelo Roncalli (who became Pope John XXIII, and was recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations) ignored this directive. Abe Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who had himself been baptized as a child and had undergone a custody battle afterwards, called for an immediate freeze on Pius's beatification process until the relevant Vatican Secret Archives and baptismal records were opened. Two Italian scholars, Matteo Luigi Napolitano and Andrea Tornielli, confirmed that the memorandum was genuine although the reporting by the Corriere della Sera was misleading, as the document had originated in the French Catholic Church archives rather than the Vatican archives and strictly concerned itself with children without living blood relatives that were supposed to be handed over to Jewish organizations.
The last years of the pontificate of Pius XII began in late 1954 with a long illness, during which he considered abdication. Afterwards, changes in his work habit became noticeable. The Pope avoided long ceremonies, canonizations and consistories and displayed hesitancy in personnel matters. During the last years of the pontificate, Pius XII procrastinated personnel decisions within his Vatican, and found it increasingly difficult to chastise subordinates and appointees such as Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi, who, after numerous indiscretions was excluded from Papal service for the last years, but, keeping his title, was able to enter the papal apartments to make photos of the dying Pope, which he sold to French magazines.
Pius XII often elevated young priests as bishops, such as Julius Döpfner (35 years) and Karol Wojtyla (38 years), one of his last appointees in 1958. He took a firm stand against pastoral experiments, such as "worker-priests", who worked full time in factories and joined political parties and unions. He continued to defend the theological tradition of Thomism as worthy of continued reform, and as superior to modern trends such as phenomenology or existentialism.
Since his 1954 illness, Pope Pius addressed lay people and groups about an unprecedented range of topics. Frequently, he spoke to members of scientific congresses, explaining Christian teachings in light of most recent scientific results. Sometimes he answered specific moral questions, which were addressed to him. To professional associations he explained specific occupational ethics in light of Church teachings. Pius granted the Honor of Being the "Catholic University of The Philippines" to the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, the oldest existing in Asia.
Before 1955, Pacelli worked for many years with Giovanni Battista Montini. The Pope did not have a full time assistant. Robert Leiber helped him occasionally with his speeches and publications. Augustin Bea was his personal confessor. Madre Pascalina Lehnert was for forty years his housekeeper and assistant. Domenico Tardini was probably closest to him.
Pius XII died on 9 October 1958 of acute heart failure brought on by a sudden myocardial infarction in Castel Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence. His doctor Gaspanini said afterwards: "The Holy Father did not die because of any specific illness. He was completely exhausted. He was overworked beyond limit. His heart was healthy, his lungs were good. He could have lived another 20 years, had he spared himself."
Unlike all popes before him, Pope Pius XII did not want the vital organs removed from his body, demanding instead, that it be kept in the same condition, "in which God created it". According to Galeazzi-Lisi, this was the reason why he and Professor Oreste Nuzzi, an embalmer from Naples, used a novel embalming approach invented by Nuzzi.
In a controversial press conference, Galeazzi-Lisi described in great detail the embalming the body of the late Pontiff. He claimed to have used the same system of oils and resins, with which the body of Jesus Christ was preserved. Galeazzi-Lisi asserted that the new process would "preserve the body indefinitely in its natural state" However, whatever chance the new embalming process of efficaciously preserving the body was obliterated by intense heat in Castel Gandolfo during the embalming process. As a result, the body decomposed rapidly and the viewing of the faithful had to be terminated abruptly.
Galeazzi-Lisi reported that heat in the halls, where the body of the late Pope lay in state, caused chemical reactions which required it to be treated twice after the original preparation. Swiss Guards stationed around Pius XII's body were reported to become ill during their vigil.
His funeral procession into Rome was the largest congregation of Romans as of that date. Romans mourned "their" Pope, who was born in their city, especially as hero in time of war. Cardinal Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII) wrote in his diary on 11 October that probably no Roman emperor had enjoyed such a triumph, which he viewed as a reflection of the spiritual majesty and religious dignity of Pius XII.
The Testament of Pope Pius XII was published immediately after his death. Pope Pius XII's cause of canonization was opened on 18 November 1965 by Pope Paul VI. In March 2007, the congregation recommended that Pius XII should be declared Venerable. Pope Benedict XVI did so on 19 December 2009, simultaneously making the same declaration in regard to Pope John Paul II.
During the war, the pope was widely praised. For example, Time magazine credited Pius XII and the Catholic Church for "fighting totalitarianism more knowingly, devoutly, and authoritatively, and for a longer time, than any other organized power". During the war he was also praised editorially by the New York Times for opposing Nazi anti-Semitism and aggression. Some early works echoed these favorable sentiments, including Polish historian Oskar Halecki's Pius XII: Eugenio Pacelli: Pope of peace (1954) and Nazareno Padellaro's Portrait of Pius XII (1949).
Many Jews publicly thanked the pope for his help. For example, Pinchas Lapide, a Jewish theologian and Israeli diplomat to Milan in the 1960s, estimated controversially in Three Popes and the Jews that Pius "was instrumental in saving at least 700,000 but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands." Some historians have questioned this oft-cited number, which Lapide reached by "deducting all reasonable claims of rescue" by non-Catholics from the total number of European Jews surviving the Holocaust. Catholic scholar Kevin Madigan interprets this and other praise from prominent Jewish leaders, including Golda Meir, as less than sincere, an attempt to secure Vatican recognition of the State of Israel.
Pius was also criticized during his lifetime. For example, Leon Poliakov wrote five years after World War II that Pius had been a tacit supporter of Vichy France's anti-Semitic laws, calling him "less forthright" than Pope Pius XI either out of "Germanophilia" or the hope that Hitler would defeat communist Russia. Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, a long-time critic of Pius XII's policies during the war and an opponent of clerical celibacy and the use of Latin as language of the liturgy, was excommunicated by Pius XII on 2 July 1945.
On 21 September 1945, the general secretary of the World Jewish Council, Dr. Leon Kubowitzky, presented an amount of money to the pope, "in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecutions."
After the war, in the autumn of 1945, Harry Greenstein from Baltimore, a close friend of Chief Rabbi Herzog of Jerusalem, told Pius how grateful Jews were for all he had done for them. "My only regret," the pope replied, "is not to have been able to save a greater number of Jews."
In 1963, Rolf Hochhuth's controversial drama Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel (The Deputy, a Christian tragedy, released in English in 1964) portrayed Pope Pius XII as a hypocrite who remained silent about the Holocaust. Books such as Dr. Joseph Lichten's A Question of Judgment (1963), written in response to The Deputy, defended Pius XII's actions during the war. Lichten labelled any criticism of the pope's actions during World War II as "a stupefying paradox" and said, "no one who reads the record of Pius XII's actions on behalf of Jews can subscribe to Hochhuth's accusation." Critical scholarly works like Guenter Lewy's The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (1964) also followed the publication of The Deputy. Lewy's conclusion was that "the Pope and his advisers — influenced by the long tradition of moderate anti-Semitism so widely accepted in Vatican circles — did not view the plight of the Jews with a real sense of urgency and moral outrage. For this assertion no documentation is possible, but it is a conclusion difficult to avoid". In 2002 the play was adapted into the film Amen.
An article on La Civilità Cattolica in March 2009 indicated that the accusations that Hochhuth's play made widely known originated not among Jews but in the Communist bloc. It was Moscow Radio, on 2 June 1945, that first direct against Pius XII the accusation of refusing to speak out against the exterminations in Nazi concentration camps. It was also the first to call him "Hitler's Pope".
Former Securitate General Ion Mihai Pacepa has stated that Hochhuth's play and numerous publications attacking Pius XII as allegedly having been a Nazi sympathizer were fabrications from the KGB and Eastern bloc Marxist secret services leading a campaign to discredit the moral authority of the Church and Christianity in the west. Pacepa also claims that he was involved in contacting east bloc agents close the Vatican in order to fabricate the story to be used for the attack against the wartime pope.
In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding The Deputy, in 1964 Pope Paul VI authorized Jesuit scholars to access the Vatican State Department Archives , which are normally not opened for seventy-five years. Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, was published in 11 volumes between 1965 and 1981.The volumes were published by Angelo Martini, Burkhart Schneider, Robert A. Graham and Pierre Blet, the latter published a summary of the 11 volumes. All four, most frequently Robert A. Graham published articles and books on the subject matter.
In 1999, John Cornwell's Hitler's Pope criticized Pius for not doing enough, or speaking out enough, against the Holocaust. Cornwell argued that Pius's entire career as the nuncio to Germany, cardinal secretary of state, and pope was characterized by a desire to increase and centralize the power of the Papacy, and that he subordinated opposition to the Nazis to that goal. He further argued that Pius was anti-Semitic and that this stance prevented him from caring about the European Jews.
Cornwell's work was the first to have access to testimonies from Pius' beatification process as well as to many documents from Pacelli's nunciature which had just been opened under the 75-year rule by the Vatican State Secretary archives. Cornwell's work has received much praise and criticism. Much praise of Cornwell centered around his disputed claim that he was a practising Catholic who had attempted to absolve Pius with his work. While works such as Susan Zuccotti's Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy (2000) and Michael Phayer's The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965 (2000) are critical of both Cornwell and Pius XII, Ronald J. Rychlak's Hitler, the War and the Pope is critical as well but defends Pius XII in light of his access to most recent documents. Cornwell's scholarship has been criticized. For example, Kenneth L. Woodward stated in his review in Newsweek that "errors of fact and ignorance of context appear on almost every page." Five years after the publication of Hitler's Pope, Cornwell stated: "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 Germany".
In his 2003 book A Moral Reckoning, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen asserts that Pius "chose again and again not to mention the Jews publicly.... [In] public statements by Pius XII . . . any mention of the Jews is conspicuously absent." In a review of Goldhagen's book, Mark Riebling counters that Pius used the word "Jew" in his first encyclical, Summi Pontificatus, published on October 20, 1939. "There Pius insisted that all human beings be treated charitably — for, as Paul had written to the Colossians, in God's eyes "there is neither Gentile nor Jew." In saying this, the Pope affirmed that Jews were full members of the human community — which is Goldhagen's own criterion for establishing 'dissent from the anti-Semitic creed.'"
Most recently, Rabbi David Dalin's The Myth of Hitler's Pope argues that critics of Pius are liberal Catholics and ex-Catholics who "exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda of forcing changes on the Catholic Church today" and that Pius XII was actually responsible for saving the lives of many thousands of Jews.
In 1999, in an attempt to address some of this controversy, the International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission (Historical Commission), a group of three Catholic and three Jewish scholars was appointed, respectively, by the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews (Holy See's Commission) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), to whom a preliminary report was issued in October 2000.
The Commission did not discover any documents, but had the agreed-upon task to review the existing Vatican volumes, that make up the Actes et Documents du Saint Siege (ADSS)  The Commission was internally divided over the question of access to additional documents from the Holy See, access to the news media by individual commission members, and, questions to be raised in the preliminary report. It was agreed to include all 47 individual questions by the six members, and use them as Preliminary Report. In addition to the 47 questions, the commission issued no findings of its own. It stated that it was not their task to sit in judgment of the Pope and his advisors but to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the papacy during the Holocaust.
The 47 questions by the six scholars were grouped into three parts: (a) 27 specific questions on existing documents, mostly asking for background and additional information such as drafts of the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, which was largely written by Eugenio Pacelli. (b) Fourteen questions dealt with themes of individual volumes, such as the question how Pius viewed the role of the Church during the war. (c) Six general questions, such as the absence of any anti-communist sentiments in the documents. The disagreement between members over additional documents locked up up under the Holy See's 70 year rule resulted in a discontinuation of the Commission in 2001 on friendly terms. Unsatisfied with the findings, Dr. Michael Marrus, one of the three Jewish members of the Commission, said the commission "ran up against a brick wall.... It would have been really helpful to have had support from the Holy See on this issue."
Phayer's Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War (2008) makes use of many new documents that have recently come to light due to Bill Clinton's 1997 executive order declassifying wartime and postwar documents at the (many of which are currently at the US National Archives and Holocaust Memorial Museum, including both diplomatic correspondence, American espionage, and even decryptions of German communications), new documents released by the Argentine government and the British Foreign Office, and the diary of Bishop Joseph Patrick Hurley; in particular, these documents reveal new information about Pius XII's actions regarding the Ustaše regime, the genocides in Poland, the finances of the wartime church, the deportation of the Roman Jews, and the postwar "ratlines" for Nazis and fascists fleeing Europe. According to Phayer, "the face of Pope Pius that we see in these documents is not the same face we see in the eleven volumes the Vatican published of World War II documents, a collection which, though valuable, is nonetheless critically flawed because of its many omissions".
A special conference of scholars on Pius XII on the 50th anniversary of his death was held in Rome on 15–17 September 2008, by Pave the Way Foundation, a nonsectarian organization founded by a Jewish American that promotes interfaith cooperation. Pope Benedict XVI held on 19 September 2008 a reception for the conference participants, where he praised Pius XII as a pope who made every effort to save Jews during the war. A second conference was held on 6–8 November 2008 by the Pontifical Academy of Life.
On 9 October 2008, the 50th anniversary of Pius XII's death, Benedict XVI celebrated pontifical mass in his memory. Shortly prior to, and after the mass, dialectics continued between the Jewish hierarchy and the Vatican as Rabbi Shear Yeshuv Cohen of Haifa addressed the Synod of Bishops and expressed his disappointment towards Pius XII's "silence" during the war.
On June 16, 2009, the Pave the Way Foundation announced that it will release of 2,300 pages of documents in Avellino, Italy, dating from 1940 to 1945, which the organization claims will show that Pius XII "worked diligently to save Jews from Nazi tyranny"; the organization's founder, Gary Krupp, a Jew, accused historians of harboring "private agendas" and having "let down" the public. On 17 September 2009, Pave the Way Foundation nominated Pius XII to be listed as Righteous Among the Nations at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. The foundation's efforts produced 3,000 new original documents and photos on the life of Pius XII and his work to save Jews during World War II.
On December 19,2009 Pius XII was declared venerable by Pope Benedict XVI.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Cardinal Secretary of State
- **Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary of America in the New York Times, March, 1940.
|Birth name||Eugenio Maria Guiseppe Giovanni Pacelli|
|Born|| March 2, 1876|
|Died|| October 9, 1958 (aged 82)|
|Papacy from||March 2, 1939 – October 9, 1958|
|Came after||Pius XI|
|Came before||John XXIII|
Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) was elected Pope on his 63th birthday in 1939. He was Pope until his death in 1958. Before being Pope, he worked in the Vatican in high places since 1901. He was papal nuncio and Cardinal Secretary of State, which is second in command after Pope Pius XI, his predecessor. As a boss, he was demanding but also showed a sense of humor. Once a Vatican employee, who made a big mistake, came to him to apologize. Pius XII looked at the mistake and smiled: In Germany, they say in this situation, "I shot a big deer." Unfortunately it is not a real deer, otherwise, you could invite the Vatican for dinner tonight.
During the war the Pope and the Catholic Church faced two problems: Many Church members were deported or killed by the Communists in the Soviet Union, which was a war ally of the West. The German Nazis went after the Church as well in Germany and occupied lands, especially in Poland. Many German and Polish priests died in German concentration camps during the war. The Vatican favored America but did not want to appear partial during the world conflict, working instead unsuccessfully to an ending of it. After his death, the policies of the Catholic Church during World War II and of Pius XII became a subject of continued historical controversy, as questions were raised, if they could have done more to prevent that six million Jews were murdered by the Germans.
After the war,(1939-1945), which cost an estimated fifty-five million lives, and created much devastation and over thirty million refugees and displaced people in many countries, Pius XII helped to rebuild war torn Europe, and advocated peace and understanding between all the people in Europe and the world. In America and other Western countries, the Catholic Church did well during these years. But under Joseph Stalin the problems in the East increased with more killings, jailings and mass deportations of Catholic people and clergy. This happened especially Eastern Europe and China in the years 1945-1956). Pius XII protested often but without any results.
Pius XII reformed the Church and made it more modern in several areas. Before him, there were almot sixty days of fasting, today, largely thanks to him, only a few. He made the holy Mass more modern and shorter. In 1950 he declared that Mary, the Mother of God, was taken up into heaven after her life was completed.
Pius XII taught and wrote a lot. He wrote forty-one official papal letters (encylicals), that is many more then all his successors in the past fifty years taken together (35). He issued over 1,000 addresses and radio broadcasts, another record. When he was elected Pope, the Italians had (for centuries) an absolute majority, thus nobody could be elected Pope without them or against them. Pius XII changed that after the war, naming forty-two new cardinals, many of them from countries around the world, who never had a cardinal, such as India, China and Chile.
His personal life was by many considered a holy and saintly one. He lived very simply and needed virtually nothing for himself. Once his housekeeper told him that he looked like a Gypsy, because of his old worn out shoes and quietly replaced them with new ones. Next day, the Pope went to the kitchen and asked for "my Gypsy shoes". He got them back and wore them for a long time. Pope Paul VI opened a process in the Vatican, to make Pius XII a saint. His ongoing canonisation process progressed to the venerable stage on September 2, 2000, under Pope John Paul II. Pope John XXIII, the successor, who like Pius had a nice sense of humor, said: Pius XII was "a saint, and he will be made a saint, but it will take a long time, because he wrote too much". Saints are investigated by the Vatican for every sentence they wrote, and this takes time in the slow moving Vatican. The Pope once was asked, how many people work in the Vatican, answered Half of them.