A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH
Pius XII and the Roman Jewish Community
Save [sic] the Roman Jewish Community revealed through documents to Pope Francis
20 February 2019 — Deborah Castellano Lubov
‘Historical evidence shows that the Catholic Church, under the Pontificate of Pius XII, saved an estimated 847,000 Jews during WWII.’
To show the Pope primary source documents evidencing Vatican intervention to save the Jews of Rome during WWII, a special delegation, organized by Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF), a US based nonsectarian organization, greeted Pope Francis on February 20, 2019, following his Wednesday General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Leading the PTWF delegation was PTWF Director, Mr. John Drexel IV the great-grandnephew of Saint Katharine Drexel of Philadelphia. Mr. Drexel presented the Pope with a signed book and letter from Sr. Donna Breslin, Mother Superior of The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Katharine Drexel’s order.
Joining the delegation was NYS Assemblyman Anthony D’urso who, as a 7-year-old child from Formia, Italy, would look out for any Nazis. His family is credited with saving the Jewish Sinigallia family. Assemblyman Durso presented the Holy Father with his family diary citing the actions of the Vatican to rescue the Jewish families of Formia. Michael Weinstock is representing the Sinigallia family.
The family of Anthony Durso has been nominated to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem to be bestowed the honor of “Righteous Among Nations,” which is the highest honor given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jewish people. Joining this esteemed delegation, honoring the efforts of Assemblymen Anthony D’urso, is the Comptroller of the State of New York State, Hon. Thomas DiNapoli.
PTWF Director, Dr. Bennett Solberg, presented the Pope with original documents revealing how Pope Pius XII acted directly to end the arrest of the Roman Jewish community on October 16, 1943. Through his nephew, Carlo Pacelli, Bishop Alois Hudal, Fr. Pancratius Pfeiffer, and Nazi Governor of Rome, General Reiner Stahel enabled the Pope to successfully force the end of the arrests at 2pm the day they began.
Dr. Solberg presented the pope with a copy of a hand-written diary entry in 1943, wherein the community of Augustinian Nuns wrote “today we were asked by the Holy Father to protect the Roman Jews and named those they sheltered.”
Pope Pius XII lifted the ban of Cloister, to enable monasteries to house women, and convents to house men, and requested shelter for the innocent Jews by Italian Catholics, and other ecclesiastical structures throughout Italy.
In addition, the Holy Father received the sworn testimony (in German) of the Commandant of Italy and deputy to Heinrich Himmler, General Karl Wolff. The document reveals the plans Wolff was ordered to initiate by Adolf Hitler to invade the Vatican, kill any Vatican officials they encountered, and then they “rescue” Pope Pius XII by taking him to Lichtenstein, where he would be assassinated.
This plan was revealed to the Pope in September 1943, one month before the arrest of the Roman Jews. Mindful of this imminent planned invasion, Pope Pius XII penned his resignation where he stated that were the Vatican to be invaded, the Nazis would arrest Eugenio Pacelli, not Pope Pius XII. He then ordered the Cardinals to leave Rome, elect a new pope, and form a government in exile in Portugal.
The name of Pope Pius XII was smeared by the Soviet Union’s KGB disinformation subversion, beginning five years after his death in 1963. Gary Krupp, President of PTWF, calls this the greatest character assassination of the 20th century. Historical evidence shows that the Catholic Church, under the Pontificate of Pius XII, saved an estimated 847,000 Jews during WWII. Mr. Krupp, who is Jewish, stated that “the worst character flaw a Jew can have is ingratitude. It is important for those who are alive today and who have been deceived by Soviet disinformation for five decades now be aware who it was who saved them.”
Luigi and Francesca Prudente presented Pope Francis with images of a beautiful blessing, written in 1751, in Latin and Hebrew, and presented to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XIV, from the Roman Jewish community. The Vatican acted to save the Roman Jewish community from the floods when the Tiber River over flowed its banks.
Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light.
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