Pius was wrong for silence, Benedict was wrong for speaking

Pius was wrong for silence, Benedict was wrong for speaking

Dennis Prager writes about the irony that while Pope Pius XII is vilified about saying nothing to the Nazis, Pope Benedict XVI is vilified for saying something about Muslims. In both cases, the question is whether the Pope has confronted an organized expression of evil which is a major threat to the world.

While Pope Benedict has carefully said he was not referring to all Muslims necessarily, his remarks did highlight that a radical and violent strain of Islam is very popular nonetheless, and the reaction bore that out. He boldly confronted evil and was vilified for it, not only by Muslims, but also by Western liberal elites.

Meanwhile, those same elites continue to vilify Pope Pius XII because they say he did not do enough speaking up against the evil of Hitler and the Nazis (even though there is plenty of evidence that he did.)

If the same people who attack Pope Pius XII for his silence regarding the greatest evil of his time are largely the same people who attack Pope Benedict XVI for confronting the greatest evil of his time, maybe it isn’t a pope’s confronting evil that concerns Pius’s critics, but simply defaming the Church.

Prager also mentions John Cornwall, the infamous author of the book “Hitler’s Pope,” who said that Pope Benedict’s quoting of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor about Mohammed and Islamic violence was “incendiary” and “abrasive.” Prager sees the irony: “presumably calling Pius XII ‘Hitler’s Pope’ is neither incendiary nor abrasive.”

I will disagree with Prager, but only because he doesn’t dismiss the accusations against Pius XII. In fact, the Pope did speak out and act out against the Nazis and the Holocaust. If he didn’t speak out even more forcefully, his actions spoke louder by saving, according to Israel’s own estimates, nearly 700,000 Jews through various Catholic agencies.

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