Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ole Miss dean takes leading national position in defending Pope Pius XII against charges he aided Nazis

    An Ole Miss Law School associate dean is taking on those who claim -- falsely in my view -- that the Catholic Church aided the Nazis during and after World War II.
    A news article by the Catholic New Agency describes two books written by Ole Miss' Ronald J. Rychlak which refute claims of Nazi collaboration.
    “The combination of sloppy work and over-the-top charges provides a textbook example of how a verifiably false account can be reported as fact in the mainstream media,” Rychlak said in the April 2012 issue of the Catholic League’s newsletter The Catalyst.
    From the article:
Rychlak also questioned the reliability of Madigan’s sources.

Madigan’s Commentary essay drew on Gerald Steinacher’s book “Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice” and David Cymet’s book “History vs. Apologetics: The Holocaust, the Third Reich, and the Catholic Church.”

According to Rychlak, Madigan “confounded” Steinacher’s points and wrongly said that he wrote that Pope Pius XII favored an “extensive amnesty” for war criminals.

“That is not what Steinacher wrote, and nothing could be further from the truth,” Rychlak said.

He cited Pius XII’s repeated public stands in favor of punishing war criminals and his provision of evidence for use against Nazi defendants. The Pope assigned a Jesuit to assist prosecutors of accused war criminals.

Steinacher in fact attributed the advocacy amnesty to a German bishop working in Rome, but this interpretation is a misreading, Rychlak said.

He focused on Steinacher’s examination of two letters between Bishop Alois Hudal, rector of the German-speaking seminary college in Rome, and then-Msgr. Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI.

Bishop Hudal’s May 5, 1949 letter to Msgr. Montini sought amnesty for German soldiers. Steinacher’s book, which incorrectly dates the letter, erroneously reported that the bishop sought pardon for war criminals, Rychlak said.

“Actually, Hudal expressed sympathy for political prisoners who had already spent four years in prison, but he never mentioned nationalities, war criminals, or soldiers,” Rychlak wrote.

1 comment:

Pugnacious said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.