26 September 2020

Naming the Germans and the Jews

Today is the anniversary of the day, in 1348, when Pope Clement particularly named the Jews in one of his decrees.

During the Black Death, in many parts of Europe there were massacres of Jewish populations because of popular beliefs that they had poisoned the wells. Clement VI declared the Jews to be under his particular protection and pronounced excommunications against anybody who should molest them. He wellcomed them into the Papal States. Possibly ... I refer to a recent query of mine ... this is why there was to be a happy and clearly prosperous Hebrew congregation in Avignon (h/t to Dr Cotton). 

(Perhaps, off at a bit of a tangent, one might recall here the establishment by Benedict XIV of a  Commission which investigated the 'Blood Libel' and found the narratives to be foundationless.)

The question rumbles on about Pius XII and the Jews. Although he undoubtedly took vigorous practical steps to protect the Jewish population of Rome itself ... although through his diplomatic network he did his best to defend them elsewhere ... although he uttered loud condemnations of those who persecuted "others on no other ground than their racial identity" ... he never precisely named-and-shamed by saying "I condemn the German state apparatus for exterminating the Jews". 

I read the other day that PF is the only major "World Leader" who has not spoken out with specificity and  clarity about the persecution of China's Moslem populations.

Could this be because he knows that brave and heroic words on his part might have unfortunate impacts upon Catholics in China?

Plus ca change ...




5 comments:

Rita said...

The China thing may be a bit more subtle than MSM would have us believe. China has several significant ethnic Muslim peoples within its borders. It is only the Uyghur where there have been significant problems. In fairly recent history they were strong supporters of Chiang Kai-Shek and more recent still, Islamic fundamentalist jihadis have found willing support there. Communist countries persecute through paranoia about foriegn infiltration, it is the main reason for persecution of religion within them. Doctrinally, Communists don't care about religion, so provided it doesn't threaten the state it is usually left alone though spied heavily upon. This, I think is the reason behind the 'reeducation' of the Uyghur and I think there is some wisdom from the Holy Father for staying mum about this.

Michael Leahy said...

I recommend Rabbi David Dalin's excellent scholarly rebuttal of John Cornwell's scurrilous journalism. Reading the former's 'The Myth of Hitler's Pope', one could have no doubt about Pope Pius XII's credentials. I fear it will be much harder to make a defense for his successor.

Dr Frederick Jones said...

When the Dutch hierarchy explicity demounced the Nazis the local Gauleiter deported to Auschwitz anyone with a jewish connection including St Edith Stein. Christian prudence proved more effective when exercised by Pius XII. Popes have tended to be better than particular national churches.Even now in spite of protests from the Vatican, Passion plays on the Costa Blanca of an antisemitic nature have been defended by local authorities as part of traditional culture.
Perhaps in the case you quote the Vatican remembers ,as the late Owen Chadwick suggested regarding the Nazis,the disastrous excommunication of Elizabeth I.

Victor said...

In Berlin, the "Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für jüdisches Leben in Deutschland und den Kampf gegen Antisemitismus" (translates roughly as "The Federal Government's Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight Against Anti-Semitism") demanded to rename Berlin's "Pacelliallee" (Pacelli Avenue) into "Golda Meir Avenue", because Pope Pius XII supposedly didn't speak out clearly enough against the Holocaust, and also because he said nasty things abtut women. No joke, alas...

Banshee said...

Actually, it's everybody getting persecuted on a low level, including traditional Chinese Buddhist and pagan groups, the Tibetans, the Uyghurs, the Falun Gong, martial arts organizations that teach fighting instead of stylized poses, martial arts tournaments, Protestants, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, ethnic Chinese/Jews, and so on. Most religious groups have either had their houses of worship stolen and turned into secular buildings, or have been filled with decorations of Mao and Xi in the place of the gods, altars, shrines, etc. Most religious monuments are being disguised as secular, also, or destroyed.

The only religious group not getting persecuted are Communist pagans who literally worship Mao as a god, at his family's ancestral hall and surrounding area. The Communist government makes ritual comments that Mao isn't a god, but they are happy to let old Red Guards slaughter cows and bulls at Mao's grave and engage in sacrificial feasts.