Pacelli leaves a 1927 reception for von Hindenburg
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and control of industry and commerce, that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right...
In the decade preceding the outbreak of World War II, the Vatican made a devil's bargain with fascist leaders. Anticipating that their regimes would eliminate a common enemy--namely Marxist-Leninist communism--two popes essentially collaborated with Hitler, Mussolini, and the fascist dictators in Spain (Franco) and Croatia (Pavelic).
To show the German Catholic Church's congeniality with some of the goals of National Socialism and its gradual entrapment in Nazi policies and programs, Lewy describes the episcopate's support of Hitler's expansionist policies and its failures to speak out on the persecution of the Jews.
Cesare Orsenigo with Adolf Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop, 1939
Orsenigo believed in the Italian fascist ideal and hoped the German variety would develop into something similar.
All this may sound outrageously blasphemous but Pope Pius XI himself had called Mussolini a 'man whom Providence has sent us.' He may have unwittingly promoted the cult of Mussolini but he was in fact acknowledging the Fascist leader's key role in the signing of the Lateran Pacts in 1929 which brought about the long-awaited reconciliation between church and state.
Pius XI played a crucial role in making Mussolini's dictatorship possible and keeping him in power.
Cardinal Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) signing the Concordat with Nazi Germany, 1933
The Reichskonkordat is a treaty between the Holy See and Germany negotiated during its transition into Nazi Germany. It was signed on 20 July 1933 by Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) on behalf of Pope Pius XI and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen on behalf of President Paul von Hindenburg and the German government. ... The treaty guarantees the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. ... The Nazis planned to eliminate the Church's influence by restricting its organizations to purely religious activities. ... The Reichskonkordat is the most controversial of several concordats between Germany and other nations that the Vatican negotiated during the pontificate of Pius XI. It is frequently discussed in works that deal with the rise of Hitler in the early 1930s and the Holocaust.
Ericksen and Heschel ... share a common starting point of placing the 'church struggle' in a demythologized context. It was a struggle for the preservation of church autonomy within the Nazi dictatorship, not a struggle against either the regime or the mass murder of the Jews.
Hudal used this position to aid the escape of wanted Nazi war criminals, including Franz Stangl, commanding officer of Treblinka, Gustav Wagner, commanding officer of Sobibor, Alois Brunner, responsible for the Drancy internment camp near Paris and in charge of deportations in Slovakia to German concentration camps, and Adolf Eichmann— a fact about which he was later unashamedly open.
After the war had ended, fearing a surge of Soviet growth, the Papacy entered into an espionage alliance with British and American intelligence agents. Subsuming justice to the nascent Cold War ideology, these three powers ferreted Nazi criminals out of Europe so that they could be used in the supposedly greater fight against Communism.
Nazi Reinhard Gehlen
In 1948, the SMOM gave one of its highest awards of honor, the Gran Croci al Merito con Placca, to General Reinhard Gehlen, Adolf Hitler's chief anti-Soviet spy. (Only three other people received this award.) Gehlen, who was not a Catholic, was touted as a formidable ally in the holy crusade against godless Marxism. After the war he and his well-developed spy apparatus—staffed largely by ex-Nazis—joined the fledgling CIA. Eventually, hundreds more Nazis ended up on the U.S. government's payroll. Among them was Klaus Barbie.
During the 1930s, Gelli volunteered for the "Black Shirts" expeditionary forces sent by Mussolini to Spain in support of Francisco Franco's rebellion, and subsequently became a liaison officer between the Italian government and the Third Reich, with contacts including Hermann Göring. ... In 1990, a report on RAI Television alleged that the CIA had paid Gelli to foment terrorist activities in Italy.
Pope Francis visits Auschwitz
In such a place, no words are possible, just stupefied silence which makes one ask God: why? Why did You not say anything?