The Vatican Actually Had Plans to Assassinate Hitler

National Geographic’s Pope vs. Hitler aired last week to set the record straight on Pope Pius XII feelings on Nazis.

Pope Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, is often criticized for not speaking out more strongly against the actions of the Hilter-led Third Reich during World War II, even to the extent that he was sometimes referred to as “Hitler’s Pope,” reports Church Pop.

However, way back in 1963, Albrecht von Kessel, an official at the German Embassy to the Holy See during WWII, explained that they were all convinced that any vigorous protest provided by the Pope would have antagonized Hitler to further actions against Jews and others across Europe.

And now, as the National Geographic Channel episode Pope vs. Hitler reveals, the Vatican actually had plans to assassinate the German Führer. The evidence provided contradicts recent efforts by anti-Catholic scholars to prove that Hitler and Pope Pius XII were in a secret alliance. Further, the episode shows how Pius XII was affected by the human suffering of his day.

Pope Pius XII and Hitler were at odds long before the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. The Holy See was furious with Hitler’s policies and practices which destroyed Catholic Churches, closed Catholic Schools, and led to the persecution of Catholic priests in Germany.

Of course, it seems unlikely that a religious leader who preaches peace, humanity, and compassion would be part of a conspiracy to assassinate as world leader, but Pius found moral justification in the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, which “allowed the assassinations of tyrants in extreme (and extremely rare) circumstances,” reports Big C Catholics.

Research shows that in the decade following WWII, Pope Pius XII was a recognized as a “determined enemy of Hitler and the Nazis,” notes Robert George, law professor at Princeton University, on his Facebook page.

History’s mind was changed by a The Deputy, a play (of all things) in which Communists throughout Europe rail on the Holy See as being silent about the Holocaust and uncaring for its victims. The false characterization grew from there, and festered for years.

And now, over 50 years later, the National Geographic Channel has set things straight. 

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter