Monday, June 16, 2014

John Allen's Advice To The Pope Regarding Pius

I sent a tweet on this yesterday, but for those of you who do not follow me on Twitter, I thought I'd bring this to your attention. John Allen, now of the Boston Globe, has an interesting view on the Pope Pius XII controversy: go ahead and canonise him and that will sort it out. Citing two other Saints whose Causes created tensions with the Jews, St Maximilian Kolbe and our own St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Allen says that the tensions and controversy died down after the two were canonised, and he is correct there. 

He also states, correctly in my view, that opening all the archives for all to see will not end the controversy. The source of this controversy is not Pius's wartime decisions and actions (nor even his perceived non-actions) but rather it is an ideological attack, not on Pius per se, but on the Church and her adherence to orthodox Christian and moral teachings of which Pius has become the symbol. For example in his book The Myth of Hitler's Pope, Rabbi David Dalin, defending Pius counselled his fellow Jews not to get involved in the controversy because it was not about the Pope's wartime record, but rather liberal Catholics ongoing revolt against Catholic teaching.

The Holy Father has said in a recent interview that he is opening the archives to let people see what Pius actually did.  That process is already underway - Pope Benedict initiated it and it is due to be complete in the next year or so. In the interview Francis also revealed his affection for Pius. 

I think I agree with John Allen, at this stage most of the evidence is out there, the critics have chosen to ignore it and just keeping banging on their tin drums, so the Cause must proceed. As I indicated in a previous post, I do not think it is a good idea to dispense with the need for a miracle, but when one is accepted it is up to the Holy Father to decide to beatify or take the unusual step, which falls within his prerogative, and proceed straight to canonisation.

By the way, my Twitter account is @jshocds, so you're welcome to follow me.

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