Cites '43 Letter by Which Pope Urged Aid for Jews

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 19, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican secretary of state says that Pope Pius XII signed a letter asking all religious institutes to open their doors to Jews persecuted by the Nazi regime.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said that Wednesday when commenting on a caption in the Yad Vashem, a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, which asserted that Pius XII was silent in the face of the persecution against the Jews.

Cardinal Bertone explained that on Oct. 25, 1943, Pius XII signed "a bulletin from the Secretary of State which mandated that religious institutions and even the catacombs be opened to welcome the Jews persecuted by the Nazis."

The president of Yad Vashem, Avner Shalev, has promised to reconsider the way that Pius XII is portrayed in the museum.

While participating in the presentation of a book by Maria Franca Mellano, which documents the rescue of hundreds of Jews who took refuge in the Pius XI Institute of Rome, Cardinal Bertone called such cases "a luminous history of generosity."

"But this was possible, not only in this situation but in any of them, due to the bulletin from the secretary of state signed by Pius XII," the cardinal added. "It is impossible that Pius XII, who signed that bulletin, would not have approved that decision."

Code: ZE07041908

Date: 2007-04-19


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, "You are mad; you are not like us."