5/07/2009

Statue of Pope Pius XII

(Fatima, Portugal) Last summer my wife took this image of a statue of the late Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, better known as Pope Pius XII. There is considerable historical debate about the positions Pius XII took on the Jews and the emerging Holocaust during the Second World War.

Perhaps Pius XII was justified in protecting the Church from the Nazis in his general neutrality and avoidance of conflict with the Nazis. However, his unwillingness to take a stand on such antisemitic policies as those of Vichy puppet ruler Marshal Philippe P├ętain are an embarrassment to the Church.

Anyways, I found the statue to be a work of aesthetic beauty, even if the wartime silence of Pius XII on the slaughter of the Jews is regrettable and disturbing.

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