The Role of the Pope and the Vatican in the Holocaust

Essay by chrissaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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During the horrific times of the Holocaust, the Catholic Church, and its most prominent leader, the Pope, remained quiet. Pope Pius XII chose not to speak out against what was happening all over the world, and even in the Holy City of Rome. The deportation of the Jews should have been spoken out against, instead of being confronted by silence from the Church.

One reason that Pope Pius XII gave for not speaking against this act was that "it was necessary to corroborate the reports." In fact, the reports were already corroborated. Jews were being deported everywhere, and this fact was not hidden. Jews were even being deported from Rome, and still Pius and the Church remained silent.

A second reason is that the Church feared that speaking up would bring the wrath of the Nazi Party among them. They believed that "after many tears and many prayers, that a denunciation of the Nazis from the Vatican might further rouse ferocity of the Nazis and result in more, rather than fewer, deaths."

I do blame the church authorities, and mostly, Pope Pius XII, for not speaking out. He is a man of power and even one condemnation of the horrendous acts of the Nazis and Hitler would have made a difference. I believe that many lives would have been saved, had the Church chosen to condemn the actions of the leaders of the Holocaust. Instead, the Church sat back and watched what was happening while remaining deathly silent.

If everyone acted lik the Catholic Church and its most revered authority, I believe that the world would be an absolute mess. No one would help a brother in need, and no one would look out for anyone. The Catholic Church is looked up to as a very respected...