A nonprofit group based in New York City has announced that it has documents in its possession that may show that Pope Pius XII “was instrumental in the establishment of the modern state of Israel.” Pave the Way Foundation describes itself as a nonsectarian public foundation working to identify resolve obstacles between religions, and remove the use of religion as a tool to justify private agendas.
According to PTWF
, the evidence in its possession proves that Pope Pius XII, often vilified by Marxists and members of the Jewish community, may have “actually helped the Zionist Organization (ZO
) beginning in 1917 to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine.” See here
A press release indicated that PTWF Chairman Elliot Hershberg says that Vatican archival documents indicate the Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII) arranged for Zionist Organization President Nahum Sokolow to meet with Pope Benedict XV in 1917 and discussed the founding of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Newspaper articles and other documentation show that the future Pope Pius XII was to intervene again in 1925 to secure Sokolow’s meetings with Vatican authorities about a Jewish homeland. Pacelli was the papal nuncio to Bavaria in 1917.
Additional documents, and even newspaper accounts, show that Pacelli intervened again in 1925 to arrange further meetings Sokolow and Vatican officials to advance the subject.
Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli, as Pope Pius XII, was the leader of the Catholic Church throughout the Second World War and until his death in 1958. An orchestrated campaign began in 1962 to besmirch the legacy of Pope Pius XII through the use of books, plays, press and films that sought to portray him as callous and evil in the face of the Holocaust. Some sought to characterize Pius XII as “Hitler’s pope.” PTWF President Gary Krupp said his organization began researching the issue in 2006, “with no agenda beyond a search for the truth."
The PTWF statement indicated that the future Pope Pius XII joined Jewish leaders such as physicist Albert Einstein and Ludwig Kaas, as well as Catholic leaders, to promote the pro-Palestine organization in Germany. When speaking to a delegation of Arabs who were opposed to the founding of the modern state of Israel, Pope Pius XII said in 1946, "Just as we have also several times in the past condemned the persecutions that a fanatical anti-Semitism unleashed against the Hebrew people, we have always observed this attitude of perfect impartiality in the most widely varied circumstances, and we intend also to hold ourselves to it in the future." Ignoring some counsel to the contrary, Pope Pius XII encouraged Catholic countries to vote in favor of the United Nations vote to partition Palestine in 1947. The vote resulted in the creation of a homeland for Jews in Israel.
PTWF Chairman Hershberg also said that official Israeli documents show that Dr. Guido Mendes, an Orthodox Jew and childhood friend of the Pope, served as a diplomat behind the scenes in securing the recognition of modern Israel. Currently, thousands of supporting documents can be found at the PTWF website to support its contentions about the controversial Catholic leader, said a PTWF statement.
, a law professor at the University of Mississippi, has written a book entitled ‘Disinformation’
that chronicles the Soviet and Communist involvement in the smear campaign against Pope Pius XII. Speaking to Spero
said on March 20, "I have heard about these documents as the research was unfolding. From sheltering Jews in the Vatican, to encouraging a young man to be proud of his Jewish heritage, to telling Catholics that they needed to welcome Jews as their friends, it is clear that Pius had a special relationship to the Jews. It was reciprocated with a plaque from the Jews of Rome thanking him, a concert performed by Israeli musicians in his honor, and tributes from Golda Mier
and uncountable other Jewish leaders and organizations. Thus, this discovery fits with the historical facts and disproves the Kremlin-created myth of a uncaring pope."
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.