Opening the Vatican Archives
The persisting rumours that Pope Pius XII was a Nazi-loving Jew-hater who culpably failed to speak out against Nazism during the Second World War are false. Now that the British 30-year rule forbidding intelligence matters to be revealed has expired as far as the events I shall describe are concerned, I am at last free to reveal how, by whom and why the Pope’s reputation was soiled.
This question is topical again because a certain faction has been importuning the Holy See to open the Vatican archives so that the truth about Pius XII can be established. The present Pope has agreed to open them. I can now exclusively reveal what they will show, together with some vital information that they do not contain.
In 1937, shameful appeasement of Hitler was all the rage throughout the chancelleries of Europe. The Holy See, however, had learned of the Nazis’ growing malice against the Jews.
In that year Pope Pius XII, then Secretary of State to his predecessor, Pope Pius XI, drafted the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge (“With profoundest concern”), roundly and publicly denouncing Nazism.
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, the Dutch bishops spoke out publicly against Nazism. Within 24 hours, all Catholics throughout the country who had Jewish connections were rounded up and sent to the camps. At once the bishops wrote to Pope Pius XII begging him not to say anything further in public against the Nazis, for fear of additional reprisals.
Instead, the Pope did all he could in private to assist the Jews of Italy to escape the death-trains. Churches, presbyteries, monasteries, convents and even the Vatican City itself became refuges in an underground network through which thousands of Italian Jews, as well as Allied airmen in danger of capture, were spirited out of the clutches of the Nazis.
Chief Rabbi of Rome but also his deputy both became Catholics
So gallant was the Church’s assistance to the Jews that, after the War, not only the Chief Rabbi of Rome but also his deputy both became Catholics. The Chief Rabbi even took the name Eugenio as his Christian name, in honour of Eugenio Pacelli – Pope Pius XII.
Some years ago, the Israeli Government invited me to visit Israel. I was taken to the Yad Vashem memorial to those who had assisted the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. On a vast stone wall in a darkened hall, plaques to those who helped the Jews flicker in the perpetual candlelight. One of the largest plaques on that wall bears the name of Pope Pius XII. The Jews do not consider that Pope as their enemy but one of their greatest friends.
Given these facts – to all of which the Vatican archives attest – you may well ask how the Pope was made out to be a Nazi-loving Jew-hater. Anthony Rhodes, the great Anglican scholar of that period, was so furious on hearing that Pius XII had left the Jews to their fate that he decided to write a book exposing and condemning the Pope.
However, as soon as he began his research he found that the evidence pointed the other way. His book, The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators, was duly published: but it was an endorsement not of the Pope’s detractors but of the Pope himself.
Rhodes came to lunch with me in 1981 and asked me how it was that the Pope had attracted so baseless a reputation. I could not tell him then, but I can tell you now.
Soviet Disinformation Directorate
In 1945, when the Russians invaded Berlin, they captured the Reichspropagandaamt of Josef Goebbels in Mauerstrasse. In what was then the largest office building in Europe, nearly all the records were intact, including those which showed how the Nazis had turned one of Europe’s most civilised nations into a den of monsters.
Goebbels had directed all party members to use every news medium to trash the personal reputations of all who were proving effective in speaking out publicly against Nazism. Within a few years, nearly all of Nazism’s opponents within Germany had found it expedient to fall silent rather than be branded sexual deviants or fraudsters.
The then MGB (later KGB), the Russian intelligence service, realised that they could work the same trick outside Russia as the Nazis had worked inside Germany. Within a month of finding Goebbels’ records, they had established a new Disinformation Directorate under Ion Mihai Pacepa, who until then had been the head of the Securitate, the hated secret police in the Communist Romania of Nicolae Ceausescu.
Pacepa’s men immediately began recruiting willing, unpaid Western Communists, whose chief task was to capture all possible news media and to use them to trash the reputations of all who were speaking out effectively against Nazism.
Pacepa’s first target was Pope Pius XII, whom the Soviets rightly regarded as the arch-enemy of Communism. It was decided that the Pope would be branded a Nazi-loving Jew-hater. The worldwide team of Western Communist collaborators were set to work.
At first, the campaign against the Pope was entirely unsuccessful. But after five or ten years, a Communist playwright, Hochhuth, had written a play falsely portraying the Pope as having neglected to assist the Jews. From then on, the sheer frequency of fake-news reports generated by Pacepa’s growing army of Western Communist traitors began to take its toll.
Disinformation Chief defects to the West
In 40 years as head of the Disinformation Directorate, Pacepa recruited a million Western Communists, whose first and foremost task was to denigrate the likes of Pope Pius XII.
As Soviet Communism began to collapse, Pacepa saw with mounting distaste how murderous the regime to which he had dedicated his life had been. He defected to the West. When he said he had recruited a million Western Communists to capture and manipulate our news media, he was not at first believed.
How, he was asked, could he handle a million agents? “I couldn’t,” he replied. “After we found out just how many believing Communists there were in the West (far more than in the Communist countries), we trained them to recruit and brief their own successors, and simply to report to us who they had recruited.”
Now you know why the news media, the schools, the universities and the Leftist political parties have become Communist, and why Pope Pius XII had his reputation destroyed.
Pacepa, who now lives in the West in great secrecy for fear of Communist reprisals, gave us a warning. His network of agents had become self-sustaining. It no longer reports to Moscow, but it continues its destructive work to this day.