Pius XII was a mensch Print
By Michael Coren   
Monday, 20 June 2011

After hearing the Pope’s Christmas address of 1941, the Times wrote: “The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas.… In calling for a ‘real new order’ based on ‘liberty, justice and love’ … the pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism.” Moshe Sharett, who became Israel’s first foreign minister and later second prime minister, said, “I told [Pope Pius XII] that my first duty was to thank him, and through him the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public for all they had done in the various countries to rescue Jews.… We are deeply grateful to the Catholic Church.” Albert Einstein, one of the most famous Jewish figures in world history and a man who was offered the presidency of Israel, said, “Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty.” Another Jewish man was closer to the relevant events than almost anyone. In 1945, the chief rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, publicly embraced Roman Catholicism, taking the baptismal name of Eugenio in honour of the Pope. This extraordinary and controversial conversion was partly due to Zolli’s admiration for the Pope’s sheltering and saving of Italian Jews.

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