By Paul O’Shea (auth.)
The papacy of Pius XII (1939-1958) has been a resource of near-constant feedback and debate when you consider that his loss of life, quite due to his alleged silence throughout the Holocaust. Paul O'Shea examines his little-studied pre-papal lifestyles to illustrate that Pius used to be neither an anti-Semitic villain nor a 'lamb with out stain.'
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Extra resources for A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe
Answer me! . I led you out of Egypt, but you led me to Pilate’s court . . I gave you a royal scepter, but you gave me a crown of thorns . . From The Reproaches, Roman Liturgy of Good Friday The Origins of Christian anti-Judaism Eugenio Pacelli was a student of both church history and canon law. By training, he was a man who by learning had acquired an appreciation of European religious thought and practice. It is inconceivable that he was not familiar with the long history of Jewish–Christian interaction from the Gospels, the Fathers, Aquinas, and even Luther.
The celebrant concluded with a prayer that reminded the people that God’s mercy toward this people was not revoked despite their blindness and refusal to believe. Catholics who had never met Jews were shaped in an unavoidable anti-Jewish mindset. And since it was in the liturgy that most Catholics heard of Jews, the effect of centuries of effective subliminal antisemitism cannot be discounted. Whoever these people were, they were worthy of suspicion because of their part in the death of Jesus. 1 Following the reforms of Vatican II, the Good Friday liturgy was further revised and the petition was completely rewritten.
20 Further, the Jews’ guilt was compounded because they rejected Christ, despite having seen the wonders he worked. 21 Rejection of Christ 36 A Cross Too Heavy developed into the more odious crime attributed to the whole Jewish people—deicide—the killing of God. 23 Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (d. 258), made a succinct and logical paradigm to explain why Israel had been cast off. In Three Books of Testimonies against the Jews, Cyprian stated the Jews did not believe because they did not understand their scriptures, and they would not understand them until they came to believe in Christ.
A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe by Paul O’Shea (auth.)