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Hitler, the War, and the Pope [Paperback]

By Ronald J. Rychlak (Author)
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Item Number 129882  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   470
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.03" Height: 1.05"
Weight:   1.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2000
Publisher   Our Sunday Visitor
ISBN  0879732172  
EAN  9780879732172  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 29.95 $ 25.46 886060 In Stock
Paperback $ 19.95 $ 16.96 129882
Item Description...
Perhaps no modern-day leader of the Roman Catholic Church has sparked as much controversy as Pope Pius XII, the Bishop of Rome during World War II. With exacting scholarship, Professor Ron Rychlak gives a full exploration of the background facts, including discussions of history, religion, politics, diplomacy, and military tactics. Then come ten fundamental questions about Pope Pius XII and the Nazis which are answered with legal analysis and authoritative citation.

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More About Ronald J. Rychlak

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Professor Ronald J. Rychlak is the Jamie L. Whitten Chair of Law and Government at the University of Mississippi School of Law. In addition to serving as an advisor to the Holy See s mission to the United Nations, he has authored or coauthored eight books on law and modern Catholic history."

Ronald J. Rychlak currently resides in Oxford, in the state of Mississippi.

Ronald J. Rychlak has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Catholic Social Thought

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > General   [8439  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany > General   [8651  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > Jewish > Holocaust   [738  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General   [4698  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II   [156  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [5549  similar products]
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Popes   [88  similar products]
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Catholic   [1161  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The whole truth  Oct 27, 2005
Rychlak gives the reader the whole truth regarding the role of the Roman Catholic Church during WWII. Much can be said about this book but I draw attention only to his excellent and successsful defense of Aloysius Cardinal Stepinac. Stepinac was the Archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia during WWII and did everything in his power to save Jews and others persecuted by the Nazis. He was later tried and convicted to 16 yrs prison by Tito's regime for alleged collaboration with the nazis, but in reality he was sentenced only because he refused to seperate the catholic Church in Croatia from the vatican to form a national croatian church. Rychlak brings cold hard facts to argue his case, something cornwall and others fail to do and instead rely on post WWII communist propaganda.
An impassioned but flawed defense   May 6, 2005
Like most of the Pius defenses, this book is at best when it sticks to its central modest thesis- that Pius was neither a vicious anti-semite nor a supporter of Hitler. Rychlak points to some modest pronouncements against the holocaust, the help given to Italian Jews, and the lack of evidence of anti-semitism to bolster this argument and largely succeeds. Going beyond that to "we did all we could" the book fails and ignores or fails to rebut some basic arguments.

1. This was a Lutheran Protestant/Catholic Holocaust. It could not have succeeded without the active (and sadly enthusiastic) participation of many Christians including Catholics. While a few helped the victims or spoke against Nazism, far, far, far more took part in identifying, imprisoning and murdering Jews.
The butcher, the baker, and candlestick maker became Gestapo policemen, prison guards, and informants.
2. The Pope speaks on matters of religion and his pronoucements should be obeyed. By and large German Catholics went to church, and did not divorce or engage in abortion. Why not tell them they should not imprison and kill Jews and to do so violates church doctrine. The few statements made by the Pope were general statements directed to the world, not to the faithful. What was needed was to tell German Catholics (and supporters in other countries) to stop persecuting and killing Jews and continuing the holocaust. Had the pope told the faithful to stop, the killing could clearly have been reduced. German and Polish Catholics were never told that their obedience to Nazi doctrine violated church teachings, and the concordants between the church and Fascist regimes would indicate the opposite.

3. The bible teaches that those who follow Christ's law may have a share in salvation. Many German Jews converted to Catholicism, their children went to Sunday school, and they attended church as dutiful Catholics and Protestants. Yet when Hitler came, he classified these converted Catholics as Jews: dirty, stinking, filthy Jews only interested in money who had betrayed the Fatherland. These former Jews were forced to wear Jewish starts and not associated with Christians Had religious leaders said that these converted Catholics were part of the church and should be protected, this would have put Catholic doctrine against the state. Instead, in a sad state, former Jews were readily identified in Germany and elsewhere, even to the extent of Gestap going into churches and identifying former Jews with the help of congregants.

4. One thesis is that the mild, quiet oppostion, not really maifesting itself until 1943, was the most effective. Could anyone really believe that. Imagine if in 1935, German stormroopers came into churches and beat up priests. Religious leaders with beards had them cut, religious items were desecrated, and nuns raped. Would Catholics say let's be quiet, don't offend anyone, hopefully this will not get out of hand. If church leaders were taken to concentration camps and killed and Catholics identified and beaten, would we likewise say, keep quiet.

5. The clear conclusion is that the decision was made to jettison the Jews, partly because no one cared, part because they feared the Nazis, and part because many liked the sense of national pride and economic recovery the Nazis had achieved. Few could honestly say that keeping a low profile was the course designed to best protect the Jews.

6. He fails to discuss why in countries with large Catholic populations, the scope of death was the greatest. Poland had a history of anti-semitism, and over one million Polish Jews were identified, largedly by cooperating Polish people, and those Jews, women, men, and children, were tortured, starved, and murdered at Auschwitz, with Catholic prison guards manning the concentration camp, and Catholic guards arranging the murders. To be fair it was not only Catholics, Eastern Orthodox guards, Lutheran guards, and Christians of all types, people who went to church on Sunday, celebrated Easter and Christmas, participated in the murders. They would celebrate communion on Sunday, and during the week helped apprehend, torture, and kill Jews. To call this a Catholic holocaust is inaccurate and incomplete. To call it a Christian holocaust in which Catholics played a vital role is sad but true.

7. One cannot escape the fact however that Catholics participated in the Holocaust and saw no contradiction between the murder of Jews and their religious faith. Catholic religious leaders had a duty to point out this contradiction.

8. To lay the entire burden upon Pope Pius is inaccurate. We should contrast the heroism of a minority who protected and sheltered Jewish victims, against the actions of the majority who took part in destroying the Jewish population of 10 countries, killing so many boys and girls, fathers and mothers, in the process.
What About Protestant America And Protestant Germany?  Jun 21, 2003
Ronald J. Rychlak's "Hitler, the War, and the Pope" is a fount of unimpeachable truth. It refutes completely the venomous accusations hurled at the Catholic Church in general, and Pope Pius XII in particular, concerning the Jews. Rychlak's book is sure to infuriate the anti-Catholic media, anti-Catholic "Christians", and all life forms that exist to attack the Church of Christ.

Indeed, unspoken yet real and critical questions are "What about Protestant America?", and "What about Protestant Germany?"


How can anyone question what the militarily impotent Catholic Church did or did not to stop Hitler's extermination of the Jews, when militarily potent, Protestant America did NOTHING for so long? After all, the facts are unimpeachable, and quite sad:

1. Hitler invaded Poland in August 1939.
2. Two months later, in October 1939, Hitler started rounding up Jews in Poland and sending them to concentration camps.
3. Hitler then proceeded to invade Hungary and other countries, also rounding up the Jews there and sending them to concentration camps.
4. During 1939, 1940, and 1941, Hitler exterminated at least hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of Jews.
5. From October 1939 to December 1941, a span of 2 years and 2 months, during which Hitler was exterminating Jews, AMERICA DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
6. America in fact did not enter the war until December 1941.
7. And, America did NOT enter the war to save or help the Jews.

8. Rather, America entered the war solely because its naval fleet in the Pacific had been SUNK.
9. Thus, America entered the war for reasons having NOTHING to do with the extermination of the Jews that was (and for 2 years and 2 months had been) taking place in Europe.

Given these facts, how can anyone seriously question the actions of a militarily impotent Church without first - or at the same time - questioning the utter inaction of militarily potent America? As Stalin famously said, "How many divisions does the pope have?" None, of course. But, alas, that is irrelevant to the historically ignorant anti-Catholic.


Likewise, how can anyone seriously question the actions of a Church based outside Germany, with only a minority of faithful in Germany, without first - or at the same time - questioning the actions of the majority Protestants in Germany? Once again, the facts are unimpeachable, and sad:

1. Germany was a PROTESTANT country.
2. Hitler was ELECTED by the German people.
3. In his electoral victory, Hitler received a MAJORITY of the German Protestant vote.
4. Yet, in his electoral victory, Hitler received only a MINORITY of the German Catholic vote.
5. Thus, Hitler came to power courtesy of German PROTESTANTS.

Given these facts, how can anyone seriously question the minority Catholic Church in Germany without first - or at the same time - questioning the majority Protestant churches in Germany? For instance, what did the German Protestant ministers, such as the Lutheran Bishops, know? And, when did they know it? And, what did they do, or not do, to stop the extermination of the Jews?

Clearly, all these "questions" being asked of the Catholic Church and Pius XII concerning the Jews should first be asked of Protestant America and Protestant Germany. This nonsense about the Catholic Church's alleged "silence" or "inaction" is more than just factually meritless. It is utterly hypocritical, and indeed hilariously so were it not so pathetic.

Rychlak Is Not A Catholic  Jan 7, 2003
Thoroughly researched, thoroughly reliable. Rychlak has extensive familiarity with primary sources and he sticks to the incontrovertible facts.
Please note, in reading some reviews published here, the animosity towards Christianity expressed by several people who obviously haven't read the book. This is a subject that should be approached with a cool head, an acknowledgement of the complexity of the situation, and a willingness to be truthful and fair; Rychlak has done just fine on all counts.
Hitler, the War, and the Pope  Dec 28, 2002
If you are looking for a well documented historical account of the situation between the Catholic Church and the Third Reich, you will find this book goes straight to the facts, names names, times, places, and events. This book completely shuns sensationalism, has impeccible research, and refutes inferior books such as 'Hitler's Pope' by John Cornwell.

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