- Nazi Germany
- A Christian country
- Church anti-Semitism
- Racist & hate literature
- Protestant & Catholic Churches
- Distorting the facts
- Further reading
- Nazism in former Yugoslavia
- Catholic Ustashe: Nazis
- Islamic Hanjar: Nazis
- Death toll
- Clergy creates race ideology
- Whitewash & unpunished
- The Vatican and Fascism
Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac, was the head of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia. Beatified by the previous Pope, John Paul II, Stepinac was pro-Nazi. He not only knew of the crimes of the Ustashe and the priests, but he supported them and the forced conversions of Serbs. After the war, he was convicted for war crimes.
Stepinac was a supporter of National Socialism (Nazism for short) and its dictatorial regimes in Europe, as seen in his publication.
All in all, Croats and Serbs are of two worlds, northpole and southpole, never will they be able to get together unless by a miracle of God. The schism is the greatest curse in Europe, almost greater than Protestantism. Here there is no moral, no principles, no truth, no justice, no honesty.
-- Archbishop Stepinac, March 28, 1941
Stepinac himself headed the committee which was responsible for forcible "conversions" to Roman Catholicism under threat of death, and was also the Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Ustashi Army, which effected the slaughter of those who failed to convert. Stepinac was known as the 'Father Confessor' to the Ustashi and continually bestowed the blessing of the Catholic Church upon its members and actions.
Stepinac for one, appears to have been a full supporter of forced conversions - along with many of his bishops, one of whom described the advent of fascist Croatia as "a good occasion for us to help Croatia save the countless souls" - i.e., Yugoslavia's non-Catholic majority.Link, showing the ignorance of Stepinac as to Serbian history: the Serbs after their conversion to Christianity had been Orthodox.
...Stepinac had told Regent Prince Paul of Yugoslavia in April 1940:"The most ideal thing would be for the Serbs to return to the faith of their fathers, that is, to bow the head before Christ's representative (the Pope). Then we could at last breathe in this part of Europe, for Byzantinism has played a frightful role in the history this part of the world" (p 265).
-- Archbishop Stepinac
Stepinac in a picture with the head of the Ustashe regime, Ante Pavelic, captioned as:
Croatian Ustashi fuehrer Ante Pavelic giving Nazi salute (far left) with Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac (far right) and other Catholic Church leaders
[Photo caption] The Nazi collaborator Archbishop Stepinac (right) and the Vatican representative to fascist Croatia, Abbot Marcone (left). Croatia has recently renamed a village in Krajina after Stepinac. Marcone was Pavelic's confessor and Stepinac was convicted of war crimes after the war. Several members of his clergy were involved in the genocide at Jasenovac - notably the Franciscan priest, Pater Miroslav Filipovic, who was one of the commandants of the camp.
One leading member of the Catholic church in Croatia was the Nazi collaborator Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac. When he met Pavelic on April 16th 1941, he later noted that he had promised that he would "not show tolerance" to the Orthodox Serbian church - which gave Stepinac the impression that Pavelic "was a sincere Catholic".
Stepinac blesses the puppet Nazi regime in Croatia
When the Nazi's installed the puppet Ustashi regime in May 1941, Stepinac immediately offered his congratulations to Pavelic, and held a banquet to celebrate the founding of the new nation. After the opening of the Ustasha Parliament, Pavelic attended Zagreb cathedral, where Stepinac offered special prayers for Pavelic and ordered a solemn "Te Deum" to be sung in thanks to God for the establishment of the new regime. In May 1941, Stepinac also arranged to have Pavelic received personally by Pope Pius XII in Rome in the Vatican, where on the same occasion, he signed a treaty with Mussolini. Once Pavelic was in power, Stepinac issued a Pastoral Letter ordering the Croatian clergy to support the new Ustasha State. Stepinac alter recorded in his diary on 3rd August 1941 that"the Holy See (the Vatican) recognized de facto the independent State of Croatia".In the same year, Stepinac himself declared:"God, who directs the destiny of nations and controls the hearts of Kings, has given us Ante Pavelic and moved the leader of a friendly and allied people, Adolf Hitler, to use his victorious troops to disperse our oppressors... Glory be to God, our gratitude to Adolf Hitler and loyalty to our Poglavnik, Ante Pavelic."
-- Archbishop Stepinac
The Case of Archbishop Stepinac, published by the Embassy of the Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia, Washington, 1947 (after WWII).
It shows how Stepinac was found guilty of the charges against him when he was tried after the war. Although Stepinac was imprisoned, the Vatican would soon after strike a deal with the post-war Communist regime in Yugoslavia and whitewash history. In this manner, it became possible in today's climate to beatify Stepinac with very few protests.
This report ends with:
On the basis of the evidence Archbishop Stepinac was found guilty of collaboration with the enemy and of conspiracy against the Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia. The manner in which Archbishop Stepinac conducted himself during the trial should be noted. No serious attempt was made to deny the charges. The argument with which Stepinac most frequently contented himself was that he could not be held accountable for misdeeds of the lower clergy, and that in any case he was responsible only to God. With the world press in attendance at the trial, Archbishop Stepinac thus failed to take advantage of an unequalled opportunity to state his case and clear himself, if he felt able to, before mankind.This shows how the Vatican was unwilling to punish clergy taking part in crimes against humanity, but was, on the other hand, willing to punish the Catholics presiding over the trial of Stepinac by excommunicating them.
All officials participating in the trial were Croatians and Roman Catholics. Following the conviction, the Vatican excommunicated all persons who had taken part in or were considered responsible for the prosecution of the Archbishop, on the grounds that no member of the Catholic clergy could be prosecuted without consent of the Vatican.
-- The Case of Archbishop Stepinac
After the war Stepinac was arrested by the Yugoslav government and sentenced to 17 years in prison for war crimes. He only served a few years because of the Vatican's propaganda of the "suffering martyr" and their organizing of "Cardinal Stepinac Associations" which lobbied for his release. (Note--for a job well done he was made a cardinal.)Link
See also: the section Stepinac found guilty of collaboration at The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia's Holocaust
The history whitewash continues today. Stepinac, like the Vatican itself, is no longer accused of war crimes but of "not doing enough to condemn them". A big difference.See:
- With the Vatican's 360-degree turn toward an anti-Nazism stance, today's Catholic Croatians are taught to believe Stepinac defended those people who were murdered, instead of helping to exterminate them. The apologetic whitewashers quote statements made by Stepinac at a later period, when he'd have been able to perceive the imminent fall of Nazism and the coming retribution:
At one mass in 1942 he said: "All nations and races are from the God and they all have a right to live.Stepinac: Hero or collaborator? - BBC News, October 3, 1998
"That is why the Croatian church has always condemned injustice and violence committed in the name of class, racist or ethnic theories."
He did not issue a condemnation of violence committed in the name of religion: which is what his pious Nazi Ustashe followers were doing when they massacred Orthodox Serbs and Jews. In fact, Stepinac was himself guilty of violence in the name of religion, as he was in charge of forced conversions.
The Croatian Church was responsible for inventing and propagating racial and ethnic theories in the region. There can be no pretence on that score either.
Also noteworthy is that this alleged statement of his was uttered during mass (with, most conveniently, only Catholics of the region who might have heard this) - making it hearsay, and possibly fabricated in recent times to exhonerate him; or perhaps even more recently, to facilitate his beatification. Compare this to the photos of Stepinac with Ustashe leader Pavelic, his blessings and support for Pavelic's Ustashe regime as well as public and published statements by Stepinac during wartime.
- Controversial cardinal beatified - BBC News, October 3, 1998
Compare this to the fact that
Stepinac had the racial laws published in his own publications.
At his trial for war crimes in 1986 Andrija Artukovic emphasized that the management of forced conversions was entirely in the hands of Archbishop Stepinac and the church leadership.(48)
...In June 1941 the Ustashi created an "Office of Religious Affairs" to handle the conversion of Serbs to Catholicism. On July 18, 1941 the government decreed that the Serbian Orthodox religion had ceased to exist. By early September 1941 the government decreed the expropriation of all Orthodox Church property. Across Croatia Priests were instructed to inform the Serbian population that they had only one way out: become Catholic or die. This was the ultimatum the Catholic clergy offered to a lucky third of the Serbs in fascist Croatia. The Ustashi kept particularly good records of this phase of genocide. One of the reasons for this is that the Ustashi were so awfully proud of their accomplishments in this regard, that they filmed dozens of such forced conversions for Croatian newsreels. Another is that each Catholic diocese published weekly and sometimes daily reports of new conversions. Children were especially targeted for conversion, especially orphans.In a letter to the Vatican dated May 8, 1944 Stepinac informed the Holy Father that to date 244,000 Orthodox Serbs had been "converted to the Church of God."(49)
-- What is the Vatican Hiding, by Barry Lituchy
Compare it to the BBC broadcasts during WWII:
There occurred frequent BBC broadcasts on Croatia of which a February 16, 1942 typical report stated:Link"The worst atrocities are being committed in the environs of the archbishop of Zagreb [Stepinac]. The blood of brother is flowing in streams. The Orthodox are being forcibly converted to Catholicism and we do not hear the archbishop's voice preaching revolt. Instead it is reported that he is taking part in Nazi and Fascist parades." [Cornwell, p.256]-- Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell
And compare it to Stepinac's statements in public and in his own diary, on the establishment of the Ustashe:
The leader of the Catholic Church in Croatia, Archbishop Stepinac, fervently supported the Ustasha movement and welcomed the invading Nazi army as it entered Zagreb. On April 11th  he met with Ustasha leaders and on April 12th he blessed the newly arrived Ustasha leadership in a public ceremony at his cathedral. In his Easter address of that month he compared the creation of the new fascist state to the resurrection of Christ. In his pastoral letter of April 28th he ordered the clergy and called upon all Catholic people of Croatia and Bosnia to follow their "Poglavnik" (Fuhrer) Ante Pavelic, for he had seen in Pavelic's rule "God's hand in action."(24) The pastoral letter was read over the radio and in every Catholic parish in fascist Croatia.
Stepinac met with the Croatian Fuhrer when he arrived from Italy on April 16th. That evening Stepinac held a dinner party in his residence in honor of Pavelic and the Ustasha leadership. In his diary, Stepinac described the day and admitted that Pavelic told him of his plans to "exterminate" the non-Catholic religions in Croatia. Stepinac's diary indicates that he too was prepared for an all out religious war, for he added that"If that man (Pavelic) rules Croatia for ten years.... Croatia will be a paradise on earth."(25)There is no question that Stepinac knew of the Ustasha's plans for committing genocide even before they came to power. After Stepinac's death in 1960, Ilija Jukic, a leading member of the Croatian Peasant Party, wrote of how he had told Stepinac in March 1941 that the Pavelic-Budak group "were thinking of applying Hitler's methods to the Serbs in Croatia if they ever came to power." Stepinac disingenuously told Jukic that he would look into it.(26) But Stepinac already was resolved on an attitude of passive acceptance of genocide, as is revealed from entries in his diary, such as one from 1940 when he wrote:"... the Serbs have not learned anything... and in the end they will lose everything.... I wish them no evil because they are God's children. But if nothing can teach them a lesson, distress will."(27)-- What is the Vatican hiding?, by Barry Lituchy
Stepinac was posthumously beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998. However, a well-known Jewish Holocaust memorial group has repeatedly turned down requests to recognise Stepinac among its "list of the righteous":
On two occasions in 1970 and 1994, attempts were made to the Yad Vashem Holocaust to get Stepinac added to the "List of the Righteous" - which includes people like Oskar Schindler, but this was turned down. Interestingly, the request was sent by private Jewish citizens from Croatia and not the official Jewish organization in Croatia, which has never sent such a request. Explaining the refusal, an official of the Yad Vashem explained that:From: The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia's Holocaust"Persons who assisted Jews but simultaneously collaborated or were linked with a Fascist regime which took part in the Nazi orchestrated persecution of Jews, may be disqualified for the Righteous title".
Articles on Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac.
Especially an excerpted letter [February 1942] from a Croatian politician, Prvoslav Grizogono to Archbishop Dr. Alojzije Stepinac, which shows that Stepinac was most well-informed about the despicable atrocities that were being committed. He kept silent because he already knew of the crimes as he was himself in charge of the forced conversions.
Beatification of another shady priest
When Pope John Paul II visited Banja Luka in June 2003 he proclaimed the beatification of the Catholic priest Ivan Merz there, the founder of the Association of Croatian Eagles, later associated with the Hitlerjugend.
"Ich erinnere mich in tiefer Dankbarkeit an die Hilfe katholischer Priester bei meiner Flucht aus Europa und entschied, den katholischen Glauben zu honorieren, indem ich Ehrenmitglied wurde"From: Persilscheine und falsche Pässe, by Ernst Klee, which reproduces the statement made by Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann (who had escaped justice thanks to the help of priests, but was finally caught).
[Translation: "In deep gratitude I recall the help of Catholic priests in my escape out of Europe and decided to honour the Catholic faith in which I became an honorary member"]
-- Adolf Eichmann, Nazi war criminal, in 1961
U.S. Appeals Court Reinstates Vatican Holocaust Suit - Reuters, Apr 18, 2005:
The class action lawsuit accused the Vatican Bank of receiving hundreds of millions of dollars of gold and other assets looted from victims of Croatia's brutal Ustasha regime from 1941-1945. As many as 700,000 people, most of them Serbs, were killed at death camps run by the Nazi-allied government. The plaintiffs also alleged the illicit funds may have been funneled to groups working to smuggle Nazis out of Europe after the war, including Adolf Eichmann.Also available at Vatican Bank Claims
The Vatican Bank, which has denied the allegations, had argued foreign policy, not lawsuits, should address such historical claims. The bank's lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.But a lawyer representing the original 24 plaintiffs -- many of whom live in San Francisco -- expressed hope the case would move forward quickly as some of the survivors have been waiting more than 50 years for restitution. "We're very pleased, very happy to have this case resurrected," said Kathryn Lee Boyd, who is a professor at Pepperdine University Law School.
The U.S. appeals court, however, did uphold the lower court's dismissal of some of the plaintiffs' allegations such as charges the Vatican Bank assisted the Nazi-allied Ustasha political movement, saying the issue was outside judicial jurisdiction."We were successful on many of the claims -- the property claims were the meat of the case."
It is to be noted that those allegations that were dismissed were dismissed because "the issue was outside judicial jurisdication" (perhaps because 'All roads lead to Rome') not because they were unfounded. A vow of silence - Did gold stolen by Croatian fascists reach the Vatican? - U.S. News and World Report on Monday, March 30, 1998:
Last week, the Vatican issued an official statement calling for repentance over the failure of some church members to do enough to aid Jews during the war. But the statement did not mention the mounting calls for an inquiry into the Vatican's financial dealings with the Nazis and their allies. So far, the Vatican has flatly refused to allow investigators access to its archives, despite repeated pleas from several nations and from Jewish groups.
The Vatican's continuing secrecy means the evidence is incomplete, but already declassified documents from the archives of the United States and other nations suggest that--with the aid of Croatian Catholic priests--Ustasha plunder made its way from Croatia to Rome, and possibly to the Vatican itself. Some of the stolen wealth was used to help Croatian war criminals flee to South America.
When in Rome.
But does any of the evidence implicate the Vatican itself? The strongest indication so far is a memo that first prompted the State Department's interest. The memo, dated Oct. 21, 1946, was discovered last summer in the declassified files of the U.S. Treasury Department. Written by OSS agent Emerson Bigelow, it reports that money sent by Ustasha from Croatia to Rome after the war had been partly intercepted by the British, but that 200 million Swiss francs--the equivalent of $ 170 million today--were being held in the Vatican for safekeeping. According to "rumor," the memo says, the money was being used to finance Croatian war criminals in exile.
When the Bigelow memo was released last year, the Vatican swiftly dismissed it, insisting that the charges could not be true. But some researchers who have studied World War II intelligence matters note that other archival documents counter the notion that a Vatican-Ustasha link is implausible on its face. One is a British diplomatic memo from Oct. 17, 1947, cited in the 1991 book Unholy Trinity by journalist Mark Aarons and former Justice Department Nazi-hunter John Loftus. According to the memo, a San Giralomo priest named Father Mandic was a "liaison to the Vatican" who was involved in converting Ustasha gold, jewelry, and foreign exchange into Italian lire.
Other reports mention Ustashas meeting with Vatican officials or even living in the Vatican. The British Foreign Office reported in January 1947 that Pavelic himself, by that time a wanted war criminal, was living "within the Vatican City." An earlier report by Gowen, in October 1946, noted that Pavelic was in Rome and in contact with Draganovic.Documents include accounts of Ustashas being hidden at the pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo and being seen driving in Rome in cars with Vatican license plates. The recently declassified Golik memo reports that Ustashas ate at the papal mess and that Father Golik was "declared to be in close contact with the Vatican."
...Nazi sympathizers such as Bishop Alois Hudal helped Nazi criminals escape to South America by assisting them with false papers and hiding places in Rome.Link
Father Dragonovic worked with the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) to organize the escape of the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie to South America. Barbie had also lived under Dragonovic's protection in San Girolamo for about a year.
It is interesting to note that the Vatican ratlines, organized by the Vatican and Croatian-Ustasha clergy, would probably have never become widely known if not for the discovery and trial of Klaus Barbie who escaped through them. Because of the Barbie trial, slowly the truth about the ratlines emerged.(59) And so too did the protection by the Vatican and U.S. and British intelligence of thousands of war criminals involved in crimes of genocide in Croatia and Serbia emerge, hidden for the entirety of the Cold War. They were hidden for two reasons: because the United States and its imperialist allies were committed to the destruction of socialist Yugoslavia and therefore did all they could to prevent the extradition for trial of any of them; and secondly because of the importance of the Catholic Church to the West in the Cold War. Indeed, this is why a war criminal could become Secretary General of the United Nations: had Kurt Waldheim committed his crimes of genocide in a non-Communist country he at least would have been exposed after the war, if not also punished. Such is the human rights record of the United States and Britain concerning crimes of genocide.In 1994, Pope John Paul II made Kurt Waldheim a Knight of the Ordine Piano, an order instituted by Pius IX in 1848 to honour those who've rendered "outstanding service to Church or society". Israel and Jewish organisations protested the papal knighthood that the Pope bestowed on Waldheim.
Incredibly, details now are even leaking out of the Vatican's stealing of plundered property of murdered Serbs, Jews and Romas in Croatia.(60) This story emerged in June 1997 when a memo dated October 21, 1946 written by OSS agent Emerson Bigelow was discovered in the U.S. Treasury Department's archives stating that the Vatican was holding around $170 million worth of Ustasha gold plundered from Holocaust victims in Croatia.
-- What is the Vatican hiding?, by Barry Lituchy
Holocaust survivors in the USA are now suing to recover hundreds of millions of dollars of property looted by the Croatian Nazis, converted to gold, and held by the Vatican Bank for safekeeping. ... In March 2000, Serb and Jewish survivors filed a class action lawsuit in San Francisco Federal Court, California, USA, seeking an accounting from the Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order.From: How the Vatican collaborated with fascism in Yugoslavia - The Vatican, Croatia and the Nazi Gold
As The Observer noted on 7th December 1997:"Some of the bullion went via the Vatican and the Iberian dictatorships to Latin America, the destination of choice for Nazis on the run"A study commissioned by the Swiss government estimated that Swiss banks received about £2 billion in looted gold stolen from the mainly Jewish, Roma and Slavic victims of the Nazi holocaust (The Guardian December 5th 1997). The Papal State has come under heavy pressure to open it's archives. The World Jewish Congress (WJC) released a declassified letter from the US treasury which showed that in 1946, the Americans were told that:"Money and gold stolen from the Jews and Serbs (in Yugoslavia) were sent to the Vatican" (The Guardian, December 5th 1997).The funds, stolen by the fascist Ustashe regime in Croatia, was sent through a Vatican "pipeline" to Spain and Argentina. However, US treasury suspected that the funds were still possibly held by the Vatican (The Guardian, December 5th 1997).
The Ustashe were masters of smuggling, secret codes, and financial dealings, experience gained from their terrorist activities in the 1930's and the assassination of King Alexander. Almost immediately, the Ustashe with the help of their Franciscan and Vatican sponsors, were reconstituted. While bands of Krizari took to the hills of Yugoslavia and continued to kill Serbs, a bold plan was formulated to make a move to South America to avoid the justice of the war crimes tribunals. To fuel this mass migration of war criminals, the Ustasha loot was banked and laundered by the Vatican bank and cooperative Swiss banks. The banks were only too willing to profit in cash poor Europe and soon Pavelic was the toast of Buenos Aires and confidant of Juan Peron, the Argentine president, Artukovic was living openly in California with the help of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Knights of Columbus, and other Ustashe killers were enjoying villas in Spain and safe houses in Rome.From: The Vatican and war crimes in Croatia
- Persilscheine und falsche Pässe. Wie die Kirchen den Nazis halfen. by Ernst Klee
"Persilscheine [has to do with papers of proof or identity] and false passports. How the churches helped the Nazis" - see translated review excerpt.
- Chapter 12 - The Vatican and the USA as the defenders of the Fascist criminals of World War Two, of The Vatican's Holocaust, by Avro Manhattan
- The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron's Argentina, by Uki Goni
- How the Vatican collaborated with fascism in Yugoslavia - The Vatican, Croatia and the Nazi Gold
- The Vatican and war crimes in Croatia
- The Vatican Pipeline - U.S. intelligence document links $170 million in Nazi gold to the Vatican - Time, July 22, 1997
- Two whole pages of links to news and relevant articles at Vatican Bank Claims:
Press release page
- Information on the mysterious murder of the Vatican banker can also be found at American Atheists:
- God's Banker - One of the world's most notorious holy men is quietly giving Mass in Sun City - Phoenix New Times, February 13, 2003
The Vatican's non-apology whilst blaming everyone else
Having taken over 50 years since the end of WWII, the Vatican thought it time to come out with an apology. Enough time had passed for most people involved in the tragedy to have died and for today's populations to rely on second-hand information. In this enviroment - which would be more congenial to statements of denial and obfuscation by the Vatican, than if it had responded directly after the war - the Roman Church decided to come out with it's non-apology. The usual overlong document was compiled, which in the end states nothing of any value.
The Vatican, not even admitting to its crimes, did not apologise for any of them either. (See What is the Vatican Hiding, by Barry Lituchy.) Instead, the Church sought to blame anything and everything else for the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust, and settled on something that it called "neo-paganism". We must assume that with this term, the present-day Vatican is referring to all those members of the Catholic clergy directly involved in promoting anti-Semitism or carrying out the genocide against Jews, Serbs and Roma.
It makes for an interesting precedent: if believing members of the Catholic clergy should ever partake in anything Church-sanctioned that later falls foul of public opinion, such as Nazism and the Holocaust itself, then one day we may expect the Church to label such behaviour as neo-pagan or atheistic or anything - anything, that is, except Christianity itself.
When the Vatican came out with its report on the Holocaust in 1998, We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, it found a lot of blame to hand out, yet managed to find itself not culpable for any of it. In all of this overlong report, it shows no remorse for its unspeakable crimes in Yugoslavia either. This is to be expected: any mention from the Church on its complicity in genocide there, would obviously give everything away.
The Vatican's Holocaust Report - NY Times (Editorial), 18 March 1998:
John Paul, however, has resisted a critical look at the Catholic response to the Holocaust and has defended the silence of Pope Pius XII during the Third Reich. The Vatican document echoes his views. It concludes that the church teachings, though often hostile to Jews, did not contribute to the crude anti-Semitic ideology of the Nazis, many of whose leaders were Catholics and whom the Vatican calls "neo-pagan."About the portion in bold above: The Vatican's (under John Paul) desperate statement "the church teachings, though often hostile to Jews, did not contribute to the crude anti-Semitic ideology of the Nazis", is utter nonsense. There were many anti-Semitic statements in most Catholic publications, or uttered by clergy, prior to and during the Holocaust. For example:
The Jew was created by God to act the traitor everywhere.Link
-- Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit monthly publication, cited in John Cornwell's "Hitler's Pope" (abridged version)
As recently as 1941, Archbishop Grober, in a pastoral letter, blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus, saying that the Holocaust was "the self-imposed curse of the Jews." So [they're implying] the Jews killed themselves in Auschwitz.Link
One must wonder who those Nazis were, who were invited to the Vatican, dined at the papal mess and were even given a place to hide in the Pope's summer residence. And who those Ustashe criminals were, who posed for photos at the Vatican. There are pictures of bishops, priests and nuns taking part in Nazi events, and photos that show how Catholic priests went around committing atrocities in Croatia whilst their bishops associated with Nazis.
Who wrote and published all the racial ideology and hate-filled literature in the various Catholic and Protestant pamphlets, books and publications, like the Civilta Cattolica and pastoral letter above? They were certainly not neo-pagans or atheists, but Christian publications.
The Vatican relies on the general lack of knowledge about the facts of these events; it thrives on the fact that by denial, a well-mounted PR campaign and by preparing documents of hundreds of pages which say nothing, the general populace will remain ignorant of the Roman Church's culpability in the Holocaust.
Jewish persecutions: banning Jews from working for public office, the enforcement of wearing yellow badges, the Jewish ghettos, burning of synagogues, and the extermination of Jews ... do not pertain to Nazi actions but rather the practices of Catholicism, centuries before Hitler came into power.From: The Catholic Church during WWII, which further discusses the treatment of Jews by the Catholic Church during the many centuries prior to Nazism.
- Compelling Jews to wear yellow badges came from an invention of the Catholic Church. The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 set up the Inquisition along with enforcement of Jews wearing a yellow spot on their clothes and a horned cap (pileum cornutum) to mark them as the murderers of Christ and to remind them of their descent from the devil.
- Pope Paul IV in the sixteenth century established the Roman ghetto (another Catholic invention). For more than two centuries afterward, Catholics humiliated the Roman Jews and degraded them at the annual carnival. In the same century, Pope Gregory XIII instituted enforced Christian sermons insulting Judaism. [Cornwell, p. 299].
- Although most people associate the term with Hitler, propaganda actually came as an invention by the Catholics long before the Nazis, from the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, an organization established by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. When they could not legally use strong-arm tactics they used propaganda [to force] Jews and heretics into the Catholic faith.
- [Christian Roman Emperor] Justinian legalized the burning and pillaging of synagogues
- Saint Thomas Aquinas' treatise De regimine Judaeorum ad Ducissam Brabantae, made it acceptable for popes and kings to dispose of property belonging to the Jews.
...according to historian Dagobert Runes, Hitler's methods were actually modelled on the Christian one:Link, which has more information on Christianity's anti-Semitism throughout history.Everything Hitler did to the Jews, all the horrible, unspeakable misdeeds, had already been done to the smitten people before by the Christian churches ... The isolation of the Jews into ghetto camps, the wearing of the yellow spot, the burning of Jewish books and finally, the burning of the people - Hitler learned it all from the church. However, the church burned Jewish women and children alive, while Hitler granted them a quicker death, choking them first with gas.
- The Popes Against the Jews by David Kertzer
- The section Anti-Semitism prior to Nazism, for an indication of how much Christianity was responsible for anti-Semitism among Christianised populations.
- Christian influences on Nazism are discussed in the section Racist and hate literature: inspired by Christian rolemodels and throughout the section on Nazism in Germany. These include Protestant influences, which should not be underestimated, as well as Catholic.
Protestant anti-Semitism, is discussed further under the section Protestantism.
"Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified...".
1 Thessalonians 2:14-15: "For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews; Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men;"
-- The New Testament, Holy Bible, infallible Word of God
At the 2nd Vatican council ... the Roman Catholic Church formally repudiated the charge that Jews were responsible for the death of Christ, and they condemned genocide and racism as being unchristian.Link
(A little late for that)
Does this repudiation put the New Testament writings in error regarding Christ killers? If that is the case it should no longer be considered as the inspired word of God.
The Vatican is wrong. They should have condemned these crimes as being "no longer Christian - although entirely part of Christian teaching in the past".
Nevertheless, having condemned anti-Semitism, genocide and racism, the Roman Church as well as the Protestant Churches, continue committing them.
See also: the sections Recent Genocide and Present-day Genocide.
The Roman Catholic Church has not really renounced anti-Semitism, as became apparent during a 2000 TV interview given by a German Jesuit, defender of Pope Pius XII and described as an important papal adviser:
Shadow of anti-Semitism hangs over Vatican - CBC News, 16 March 2000 (last updated Nov 2000)
The priest designated by the Vatican to oversee the canonization of Pope Pius XII is a German Jesuit, Father Peter Gumpel. In an interview with CBC TV this week, Father Gumpel made comments that are sure to exacerbate the allegations of Catholic anti-Semitism. "It is a fact that the Jews have killed Christ. This is an undeniable historical fact," Gumpel told CBC.It is noteworthy how Father Gumpel, pious apologist for Pius XII, does not name the random "Jewish colleague, a university professor" to whom he attributes statements that regurgitate the typical fears Christians had always entertained of Jews (the unfounded medieval Christian notion that Jews wanted to kill all Christians). Nor does Father Gumpel provide evidence of the alleged statements, which he uses to 'prove' the veracity of his own (anti-Semitic) statements. Unless Gumpel provides verifiable references, such an allegation is unadmissable and counts as fabrication.
"I have discussed this with a Jewish colleague, a university professor and he said, 'Well, my dear professor,' he said, 'what do you want? Our forefathers found out that Christ was a false prophet, so we killed Him. And then of course, why should we have changed our attitude with regard to those who followed this false prophet'," Gumpel said.Those sort of comments were officially disavowed as anti-Semitic by the church more than 30 years ago.
If you're going to say something, say it. Prior to Pope John Paul's Easter 2000 pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Catholic leaders made the grandstanding announcement that he planned to express "regret" for the Crusades, the Inquisition, and other "faults of the past." (The "past" does not have faults. People do.) But when John Paul finally offered his "apology," it defined vagueness. He might just as well have shrugged his shoulders and said, "Shit happens." He made no mention of the Inquisition, Crusades, or Holocaust; or the centuries when the Catholic liturgy included asking for protection from "the perfidious Jews;" or the church's intense bigotry against gays and women. Calling that a landmark proclamation is preposterous.From: Sins of the Past
But the press covered this non-occurring apology as though John Paul had martyred himself or something. He did not even address the Jewish community directly. He spoke only to God. (Isn't he special?) Speaking to God about the Jews he said,"We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer and, asking your forgiveness, we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant."Who is "those?" What did he mean by "course of history"? History didn't murder any Jews. Catholics did. And how could he use the word "saddened?" I for one am horrified. Such a euphemistic reference to some of the world's most heinous crimes against humanity is outrageous and insulting. If you announce that you are going to publicly ask for forgiveness for the centuries of persecution and murder, then do it. Don't namby-pamby around and act like you're asking forgiveness for some little social faux pas. The whole farce was offensive.
All that fuss about John Paul apologizing for past wrongs was nothing more than a publicity stunt to try to soften the considerable resistance to his being allowed in Jerusalem at all. With just cause, the pope was not welcomed by a great many Israelis. The Vatican did not even recognize Israel as a country until six years before his Easter visit. And Rome supports Palestinian statehood and believes Jerusalem should be made an international city.
The Vatican is still anti-Semitic:
On the 15th of February 2000, at the Vatican, the Pope and the leader of the P.L.O. terrorist organisation, Yasser Arafat, signed a covenant. ...Among other things this agreement recognises a "Palestine" state in the land of Israel and agrees on cooperation between the Vatican and the P.L.O. and the Vatican committed itself to assist the "Palestinians". It may be no accident that this covenant was signed one month prior to the Pope's visit to Israel. ...This is a continuation of the historical hostility of the Vatican against the Jewish people. It is a part of Christianity. It is called anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is a Christian disease that Jews die from, it is also known today as replacement theology. The Church today states it is the New Israel as they have the New Covenant, commonly known as the New Testament.Link
It was just before John Paul's March 2000 visit to Israel, that the important papal adviser Father Gumpel, let loose his anti-Semitic remarks on Canadian network television.
The facts are that the Churches, and the most organised of them, the Vatican, will do anything and everything when circumstances are right: Crusades, Inquisition, terrible genocide by allying with fascism or other dictatorships (even communism), forced conversions, forced euthanasia of people with disabilities.
When they eventually find themselves on the losing end, like they did when Nazism and fascism lost and were outlawed, then they will rewrite the parts they played in historical atrocities and claim they were innocent of everything or even make themselves out to be heroes. (This is especially true of the mammoth organisation that is the Vatican. Protestant sects weren't as well organised in the past, though they are more so today.) Yet, when another opportunity comes again, the genocide and atrocities will continue.
See: Recent Genocide. Protestant organisations are also guilty of genocide, especially today, see Present-day genocide and cultural extermination.
The Vatican is Guilty of Genocide
Today Pope John Paul II claims Pius XII was innocent, the Vatican was innocent, the Church was innocent. For all these years it has kept its archives closed, claiming it has nothing to hide. But we know otherwise. Even without the Vatican's archives we have sufficient evidence to find not only Pius XII, but Pope Paul VI (then Cardinal Montini, Pius XII's closest advisor) and the entire Vatican guilty of crimes of genocide.
We know that the Vatican met with and supported the Ustashi before they ever came to power. We know that on April 7, 1941, the day after the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, the British Ambassador to the Vatican, D'Arcy Osborne, implored the Pope to condemn the invasion, but that he refused to do so.(55) We know that Pius XII met with and embraced Pavelic on May 17, 1941, exactly one month to the day Pavelic arrived in Zagreb to take power, and in the very weeks in which most of the racial laws calling for a triple genocide of Serbs, Jews and Roma were being issued.
We know the Pope also met with dozens of the Ustasha leadership and blessed them all. Pavelic made another state visit in 1943, this one more friendly and loving than the first, at which point his regime had killed upwards of 400,000 people. No doubt, the Pope probably met with Pavelic after the war too when he was a wanted war criminal hiding in the Vatican before escaping with the Vatican's help to Argentina. The Vatican cannot claim that it was too far removed from events in Croatia or too poorly informed. Croatia was on the Italian border and Vatican and Ustasha officials traveled regularly back and forth. The Vatican had its ambassadorial Legate Ramiro Marcone in Zagreb throughout the war and his Secretary Guiseppe Masucci who spoke Serbo-Croatian fluently. Both of them visited concentration camps in Croatia and met directly with those most responsible for the Holocaust there: Artukovic, Kvartnik, etc. Meanwhile, the Italian military and government officials in Zagreb were protesting the Ustashi's massacres and the Italian press was writing about them regularly. We also have dozens of acknowledgments of receipt from the Vatican of detailed descriptions of the Holocaust in Croatia, including those from the very few Croatian clergy who actually did protest the genocides, like the Bishop of Mostar. His protest is incriminating on several levels: on one it shows that Pius XII knew exactly what was going on; secondly, it shows that clergy could oppose the Holocaust if they wanted to and not be punished, though almost all supported it; thirdly, it offers a sickening justification for stopping the killings, namely that more Serbs and Jews would convert to Catholicism.(56)
We know that the Vatican was very enthusiastic about the thousands of forced conversions of persecuted people who converted to Catholicism in order to stay alive and that the Vatican sent notes of encouragement to the Croatian clergy, though warning them that they should not accept conversions of adults who were not sincere....
We know from his diary that Stepinac was an arch anti-Semite. And we know how staunchly Pius XII defended Stepinac after the war, even after his trial and conviction for war crimes in 1946, rewarding him with the robes of a Cardinal, calling him a martyr. Indeed, every Pope since Pius XII has called Stepinac a martyr including the current Pope who hints at Stepinac's beatification, and who has worshipped at his tomb. John Paul II will travel once again to Croatia this October to celebrate the Ustasha clergy. But the only real martyrs were those who died at the hands of the Catholic gangsters. Pius XII and Stepinac as far as we know never personally murdered anyone, but what they did was far worse than any single murder: they supported a triple genocide of Serbs, Jews and Romas in fascist Croatia that cost a million lives.We know that the Vatican aided in the escape of thousands of war criminals from Croatia and all other parts of Yugoslavia. Although Vatican representatives and Stepinac's representatives visited Jasenovac [concentration camp] several times, they did nothing to rescue the victims.
-- What is the Vatican hiding, by Barry Lituchy
Vatican hit by new row over war role: Pope kept Jewish families apart - The Guardian, December 29, 2004:
The Vatican secretly issued instructions to the Catholic church in France not to return Jewish children to their families after the second world war, it emerged yesterday. The children were entrusted to the church's care to save them from the death camps. But if the parents survived the war and came forward to reclaim their sons or daughters, the children were only to be returned "provided [they] have not received baptism", the Vatican ordered.Postwar Vatican Directive Creates New Controversy - International Herald Tribune, January 8, 2001 (also available here):
The Vatican's letter indicates that Pope Pius wanted both to obstruct and minimise the return of those children who had been put in the church's care. "Children who have been baptised may not be entrusted to institutions that are not in a position to guarantee them a Christian upbringing," it said. The position with regard to unbaptised Jewish children was more complicated.The revelation represents a fresh setback for the cause of Pius XII's canonisation. The present Pope is known to have wanted to beatify his predecessor as a first step towards declaring him a saint. But the process was halted by a host of articles, books and films questioning Pius XII's failure to speak out publicly against Nazism and, in particular, the Holocaust. His record is still a matter of heated dispute and the controversy surrounding him is unlikely to be resolved until the Vatican opens its wartime archives.
The Vatican's officials ruled that those who had lost their parents ought not to be entrusted to "persons who have no rights over them". Only where the parents had re-emerged to claim their children was it permissible for them to be handed back, and even then only if they had not been christened.
The American scholar Daniel Goldhagen, writing Tuesday in Corriere, said the document clearly demonstrated that it had been the intention of the pope and the church to "systematically claim Jewish children."
Goldhagen, author of the 1996 bestseller "Hitler's Willing Executioners," said that the Vatican should halt the canonization process. He said a committee should be set up to determine "how many Jewish children were kidnapped by the Church in Europe."
Catholic commentators have rallied around an "only carrying out orders" position, noting that under the canon law of the time, baptism was tantamount to permanent enrollment in the Church and prevailed over other considerations.
"We had no idea we were about to create a tsunami of information," said Alberto Melloni, a Catholic historian at the University of Bologna, who wrote the Dec. 28 article that initiated the polemic.
The church's stance that a baptized child is irrevocably Christian was established nearly a century before the Holocaust, when, in 1858, papal guards took Edgardo Mortara, 6, from his family in Bologna when word spread that he had been clandestinely baptized by a Catholic maid. It was relaxed only in the 1960's.Link. More about the Pope Pius IX and the Edgardo Mortara case.
One Swiss Holocaust survivor, Henri Elias, told the Forward on Tuesday that the French church blocked him from his family for nearly 12 years after the Holocaust because he was baptized.Link
"During the war, when I was 18 months old, some Belgian resistance fighters advised my mother to hand me to a Catholic institution and she did so," Elias said in a phone interview from Geneva. "At the end of the war, a priest gave my custody to a [Catholic] woman called Fernande Henrard." She repeatedly lied and hid him from his real family.
"I was told I had been abandoned by my mother," Elias said. "With the complicity of Catholic and civil officials, my name was changed to Antoine Benoit and I went through a series of Catholic schools. At the same time, my uncle investigated about me and was told many lies, including that I had died."In 1949, Elias said, his uncle discovered he was alive, and launched a long successful legal battle against the church to get back his nephew.
See also: Sainthood Setback for Pope Pius XII which has more on this topic.
Faced with this next obstruction on the road to Pius XII's canonisation, the Church has once again quickly embarked on the well-trodden trail of denial. They have claimed that the incriminating Vatican letter of 1946 was not authentic. One of the main reasons named was that it was in French, not Latin, hence 'proving' that it was not official.
However, this excuse is unlikely. It would make sense that such a document would take a non-official format, for the very reason of the Vatican having the option of deniability if it were ever to come to light. Considering that Fascism, and the Church along with it, lost the war, it would be highly unlikely that the Vatican could support their anti-Semitic stance by writing an official-looking document sanctioning Churches to withhold baptised Jewish children. Especially not in the post-fascism era, which they could have predicted would be against anti-Semitism.
In addition to this, the Vatican's order to retain baptised children is referred to in the now-published diaries of Angelo Roncalli, who would later become Pope himself:
Roncalli, later named Pope John XXIII ... served under Pius XII as papal nuncio to Paris. In his recently published diaries he writes that after World War II, Jewish families asked for their children to be returned to them. But Pius XII refused to send children back who had been baptized while under the Church's temporary supervision. The letter outlining these orders from the Vatican was published last week by an Italian daily paper, Corriere della Sera.From: Sainthood Setback for Pope Pius XII
The children who were taken under the wing of the Catholic Church were spared from German death camps, but Pius's motives were not entirely altruistic. His agenda, it seems, was to seize on the opportunity Hitler's death camps afforded, and convert as many Jewish children as he could. "Children who have been baptized may not be entrusted to institutions that are not in a position to guarantee them a Christian upbringing," the letter published in Corriere della Sera reads.
In tow with the Church, are its loyal, yet blind, followers, willing to defend their infallible Pope in spite of the fact that history has shown how an overwhelming number of Popes were far from infallible: many were downright criminals. See Popes from long ago. The doctrine of infallibility itself was only introduced very recently, in 1870. Either the Catholic flock is ignorant of Papal history and therefore unaware that Pius XII has only acted in accordance with a long line of Papal miscreants, or they are brainwashed to forgive him no matter what. The Church, on the other hand, has been and continues to be willfully deceptive. This is only a minor part of the colossal denial-campaign which the Vatican has mounted to exhonerate itself from involvement in the Holocaust.
More Holocaust related denial by the Vatican: The Vatican's Ratlines and Nazi funds: helping war criminals to escape.
Although the Vatican has attempted denial with respect to the ratlines, the evidence stacked up against it in that case included several declassified documents, reports and memos of the British and U.S. Intelligence services from the time of WWII. Nevertheless, the Vatican has tried to avoid the issue by obfuscation: it would rather declare these official documents to be inauthentic, whilst yet continuing to refuse to open its own WWII archives.
Nazi connection to Franciscan Order uncovered near Medjugorje, BosniaFrom: The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia's Holocaust
The Franciscan order has always denied the evidence of its wartime ties to the Ustasha regime in Croatia. They acted as facilitators and middlemen in moving the contents of the Ustasha Treasury from Croatia to Austria, Italy and finally South America after the war. During the Nazi occupation of Bosnia, the Franciscans were closely involved with the Ustashe regime. Not far from Medjugorje in Bosnia (where the Virgin Mary is said to put in nightly appearances for the tens of thousands of Roman Catholic pilgrims), is the Franciscan monastery at Sirkoi Brijeg which has become the centre of allegations linking it to disappearance of the Ustashe treasury after the war.
In San Francisco Federal Court in November 1999, in what was described as "tangible proof" of the Nazi Franciscan connection, was obtained when cameramen working for Phillip Kronzer (who has helped expose the Medjugorje myth) obtained entry to the Monastery and filmed a secret shrine honouring the Ustashe. A plaque dedicated to Franciscan monks who were Ustasha members was filmed along with a massive shrine lining the walls complete with photographs of Ustasha soldiers some in Nazi uniforms. The admonition, "Recognize us, We are yours" can clearly be seen in the video footage. On a later visit to the monastery the shrine had been dismantled but the videotape preserved the evidence and has now been made available by the Kronzer Foundation.
Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic, a Franciscan friar, was a very prominent Ustashe priest taking part in the atrocities. He used the Petricevac monastery as a base for the Ustashe. On February 6, 1942, he led the Ustashe in a brutal massacre of 2730 Serbs in the nearby villages, including 500 children.
Filipovic later became Chief Guard of the Jasenovac concentration camp, the most infamous of those of Yugoslavia. His cruelty earned him the name "Devil Friar". In the four months as camp commander, he is said to have tortured and executed over 40,000 Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies.
In one instance, during a raid on the Serb Orthodox villages of Drakulici, Sargovac and Motika in 1942, he slashed the throat of a child and exclaimed:
Ustasha, this is the way in which I baptise these bastards in the name of God. You should just follow my example. Let this thing be on my soul, but I am going to give you my forgiveness and the forgiveness of the Church for your acts.After the war, Filipovic-Majstorovic was tried and sentenced to death. He was hanged wearing the friar's robes he often wore in the camp, when giving confession and murdering prisoners.
-- Filipovic-Majstorovic, Franciscan friar in charge of Jasenovac concentration camp
In light of these incontrovertible facts which cannot be dismissed through denial, some allege that Filipovic had been excommunicated. However, it seems odd that the Catholic Ustashi murderers contemporary with him, who knew him, whose confessions he took and to whom he dispensed his forgiveness where wholly unaware of his defrocking... It is highly unlikely, as dispensation from non-priests would not have been accepted by these highly pious believers.
It seems rather that, unlike Stepinac, Filipovic had been caught redhanded (literally) in innumerable crimes. If it had been otherwise, perhaps he too would be enjoying a posthumous beatification by John Paul II.
Indeed, when Pope John Paul II visited Banja Luka in June 2003, he held a mass at the Petricevac monastery, causing public uproar due to the connection of the Petricevac monastery with the crimes of friar Filipovic-Majstorovic. Perhaps this was John Paul II's indirect attempt to recognise Filipovic's services to the Roman Church, since there could be no public beatification?