THE BUZZ ABOUT THE BOOK
In fact, to read all nine [recent books on Pius XII] is to conclude
that Pius's defenders have the stronger case—with Rychlak's Hitler, the
War, and the Pope the best and most careful of the recent works, an
elegant tome of serious, critical scholarship.
Rabbi David Dalin
The Weekly Standard
Rychlak has buried the myth under an avalanche of facts and demonstrated
that Pacelli's reputation deserves to be what it was during the war when
the New York Times —more than once—praised him as "a lonely voice crying
out of the silence of a continent." Rychlak has done more than anyone else
to set the record straight.
Prof. Robert George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
I am indebted to Professor Ronald J. Rychlak
for this book, Hitler, the War, and the Pope. In his well-crafted
pages, he tells us of the story of Eugenio Pacelli, a saintly priest, a
skilled diplomat, and a consummate churchman, who was elected pope only
months before Hitler’s invasion of Poland.... I am reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on
Virginia: "A patient pursuit of facts, and a cautious combination and
comparison of them, is the drudgery to which man is subjected by his
maker, if he wished to attain sure knowledge." Professor Rychlak has
subjected himself to this drudgery of detail by patiently pursing the
facts. With due caution, he has combined and compared them for us so that
we might attain knowledge of the part played by Pope Pius XII when
darkness fell all around him. The portrait that emerges is one of an
extraordinary pastor facing extremely vexing circumstances, of a holy man
vying against an evil man, of a human being trying to save the lives of
other human beings, of a light shining in the darkness.
John Cardinal O'Connor
Archbishop of New York (deceased)
I have read many books on Pius XII, and this is by far the most
dispassionate in laying out the context, relevant facts, accusations, and
evidence pro- and con-. The book is highly engaging because filled with so
many little known facts. The research has been prodigious. Yet the
presentation is as down-to-earth as it would have to be in a courtroom....
This is a wonderfully realistic book.
George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy
American Enterprise Institute
Rychlak in these pages
carefully reconstructs the tragic course of events from Hitler’s rise to
power through the Second World War. With abundant references to published
and unpublished sources he convincingly shows that the future Pius XII
from the beginning recognized the malice of the Nazi movement and later,
as pope, did as much as any human person could to minimize Hitler’s
atrocities against the Poles, the Jews, and other innocent victims.
Hitler, the War, and the Pope "should be required reading for all who
repeat the baseless canards about the "silence" of Pius XII.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.
Laurence J. McGinley Professor
A systematic response to Pius's critics, [with a]
devastating, point-by-point refutation of Cornwell's Hitler's Pope....
For now, the magisterial volume on the subject.
Rychlak... approaches his topic with the intensity
of a defense attorney and the balance of a legal scholar.... In closely
reasoned arguments, he effectively refutes the charges that Pius was
anti-Semitic, that he was influenced by Hitler, that any statement by him
would have lessened the suffering of the Jews, that he was fearful of his
own safety and therefore restrained in his comments and that he should
have excommunicated Hitler.... Rychlak accomplishes what he sets out to
do—put Pius XII in a more balanced perspective.
George F. Giacomini, Jr.
Professor Rychlak has compiled an
impressive and excellent factual record regarding the strained relations
between the Catholic Church and Hitler’s Third Reich as well as the
efforts of Pope Pius XII to protect Jews and other victims of the Nazis.
In this serious and scholarly tome, Rychlak analyzes these facts to answer
the questions that are most often raised about the wartime record of Pope
Pius XII. No one who objectively reads this insightful text can have any
doubt about where Pius stood during those years of darkness.
Peter Gumpel, S.J.
Investigating Judge by Papal Appointment
Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Vatican City
A massive refutation of the black legend
depicting Pius XII as passive and silent in the face of the Holocaust out
of fear, cynicism, and anti-Semitism. The historical record, documented
here in massive detail, shows the Pope’s unremitting hostility to Nazism,
repeated condemnations of anti-Semitism, and feverish efforts to save
Jewish lives. A deeply impressive book.
Rev. John Jay Hughes
Author of Pontiffs: Popes Who Shaped History
Hitler, the War, and the Pope by Ronald
Rychlak is the definitive popular history of the papacy of Pope Pius XII
in the shadow of Nazism. Without recourse to rhetoric, Rychlak gives a
well-documented and clear-headed defense of Pius XII. His book also
provides a detailed response to John Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope.
Rychlak’s work puts the claim of the "silence" of Pope Pius XII in the
face of the Holocaust to rest.
Bob Lockwood, from the position paper, “Pope Pius and the
Holocaust” (The Catholic League, March 2000)
A brave man and careful scholar, Ronald Rychlak,
professor at the University of Mississippi Law School, has published
Hitler, the War and the Pope, in which he examines and dismisses the
one-sided case that has become the liberal populist myth about Pius
XII.... Rychlak's careful book, as complete as a lawyer's brief, will
prompt readers to re-examine the charges worked into the grain of culture
against Pius XII.
Eugene KennedyDallas Morning News (syndicated)
No one has done more in recent times to expose
the lies of [critics of Pius XII] than Professor Ronald Rychlak. His
volume, Hitler, the War, and the Pope, is the most authoritative
work on the subject currently available.
The Catholic League