Saturday, 23 July 2011

Documents Reveal Pius XII Saved 11,000 Roman Jews

Pave the Way Foundation Announces Findings

By Jesús Colina

ROME, JULY 22, 2011 ( The direct action of Pope Pius XII saved the lives of more than 11,000 Jews in Rome during the Second World War, according to documentation recently discovered by historians.

Pave the Way Foundation representative for Germany, historian and investigative researcher Michael Hesemann, discovered a number of very important original documents in his research of the open archives of Santa Maria dell Anima Church, which is the National Church of Germany in Rome.

The U.S.-based foundation, founded by Jew Gary Krupp, announced the findings in a statement sent to ZENIT.

"Many have criticized Pius XII for remaining silent during the arrest and when trains left Rome containing 1,007 Jews who were sent to the death camp Auschwitz," Krupp stated. "The critics also do not acknowledge Pius XII's direct intervention to end the arrests of Oct. 16, 1943."

"New discoveries prove that Pius XII acted directly behind the scenes to end the arrests at 2:00 p.m., on the very day they began, but who was powerless to stop the ill-fated train," he added.

According to a recent study by researcher Deacon Dominiek Oversteyns, there were 12,428 Jews in Rome on Oct. 16, 1943.

"Pope Pius XII's direct action saved the lives of over 11,400 Jews," Krupp explained. "On the morning of Oct. 16, 1943, when the Pope learned of the arrests of the Jews, he immediately ordered an official Vatican protest with the German ambassador, which he knew would no doubt be fruitless.

"The Pope then sent his nephew, Prince Carlo Pacelli, to meet with Austrian Bishop Alois Hudal. Bishop Hudal, head of the National Church of Germany in Rome, was by some accounts, sympathetic to the Nazi's and had good relations with them. Prince Carlo Pacelli told Hudal that he was sent by the Pope, and that Hudal must write a letter to the German Governor of Rome, General Rainier Stahel, to demand that the arrests stop."

Bishop Hudal's letter to General Stahel stated: "Just now, a high Vatican source [...] reported to me that this morning, the arrest of the Jews of Italian nationality has started. In the interest of a peaceful dialogue between the Vatican and the German military command, I ask you with urgency to give order to immediately stop these arrests in Rome and the surrounding area. The German reputation in foreign countries requires such a measure and also the danger that the Pope would openly protest against it."

The letter was then hand-delivered to General Stahel by a close confidant to Pope Pius XII, German Father Pancratius Pfeiffer, superior general of the Society of the Divine Savior, who personally knew General Stahel.

The following morning, General Stahel responded by telephone: "I forwarded the affair immediately to the local Gestapo and to Himmler personally, Himmler ordered that, concerning the special status of Rome, these arrests are to be stopped immediately."

These events are further confirmed by the testimony obtained during the investigation of relator (high Judge) to the cause of Pius XII, Jesuit Priest Father Peter Gumpel.

Father Gumpel stated that he personally spoke to General Dietrich Beelitz, who was then liaison officer between Kesselring's office and Hitler's command. General Beelitz listened in to the Stahel-Himmler telephone conversation and confirmed that General Stahel used a threat of military failure to Himmler if the arrests were to continue.


An additional document titled "The direct actions to save innumerable persons of the Hebrew nation" states that Bishop Hudal managed -- through his contacts with Stahel and Colonel Baron von Veltheim -- to get "550 religious colleges and institutions to be exempt from inspections and visitations of the German military Police."

Just in one of these places, the Institute of St. Joseph, 80 Jews were being hidden.

The note also mentions the involvement "for a great part" of Prince Carlo Pacelli, the nephew of Pius XII. "The German soldiers were very disciplined and respected the signature of a high German official ... Thousands of local Jews in Rome, Assisi, Loreto, Padua etc. were saved due to this declaration."

Michael Hesemann stated that it is obvious that any public protest by the Pope when the train departed could have triggered the resumption of the arrests.

In addition, Hesemann explains that Pave the Way has on its Web site the original SS order to arrest 8,000 Roman Jews, who were to be sent to the work camp at Mauthausen -- to be held as hostages -- not the death camp in Auschwitz. One may speculate that the Vatican may have felt they could negotiate their release.

We have learned that it was also Bishop Hudal who was acknowledged by the Vatican as actively participating in helping some Nazis war criminals escape arrest after the war's end.

Because of his political position, Bishop Hudal was persona-non-grata at the Vatican and in fact, was chastised in writing by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini (later Pope Paul VI), for even suggesting that Vatican help any Nazi escape arrest.

Gary Krupp, President of Pave the Way, further commented that "Pave the Way has devoted vast resources in order to obtain and post publicly all of this information for historians and scholars. Curiously, none of the most outspoken critics of Pope Pius XII, has bothered to either come to the open Vatican Archives (completely opened since 2006 up to 1939) for original study, or even accessed our restricted free Web site, according to sign in sheets in Rome and our registration records."

Krupp further commented that he has the sincere hope that the scholarly representatives of the Roman Jewish community, research original materials only steps from their homes.

"I believe they will find that the very existence today of what Pope Pius XII called 'this vibrant community' is because of the secret efforts of Pope Pius XII to save every life," said Krupp. "Pius XII did what he could, while under the threat of invasion, death, surrounded by hostile forces and infiltrated by spies."

Elliot Hershberg, chairman of Pave the Way Foundation, added: "In the service of our mission, we are committed to try to bring some resolution to this controversy, which affects over 1 billion people.

"We have used our international connections and trust to obtain and post on our free restricted Web site over 46,000 pages of original documents, original news articles, video eyewitness, and scholarly interviews in order to spoon-feed this documentation to the historians and scholars.

"The international publicity from this project has yielded new documentation almost weekly, which show how we have moved to eliminate the academic logjam that has existed since 1963."


Monday, 11 July 2011

Abortion Data Uncovered

Handicapped Babies Culled

By Father John Flynn, LC

ROME, JULY 10, 2011 - Disturbing information about late-term abortions and the elimination of handicapped babies was released this week by the British government.

It showed that for England and Wales there were a number of abortions carried out on babies suffering from cleft palates, club feet, and Down syndrome.

The statistics didn't come easily, as the BBC explained in its July 4 coverage of the matter.

In 2003 the Department of Health decided to stop publishing information on late-term abortions following a widespread outcry when it became known that abortions were being carried out on babies with a cleft palate.

Subsequently the ProLife Alliance made a request under the freedom of information laws for the details on these abortions to be released. The Department of Health refused to do so and it was only as a result of a High Court order that the data is now public.

The tables that are now on the Department of Health's Web site cover cases of abortions carried out for reasons of genetic defects or handicaps and also abortions carried out on girls under the age of consent, which is 16 years of age in England and Wales.

In a press release dated July 4 the ProLife Alliance welcomed the release of the information, following what it described as "a David and Goliath legal battle." The organization made its request in February 2005.

A sentiment not shared by Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which provides abortions. "The publication of these statistics after a campaign by the anti-abortion lobby reveals little more than their own vindictiveness," the BBC reported.

Discrimination against the disabled

In 2010, 482 babies with Down syndrome were aborted. Ten of these were over 24 weeks old. Another 181 were aborted due to a family history in inherited disorders. In total, there were 2,290 abortions in 2010 for reasons of some handicap or genetic problem. Of these 147 were performed after 24 weeks of gestation.

In a public statement the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) expressed its concern over the abortion data.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, commented: "Between 2001 and 2010, the number of abortions on the ground of disability rose by one third, 10 times that of abortions generally."

"It is clear that legal abortion is a system which discriminates, fatally, against the disabled," he added.

Of course England and Wales are hardly alone in this selective elimination. Currently around 6,000 children affected with Down syndrome are born each year in the United States. The number has dropped since the widespread introduction of prenatal screening.

There was an 11% decline in the period 1989 to 2006, at a time when the number would have otherwise been expected to rise significantly, according to a June 12 report by the Associated Press on the topic of prenatal testing.

There were also significant numbers of abortions carried out on girls under the age of consent in England and Wales. In 2010 there were 3,718 abortions among those aged under 16. Broken down this shows 2,676 abortions to those aged from 14-15, 906 to 13-14 years old, 134 to 12-13 years old, and two to girls aged 12 or under.

In total there were 35,262 abortions performed on girls aged under 16 in the period 2002-10.

The latest information is not the only cause for concern about abortion in England and Wales. The number of abortions has risen by 8% during the last decade. In a press release dated May 24 the Department of Health said that the total number of abortions in 2010 was 189,574 -- 8% more than in 2000 (175,542).

The abortion rate was highest at 33 per 1,000 for women aged 19 and 20. Single women accounted for 81% of the abortion total. Overall, 91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation, with 77% at under 10 weeks.

Medical abortions, in other words those done by taking pharmaceuticals, accounted for 43% of the total, a notable increase compared to a decade ago, when they were only 12% in 2000.

Michaela Aston, from the campaign group Life, said she was concerned about the trend for women rushing in to have earlier abortions.

"It is vital that women are given time to think through their options, especially since data from other countries suggests that the introduction of 'cooling off' periods before abortion can play an important role in reducing abortion rates, as women and their partners or families have more time to look at all their choices," the Telegraph newspaper reported May 24.


The report by the Department of Health also showed that more women are having multiple abortions. In 2010, 34% of women who aborted had already had an abortion. This is up from 30% in 2000.

The dangers of having a high number of abortions at a young age, or having multiple abortions, was highlighted in a study recently published. Research carried out on more than a million pregnancies in Scotland over a period of 26 years demonstrated that women who have had an abortion are more likely to give birth to a premature baby and to suffer other complications.

According to a report on the study published in London's Times newspaper on July 5 women who have had one termination are 34% more likely to have a premature birth than those pregnant for the first time.

This rises to 73% higher than for women having a second baby, who normally have a lower risk of a premature birth.

Sohinee Bhattacharya, of the University of Aberdeen, led the research, which is still at the preliminary stage and has not yet been published.

Moreover, the risk of giving birth before term rise notably if a woman has had more than two abortions. One in five women who has had four terminations will give birth before 37 weeks, compared with fewer than one in 10 women who have had only one, the Times reported.

Bhattacharya explained that the risk of a premature birth is about 6%, while for women who have had one abortion it rises to 10%.

Even though the numbers of women who will be affected by this are relatively small, Josephine Quintavalle, of the ProLife Alliance, told the Times that it provided solid evidence of the impact of abortion on health.

"Whatever one's position on the ethics of abortion, it is more than obvious that alerting patients to the very real and incremental risks of future miscarriage should now be an essential part of informed consent protocols," she said.

Moral conscience

On Feb. 26, Benedict XVI addressed the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who were gathered for their annual meeting. One of the topics discussed was the trauma suffered by women who have undergone abortion.

The Pope pointed out that the psychological distress that women who have aborted experience "reveals the irrepressible voice of the moral conscience and the most serious wound it suffers every time that human action betrays the innate vocation to the good of the human being, to which it bears witness."

He also criticized the fathers who leave pregnant women on their own.

Benedict XVI commented that we are in a cultural situation where there has been an eclipse of the sense of life, which has weakened the perception of the gravity of abortion. No clearer evidence could be provided than the recent news from Britain.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Fr. Emil Kapaun beatification cause heads to Rome

U.S. Army chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun’s cause for beatification is headed to Rome, an event the Diocese of Wichita celebrated with a July 1 Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Fr. John Hotze, episcopal delegate for the office of Fr. Kapaun’s beatification and canonization, said the event marks the culmination of years of work and also celebrates the “gift” of Fr. Kapaun.

“The fact that we, unlike any other diocese in the United States, in the world, have been blessed by the example of this saintly man, Father Emil Kapaun, boggles my mind,” he said in a June 30 statement. “How can we do anything less than give praise to God for this gift and strive to follow the example of Father Kapaun’s selfless giving.”
Fr. Kapaun, a native of Pilsen, Kansas, served in the Korean War. He courageously rescued wounded soldiers from the battlefield, risking his own life to prevent their execution at the hands of the Chinese.
He was captured by North Korean and Communist Chinese forces after he volunteered to stay behind on a battlefield with the injured.
The priest’s service to his fellow prisoners has become legendary among those who knew of him. Scores of men attributed their survival to his work tending the starving and the sick.
Fr. Kapaun died in a prison camp hospital on May 23, 1951. The Diocese of Wichita has investigated his life since 2001 and officially opened the cause for his beatification on June 29, 2008. 
Andrea Ambrosi, a lawyer investigating the case for the Vatican, told the Wichita Eagle he thinks Fr. Kapaun has a good chance to be raised to the altars.
“He showed that there was not just a devil working on the battlefields of the war, but something else.”
The investigator said Kapaun’s candidacy is unique compared with the hundreds of other cases he has investigated because it is so full of action and detailed. While most cases involve “very holy” priests and nuns who have miracles attributed to them, Fr. Kapaun’s story involves far more deeds of heroism, sacrifice and action.
Ambrosi has investigated two alleged miracles involving prayers for Fr. Kapaun’s intercession.
In 2006 Avery Gerleman, then 12 years-old, was near death for 87 days. She recovered after her parents prayed to Kapaun.
In October 2008 Chase Kear, a college track athlete, inexplicably survived a severe pole vaulting accident. His skull was fractured from ear to ear and caused some bleeding on his brain. Doctors said he would likely either die in surgery or from a post-surgery infection.
However, family and friends joined in petitions to Fr. Kapaun. Kear survived the surgery and left the hospital only a few days after the incident.
Doctors said both recoveries were medically inexplicable.
Ambrosi said the intensity of the priest’s devotees is “incredible.”
Several Catholic parishes and many parishioners pray for Fr. Kapaun’s intercession every week at Masses and many call upon him when loved ones become ill.
Fr. Hotze said that the diocese has finished collecting information that will “hopefully, with the grace of God, prove Father Kapaun worthy of beatification and then canonization as a saint of the Catholic Church.”
Ambrosi and other investigators must now closely study 8,268 documents about the chaplain’s deeds and sacrifices in the Korean War. Those documents are being sent to Rome.
If canonized, the priest would become the third American-born saint.