Las Nuevas Caras del Catolicismo Americano

THIS CATHOLIC’S VIEW By Thomas J. Reese, S.J. It has become a cliché to say that Hispanics are the future … Continued

THIS CATHOLIC’S VIEW

By Thomas J. Reese, S.J.

It has become a cliché to say that Hispanics are the future of the Catholic Church in America. Their numbers are growing because of immigration and births, while white Catholics are having fewer children and are leaving the church in great numbers. One out of three Catholics has left the church according to a study by the Pew Forum. The only reason Catholics continue to be a stable percentage of the U.S. population is that Hispanics are making up for the white Catholics who are leaving.

Hispanics were also a key factor in the election of Barack Obama as president. George Bush had been successful in wooing Hispanics. Bush spoke Spanish, was reasonable on immigration reform and understood their concerns since he had been governor of Texas.
But in 2008, Hispanics went overwhelmingly (67%) for Obama, 16 percentage points more than voted for John Kerry in 2004. Although John McCain was reasonable on immigration reform, Republican Party activists alienated Hispanics with their anti-immigrant rhetoric. Hispanics obviously ignored the bishops who attacked Obama. Polls show that they continue to support him.

This week, Obama reached into the Hispanic Catholic community for two important appointments, the most prominent being the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. A less prominent nomination is that of Miguel Diaz, a Cuban American Catholic, as ambassador to the Holy See. Diaz is a professor of theology at St. John’s University and a member of the board of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Sotomayor’s legal qualifications are unquestionable: Yale Law School, New York City prosecutor, corporate lawyer, District Court judge and Appellate Court judge. The child of Puerto Rican immigrants, she, like Obama, lived the American dream. If the Republican Party attacks her, it may further alienate Hispanics from the party.

Although her position on abortion is not yet known, she did uphold the Bush administration’s right to deny federal funds to overseas organizations that provided or referred clients for abortions, which will make it difficult to paint her as a pro-abortion radical.

Diaz, a respected scholar, recently taught courses in “Trinity, Faith and Revelation” and “Christian Anthropology.” He is author of On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives and co-editor of From the Heart of Our People: Latino/a Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology.

He is obviously not your usual ambassadorial appointment. He is neither a big donor nor a politician although he did campaign for Obama. Jim Martin, S.J., associate editor of America, has already fantasized that “he and the Holy Father can have some lively Rahner-Balthasar discussions.”

While his Catholic and theological background will help him understand the Vatican, he does not represent the Catholic community or Catholic theologians to the Vatican. He will represent the Obama administration and the U.S. Government.

Like any ambassador, he will have to be a quick study, but at least he will not have to worry about military alliances, trade or arrested Americans. His job will be pure diplomacy. His familiarity with Catholic social teaching will allow him to be sensitive to the areas where there will be agreement and friction. There are lots of areas of agreement: nuclear disarmament, poverty reduction, peace, refugees, etc.

Sotomayor and Diaz may truly be the new face of the Catholic Church in America, and Obama wisely wants them to contribute to the image and reality of his administration.

By Thomas J. Reese | 
May 27, 2009; 11:19 PM ET

 | Category: 

Georgetown/On Faith

,

This Catholic’s View


Save & Share: 

 


 

<!–Twitter
 –>

 


 


 


 


 


 

Previous: Sotomayor and Religious Freedom |

Next: Hearing Muslim Voices

<!–
Main Index –>

Written by

  • rgarcia149

    The new face of Catholicism: In the caseof Judge Sotomayor a Catholic that does not go to mass on Sundays or days of Obligation (mortal sin) or abides by the moral teachings of the Church. I think I like the old face of Catholicism better (by the way am a male hispanic, and inmigrant, hopfully this makes my opinion more valid than a white anglo female one)

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Although her position on abortion is not yet known, she did uphold the Bush administration’s right to deny federal funds to overseas organizations that provided or referred clients for abortions,Now, this I did not know and do find alarming. This means that funds were withheld from rape victims, incest victims, pregnant women who risked death if they carried to term. She will not state her “opinion” on abortion, of course, neither before or during the hearings. But we now know more than we did.

  • highwaybluesoccer

    The only reason hispanics cling to the catholic church is because they protect the illegals. It is not that they are anti-abortion, they are for as many dependents as they can have, the more kids, the more freebies from the AMERICAN TAXPAYERS, what a culture of hypocrites.

  • mj777nnnntgggg1

    Sorry, Farnaz, but Sotomayor was correct in not allowing Federal tax dollars go to shredding babies. Name a “rape, incest” or “life-threatened” mother who couldn’t get an abortion. Or murder-contraception. Name one. You can’t. Abortion is murder. Period.

  • DoTheRightThing

    If Catholicism in America needs a new heart, it’s because priests like Reese cut out the old heart with their sharp knives of faithlessness, scientific materialism, support for pro-abortionist politicians, and their only-social-justice-matters brand of the Catholic faith.

  • chatard

    Meacham and Quinn continue their crusade to present left-wing socialists as “people of faith”, people who detest Catholicism as “Catholics” and anti-humanists as “proponents of ‘love'”.

  • bob2davis

    Once again catholics are concerned about the “unborn”. Funny how they are not similarly concerned about the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the prisoners and all the other mandates of their jesus. What if the “unborn” become murders, or gay, or poor? They will just have to suffer through life or even be executed. Catholics are the biggest hypocrites and least “christian” of all denominations. I can only hope that there is a special hell just for them.

  • Sted

    Remove the demonizing words from comments by obviuus right-wing reactionary commenters and they would be wordless or speechless. Terms such as today’s: left-wing socialists, abortion, protect the illegals, faithlessness, scientific materialism, support for pro-abortionist politicians, only-social-justice-matters brand of the Catholic faith, ad nauseam.

  • Comunista

    DOTHERIGHTTHING- though that certainly happened within Mainline Protestantism this century, I don’t think those factors are to blame for much of the upheaval within the Catholic Church in America. It would be easy for one to claim the abuse scandals were significant, but they weren’t, as proven by one of the recent studies the Post wrote about. Rather, I think a good bit of it has to do with the fact that certain clergy don’t impart the religious teachings/messages as cleverly or in as good a way as they should (or other clergy are), and instead you get the sort of priests that cause the mini-ruckus surrounding Obama’s speech at Notre Dame. Something where only a small minority of American Catholics really made an issue out of it -rather, mostly non-Catholic activists seizing on the opportunity (note how silent the Vatican was about this nonsense; they are above picking fights like that). The ‘new face’ of Catholicism in the US will be of elements that have existed here and there for a long time- inclusion, ecumenism, messages of openness and outreach, and less of the very divisive religious rhetoric that has been plaguing most Christian circles (especially fundamentalists) for years now. This will bring new life to the Church, and new faces, as they see it’s not just ‘stuffy old dogma’, but rather the teachings are a lot more relevant and attractive today than some expected.

  • chopin224

    I an chagrined that we even have an ambassador to the leader of the world’s Catholics. I don’t care for any religion but shouldn’t we then have ambassadors to the leaders of the world’s Jews, Muslims, Hindis, Shintos, etc.? How about the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church?

  • frerecharlesdudesert

    The Reverend Father Reese’s opinion piece presents several outcropping bones of contention not considered in the flaming comments which follow it like droppings.Hispanic is not a race, as Fr. Reese repeatedly implies: “It has become a cliché to say that Hispanics are the future of the Catholic Church in America. Their numbers are growing because of immigration and births, while white Catholics are having fewer children and are leaving the church in great numbers.”Anyone with first hand knowledge of the system realizes Bush was not “reasonable” on immigration, nor could he talk Spanish. He could read Spanish cue cards (hey, unlike English, Spanish is a phonetic language, although he could read in English My Pet Goat) but he could not talk Spanish easily and at any length. Hey, he had trouble speaking English coherently. Yet the Reverend Father Reese claims he could: ”George Bush had been successful in wooing Hispanics. Bush spoke Spanish, was reasonable on immigration reform and understood their concerns since he had been governor of Texas.” Bush never understood the concerns of the poor, preferring brutal law enforcement to handle the problems of poverty. All he had were large billboards reading: “Viva Bush” and bumper stickers reading the same on SUV’s owned by those who would never speak a word of Spanish.Again, the Rev. Fr. Reese calls John McCain’s immigration policy “reasonable” as if citing the phrase “for we are all reasonable men.” The promises of targeted stump speeches are not reasonable, nor give reason to trust.Continuing to refer to “Hispanics” as “they” Fr. Reese writes: ” Hispanics obviously ignored the bishops who attacked Obama. Polls show that they continue to support him.” And why not as we find not tokens but persons of substance respected, including Secretary Hilda Solis, Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Dr. Diaz.Hispanic is not a race. George Bush is not Latino. And Urs is not in the same league as Karl, yet we read this in Fr. Reese’s opinion piece: Jim Martin, S.J., associate editor of America, has already fantasized that “he and the Holy Father can have some lively Rahner-Balthasar discussions.” I hope they have some lively Father Charles Curran discussions, to find some charity in his case as well, as in so many others, all “arrested Americans” in need of liberation from Vatican oppression and de facto imprisonment.

  • mcshumway

    We don’t have an ambassador to Catholics. We have an ambassador to the Vatican or Holy See, which is a sovereign city-state–an independent country.

  • lufrank1

    “Although her position on abortion is not yet known, she did uphold the Bush administration’s right to deny federal funds to overseas organizations that provided or referred clients for abortions, which will make it difficult to paint her as a pro-abortion radical.”That’s what scares me. Another Justice steeped in the Dark Ages dogma of the Pope.

  • Bluefish2012

    How wrong can Father Reese be?He’s taking shots from both the left and the right—volleys of thunder followed by no rain.

  • mejiaborjarey

    Religion represents the believes and values of a certain group of people. Every church relies on centralized organizations to interpret and defend these theological principles. It is naive to try to change a dogma of faith, which is the essence of its existence. Abortion for the Catholic church is abominable whether we like it or not. I believe in Christ gospel and I’m a practitioner catholic in Mexico, firmly opposed to abortion. If your looking for a church that fits your way of living, I assure you will find many modern christian denominations. In contrast, I also believe in the right that we all have to think different, as long as we act with responsability.

  • gpcarvalho

    It is reasonable to think that immigrants seek in different churches the social support they probably had in their countries of origin. It is equally reasonable to predict that, once this kind of support becomes irrelevant, the immigrants will behave like the population as a whole. In Latin America, for different reasons, Catholics in ever growing numbers have ceased to attend regular religious services. Perhaps ten percent of the Brazilians who consider themselves Catholics have regular ties with their church (Brazil is still viewed by many as the world’s largest Catholic country). This percentage probably applies to the European countries with large Catholic majorities, such as Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain, where, incidentally, total fertility rates are well below replacement level (which would not be viable without effective and widespread family planning).Saying that Catholics did not listen to their bishops as they voted for Mr. Obama is less than accurate. The large majority of these Catholics may not even know their bishops. And those who know them may not necessarily believe that their ideas are relevant to the quotidian of the common citizen.

  • CCNL

    And who is running for re-election in 2012?And what are the two largest growing demographics in the USA? Latinos and members of the Immoral Majority!! Sonia belongs to both or she would not have been chosen.

  • rias2500

    “Once again catholics are concerned about the “unborn”. Funny how they are not similarly concerned about the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the prisoners and all the other mandates of their jesus.” What kind of drivel is this?? Does the writer realize that the Catholic Church through its many charities is one of the biggest supporters of the poor and disenfranchised. This kind of ignorance and stupidity just muddies up any discussion.

  • rias2500

    Good article by Fr. Reese. Too bad the malcontents have nothing better to do than take pot shots.

  • sheyndl

    Hi: I was surprised to read Father Reese’s comment:”The only reason Catholics continue to be a stable percentage of the U.S. population is that Hispanics are making up for the white Catholics who are leaving.”This implies that Hispanic Catholics are not white. Hispanics are an ethnic group of people who come from Hispanic countries–they can be white or any other race or color.

  • Rickyticky1

    chopin224, you are sooo ignorant!

  • Tupac_Goldstein

    Won’t find a bigger fan of abortion on demand (incl. partial birth abortion) than the Obama. Catholics seem to have lost their way.

  • [email protected]

    they should castrate and take away all that they own to those that abandon women they left pregnant than have one baby aborted…

  • sperrico

    Let’s see with Roberts, Sacalia, the other eye-talian, Sotomayer will make at least four catholics on the Court. God save America from dictation from the Vatican.

  • zjr78xva

    “He is obviously not your usual ambassadorial appointment. He is neither a big donor nor a politician…”Neither was his predecessor Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon. I wonder if Fr. Reese remarked on it at the time.Fr. Reese does seem to have gone a bit ga-ga over The Boy Messiah.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    RE: Sotomayor’s abortion ruling referenced in Fr. Reese’s essay.The following is pasted from the lead article in today’s WaPo”Sotomayor’s most notable decision on abortion came in 2002, when she ruled against abortion rights advocates who wanted to challenge what is known as the Mexico City rule. It forbade overseas organizations that receive U.S. funds from providing or promoting abortion services. The rule has been a political football, put in place by Republican presidents and rescinded by Democrats, most recently by Obama in January.”The Mexico City Rule is an interesting label, recalling the RCC’s condemnation of the decision to abort the fetus of a nine-year-old raped by her father and the Church’s subsequent efforts to prevent it.

  • 411Tibby

    Why would you refer to someone whose parents were US Citizens as in the case of residents of Puerto Rico as immigrants? This is the Washington Post I would expect better. It sounds biased that you will not recognize the people of Puerto Rico many of whom serve faithfully in are armed forces as citizens. Correct it.

  • appalachian

    So, Diaz is a “Catholic” theologian who can overlook the President’s support of legislation to kill “born alive” aborted children to campaign for Obama. And then, he can overlook the murder of thousands of Kansas children by the supporters of pro-abortion HHS Secretary Sebelius and support her nomination by the President.I can understand Reese’s enthusiasm, but can’t believe Diaz will be acceptable to the Vatican.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)IRTANS:This is a woman who paraded her nuns across a raging battlefield between Israelis and Muslims and went into the Refugee Camps under siege, to administer to the sick, the dying, and the hungry. The battle came to a halt, the battleground was silenced, until Theresa and her Sisters left. What kind of Charity do you speak, certainly not Catholic.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)IRT:ANS:www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.orgChristian Charity Providing Vital Housing Services & Meeting Peoples Strengthening Families Provided Services That Build Catholic Charities agencies are responding to an increasing demand, especially among families, for housing services. Whether it was housing counseling, help with home repair, rent or mortgage assistance, temporary shelter, or transitional housing, 532,869 people received some type of housing-related assistance in 2007.HEALTH-RELATED SERVICES. 265,696PROVIDED SERVICES THAT STRENGTHENServices to at-risk populations. 344,440

  • CCNL

    TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2,Once again, the USA taxpayers by far are the largest provider of domestic and global assistance for the needy.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)ANS:Of course, there is those suppressing antediluvian “Ten Commandments,” the Court banned from the Public Square because they might corrupt little children’s minds. We don’t want little children reading, “Honor your Father and Mother,” or “Thou shalt not Steal, Lie, or Commit Adultery.”The Court also proscribed that nefarious Fifth Commandment too. Just think if we had recognized the Fifth Commandment, 50 million unborn would still be alive In this time of financial crisis, it would have been a devastating blow to our economic crises; million of abortionists would be out of work and 50 million new children would be on welfare.Is it any wonder why the Court banned that nefarious, from the Public Square, and forbid the mention of God, in Public Schools. Why read myths when we have such luminary classic literature for Kindergarteners such as “Daddy’s Roommate,” “Heather Has Two Mommies.” For students in Public High Schools, we have “Teen Advise 101 Tips to Help Teens Succeed in School and Life” including “How to Use a Condom,” and there’s also that sterling Social Science book, “Men Loving Men,” – a NAMBLA book containing seven precautionary steps men may take in order to prevent being caught while molesting a child.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)IRT:ANS:

  • coloradodog

    con las nuevas caras del catolicismo americano viene un racismo tradicional contra ésos con una piel más oscura

  • persiflage

    Then again, it could be that while Miguel Diaz personally takes a pro-life stance, he fully understands and believes in the legal and moral equity represented in the pro-choice position. And of course, it is the law of the land. He’s got himself a rather unenviable job as Obama liaison to the Vatican – talk about the razor’s edge! Whatever will thay talk about?? The ‘murder’ of undeveloped fetuses is prevented by the third trimester rule that governs legal abortions, although anti-abortionists can take solice in the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled against certain late term abortions e.g. Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act was upheld in 2007, without exception or provision – even to save the life of the mother. Now that is a very poor reading of the law indeed. Nevertheless, fundamentalist Catholics can rejoice in this rendering. Yes, there is every good reason to wonder about Sotomayor’s position on the issue of choice and the preservation of Roe v Wade.The White House just now is seeking to sooth the justifiably ruffled feathers of pro-choice advocates with assurances, but I’m dead certain the subject will be brought up in the Senate confirmation hearings without fail.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)IRTANS:How about letting the unborn, as you have, decide for themselves what they will be instead of someone deciding for them before they’re even born? Who has the authority to decide when innocent people should die or live or have no right to be born? Isn’t that God’s prerogative? Is that what you would want people to do to you?We would have murdered Christ under your view. His father was unemployed, He was a fugitive in His own country, and was on the run. His mother was pregnant and gave birth to Him in a stable. Joseph Fletcher, the late Chairman of Ethics at the University of Virginia, wrote 15 requirements for being human. (1)Having an IQ under 40 is questionably human; an IQ less than 20 is not human;(2) Newborns are not self-aware and therefore not human.(9) Completely isolated individuals are sub-persons; (10) Ignorance and total helplessness are the antithesis of humanness”—Reference: Joseph Fletcher. “Indicators of Humanhood: A Tentative Profile of Man.” Hastings Center Report. Volume 2, Number 5, November, 1972.” Fletcher surmised all who are not human under his standards are expendable.I though we fought WWII because a similar lunatic decided what kind of people should live. He was a maniac who wanted to build a super race. Some 60 million people died in the process. Didn’t we just put down another madman in Iraq whose goons murdered over 300,000 people, and raped and maimed even more?. Instead of unborn, Iran wants to eliminate Jews, like Hitler did.So much for deciding before we’re born on who lives or dies.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)IRT:ANS:The Court relied on the English criminal laws passed in the first instance by the Reformation Parliament of 1533. in “Lawrence v. Texas,” (LvT) and said traditional moral law served no legitimate purpose to the State and could not be a basis for Civil Law because it was subjective.The Court referred to the Wolfenden Report: Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offenses and Prostitution (1963). Parliament enacted the substance of those recommendations 10 years later. Sexual Offences Act 1967, §1. Moreover, the Court cited An adult male resident in Northern Ireland Dudgeon v. United Kingdom, 45 Eur. Ct. H. R. (1981) ¶ ;52. The European Court of Human Rights the European Court of Human Rights considered a case with parallels to Bowers and to today’s case LvT.Subsequently, “The European Court of Human Rights” was cited.”“The condemnation of gay sex,” the Lawrence Court said, “has been shaped by religious beliefs [and the Natural Moral Law as was done by Thomas Jefferson], conceptions of right and acceptable behavior, and respect for the traditional family. For many persons these are not trivial concerns but profound and deep convictions accepted as ethical and moral principles to which they aspire and which thus determine the course of their livesChief Justice Burger joined in the opinion for the Court in Bowers and further explained his views as follows: “Decisions of individuals relating to homosexual conduct have been subject to state intervention throughout the history of Western civilization. Condemnation of those practices is firmly rooted in Judea-Christian moral and ethical standards.” 478 U. S., at 196. “SCALIA: “It seems to me that the “societal reliance” on the principles confirmed in Bowers and discarded today has been overwhelming. . The Court’s discussion of these foreign views (ignoring, of course, the many countries that have retained criminal prohibitions on sodomy) is therefore meaningless dicta. Dangerous dicta, however, since “this Court … should not impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions on Americans.” Foster v. Florida, 537 U. S. 990, n. (2002) (Thomas, J., concurring in denial of certiorari).At least at the Vatican the precepts they defend are those of the Natural Moral Laws embedded in the Ten Commandments, and relied on by the Founding Fathers and our Judeo-Christian moral heritage, and not the decadence that has enveloped the whole of European culture. Our Constitution is what distinguishes us from all other nations.

  • coloradodog

    TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2 pontificated:”The Vatican is an independent nation, a government of its own. Moreover, it is one of the most important States in the world. Why? Because it has its ambassadors in nearly every nation in the world, viz. its Bishops and Priest who report to the Vatican from all over the World.”If priests and bishops are “ambassadors” who report to the Vatican why aren’t they required to register in the US a agents of the foreign nation and why do we allow them, as agents of the Vatican, to interfe in US politics so much?O’Reilly’s Catholics always want it both ways:- to be recognized as a foreign “nation” with tax exemption in the US as a “church”- abortion is killing but capital punishment is not.- crying about Catholic bashers while denying the Holocaust- condemning gays from the pulpit and in these comments sections while hiding homosexual predators among their clergy- inviting Obama to speak at Notre Dame and then making a political spectacular out of it, calling him “a baby murderer” and “pro-abortion”American Catholics are the new US Taliban and they are joining forces with Palin evangelicals and gay-hating Mormons to take over this country and jam their ancient Abrahamic hypocricy down the rest of our throats.No more US Ambassadors to the Vatican.No more tax exemption for the politically active RCC (Republican Catholic Church) or the right-wing Mormon hate PAC.

  • salero21

    ?Too bad the Vatican is not a real but a fake of a country. I mean, like any other NORMAL and real country in the World it cannot reproduce with children of their own. The amount of people who lives there remains steady for decades, unless they employ additional citizens from the real country of Italy. It does not grows in population like a real and NORMAL country. Because there is no normal, natural and/or reproductive sex going on in there.Why in the world does the USA have an ambassador to that fake of a country?.

  • persiflage

    See today’s headlines just below:A stalwart representative of the pro-life movement murders another physician for Jesus’ sake, in church and on Sunday at that – ironies abound.’Kansas abortion doctor shot to death at church.Mike Hutmacher / MCT / Newscom file Abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed at his Wichita church on Sunday, police say. Tiller had been among the few U.S. physicians performing late-term abortions.’ Will the murderer at large be welcomed into paradise after he gets the needle? There are idiots all around that will celebrate this gutless cowardly act…….but what would Jesus say??

  • persiflage

    See today’s headlines just below:A stalwart representative of the pro-life movement murders another physician for Jesus’ sake, in church and on Sunday at that – ironies abound.’Kansas abortion doctor shot to death at church.Mike Hutmacher / MCT / Newscom file Abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed at his Wichita church on Sunday, police say. Tiller had been among the few U.S. physicians performing late-term abortions.’ Will the murderer at large be welcomed into paradise after he gets the needle? There are idiots all around that will celebrate this gutless cowardly act…….but what would Jesus say??

  • salero21

    ?HE did say. Mt. 26:52 …for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. (NASB).

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage:”Will the murderer at large be welcomed into paradise after he gets the needle?There are idiots all around that will celebrate this gutless cowardly act….”The only beginning is at the beginning, which in the case of this great nation lies in the separation of “church” and state. This means an end to non-profit status for all organized religions, an end to the disgrace to secularism known as “faith-based funding” with its deplorable “conscience clause.”Religious institutions engaged in social welfare work that is NOT faith based, does not entail conversionist activities might reasonably claim tax deductions for that work.I would add that the ending of tax-exempt status should be announced a year in advance, giving religious institutions the time they need to seek alternative funding sources.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)ANS:The London Times of October 1, 1942, explicitly praises him for his condemnation of Nazism and his public support for the Jewish victims of Nazi terror. “Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, tributes to Pope Pius came from several other Jewish leaders who praised him for his role in saving Jews during the war. In 1943, Chaim Weizmann, who would become Israel’s first president, wrote that “the Holy See is lending its powerful help wherever it can, to mitigate the fate of my persecuted co-religionists.” Moshe Sharett, who would become Israel’s first Foreign Minister and second Prime Minister: “I told him [the Pope] that my first duty was to thank him, and through him the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public for all they had done in the various countries to rescue Jews…We are deeply grateful to the Catholic Church.” In 1945, Rabbi Isaac Herzog, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, sent a message to Msgr. Angelo Roncalli (the future Pope John XXIII), expressing his gratitude for the actions taken by Pope Pius XII on behalf of the Jewish people. “The people of Israel,” wrote Rabbi Herzog, “will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion, which form the foundation of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world.”

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)“In September 1945, Dr. Leon Kubowitzky, the Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress, personally thanked the Pope in Rome for his interventions on behalf of Jews, and the World Jewish Congress donated $20,000 to Vatican charities.Dr. Raffael Cantoni, head of the Italian Jewish community’s wartime Jewish Assistance Committee, who would subsequently become the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, similarly expressed his gratitudeThe Union of Italian Jewish Communities proclaimed April 17 as a “Day of Gratitude” for the Pope’s wartime assistance in defying the Nazis. Dozens of Italian Catholics, including several priests and nuns, were awarded gold medals “for their outstanding rescue work during the Nazi terror.” A few weeks later, on May 26, 1955, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra flew to Rome to give a special performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, at the Vatican’s Consistory Hall, to express the State of Israel’s enduring gratitude for the help that the Pope and the Catholic Church had given to the Jewish peopleOn the day of Pius XII’s death in 1958, Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, cabled the following message of condolence to the Vatican: “We share in the grief of humanity…When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace.” Before beginning a concert of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Leonard Bernstein called for a minute of silence “for the passing of a very great man, Pope Pius XII.”