The Secret History of Pius XIIBook - 1999
"Eugenio Pacelli was not a monster; his case is far more complex, more tragic than that. The interest of his story depends on a fatal combination of high spiritual aspirations in conflict with soaring ambitions for unprecedented power and control."--from the PrefaceEugenio Pacelli, Pius XII--a man with unprecedented power for good and evil--was pope from 1939 to 1958. Today, still shadowed by his failure to condemn Hitler's Final Solution, he is at the same time nearing canonization. Backed by new research and exclusive access to a wealth of Vatican and Jesuit archives, John Cornwell tells for the first time, in depth, the truth about Pacelli's long career as a Vatican diplomat and the accord between Pacelli and Hitler that helped sweep the Nazis to unhindered power.Hitler's Pope shows how Pacelli's entire life and career led to this, from a brilliant young Vatican lawyer drafting new papal power for the twentieth century to his 1933 Concordat with Hitler that muzzled protest by Germany's Catholic community, the most powerful in the world. Cornwell's explosive conclusion is that without Pacelli's contribution, Hitler might never have come to power or been able to press forward with the Holocaust.As searing and provocative as David Wyman's The Abandonment of the Jews or Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners, Hitler's Pope conclusively documents Pius XII's anti-Semitism, narcissism, and calamitous mix of political and spiritual ambition--and it shows how many of Pacelli's policies are reasserting themselves today under the reign of John Paul II. It will surely spark a worldwide furor of controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 1999.
Characteristics: xii, 430 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.