1) What war do they mean in the article? Find all the facts that can prove your answer.
World War I
World War II
a civil war
Many historians think that the wartime Pope didn’t try to stop the Holocaust (истребление, бойня).
By Kenneth L. Woodward
The voice of Pius Xll is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness. He is the only ruler on the Continent of Europe who dares (смеет) to raise his voice at all.
Editorial, The New York Times, Dec. 25, 1941
Something shameful (постыдный) is going on. That Pius Xll was silent in the face of the Holocaust; that he was in fact pro-German if not pro-Nazi. It was The Deputy, Rolf Hochhuth’s 1963 play that created an image of Pius as a coward (трус).
In fact, Pius Xll was neither silent nor inactive. In 1937 in a special document Pope Pius Xll condemned (осудил) Nazism as un-Christian. The document was secretly brought to Germany and read in the Roman Catholic churches. In his 1942 Christmas message the Pope became the first person of international stature to condemn the Holocaust.
The Nazis understood the Pope too well. “His speech is one long attack on everything we stand for,” declared the Gestapo. In February 1942, Protestant and Catholic leaders in Holland occupied by the Nazis condemned death camps. But only Catholic bishops (епископы) read the letter aloud in their churches.
The Pope’s crime — if there is one — is that he chose the role of diplomatic peacemaker rather than martyr (мученик). Historian Christopher Browning is right to say that “the Holocaust is a story with many victims (жертвы) and not too many heroes. I think we are naive if we think one more hero could stop it.”
2) What kind of politician was the wartime Pope?
3) What did the Pope do in the face of the Holocaust?
4) Do you think that a cleric should be involved in politics? Why?