Jewish Respect for Pope Pius XII
Thank you for Bob Holton's insightful article on the controversy surrounding John's Cornwell's malicious book Hitler's Pope ("He Was No ‘Hitler's Pope,’ Pius XII Experts Contend,” Sept. 19-25). What was disappointing and troubling, though, was Rabbi Leon Klenicki's charge, without support for his thesis, that Pope Pius XII somehow “chose” Nazism over Communism. Because of the type of organization he works for, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, Rabbi Klenicki should be even more sensitive to making unfounded charges, particularly against the leader of the Catholic Church. The Anti-Defamation League has, sadly, strayed from its commendable and accurate defense of Pius XII in years past, when Dr. Joseph Lichten refuted the defamatory work of a literary predecessor of Cornwell's, Rolf Hochuth, who wrote The Deputy in the 1960s.
Besides Lichten's Pius XII and the Holocaust: A Question of Judgment, I charitably suggest that Rabbi Klenicki and his colleagues read or reread the works of other respected Jewish scholars like Jeno Levai (Pius XII Was Not Silent, London: Sands & Co., 1968), who gave testimony at the trials of various Nazi war criminals, and Israeli diplomat Pinchas Lapide, author of Three Popes and the Jews (New York: Hawthorn, 1967).
Thomas J. Nash Steubenville, Ohio
Shakespeare's True Faith
The Sept. 5-11 Register reported on an international gathering of scholars that examined the question of whether or not Shakespeare was a Catholic ("Shakespeare Scholars Say The Bard Was … Catholic? “). In 1945 John Henry de Groot, a Presbyterian minister, published his Columbia Ph.D. thesis, “The Shakespeares and ‘The Old Faith,’”in which he gave the still most systematic and massive evidence on behalf of Shakespeare's having been a Catholic. This book was recently reprinted by Real View Books with a most enlightening postscript by Stanley L. Jaki, which shows, among other things, the stunning extent to which de Groot's scholarly book has been ignored and this holds true, also, of some Catholic Shakespeare scholars.
Dr. Krzysztof Rapcewicz Astoria, New York
- October 10-16, 1999