Media Watch

Pope Tells Sick Children He Understands

ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 4 — Pope John Paul II, who has been hospitalized several times during his pontificate, commiserated with a group of Polish children who have cancer, reported the Associated Press.

“I know how difficult the experience of illness is, especially for a child,” John Paul said June 4 in a meeting with 180 youngsters from his homeland.

He prayed that they be “strong in spirit.” “Even in illness a great good is accomplished both in the sick person and in the hearts of those who are near,” John Paul said.

Added the Associated Press: “Although ailing, John Paul has kept up much of his routine, including long work days at the Vatican and trips abroad. His latest trip comes later this month, to Ukraine.”

New Facts on Pius XII in World War II

ZENIT, May 29 — A new book, Pius XII, Pope of the Jews, reveals previously unpublished details of the wartime Pope's life, the Vatican news service reported.

Andrea Tornielli, a Milanese reporter, revealed that in 1942 Pius XII wrote a document explicitly condemning Nazism — but burned it after he saw that Dutch bishops' stern condemnation of Nazism led to increased persecution in Holland. He did not want to be responsible for an upswing in Nazi killings and imprisonments. Several witnesses testified to the existence of the document.

In 1938, when Eugenio Pacelli — later Pius XII — was Vatican secretary of state, he and then-Pope Pius XI acted together to require Archbishop Theodor Innitzer of Vienna to publicly retract his support of Hitler.

As Pope, Pius XII also aided an unsuccessful plot against Hitler, sheltered Jews in the Vatican and encouraged other clergy and religious to hide Jews, and sold family assets, sending the money to aid persecuted Jews.

He told one chaplain, “Tell [those persecuted by the Nazis] that the Pope suffers with them, he suffers with the persecuted and that, if at times he doesn't raise his voice more, it is only not to cause worse evils.”

Pope's Message to Europe's Catholic Schools

L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO, May 21 — Pope John Paul II called on Catholic schools to “unite schools and families,” prepare students for “human, moral and spiritual maturity,” and “Christianize globalization,” the Vatican newspaper reported.

The Pope addressed the International Congress of the Catholic Schools of Europe. He emphasized the need for high scholastic standards in order to present “a fruitful dialogue between faith and reason.” He noted that it was extremely important, given the “worrisome weakening of the family bond,” that schools work closely with families and view parents as the primary and indispensable educators of their children.

The Pope also encouraged bringing “young people belonging to other religious traditions” into Catholic schools, as long as the specifically Catholic nature of the schools remained strong.

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at West Allis Central High School on July 23 in West Allis, Wisconsin.

Kamala Harris’ Record on Catholic Issues: What You Need to Know

Harris has consistently promoted abortion, scrutinized Catholic judicial nominees, and opposed pro-life pregnancy centers and activists. She has also embraced gender ideology as well as transgender and contraception mandates that have, at times, jeopardized religious freedom.