By Paul O’Shea (auth.)
The papacy of Pius XII (1939-1958) has been a resource of near-constant feedback and debate given that his loss of life, relatively as a result of his alleged silence through the Holocaust. Paul O'Shea examines his little-studied pre-papal existence to illustrate that Pius used to be neither an anti-Semitic villain nor a 'lamb with no stain.'
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Additional info for A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe
The bishops defined a symbol of faith, the Nicene Creed, which outlined in pithy statements the core beliefs of Christians. Councils at Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), and Chalcedon (451) followed Nicaea. This process refined Christian doctrine and liturgical practice as well as establishing canon laws for the governing of the Church. Each council further cemented the Church as an integral part of society in both parts of the Roman Empire and set the basis for its continued operation well after the collapse of the empire.
The Jews, in other words, will be saved in exactly the same way as Paul was. Salvation was always at hand through conversion to the Christian Gospel. Paul believed that Judaism was fulfilled, made complete, and perfected through conversion to Christ. Paul’s hope lay in the general expectation of the imminent return of Christ in the Parousia that would precipitate Israel’s conversion. The Loss of Historical Memory Polemic quickly replaced dialogue between the Jewish followers of Jesus and the early non-Jewish Christians.
The Jews were not an attractive group. Uncritical acceptance of the Johannine corpus has too often been used as justification for violence against Jews. John described “the Jews” as those who did not receive Jesus when he came among them. They doubted Jesus’s word and actions. They were Teachers of the Law who did not understand the spiritual realities contained within the Torah. 14 Of all the descriptions, the accusation from John 8 that “the Jews” are the children of the devil was the most venomous.
A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe by Paul O’Shea (auth.)