2014-10-02 15:35:00

Pius XII and World War II : effectiveness of ecclesial protest in Europe

(Vatican Radio) ‘Pius XII and World War II : assumptions and new archival evidence’, that was the title of a conference that took place here in Rome on Thursday October 2, 2014. Organised by the ‘Università degli  Studi Gugliemo Marconi’ it brought together historians from across the world  to discuss the role of Vatican diplomacy, the Shoah but also the role played by the various episcopal conferences during this Pope’s war time pontificate. Veronica Scarisbrick went along and interviewed Professor Jan Bank from the Universty of  Leiden  in Holland who  was among the speakers at this day- long conference.

In his talk Professor Jan Bank  focused in a special way on the public protest of two archbishops, Frenchman Archbishop of  Toulouse Jules- Geraud Saliège and  Dutchman Archbishop Johannnes De Jong of Utrecht. In the case of France he explained, the Vichy government did not prevent public reading and censure did not have retaliatory effects whereas in the Netherlands public reading aroused the revenge of the Nazi regime. Facts which, says Professor Bank highlight how the different scenarios at the time  of a war time regime in  countries across Europe represented a relevant factor in the debate surrounding the effectiveness of ecclesial protest.

Listen to Veronica Scarisbrick's report:   


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