Pope Pius XII
- Category : Religion-Popes
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (20,31,33)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 1
Italian ecclesiastic and Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He wrote many encyclicals making it easier for Catholics to participate in the church.
Born into a family devoted to the papal service, Pacelli worked so hard at the Capranica Seminary that his health gave way and he was forced to leave. Pope Leo XIII allowed him to live at home while completing his courses and he was ordained in 1899. He began his career with a combination of parish work and professional study taking a degree in Canon and Civil Law at the Apollinaris. Taken into the department of state by Cardinal Rampolla, Pius X made him a monsignor and set him to work re-codifying canon law.
In 1917 during World War I, involved in humane efforts, he was sent to Munich to the Kaiser. Pacelli was sent to Berlin to be its first nuncio, papal ambassador, 1919. He left Germany in 1929 to be made cardinal and in 1930 he was made secretary of state for the Vatican. His five-point peace program was presented on 12/24/1939.
He was crowned Pope Pius XII 3/12/1939. At the beginning of World War II he spoke out against the Nazis, helped Jews with false baptismal certificates, allowed thousands to stay in Vatican City, convents and cloisters. Many pled with him not to make public denouncements, as it would hurt them. More a diplomatic peacemaker than a martyr, he was accused of not doing enough to stop the Holocaust in a play, "The Deputy," by Rolf Hochhuth in February 1963. John Cornwell in his scathing biography "Hitler's Pope," 1999, dredges up anecdotal stories purporting the Pontiff's anti-Semitism, not upheld by historian Father Pierre Blet, one of four Jesuits who compiled the official 12-volume record of Pius' was years from Vatican archives. Blet also put out a new book in 1999, "Pius XII and the Second World War," in which he maintains that the 1933 pact was "practically imposed by Hitler."
The feud over Pius is likely to intensify as he moved closer to sainthood; his beatification could occur as early as 2000. Jewish groups are increasingly hostile to it and the Vatican in resentful of their criticism.
Pius XII died 10/09/1958, Vatican City, Rome.