November 11, 2013

It is hard to understand how one-sided criticism and contentious accusations of Susan Zuccotti can help in interfaith dialogue (WCR, Oct. 14).

Considering the most dire and complex situation in which the Church found itself in WWII, there is little doubt today that the “silence” of Pope Pius XII cannot be simply dismissed as the “pope spoke out for no one,” or that “he did little, if anything.”

One doesn’t need a degree in psychology to understand the circumstances — facing the deadly panzers and Luftwaffe of a violent (even possessed) psychopath who was preparing to dig a tunnel under the Vatican to kidnap the pope and Curia – the “whole swinish pack” as Hitler called the Church hierarchy – the pope’s outspokenness would have hardly convinced the maniac to repent.

Clearly, such “provocations” would have led to more criminal Waffen-SS massacres and Gestapo atrocities.

There is enough substantive historical evidence to vindicate this “silence,” including the famous statement of Pope Paul VI, his first act as a newly-elected pope — “condemnation would not only have been futile, but harmful.”

Even more troubling is uncritical sycophantic assent of Catholics like Julien Hammond, the director of evangelization and catechesis.

We certainly need good evangelizers, but we need intellectuals who understand history and are “not afraid” to defend or communicate truth.

Surprisingly, a third of the archdiocese’s budget is for communication. But what is being communicated to laymen and students? Let’s hope the revamped WCR will not have to rely only on free letters to the editor to tell the truth.

Peter Hala
Edmonton