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By George J. Marlin, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 6, 2022

George J. Marlin, Chairman of the Board of Aid to the Church in Need USA, is the author of The American Catholic Voter and Sons of St. Patrick, written with Brad Miner. His most recent book is Mario Cuomo: The Myth and the Man.


At the end of the Second World War, Pope Pius XII was universally acclaimed for his courageous leadership. The Jewish historian Pinchas Lapide acknowledged that the Church saved the lives of 850,000 Jews in Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, and Hungary. Rome’s chief rabbi, Israel Zolli, converted to Catholicism. To thank and honor Pope Pius XII, he took the name Eugenio, after Eugenio Pacelli, the pope’s birth name.

When Pius XII died, Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir wrote, “When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the pope was raised for the victims.” Leonard Bernstein asked the audience at a performance of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for a minute of silence “for the passing of a very great man, Pope Pius XII.” …

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