Hagiophobia

Hatred of Sanctity Runs Deep

A Jewish historian doing research at the Vatican recently discovered directives recommending the excommunication of any Catholic who joined the Nazi party or even flew the swastika. They date from 1930–1933, during the pontificate of Pius XI, when Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pius XII, was Secretary of State and therefore largely responsible for Vatican dealings with Germany. The documents, according to the historian, are evidence of an ongoing ideological war between Rome and the Nazi regime, even before Hitler became chancellor.

If this news seeped into the iron skull of the mass media, I did not hear of it. For the word on Pius XII is that, . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire. His many books include Sex in the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a regular contributor to Chronicles, Crisis Magazine, The Claremont Review, Inside the Vatican Things, The Catholic Thing, and American Greatness. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a Roman Catholic and lives with his wife in New Hampshire. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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