If Not December 25, When?

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If we will talk about what is the happiest day in the country, everybody will say that’s Christmas. In fact, there was a saying that “Christmas in the Philippines cannot be compared with other country”, because in this day, Filipino families are gathering together, children run to and fro to have their gifts, friends are gathering for parties, games and programs can be seen anywhere, and most of all, pockets were filled. Hence, many overseas workers try to do anything just to come home and spend their Christmas here in the country.  But in this coming season, the environment looks very different. While the media are doing their countdown to the coming Christmas, joy and excitement seem lacking among people.  There is a clear difference between previous holiday and the coming one. As the climate gradually turning cold, the society itself is turning gloomy. I can’t find those dancing lights and beautiful lanterns in the street but scattered mutterings saying “Christmas is only for rich.”

Poverty affects Christmas, but this is only for people who think this season is all about money. As Christmas is approaching, people are becoming more desperate to generate some money. In fact, Christmas has the highest rate of violence and theft throughout the year. For them, Christmas will never be happy without new clothes, new shoes, brand new gadgets, parties and gifts. They often say that Christmas happens only once in a year so they must have everything.

The annual celebration of the Savior’s birth was derived from a pagan tradition dates back from the early pagan period. December 25 is the birthday, not of our dear Savior, but of the pagan deity named Mithra. During his birthday, pagan people are giving gifts and making celebrations like what we seen today. It was testified by the Catholic Church itself.

Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season.” SOURCE

“The ancient Romans held year-end celebrations to honor Saturn, their harvest god; and Mithras, the god of light. Various peoples in northern Europe held festivals in mid-December to celebrate the end of the harvest season. As part of all these celebrations, the people prepared special foods, decorated their homes with greenery, and joined in singing and gift giving. These customs gradually became part of the Christmas celebrations.” [The World Book Encyclopedia, Chicago: World Book, 1995. p528.]

Consequently, people celebrate Christmas to observe an ancient tradition, not of the early Christian church, but of the pagans.

The date of birth is a very important thing in one’s life. But we all know that the Bible is silent about the birth date of its most important character – Jesus Christ. The Bible is a book of numbers and exactness, yet it never recorded the Savior’s birth date. Why? Because it has no such importance. The prophet Micah declared;

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)

The reason why the Bible did not mention the Savior’s birth date is that it gives much emphasis to Christ pre-existence since time immemorial than His beginning in the flesh. The advent of Christ is the most important event happened to humanity, but to celebrate it is not to imitate how the world celebrates its heathen god. When Christ came into the world, He said in Luke 4:18;

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Christ never gave an instruction to celebrate His birthday in the flesh. What He emphasized is that He came to proclaim the “acceptable year of the Lord”, and that this is the time we have to celebrate.  But how and when? The Bible says;

“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (II Corinthians 6:2)

“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: ” (Hebrews 3: 7,8)

“Today”, says the Holy Bible, if anyone heard His voice let him not harden his heart, because for this reason, Christ came to the world.

When the angels came to the shepherds during the night of the Savior’s birth, they said; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” The acceptable year of the Lord is the advent of peace on earth. Mankind was so degraded by sin and everyone come short of the glory of God, thus Christ came to the world and again brought humanity into God and reconciled us to His Father – this is the day of peace, the acceptable year of the Lord.

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (II Corinthians 5:18)

To celebrate the coming of Christ is to reconcile ourselves to the Father by obeying the words of Christ and changing our lives from sinfulness to a Christ-like living.

The National Democratic Front

Jose Maria Sison

Belgium, March 1987

Decker: “What do you mean by the National Democratic Movement?”

Sison: “The National Democratic Front is a broad expression. Its include all patriotic and progressive classes like the working class, peasantry and middle class social strata essentially the urban petty burgeoisie and the middle burgeoisie. This classes pf social strata have their expression in political parties, organizations and articulate individuals. All of this belong to the National Democratic Movement insofar as they espouse the line of national liberation and democracy against US domination and landlord exploitation.”

Decker: “And they are waging their struggles as well on the legal level as on the illegal level?

Sison: “Yes, Various forms of national democratic organizations wage various forms of struggle. There are those engage in legal struggle and there are those engaged in the armed revolution. Examples should be the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF). “

“There are three process by which the Philippine revolution is to be advanced, these include the building of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the building of the New People’s Army, and the building of the National Democratic Front. The Communist Party of the Philippines was established on December 26, 1968 as the Marxist-Leninist vanguard party of the working class. This party is supposed to be the standard bearer of the working class which is that class that is the most progressive, productive and political force in the Philippines. It is true that a minority class, especially only the party which represent it, cannot win the Philippine Revolution all by itself. At any rate, even while there are forces of armed revolution, there are legal democratic forces in the Philippines. The biggest of these is the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or BAYAN. It has a membership of more than 2 million members and more than 1,000 member organizations. Its biggest component organization are Kilusang Mayo Uno which is the labor center, the Pambansang Kilusang Magbubukid or the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Gabriela, the women’s alliance, League of Filipino Students, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kadena and so on. As I have earlier pointed out, Partido ng Bayan, founded last August 30 and 31, was an outgrowth of Bayan, the big coalition. It started with 50,000 charter members and as of November 22 last year, its membership rose to more than 500,000. This is

National Democratic Front

not an insignificant party if we compare it with PDP-Laban which is the favorite party of Mrs. Aquino. PDP-Laban has only 200,000 as of November, 1986. Despite the advantage of being in power allows. “

“In the face of terror tactics, and other special measures taken against

Partido ng Bayan, should it withdraw from arena of elecoral and other legal struggles? No, it should not. Not even Marcos enjoying the power of an autocrat could put down BAYAN, the coalition, and all its component organizations. “

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Ang National Democratic Front at ang iba pang malalaking prenteng organisasyon ang nagsisilbing kalasag na nagbibigay proteksyon sa Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang papel ng NDF ay ang pagpapalawak at pagpapakilos ng mga prenteng legal na samahan sa pamumuno ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan o Bayan na nagsisilbing payong nito. Ito’y lumalason sa kaisipan ng mga mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng mga adjutational at black propaganda. Ang papel ng Bayan ay ang pakikipag-ugnayan at pagsusuperbisa sa lahat ng mga gawain ng prenteng organisasyon ng Communist party, kung kaya’t di nakapagtataka kung bakit sabay-sabay sila kung sumigaw sa iisang isyu sa iisang lugar at panahon. Malinaw na sila’y sisigaw lamang sa iisang isyu na ipinapagawa ng CPP-NPA. Sa hanay ng mga manggagawa ay namumuno ang Kilusang Mayo Uno na pinamumunuan ni Crispin Beltran, isa sa mga tatlong kinatawan ng Bayan Muna Party List sa kongreso na isa ring orihinal na kasapi ng United Front Committee ng CPP. Isa sa mga taktika ng mga komunista sa pagorganisa sa mga manggagawa ay ang pangakong maiangat ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawatulad ng pangakong itataas ang sahod at benepisyo sa pamamagitan ng pagtatag ng isang palabang unyon.

Communist Party List Representatives

Hindi lahat ng mga kasapi ng KMU ay komunista. Sa bawat grupong nasa ilalim nito ay mayroon lamang tatlo o limang komunista na ang tawag ay Party Group na siyang nagpapatakbo at nagmamanipula sa lahat ng desisyon nito. Dahil sa ang pangunahing punterya ng KMU ay ang pagwasak sa ekonomiya ng bansa, sa kanyang mensahe, sinabi ni Jose Maria Sison na ‘kailangang palakasin ang hanay ng mga manggagawa sa ilalim ng KMU sa pamamagitan ng mga pag-aaklas at welgang bayan upang iparalisa ang pamahalaan at at mga kapitalista bilang paghahanda sa pag-agaw ng kapangyarihang politikal sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa NPA. Dahil sa mga walang kabuluhang welga at di makatwirang demanda ng KM, marami nang kumpanya ang nagsara at marami nang mamumuhunan ang umalis sa bansa, dahilan upang lumaganap ang kawalan ng trabaho ang mga Pilipino.

Ang mga komunista ay matagumpay na nakapasok sa kongreso noong halalan sa 2001 sa pamamagitan ng kanilang sistematikong panlilinlan, at ang pag-gamit nila ng terorismo sa kanayunan sa pamamagitan ng NPA na nagsisilbing mga goons ng Bayan Muna. Naging lantaran ang pangangampanya ng mga teroristang NPA na iboto ang Bayan Muna sa mga lugar na kontrolado nila. Ipinagkaila ng Bayan Muna na sila’y hindi mga komunista kahit pa man ito’y itinatag ng mga taong siyang namuno sa Communist Party. Sa kanilang praymer, sinabi ng Bayan Muna na sekondarya lamang ang kanilang pagsali sa eleksyon. Nangunguna pa rin sa kanilang plata-porma ang pakikipabaka na magmula sa kanayunan bago kubkubin ang kalungsuran. Ang kanilang pagsali sa elksyon at pagpasok sa gobyerno ay upang suportahan at palakasin ang madugong rebolusyon. Hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit itinataguyod ng Bayan Muna ang propaganda na itinataguyod din ng CPP-NPA.

Bilang mga konresista ng Bayan Muna, mayroon na silang makukuhang pondo mula sa gobyerno para ipangtusos sa armadong pakikipabaka ng NPA upang pabagsakin ang gobyerno, ito ang pork barrel na nagmula sa pawis ng mga mamamayan na naghahangad ng kapayapaan. Nagtagumpay din ang Bayan Muna na gawing mga legal chapters nito ang lahat ng mga baseng guerilla ng CPP-NPA, bagay na ikinabahala ng militar dahil ang pagpapatrolya sa naturang mga lugar ay nangangahulugan na na isang paglabag sa karapatang pantao. Sa ganitong kalagayan, malaya nang makapagdala ang Bayan Muna ng mga provisions tulad ng bala, medisina, at baril para sa NPA sa mga panahon na dadalaw sila sa naturang mga base. Namimigay din ang Bayan Muna ng mga identification cardso ID sa mga kasapi ng NP, at sa isang enkentro, ang isang NPA na napatay na hindi nakunan ng armas ay kanilang pinalalabas na ang mga namatay ay mga miyembro ng Bayan Muna at hindi ng NPA.

Pinatunayan sa kasaysayan, na ang tigil putukan ay ang pinakamabisang estratehiya ng mga komunista para palakasin ang kanilang pwersa upang makapaglunsad ng mga opensiba. Habang nakikipagkasundo ang gobyerno sa NDF sa ‘peacetalk’ at habang itinitigil nito ang lahat ng operasyong militar, kasalukuyan namang isinasagawa ng NPA ang pananalakay at pagpatay sa mamamayang Pilipino. Ito’y pagpapakita lamang na ang ‘peacetalk’ ay isa lamang estratehiya ng CPP-NPA. Hindi ito sinsero na makamit ang kapayapaan, dahil sila mismo ay hindi naniniwala na ang pag-agaw sa kapangyarihang politikal ay makakamit sa mapayapang pamamaraan. Kahit si Mao Tse Tung na ang kapayapaan ay makakamit lamang pagkatapos ng isang madugong rebolusyon. Sa panahon ng mga ‘ceasefire’, ang mga isyung tinatalakay ay ang tungkol sa reporma sa lupa.

Ang unyong kaanib ng KMU ay dito na nila uumpisahan ang pagpapabagsak sa kompanya. Isa na rito ay ang paghingi ng mga manggagawa ng mga imposible at hindi makatuwirang mga kahilingan. At kapag hindi napagbigyan, madalas na humahantong sa pagwasak sa mga pasilidad nito. Dahil sa patuloy na pagpaparalisa ng mga negosyo, napipilitang magsara ang mga kompanya na nagbubunga ng kawalan ng trabaho, gutom at kahirapan ng mga pamilya ng mga manggagawa. Ibinubunton naman kaagad ng mga unyon ang sisi at galit sa mga nagmamay-ari ng kumpanya at sa gobyerno. Pero ang katotohanan nito’y ang layunin ng KMU ay ang ibagsak ang lahat ng industriya ng pag-gawa at ang ekonomiya ng bansa. Hindi alam ng isang inusenteng manggagawa na siya nagiging biktima na ng pagkawalang malay sa sitwasyon. Hindi niya namamalayan na sa kanyang paglagda sa petisyon, siya ay isa nang mass member, ito ang unang hakbang patungo sa pagiging isang komunista. Bilang mass member, siya ay sapilitang isasama sa marami pang mga seminar kung saan ang tinatalakay ay ang iba’t ibang kurso ng komunista tulad ng Genuine Trade Unionism o GTU, kursong Pag-gawang Organisasyon, at Araling Aktibista (ARAK). Bilang miyembrong masa, obligado siya na sumama, makigulo sa mga welga, demonstrasyon, at malawakang kilos protesta. Karaniwan na sa mga kilos protesta ay makikita at maririnig ang imperyalismo, pyudalismo at burukrata-kapitalismo, na ayon sa kanilang pinaniniwalaang ideolohiya ay siyang ugat ng kahirapan. Pagkatapos ng unang pagsama sa rally, madali na sa mga komunista ang talakayin sa mga manggagawa ang ganitong bagay. Ang sunod na mga kursong tinatalakay ay ang National Democracy Course, na nagsasaad ng pagtatatag ng isang lipunang hindi di umano kumilala ng mga dayuhan, kaya’t sa susunod na pagmamartsa sa mga kalye, ang mga manggagawang ito ay buo na ang mga kamao at may galit na sa dibdib na sumisigaw laban sa gobyerno at sa bansang Amerika. Dito’y malalagay na siya sa hanay ng mga tinatawag na National Democratic Activist (NATDEM)… ito ang pangalawang hakbang. At sa patuloy na pag-aaral sa mga nakakaalab damdaming mga propaganda, ang isang ordinaryong kasapi ng unyon ay nagiging lider na ng mga pag-aaklas na nakikibaka para sa pagbabago ng lipunan, ngunit sa paglipas ng mga araw, hindi na lamang siya isang pangahas kundi isa nang bayolente. Lingid sa mga manggagawa, ang mga komunista ay nagsasagawa ng mga sabotahe upang may mangyaring kaguluhan. Ibinibintang kaagad nila na ang mga pasimuno ng mga kaguluhan ay ang mga instrumento ng estado at kapitalista na mga pulis at militar. Ito’y isang paraan upang maiangat ang antas ng pakikipagbaka ng mga manggagawa. Isinisigaw din nila na ipinagkait nila ang malayang pagtitipon at malayang pamamahayag. Habang nagngingitngit ang kalooban, patutunayan naman ng mga komunista sa mga manggagawa kung bakit ang pwersa ay kailangang tapatan ng kapwa pwersa. Dahilan upang talakayin naman nila ang isa pang aklat na Philippine Society and Revolution na si Jose Maria Sison mismo ang may-akda. Dito’y naikukundisyon nila ang isip ng mga manggagawa na ang tanging solusyon sa mga problema ng bayan ay ang rebolusyo. Kaya’t sa mga susunod na demonstrasyon, ang isang manggagawa ay makikita sa mga lansangan na paulit-ulit na isinisigaw ang ‘Welgang Bayan! Isulong ang rebolusyon!’. Sa antas na ito, hindi alam ng isang manggagawa na siya ay nasa ikatlong hakbang na sa pagiging komunista bilang isang prospective candidate member ng Communist Party of the Philippines. Dito’y sisimulan na ng mga komunista ang pagbibigay ng leksyon at aklat nila Karl Marx, Mao Tse Tung, Nicolai Lenin, Jose Maria Sison at ilan pang mga aklat ng komunismo.

Kung gusto natin ng pagbabago kailangang maging malawak ang ating kaalaman at karunungan. Pag-aralan natin ang mga nilalaman nito at isagawa natin.’

Ito ang mga simpleng tugon ng mga komunista kung ang mga manggagawa ay nagtatanong kung bakit niya kailangang basahin ang mga ganitong uri ng mga aklat. Kapag ang mga manggagawa ay nagsimula nang basahin ang mga ganitong uri ng aklat, ang mga agam-agam niya ukol sa komunismo ay unit-unti nang maglalaho hanggang sa tuluyan na niyang yakapin ang mga ideolohiyang nilalaman nito. Mula sa pagiging prospective candidate member, aakyat naman siya sa ikaapat na hakbang, ang pagiging candidate member. Bilang candidate member, aanyayahan naman siya matataas na antas na pagpupulong. Dito na tinatalakay ang iba’t ibang kurso ng komunista tulad ng Kursong Oryentasyon ng Partido, Batayang Kurso ng Partido, at Batayang Kursong Pangkadre.

Kapag natiyak na ng mga komunista ang katapatan ng isang manggagawa ang sa mga simulaing kanilang ipinaglalaban, panunumpain na siya bilang isang ganap na kasapi ng Communist Party of the Philippines. Mula sa isang karaniwang kasapi ng unyon na nangangarap ng dagdag na pasahod, sa pagiging aktibista na ang isinusulong ay reporma, sa pagiging rebolusyunaryo at komunista.

 

Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (CPP-NPA)

Jose Maria Sison

“It is easier perhaps and more comfortable to look back to the solace of a familiar and mediocre past. But the times are too grave and the stakes too high for us to permit the customary concessions to traditional democratic processes.”

Ito ang isa sa mga pangunahing prinsipyo ng dating Pangulong Ferdinand

Marcos kung bakit idinenaklara niya ang Martial Law noong  September 21, 1972, sa bisa ng Proclamation No. 1081. Sa mga panahong iyon, nasa magulong sitwasyon ang bansang Pilipinas bunsod ng kabi-kabilang protesta upang pabagsakin ang rehimen. Maliban sa mga protestang nagaganap sa kalungsuran, unti-unti ring lumalakas ang pwersa ng mga rebelde sa kanayunan na siyang lalo pang nagiging dahilan ng sunod-sunod na kaguluhan sa mga probinsiya. Kung si Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino ang pinakapopular na anti-Marcos sa lungsod at maging sa ibang bansa, si Jose Maria Sison naman ang pinakaprominenteng personalidad sa mga rebelde sa kanayunan.

Si Jose Maria Sison ay naging miyembro ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, o mas kilala sa tawag na PKP, na noon ay lumalaban sa mga imperyalistang Hapones sa Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng “guerilla warfare”. Noong 1946, itinatag ni Sison ang Patriotic Youth, na grupo ng mga kabataang aktibista na lumalaban sa rehimeng Marcos at sa marami pang tiwaling government officials ng mga panahong iyon.  Makalipas ang apat na taon, nag-umpisang mahati ang PKP nang buuin naman ni Sison ang Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) sa loob mismo ng partidong kanyang kinabibilangan.  Nakabase ang grupong ito sa kaisipang Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, isang Communist ideology na hinango sa mga turo ng Chinese Communist leader na si Mao Zedong. Dahil sa kritisismo ng mga miyembro ng CPP laban sa pamunuan ng PKP, at ng mismong radikal na katuruan ni Sison, inalis sila sa pagiging miyembro ng orihinal na grupong kanilang kinabibilangan. Habang maka-Soviet ang kaisipan ng orihinal na PKP, maka-Mao naman ang ideolohiyang taglay ng grupo ni Sison; dahilan upang tawagin sila bilang mga “maoist” sa Pilipinas. At habang ang mga miyembro ng PKP ay naghahangad ng pakikipagkasundo sa gobyerno ni Marcos, nanatili namang hostile dito ang mga maoist sa ilalaim ni Sison.

Upang mapaigting ang pakikipaglaban sa gobyerno, binuo ni Sison, sa tulong ng isa pang lider komunista na si Bernabe Buscayno, ang military wing ng Communist Party of the Philippines na tinatawag na New People’s Army o NPA. Ang sangay na ito ng CPP ang siya ngayong nagsasagawa ng guerilla warfare laban sa gobyerno at maging sa mga pamahalaang lokal sa mga lalawigan, lalong-lalo na sa hilagang bahagi ng Luzon. Habang ang mga miyembro ng NPA ay abala sa pagsasagawa ng mga military operations sa mga probinsiya, isa pang grupo ng mga komunista ang binuo ni Sison upang mangasiwa sa mga legal matters ng organisasyon. Ang sangay na ito ng CPP ay tinatawag namang National Democratic Front o NDF.

Ano ang ba ang CPP? Ano ang ideyolohiyang taglay ng grupong ito, na siyang dahilan kung bakit sila ngayon ang itinuturing na “mortal enemy” ng pambasang pamahalaan ng Pilipinas? Paano sila dumarami, at sino-sino ang mga nasa likod ng mabilis na paglago ng komunismong ito?

Sa isang dokumentaryong nakalabas sa worldwide web, kinilala ng mga sundalo ng pamahalaan ang kabuuan ng grupong komunista na binuo ni Jose Maria Sison.

Naging matagumpay ang mga komunista sa pagpapakilos muli sa mga legal na samahan na nagmula sa hanay ng mga manggagaw, magsasaka, estudyante, kaparian, guro, urban poor, at iilang kasapi ng media. Ang papag-aawaywayin ang umano’y dalawang reaksyonaryong pwersa sa hanay ng administrayon at oposisyon ay isang estratehiya ng mga komunista. Ang pagpapatalsik ng isang pinuno ng bansa na hindi umaayon sa dikta nito ay isang pangunahing gawain. Ito’y isang paraan upang magkaroon ng destabilisasyong politikal at mapabagsak ang ekonomiya ng bansa. Upang mailarawan ang pagbagsak ng ekonomiya ay dahil umano sa umiiral na mala-pyudal at malakolonyal na kalagayan sa ilalim ng sistema ng katutubong pyudalismo, burukrata-kapitalismo, at imperyalismong Estados Unidos. Naging sentro ng kanilang black propaganda ang lahat ng mga presidente ng bansa.

Ang kaisipang komunismo na umiiral sa mundo ay nahahati sa tatlong uri ng pakikibaka. Ang mga rebolusyonaryong lokal na yumayakap sa Komunismong Russo o Leninismo ay naniniwala sa parlamentaryo at armadong pakikibaka na pangungunahan ng uring manggagawa kung saan ang insureksyon ay gaganapin sa kalungsuran. Ang dating Partidong Komunista ng Pilipinas (Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan) na pinamumunuan dati ni Crisanto Evangelista, ng magkakapatid na Lava at Luis Taruc ay kilala bilang mga Leninista. Ang grupong rejectionist na pinamumunuan ng yumaong Filemon “Popoy” Lagman ay yumayakap din sa kaisipang Leninismo, kung saan binigyang diin nito ang pagpapakilos sa uring manggagawa bilang pangunahing pwersa sa gaganaping insureksyon. Ang Komunismong Euro ay naniniwala sa mapayapang pagreporma ng lipunan upang abutin ang Komunismo. Sila’y hindi gumagamit ng dahas ngunit taos puso silang nagbibigay ng suportang pinansiyal sa mga terorista sa ibang bansa bilang pagtaguyod sa di umano’y diwa ng internasyonalismo. Ang Komunismong Intsik o Maomismo ay naniniwala na ang pangunahing pwersa ng rebolusyon ay ang uring magsasaka at kailangan ang isang rebolusyon ay madugo at marahas, at kailangang ito ay magmumula sa kanayuan bago kubkubin ang kalungsuran.

Ang sistematikong pamamaraan ng mga komunista ay ang pag-agaw muna ng mga bansang dati ay kaalyado ng Amerika sa paniniwalang ito ang makapagpapahina nito. Kasaba’y ng pakikipag-alyansa nito sa mga teroristang Islamic sa ilalim ng Al-Qaeda network ni Bin Laden, kaagad na ipinatupad ng CPP-NPA ang isang tactical alliance sa MILF. Pinatutunayan ito nang dumalaw sa bansang Iraq ang kinatawan nitong si Crispin Beltran upang palakasin ang pandaigdigang ugnayan laban sa Amerika.

Ano ang digmaang pangmatagalan ng CPP-NPA na magmula sa kanayunan? Ang matagalang digmaang magmula sa kanayunan bago kubkubin ang kalungsuran ay isang pangunahing estratehiya ng CPP-NPA. Sila’y lubos naniniwala na habang tumatagal ang labanan ay lalong masisira ang ekonomiya ng bansa. Ang pagkasira ng ekonomiya ay isang sangkap na nagbibigay pabor sa rebolusyon.

Ang bansang Pilipinas ay umaasa sa agrikulturang ekonomiya kung saan sietenta porsyento ng populasyon ay uring magsasaka. Sa ganitong populasyon, nakita ng mga komunista na ang pwersang magsasaka ang siyang pakikilusin sa gaganaping maoistang rebolusyon. Kung mawasak ang ekonomiya, dadami ang maghihikahos at dadami rin ang magagalit sa pamahalaan. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit inumpisahan ng CPP-NPA ang rebolusyon sa kanayunan upang masira ang produksyong agrikultura na hahantong sa matinding kahirapan. Kung maghihikahos ang pamayanan ay lalong mapapadali ang paghihikayat nito sa rebolusyon, dahil kahirapan daw ang dahilan kung bakit maraming nagrerebelde. Ang sinimulang matagalang digmaang bayan ng CPP-NPA ang dahilan kung bakit ang mga dati’y humahawak ng araro ay naging mga armado. Sa halip na magtanim sila ngayon ay bahagi na ng madugong rebolusyon. Ang agrikulturang bansa, sa halip na magluwas ay umaangkat na lamang ng pagkain sa ibang bansa. Ang mga magsasaka na ayaw sumama sa rebolusyon ng komunista ay daan-daang umalis sa kanayunan  upang makaiwas sa labanan ng militar at ng komunistang NPA. Isang dahilan kung bakit laganap ang squatters at illegal vendors na nagpapasikip sa mga bangketa at nagpaparumi sa kapaligiran. Ang isang dating magsasaka ay mahihirapang makakita ng trabaho sa gitna ng syudad; di nakapagtataka kung bakit lumobo ang problema ng kriminalidad.

Ang CPP-NPA-NDF ay masigasig sa pangangalap ng mga bagong kasapi batay sa tinatawag na Teorya ng Puting Papel (White Paper Theory). Ayon sa mga komunista, ang karamihan sa mga katutubo at magsasaka sa kanayunan ay parang mga puting papel na ang ibig sabihin ay mga mangmang at madaling malinlang dahil sa kanilang mga blangkong kaisipan. Madali itong masusulatan ng anumang uri ng mga black propaganda. Kadalasan sa mga slogans na ating marinig sa mga katutubo at magsasakang di nakapag-aral ay globalisasyon, liberalisasyon, foreign intervention, militarization. Sa ganitong mga slogans malinaw na nasusulatan na ng mga komunista ang kanilang blankong kaisipan. Dahil sa pangakong tunay na reporma sa lupa, nagagawa ng mga komunista na mahikayat ang mga katutubong magsasaka na sumama sa rebolusyon. Nakakabighani ang naturang mga pangako kaya’t marami ang nag-aakala na ang ipinaglalaban ng mga komunista ay ang kapakanan ng mga magsasaka; ang hindi nilalaman ay walang land reform sa komunista.

Isang estratehiya ng CPP-NPA at Bayan Muna upang paigtingin ang galit ng taong-bayan laban sa pamahalaan ay ang paulit-ulit na pagtalakay sa isyu ng kahirapan. Totoo at di natin maipagkakaila na malala na ang kahirapan sa ating lipunan. Ngunit habang sumisigaw at patuloy na nagrereklamo ang mga komunista hinggil sa kahirapan, walang nangahas na ibulgar na ang katayuang ito ang nais na mangyari ng mga komunista. Habang inaakit ng pamahalaan ang mga kapitalista na mamumuhunan sa ating bansa upang malutas ang suliranin ng kawalan ng trabaho, ang mga komunista, sa pamamagitan ng Kilusang Mayo Uno, ay abala sa pag-oorganisa sa mga manggagawa upang mag-aklas laban sa mga kapitalista. Ang pagpapasara sa libo-libong mga kumpanya ay nagdulot ng kawalang trabaho na siyang dahilan upang maghirap ang sambayanang Pilipino. Ang mga komunista ay katulad ng mga mandirigma na mayroong dalawang sandata, ang tabak at ang kalasag. Pinamumunuan ni Jose Maria Sison ang partido habang ito ay nagtago at nagpapasarap ng buhay sa bansang The Netherlands. Ang tabak ay kumakatawan sa pakikipagbaka o sa madugong rebolusyon. Upang ganap na mapatupad ay itinatag nito ang New People’s Army o ang NPA. Bilang mandirigma, ginagamit nito ang tabak upang patayin ang kalaban. Ang itinuturing nilang kalaban ay ang mga opisyal ng gobyerno na ayaw sumoprta, mga pulis, militar, at mga sibilyan na ayaw yumakap sa ideolohiyang komunismo. Ang kalasag ang kumakatawan sa National Democratic Front. Tulad ng kalasag, ang NDF ay ginagamit ng mga komunista upang bigyang proteksyon ang ulo at katawan nit, ang Communist Party. Ang pangunahing gawain ng NDF ay makuha ang simpatya ng mga nasa gitnang pwersa o ang burgeoisa. Ang NPA at NDF ay pawang nasa ilalim ng kontrol ng komite sentral ng Communist Party. Ngunit parati na lang pinalalabas na ang NDF umano ang nagsisilbing sa lahat ng mga militanteng samahan upang palabasin na ang Communist Party ay walang kontrol sa lahat ng mga rebolusyunaryong samahan. Ito’y isang panlilinlang upang maiwasan ang pagbanggit ng salitang ‘Komunista’.

Gamit ang isyu ng land reform, ang NPA ay pumapasok sa mga barangay upang magtatag ng mga sangay ng partido, magtatag ng hukbong armado, at magtatag ng nagkakaisang prente. Ang mga ‘semi-legal team’ ng CPP-NPA ang unang papasok sa isang barangay upang magsagawa ng imbestigasyong panlipunan at pagkilala sa uri ng mga mamamayan sa barangay. Sa pamamagitan ng SLT malalaman nila ang lahat ng impormasyon ukol sa katayuan ng isang barangay, kung sino-sino ang mga opisyal nito at ang pag-alam kung ano ang kabuhayan ng mga nakatira dito. Pilit ring kinikilala ng mga komunista kung sino ang mga biktima ng paglabag ng karapatang pantao, at kung sino ang mga naghihikahos, dahil dito nila isesentro ang panggagatong ng kanilang mga black propaganda. Ang mga kasapi ng ‘SLT’ at ‘POT’ ay pawang magagaling sa adjutational propaganda. Nagagawa nilang mahikayat ang ilang mga piling mamamayang progresibo upang makinig sa isang patagong pagpupulong na kung tawagin ay Teach-In (E.D.) Ang mga paksa sa pagpupulong na ito ay nakasentro sa pagtalakay sa pagreporma sa lupa kung binigyang diin nito ang rebolusyunaryong agraryo at mga repormang panlipunan. At sa paulit ulit na pagpupulong ay magagawa nilang ang masa upang magkimkim ng galit laban sa pamahalaan. Ang mga naunang ‘contacts’ sa barangay na naging katuwang sa SLT at POT ay tinagurian nilang mga grupong tagapag-ugnay o Barangay Liason Group. Kung mayroon nang sapat na bilang ang mga grupong tagapag-ugnay, gagawin na itong isang grupong tagapag-organisa o Barangay Organizing Group. Dito sisimulan na ang pag-oorganisa ng mga taong nakasama sa kanilang mga pag-aaral – ang pagtatag ng Samahan ng mga Magsasaka, Samahan ng Kababaihan, at Samahan ng Kabataan. Ang pagtatag ng mga samahan ay isang konkretong basehan ng pagpasok ng mga kasapi ng Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda o SYP ng CPP-NPA upang magsagawa naman ng mas malalim pang propaganda at gawaing pangmasa. Sa ganitong sitwasyon, ang barangay ay maituturing nang isang ‘infiltrated’. Ang isang infiltrated barangay ay maituturing na isang trahedya sa mga mamamayan na ayaw yumakap sa ideolohiyang komunismo. Ang mga magtangkang magsumbo sa militar hinggil sa presensya ng NPA ay pinapatawan ng parusang kamatayan sa harap ng marami upang magsilbing babala sa may balak pang magsumbong. Pinagpapatay ang lahat ng sumasalungat sa mga patakaran ng NPA. Ayon sa baluktot na katwiran, nililinis lamang nila ang masasamang elemento sa loob ng barangay. Sa ganitong sitwasyo, napipilitang pumasok sa loob ng barangay ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas upang tugunan ang hiling ng nakakaraming mamamayan na sugpuin ang karahasan ng NPA; upang salubungin lamang ng mga kilos protesta mula sa hanay ng mga organisadong masa. Ilan sa mga legal na samahan ng mga komunista na nangunguna at nanunulsol sa mga organisadong masa laban sa di-umano’y militarisasyon sa barangay ay Karapatan Human Rights Alliance, Promotion of Church People’s Response at ang Gabriela. Ang pagkakaroon ng solido at organisadong masa sa isang barangay ay isang pangunahing sangkap ng mga komunista upang itatag ang isang ‘shadow government’ na kilala sa tawag na Revolutionary Barangay Council, o sangay ng partido sa lokalidad. Sa sitwasyong ito, ang barangay ay maituturing nang isang Influenced barangay.

Ang CPP-NPA ay matagumpay na nakapagtatag ng isang hukuman na tinatawag nilang People’s Court na para daw sa mga mahihirap… ito ang tinatawag na Kangaroo Courts. (Isa sa mga hinatulan ng maximum penalty ng Kangaroo Courts ay ang dating NPA leader na si Romy Kintanar. Ayon sa isa pang dating NPA leader na na-assign sa Samar na si Jun Alcover, ang People’s Court, na tinawag din niyang Kangaroo Court, ang siya ring nagpa-file ng kaso, nagsasagawa ng hearing at siya nag-eexecute sa mga akusadong miyembro; isang sistemang kwetyonable ang sinasabing ‘fair trial’. Wala umanong abogado ang akusadong inihaharap sa hukumang ito, ayon pa kay Alcover.) Ang naibabang hatol ng hukumang ito ay hindi  ibinabatay sa mga testigo, ebidensiya at proseso ng paglilitis, kundi sa kung ano lamang ang palagay at paniniwala ng Partido. Ang isang taong pinaghihinalaan pa lang ay pwede nang mapatawan kaagad ng parusang kamatayan, at wala siyang karapatang mag-apela sa husgadong ito.

Ang mga paksa tungkol sa karapatang pangtao ay madalas na ginagamit ng mga komunista bilang propaganda laban sa demokratikong gobyerno. Sa pamamagitan ng pagmanipula sa mga ganitong usapin, nalilinlang nila ang taong bayan na kasuklaman ang gobyerno habang unti-unti nilang nakukuha ang simpatya ng publiko. Subalit ang katotohanan ay walang human rights commission ang mga bansang pinaghaharian ng mga komunista. Para sa kanila, ang mga komunista lamang ang may karapatan, dahil ang pangunahin nilang adhikain ang pagtatag ng lipunang walang uri.

Ang mga Local Militia o Militia ng Bayan sa barangay na walang pormal na pagsasanay militar ang kalimitang nagsisilbing pangunahing depensa ng mga komunista laban sa mga sundalo ng pamahalaan. Sa ganitong istraktura, masyadong nahihirapan ang militardahil bago nila makubkob ang mga sona at baseng guerilla ay may mga harassment ang mga local militia sa barangay sa pamamagitan ng ‘hit ‘n run tactic’ bilang pagsunod sa utos ng nakatataas na rebolusyonaryong komite. Dahil s akakulangan ng pagsasanay, kalimitan sa mga labanang ito ay ang mga mga masa at local militia ang nasasawi. Ang anim na talampakang lalim ng lupa ay ang tunay na reporma sa lupa na ipinangako ng mga komunista. Ang buong akala ng militar na malaking kawalan sa panig ng mga NPA ang naturang pagkakapatay sa mga rebelde, ipinagmalaki pa nila sa kanilangmga  press releases ang pagkasawi ng  sampung rebeldeng NPA sa isang lehitimong enkwentro. Matapos ang sunod sunod na protesta gamit ang mga kamg-anakan ng mga napatay na NPA, uumpisahan nanaman ng mga komunista ang panggagatong at pangangalap ng mga bagong kasapi ng kilusan. Hindi ikinalulungkot ng mga komunista ang pagkamatay ng kanilang mga masa o local militia, sa halip ito’y kanila pang ikinatuwa dahil alam nilang marami nanaman sa mga kamag-anakan ng mga napatay ang laban sa pamahalaan at militar. Ang mga komunista ay walang pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng isang tao, dahil ang pangunahing layunin ng komunismo ay ang pagkitil sa maraming buhay ng iba’t ibang uri ng tao upang makamit lamang ang lipunang pantay-pantay sa ilaim ng lipunang komunismo.

CPP-NPA

(Ayon sa prinsipyo ni Karl Marx… “It is necessary to kill a large segment of the population in order to attain the basic objective of communism.”)

“He’s Not A Savior”


Long-buried Vatican files reveal a new and shocking indictment of World War II’s Pope Plus XII: that in pursuit of absolute power he helped Adolf Hitler destroy German Catholic political opposition, betrayed the Jews of Europe, and sealed a deeply cynical pact with a 20th-century devil. (John Cornwell)

Pius XII

One evening several years ago when I was having dinner with a group of students, the topic of the papacy was broached, and the discussion quickly boiled over. A young woman asserted that Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, the Pope during World War II, had brought lasting shame on the Catholic Church by failing to denounce the Final Solution. A young man, a practicing Catholic, insisted that the case had never been proved.

Raised as a Catholic during the papacy of Pius XII – his picture gazed down from the wall of every classroom during my childhood – I was only too familiar with the allegation. It started in 1963 with a play by a young German author named Rolf Hochhuth, Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy) which was staged on Broadway in 1964.

It depicted Pacelli as a ruthless cynic, interested more in the Vatican’s stockholdings than in the fate of the Jews. Most Catholics dismissed Hochhuth’s thesis as implausible, but the play sparked a controversy which has raged to this day.

Disturbed by the anger brought out in that dinner altercation, and convinced, as I had always been, of Pius XII’s innocence, I decided to write a new defense of his reputation for a younger generation. I believed that Pacelli’s evident holiness was proof of his good faith. How could such a saintly pope have betrayed the Jews? But was it possible to find a new and conclusive approach to the issue? The arguments had so far focused mainly on his wartime conduct; however, Pacelli’s Vatican career had started 40 years earlier. It seemed to me that a proper investigation into Pacelli’s record would require a more extensive chronicle than any attempted in the past. So I applied for access to archival material in the Vatican, reassuring those who had charge of crucial documents that I was on the side of my subject. Six years earlier, in a book entitled A Thief in the Night, I had defended the Vatican against charges that Pope John Paul I had been murdered by his own aides.

Two key officials granted me access to secret material: depositions under oath gathered 30 years ago to support the process for Pacelli’s canonization, and the archive of the Vatican Secretariat of State, the foreign office of the Holy See. I also drew on German sources relating to Pacelli’s activities in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, including his dealings with Adolf Hitler in 1933. For months on end I ransacked Pacelli’s files, which dated back to 1912, in a windowless dungeon beneath the Borgia Tower in Vatican City. Later I sat for several weeks in a dusty office in the Jesuit headquarters, close to St. Peter’s Square in Rome, mulling over a thousand pages of transcribed testimony given under oath by those who had known Pacelli well during his lifetime, including his critics.

By the middle of 1997, 1 was in a state of moral shock. The material I had gathered amounted not to an exoneration but to an indictment more scandalous than Hochhuth’s. The evidence was explosive. It showed for the first time that Pacelli was patently, and by the proof of his own words, anti-Jewish. It revealed that he had helped Hitler to power and at the same time undermined potential Catholic resistance in Germany. It showed that he had implicitly denied and trivialized the Holocaust, despite having reliable knowledge of its true extent. And, worse, that he was a hypocrite, for after the war he had retrospectively taken undue credit for speaking out boldly against the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

In the “Holy Year” of 1950, a year in which many millions of pilgrims flocked to Rome to catch a glimpse of Pacelli, he was at the zenith of his papacy. This was the Pius people now in their mid-50s and older remember from newsreels and newspaper photographs. He was 74 years old and still vigorous. Six feet tall, stick thin at 125 pounds, light on his feet, regular in habits, he had hardly altered physically from the day of his coronation 11 years earlier. He had beautiful tapering hands, a plaintive voice, large dark eyes and an aura of holiness. It was his extreme pallor that first arrested those who met him. His skin “had surprisingly transparent effect,” observed the writer Gerrado Pallenberg, “as if reflecting from the inside a cold, white flame.” His charisma was stunning. “His presence radiated a benignity, calm and sanctity that I have certainly never before sensed in any human being,” recorded the English writer James Lees-Milne. “I immediately fell head over heels in love with him. I was so affected I could scarcely speak without tears and was conscious that my legs were trembling.”

But there was another side to his character, little known to the faithful. Although he was a man of selfless, monklike habits of prayer and simplicity, he was a believer in the absolute leadership principle. More than any other Vatican official of the century, he had promoted the modern ideology of autocratic papal control, the highly centralized, dictatoria1 authority he himself assumed on March 2, 1939, and maintained until his death in October 1958. There was a time before the advent of modern communications when Catholic authority was widely distributed, in the collective decisions of the church’s councils and in collegial power-sharing between the Pope and the bishops. The absolutism of the modern papacy is largely an invention of the late 19th century. It developed rapidly in the first decades of this century in response to the perception of the centrifugal breakup of the church under an array of contemporary pressures: materialism, increasing sexual freedom, religious skepticism, and social and political liberties. From his young manhood on, Pacelli played a leading role in shaping the conditions and scope of modern papal power.

Eugenio Pacelli was born in Rome in 1876, into a family of church lawyers who served the Vatican. He had an older sister and brother and a younger sister. His parents, devout Catholics, shared an apartment in central Rome with his grandfather, who had been a legal adviser to Pius IX, the longest-serving Pope in history. There was only one small brazier to supply heat for the whole family, even in the depths of winter. Eugenio was a modest youth, who never appeared before his siblings unless he was fully dressed in a jacket and tie. He would always come to the table with a book, which he would read after having asked the family’s permission.

From an early age he acted out the ritual of the Mass, dressed in robes supplied by his mother. He had a gift for languages and a prodigious memory. He was spindly and suffered from a “fastidious stomach.” He retained a youthful piety all his life. Politically and legally, however, he was capable of great subtlety and cunning.

The Pacelli’s were fiercely loyal to the injured merit of the papacy. From 1848, the Popes had progressively lost to the emerging nation-state of Italy their dominions, which had formed, since time immemorial, the midriff of the Italian peninsula. Six years before Eugenio’s birth, the city of Rome itself had been seized, leaving the papacy in crisis. How could the Popes regard themselves as independent now that they were mere citizens of an upstart kingdom? Eugenio’s grandfather and father believed passionately that the Popes could once again exert a powerful unifying authority over the church by the application of ecclesiastical and international law. In 1870, at a gathering in Rome of a preponderance of the world’s bishops, known as the First Vatican Council, the Pope was dogmatically declared infallible in matters of faith and morals. He was also declared the unchallenged primate of the faithful. The Pope may have lost his temporal dominion, but spiritually he was solely in charge of his universal church.

During the first two decades of this century, papal primacy and infallibility began to creep even beyond the ample boundaries set by the First Vatican Council. A powerful legal instrument transformed the 1870 primacy dogma into an unprecedented principle of papal power. Eugenio Pacelli, by then a brilliant young Vatican lawyer, had a major part in the drafting of that instrument, which was known as the Code of Canon Law.

Pacelli had been recruited into the Vatican in 1901, at the age of 24, to specialize in international affairs and church law. Pious, slender, with dark luminous eyes, he was an instant favorite. He was invited to collaborate on the reformulation of church law with his immediate superior, Pietro Gaspam, a world-famous canon lawyer. Packaged in a single manual, the Code of Canon Law was distributed in 1917 to Catholic bishops and clergy throughout the world. According to this code, in the future all bishops would be nominated by the Pope; doctrinal error would be tantamount to heresy; priests would be subjected to strict censorship in their writings; papal letters to the faithful would be regarded as infallible (in practice if not in principle) and an oath would be taken by all candidates for the priesthood to submit to the sense as well as the strict wording of doctrine as laid down by the Pope.

But there was a problem. The church had historically granted the dioceses in the provincial states of Germany a large measure of local discretion and independence from Rome. Germany had one of the largest Catholic populations in the world, and its congregation was well educated and sophisticated, with hundreds of Catholic associations and newspapers and many Catholic universities and publishing houses. The historic autonomy of Germany’s Catholic Church was enshrined in ancient church-state treaties known as concordats.

Nazi-Vatican Concordat

Aged 41 and already an archbishop, Pacelli was dispatched to Munich as papal nuncio, or ambassador, to start the process of eliminating all existing legal challenges to the new papal autocracy. At the same time, he was to pursue a Reich Concordat, a treaty between the papacy and Germany as a whole which would supersede all local agreements and become a model of Catholic church-state relations. A Reich Concordat would mean formal recognition by the German government of the Pope’s right to impose the new Code of Canon Law on Germany’s Catholics. Such an arrangement was fraught with significance for a largely Protestant Germany. Nearly 400 years earlier, in Wittenberg, Martin Luther had publicly burned a copy of Canon Law in defiance of the centralized authority of the church. It was one of the defining moments of the Reformation, which was to divide Western Christendom into Catholics and Protestants.

In May 1917, Pacelli set off for Germany via Switzerland in a private railway compartment, with an additional wagon containing 60 cases of special foods for his delicate stomach. The Pope at that time, Benedict XV, was shocked at this extravagance, but Pacelli had favored status as the Vatican’s best diplomat. Shortly after he settled in Munich, he acquired a reputation as a vigorous relief worker. He traveled through war-weary Germany extending charity to people of all religions and none. In an early letter to the Vatican, however he revealed himself to be less than enamored of Germany’s Jews. On September 4, 1917, Pacelli informed Pietro Gaspam, who had become cardinal secretary of state in the Vatican — the equivalent of foreign minister and prime minister — that a Dr. Werner, the chief rabbi of Munich, had approached the nunciature begging a favor. In order to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles, beginning on October 1, the Jews needed palm fronds, which normally came from Italy. But the Italian government had forbidden the exportation, via Switzerland, of a stock of palms which the Jews had purchased and which were being held up in Como. “The Israelite Community,” continued Pacelli, “are seeking the intervention of the Pope in the hope that he will plead on behalf of the thousands of German Jews.” The favor in question was no more problematic than the transportation of Pacelli’s 60 cases of food-stuffs had been a few months earlier.

Pacelli informed Gaspam that he had warned the rabbi that “wartime delays in communication” would make things difficult. He also told Gaspam that he did not think it appropriate for the Vatican “to assist them in the exercise of their Jewish cult.” His letter went by the slow route overland in the diplomatic bag. Gaspam replied by telegram on September 18 that he entirely trusted Pacelli’s “shrewdness,” agreeing that it would not be appropriate to help Rabbi Werner. Pacelli wrote back on September 28, 1917, informing Gaspam that he had again seen the Rabbi, who “was perfectly convinced of the reasons I had given him and thanked me warmly for all that I had done on his behalf.” Pacelli had done nothing except thwart the rabbi’s request. The episode, small in itself, belies subsequent claims that Pacelli had a great love of the Jewish religion and was always motivated by its best interests.

Eighteen months later he revealed his antipathy toward the Jews in a more blatantly anti-Semitic fashion when he found himself at the center of a local revolution as Bolshevik groups struggled to take advantage of the chaos in postwar Munich. Writing to Gaspam, Pacelli described the revolutionaries and their chief, Eugen Levine, in their headquarters in the former royal palace. The letter has lain in the Vatican secret archive like a time bomb until now:

“The scene that presented itself at the palace was indescribable. The confusion totally chaotic, the filth completely nauseating; soldiers and armed workers coming and going; the building, once the home of a king, resounding with screams, vile language, profanities. Absolute hell. An army of employees were dashing to and fro, giving out orders, waving bits of paper, and in the midst of all this, a gang of young women, of dubious appearance, Jews like all the rest of them, hanging around in all the offices with provocative demeanor and suggestive smiles. The boss of this female gang was Levine’s mistress, a young Russian woman, a Jew and a divorcee, who was in charge. And it was to her that the nunciature was obliged to pay homage in order to proceed.

This Levine is a young man, about 30 or 35, also Russian and a Jew. Pale, dirty, with vacant eyes, hoarse voice, vulgar, repulsive, with a face that is both intelligent and sly.”

This association of Jewishness with Bolshevism confirms that Pacelli, from his early 40s, nourished a suspicion of and contempt for the Jews for political reasons. But the repeated references to the Jewishness of these individuals, along with the catalogue of stereotypical epithets deploring their physical and moral repulsiveness, betray a scorn and revulsion consistent with anti-Semitism. Not long after this, Pacelli campaigned to have black French troops removed from the Rhineland, convinced that they were raping women and abusing children – even though an independent inquiry sponsored by the U.S. Congress, of which Pacelli was aware, proved this allegation false. Twenty-three years later, when the Allies were about to enter Rome, he asked the British envoy to the Vatican to request of the British Foreign Office that no Allied colored troops would be among the small number that might be garrisoned in Rome after the occupation.

Pacelli spent 13 years in Germany attempting to rewrite the state Concordats one by one in favor of the power of the Holy See and routinely employing diplomatic blackmail. Germany was caught up in many territorial disputes following the redrawing of the map of Central Europe after the First World War. Pacelli repeatedly traded promises of Vatican support for German control of disputed regions in return for obtaining terms advantageous to the Vatican in Concordats. The German government’s official in charge of Vatican affairs at one point recorded the “ill feeling” prompted by Pacelli’s “excessive demands.” Both Catholics and Protestants in Germany resisted reaching an agreement with Pacelli on a Reich Concordat because the nuncio’s concept of a church-state relationship was too authoritarian. In his negotiations, Pacelli was not concerned about the fate of non-Catholic religious communities or institutions, or about human rights. He was principally preoccupied with the interests of the Holy See. Nothing could have been better designed to deliver Pacelli into the hands of Hitler later, when the future dictator made his move in 1933.

In June 1920, Pacelli became nuncio to all of Germany, with headquarters in Berlin as well as in Munich, and immediately acquired a glittering reputation in diplomatic circles. He was a favorite at dinner parties and receptions, and he was known to ride horses on the estate of a wealthy German family. His household was run by a pretty young nun from southern Germany named Sister Pasqualina Lehnert. Pacelli’s sister Elisabetta, who battled with the nun for Pacelli’s affections, described Pasqualina as “scaltrissima”– extremely cunning. In Munich it had been rumored that he cast more than priestly eyes on this religious housekeeper. Pacelli insisted that a Vatican investigation into this “horrible calumny” be conducted at the highest level, and his reputation emerged unbesmirched.

Meanwhile, he had formed a close relationship with an individual named Ludwig Kaas. Kaas was a representative of the solidly Catholic German Center Party, one of the largest and most powerful democratic parties in Germany. Though it was unusual for a full-time politician, he was also a Roman Catholic priest. Five years Pacelli’s junior, dapper, bespectacled, and invariably carrying a smart walking stick, Kaas, known as “the prelate,” became an intimate collaborator of Pacelli’s on every aspect of Vatican diplomacy in Germany. With Pacelli’s encouragement, Kaas eventually became the chairman of the Center Party, the first priest to do so in the party’s 60-year history. Yet while Kaas was officially a representative of a major democratic party, he was increasingly devoted to Pacelli to the point of becoming his alter ego.

Sister Pasqualina stated after Pacelli’s death that Kaas, who “regularly accompanied Pacelli on holiday” was linked to him in “adoration, honest love and unconditional loyalty.” There were stories of acute jealousy and high emotion when Kaas became conscious of a rival affection in Pacelli’s secretary, the Jesuit Robert Leiber, who was also German.

Kaas was a profound believer in the benefits of a Reich Concordat, seeing a parallel between papal absolutism and the Führer-Prinzip, the Fascist leadership principle. His views coincided perfectly with Pacelli’s on church-state politics, and their aspirations for centralized papal power were identical. Kaas’s adulation of Pacelli, whom he put before his party, became a crucial element in the betrayal of Catholic democratic politics in Germany.

In 1929, Pacelli was recalled to Rome to take over the most important role under the Pope, Cardinal Secretary of State. Sister Pasqualina arrived uninvited and cunningly, according to Pacelli’s sister, and along with two German nuns to assist her, took over the management of his Vatican residence. Almost immediately Kaas, although he was still head of the German Center Party, started to spend long periods–months at a time– in Pacelli’s Vatican apartments. Shortly before Pacelli’s return to Rome, his brother, Francesco had successfully negotiated on behalf of Pius XI, the current Pope, a concordat with Mussolini as part of an agreement known as the Lateran Treaty. The rancor between the Vatican and the state of Italy was officially at an end. A precondition of the negotiations had involved the destruction of the parliamentary Catholic Italian Popular Party. Pius XI disliked political Catholicism because he could not control it. Like his predecessors, he believed that Catholic party politics brought democracy into the church by the back door. The result of the demise of the Popular Party was the wholesale shift of Catholics into the Fascist Party and the collapse of democracy in Italy. Pius XI and his new secretary of state, Pacelli, were determined that no accommodation be reached with Communists anywhere in the world — this was the time of persecution of the church in Russia, Mexico, and later Spain – but totalitarian movements and regimes of the right were a different matter.

Hitler, who had enjoyed his first great success in the elections of September 1930, was determined to seek a treaty with the Vatican similar to that struck by Mussolini, which would lead to the disbanding of the German Center Party. In his political testament, Mein Kampf, he had recollected that his fear of Catholicism went back to his vagabond days in Vienna. The fact that German Catholics, politically united by the Center Party, had defeated Bismarck’s Kulturkampf — the “culture struggle” against the Catholic Church in the 1870s –constantly worried him. He was convinced that his movement could succeed only if political Catholicism and its democratic networks were eliminated.

Hitler’s fear of the Catholic Church was well grounded. Into the early 1930s the German Center Party, the German Catholic bishops, and the Catholic media had been mainly solid in their rejection of National Socialism. They denied Nazis the sacraments and church burials, and Catholic journalists excoriated National Socialism daily in Germany’s 400 Catholic newspapers. The hierarchy instructed priests to combat National Socialism at a local level whenever it attacked Christianity. The Munich-based weekly Der Gerade Weg (The Straight Path) told its readers, “Adolf Hitler preaches the law of lies. You who have fallen victim to the deceptions of one obsessed with despotism, wake up!”

The vehement front of the Catholic Church in Germany against Hitler, however, was not at one with the view from inside the Vatican — a view that was now being shaped and promoted by Eugenio Pacelli.

In 1930 the influential Catholic politician Heinrich Brüning, a First World War Veteran, became the leader of a brief new government coalition, dominated by the majority Socialists and the Center Party. The country was reeling from successive economic crises against the background of the world slump and reparations payments to the Allies. In August 1931, Brüning visited Pacelli in the Vatican, and the two men quarreled. Brüning tells in his memoirs how Pacelli lectured him, the German chancellor, on how he should reach an understanding with the Nazis to “form a right-wing administration” in order to help achieve a Reich Concordat favorable to the Vatican. When Brüning advised him not to interfere in German politics, Pacelli threw a tantrum. Brüning parting shot that day was the ironic observation — chilling in hindsight — that he trusted that “the Vatican would fare better at the hands of Hitler… than with himself, a devout Catholic.”

Brüning was right on one score. Hitler proved to be the only chancellor prepared to grant Pacelli the sort of authoritarian concordat he was seeking. But the price was to be catastrophic for Catholic Germany and for Germany as a whole.

After Hitler came to power in January 1933, he made the concordat negotiations with Pacelli a priority. The negotiations proceeded over six months with constant shuttle diplomacy between the Vatican and Berlin. Hitler spent more time on this treaty than on any other item of foreign diplomacy during his dictatorship.

The Reich Concordat granted Pacelli the right to impose the new Code of Canon Law on Catholics in Germany and promised a number of measures favorable to Catholic education, including new schools. In exchange, Pacelli collaborated in the withdrawal of Catholics from political and social activity. The negotiations were conducted in secret by Pacelli, Kaas, and Hitler’s deputy chancellor, Franz von Papen, over the heads of German bishops and the faithful. The Catholic Church in Germany had no say in setting the conditions.

In the end, Hitler insisted that his signature on the concordat would depend on the Center Party’s voting for the Enabling Act, the legislation that was to give him dictatorial powers. It was Kaas, chairman of the party but completely in thrall to Pacelli, who bullied the delegates into acceptance. Next, Hitler insisted on the “voluntary” disbanding of the Center Party, the last truly parliamentary force in Germany. Again, Pacelli was the prime mover in this tragic Catholic surrender. The fact that the party voluntarily disbanded itself, rather than go down fighting, had a profound psychological effect, depriving Germany of the last democratic focus of potential noncompliance and resistance: In the political vacuum created by its surrender, Catholics in the millions joined the Nazi Party, believing that it had the support of the Pope. The German bishops capitulated to Pacelli’s policy of centralization, and German Catholic democrats found themselves politically leaderless.

After the Reich Concordat was signed, Pacelli declared it an unparalleled triumph for the Holy See. In an article in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican-controlled newspaper, he announced that the treaty indicated the total recognition and acceptance of the church’s law by the German state. But Hitler was the true victor and the Jews were the concordat’s first victims. On July 14, 1933, after the initialing of the treaty, the Cabinet minutes record Hitler as saying that the concordat had created an atmosphere of confidence that would be “especially significant in the struggle against international Jewry.” He was claiming that the Catholic Church had publicly given its blessing, at home and abroad, to the policies of National Socialism, including its anti-Semitic stand. At the same time, under the terms of the concordat, Catholic criticism of acts deemed political by the Nazis, could now be regarded as “foreign interference.” The great German Catholic Church, at the insistence of Rome, fell silent. In the future all complaints against the Nazis would be channeled through Pacelli. There were some notable exceptions, for example the sermons preached in 1933 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, the Archbishop of Munich, in which he denounced the Nazis for their rejection of the Old Testament as a Jewish text.

The concordat immediately drew the German church into complicity with the Nazis. Even as Pacelli was granted special advantages in the concordat for German Catholic education, Hitler was trampling on the educational rights of Jews throughout the country. At the same time, Catholic priests were being drawn into Nazi collaboration with the attestation bureaucracy, which established Jewish ancestry. Pacelli, despite the immense centralized power he now wielded through the Code of Canon Law, said and did nothing. The attestation machinery would lead inexorably to the selection of millions destined for the death camps.

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As Nazi anti-Semitism mounted in Germany during the 1930’s, Pacelli failed to complain, even on behalf of Jews who had become Catholics, acknowledging that the matter was a matter of German internal policy. Eventually, in January 1937, three German cardinals and two influential bishops arrived at the Vatican to plead for a vigorous protest over Nazi persecution of the Catholic Church, which had been deprived of all forms of activity beyond church services. Pius XI at last decided to issue an encyclical, a letter addressed to all the faithful of the world. Written under Pacelli’s direction, it was called Mit Brennender Sorge (With Deep Anxiety), and it was a forthright statement of the plight of the church in Germany. But there was no explicit condemnation of anti-Semitism, even in relation to Jews who had converted to Catholicism. Worse still, the subtext against Nazism (National Socialism and Hitler were not mentioned by name) was blunted by the publication five days later of an even more condemnatory encyclical by Pius XI against Communism.

The encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, though too little and too late, revealed that the Catholic Church all along had the power to shake the regime. A few days later, Hermann Göring, one of Hitler’s closest aides and his commander of the Luftwaffe, delivered a two-hour harangue to a Nazi assembly against the Catholic clergy. However, Roman centralizing had paralyzed the German Catholic Church and its powerful web of associations. Unlike the courageous grass-roots activism that had combated Bismarck’s persecutions in the 1870s, German Catholicism now looked obediently to Rome for guidance. Although Pacelli collaborated in the writing and the distribution of the encyclical, he quickly undermined its effects by reassuring the Reich’s ambassador in Rome. “Pacelli received me with decided friendliness,” the diplomat reported back to Berlin, “and emphatically assured me during the conversation that normal and friendly relations with us would be restored as soon as possible.”

In the summer of 1938, as Pius XI lay dying, he became belatedly anxious about anti-Semitism throughout Europe. He commissioned another encyclical, to be written exclusively on the Jewish question. The text, which never saw the light of day, has only recently been discovered. It was written by three Jesuit scholars, but Pacelli presumably had charge of the project. It was to be called Humani Generis Unitas (The Unity of the Human Race). For all its good intentions and its repudiation of violent anti-Semitism, the document is replete with the anti-Jewishness that Pacelli had displayed in his early period in Germany. The Jews, the text claims, were responsible for their own fate. God had chosen them to make way for Christ’s redemption, but they denied and killed him. And now, “blinded by their dream of worldly gain and material success,” they deserved the “worldly and spiritual ruin” that they had brought down upon themselves.

The document warns that that to defend the Jews as “Christian principles and humanity” demand could involve the unacceptable risk of being ensnared by secular politics — not least an association with Bolshevism. The encyclical was delivered in the fall of 1938 to the Jesuits in Rome, who sat on it. To this day we do not know why it was not completed and handed to Pope Pius XI. For all its drawbacks, it was a clear protest against Nazi attacks on Jews and so might have done some good. But it appears likely that the Jesuits, and Pacelli, whose influence as secretary of state of the Vatican was paramount since the Pope was moribund, were reluctant to inflame the Nazis by its publication. Pacelli, when he became pope, would bury the document deep in the secret archives.

On February 10, 1939, Pius XI died, at the age of 81. Pacelli, then 63, was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals in just three ballots, on March 2. He was crowned on March 12, on the eve of Hitler’s march into Prague. Between his election and his coronation he held a crucial meeting with the German cardinals. Keen to affirm Hitler publicly, he showed them a letter of good wishes which began, “To the Illustrious Herr Adolf Hitler.” Should he, he asked them, style the Führer “Most Illustrious”? He decided that that might be going too far. He told the cardinals that Pius XI had said that keeping a papal nuncio in Berlin “conflicts with our honor.” But his predecessor, he said, had been mistaken. He was going to maintain normal diplomatic relations with Hitler. The following month, at Pacelli’s express wish, Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the Berlin nuncio, hosted a gala reception in honor of Hitler’s 50th birthday. A birthday greeting to the Führer from the bishops of Germany would become an annual tradition until the war’s end.

Pacelli’s coronation was the most triumphant in a hundred years. His style of papacy, for all his personal humility, was unprecedentedly pompous. He always ate alone. Vatican bureaucrats were obliged to take phone calls from him on their knees. When he took his afternoon walk, the gardeners had to hide in the bushes. Senior officials were not allowed to ask him questions or present a point of view.

As Europe plunged toward war Pacelli cast himself in the role of judge of judges. But he continued to seek to appease Hitler by attempting to persuade the Poles to make concessions over Germany’s territorial claims. After Hitler’s invasion of Poland, on September 1, 1939, he declined to condemn Germany, to the bafflement of the Allies. His first public statement, the encyclical known in the English-speaking world as Darkness over the Earth, was full of papal rhetoric and equivocations.

Then something extraordinary occurred, revealing that whatever had motivated Pacelli in his equivocal approach to the Nazi onslaught in Poland did not betoken cowardice or a liking for Hitler. In November 1939, in deepest secrecy, Pacelli became intimately and dangerously involved In what was probably the most viable plot to depose Hitler during the war.

The plot centered on a group of anti-Nazi generals, committed to returning Germany to democracy. The coup might spark a civil war, and they wanted assurances that the West would not take advantage of the ensuing chaos. Pius XII agreed to act as go-between for the plotters and the Allies. Had his complicity in the plot been discovered it might have proved disastrous for the Vatican and for many thousands of German clergy. As it happened, leaders in London dragged their feet, and the plotters eventually fell silent. The episode demonstrates that, while Pacelli seemed weak to some, pusillanimity and indecisiveness were hardly in his nature.

Pacelli’s first wartime act of reticence in failing to speak out against Fascist brutality occurred in the summer of 1941, following Hitler’s invasion of Yugoslavia and the formation of the Catholic and Fascist state of Croatia. In a wave of appalling ethnic cleansing, the Croat Fascist separatists, known as the Ustashe, under the leadership of Ante Pavelic, the Croat Führer, embarked on a campaign of enforced conversions, deportations, and mass extermination targeting a population of 2.2 million Serb Orthodox Christians and a smaller number of Jews and Gypsies.

According to the Italian writer Carlo Falconi, as early as April, in a typical act of atrocity, a band of Ustashe had rounded up 331 Serbs. The victims were forced to dig their own graves before being hacked to death with axes. The local priest was forced to recite the prayers for the dying while his son was chopped to pieces before his eyes. Then the priest was tortured. His hair and beard were torn off, his eves were gouged out. Finally he was skinned alive. The very next month Pacelli greeted Pavelic at the Vatican.

Throughout the war, the Croat atrocities continued. By the most recent scholarly reckoning. 487,000 Orthodox Serbs and 27,000 Gypsies were massacred; in addition, approximately 30,000 out of a population of 45,000 Jews were killed. Despite a close relationship between the Ustashe regime and the Catholic bishops, and a constant flow of information about the massacres, Pacelli said and did nothing. In fact, he continued to extend warm wishes to the Ustashe leadership. The only feasible explanation for Pacelli’s silence was his perception of Croatia as a Catholic bridgehead into the East. The Vatican and the local bishops approved of mass conversion in Croatia (even though it was the result of fear rather than conviction), because they believed that this could spell the beginning of a return of the Orthodox Christians there to papal allegiance. Pacelli was not a man to condone mass murder, but he evidently chose to turn a blind eye on Ustashe atrocities rather than hinder a unique opportunity to extend the power of the papacy.

Pacelli came to learn of the Nazi plans to exterminate the Jews of Europe shortly after they were laid in January 1942. The deportations to the death camps had begun in December 1941 and would continue through 1944. All during 1942, Pacelli received reliable information on the details of the Final Solution, much of it supplied by the British, French, and American representatives resident in the Vatican. On March 17, 1942, representatives of Jewish organizations assembled in Switzerland sent a memorandum to Pacelli via the papal nuncio in Bern, cataloguing violent anti-Semitic measures in Germany and in its allied and conquered territories. Their plea focused attention on Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, and unoccupied France, where, they believed, the Pope’s intervention might yet be effective. Apart from an intervention in the case of Slovakia, where the president was Monsignor Josef Tiso, a Catholic priest, no papal initiatives resulted. During the same month, a stream of dispatches describing the fate of some 90,000 Jews reached the Vatican from various sources in Eastern Europe. The Jewish organizations’ long memorandum would be excluded from the wartime documents published by the Vatican between 1965 and 1981.

On June 16, 1942, Harold Tittmann, the U.S. representative to the Vatican, told Washington that Pacelli was diverting himself, ostrichlike, into purely religious concerns and that the moral authority won for the papacy by Pius XI was being eroded. At the end of that month, the London Daily Telegraph announced that more than a million Jews had been killed in Europe and that it was the aim of the Nazis “to wipe the race from the European continent.” The article was re-printed in The New York Times. On July 21 there was a protest rally on behalf of Europe’s Jews in New York’s Madison Square Garden. In the following weeks the British, American, and Brazilian representatives to the Vatican tried to persuade Pacelli to speak out against the Nazi atrocities. But still he said nothing. In September 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt sent his personal representative, the former head of U.S. Steel, Myron Taylor, to plead with Pacelli to make a statement about the extermination of the Jews. Taylor traveled hazardously through enemy territory to reach the Vatican. Still Pacelli refused to speak. Pacelli’s excuse was that he must rise above the belligerent parties. As late as December 18, Francis d’Arcy Osborne, Britain’s envoy in the Vatican, handed Cardinal Domenico Tardini, Pacelli’s deputy secretary of state, a dossier replete with information on the Jewish deportations and mass killings in hopes that the Pope would denounce the Nazi regime in a Christmas message.

On December 24, 1942, having made draft after draft, Pacelli at last said something. In his Christmas Eve broadcast to the world on Vatican Radio, he said that men of goodwill owed a vow to bring society “back to its immovable center of gravity in divine law.” He went on: “Humanity owes this vow to those hundreds of thousands who, without any fault of their own, sometimes only by reason of their nationality and race, are marked for death or gradual extinction.”

That was the strongest public denunciation of the Final Solution that Pacelli would make in the whole course of the war.

It was not merely a paltry statement. The chasm between the enormity of the liquidation of the Jewish people and this form of evasive language was profoundly scandalous. He might have been referring to many categories of victims at the hands of various belligerents in the conflict. Clearly the choice of ambiguous wording was intended to placate those who urged him to protest, while avoiding offense to the Nazi regime. But these considerations are over-shadowed by the implicit denial and trivialization. He had scaled down the doomed millions to “hundreds of thousands” without uttering the word “Jews,” while making the pointed qualification “sometimes only by reason of their nationality or race.” Nowhere was the term “Nazi” mentioned. Hitler himself could not have wished for a more convoluted and innocuous reaction from the Vicar of Christ to the greatest crime in history.

But what was Pacelli’s principal motivation for this trivialization and denial? The Allies’ diplomats in the Vatican believed that he was remaining impartial in order to earn a crucial role in future peace negotiations. In this there was clearly a degree of truth. But a recapitulation of new evidence I have gathered shows that Pacelli saw the Jews as alien and undeserving of his respect and compassion. He felt no sense of moral outrage at their plight. The documents show that:

1. He had nourished a striking antipathy toward the Jews as early as 1917 in Germany, which contradicts later claims that his omissions were performed in good faith and that he “loved” the Jews and respected their religion.

2. From the end of the First World War to the lost encyclical of 1938, Pacelli betrayed a fear and contempt of Judaism based on his belief that the Jews were behind the Bolshevik plot to destroy Christendom.

3. Pacelli acknowledged to representatives of the Third Reich that the regime’s anti-Semitic policies were a matter of Germany’s internal politics. The Reich Concordat between Hitler and the Vatican, as Hitler was quick to grasp, created an ideal climate for Jewish persecution.

4. Pacelli failed to sanction protest by German Catholic bishops against anti-Semitism, and he did not attempt to intervene in the process by which Catholic clergy collaborated in racial certification to identify Jews.

5. After Pius XI’s Mit Brennender Sorge, denouncing the Nazi regime (although not by name), Pacelli attempted to mitigate the effect of the encyclical by giving private diplomatic reassurances to Berlin despite his awareness of widespread Nazi persecution of Jews.

6. Pacelli was convinced that the Jews had brought misfortune on their own heads: intervention on their behalf could only draw the church into alliances with forces inimical to Catholicism. Pacelli’s failure to utter a candid word on the Final Solution proclaimed to the world that the Vicar of Christ was not roused to pity or anger. From this point of view, he was the ideal Pope for Hitler’s unspeakable plan. His denial and minimization of the Holocaust were all the more scandalous in that they were uttered from a seemingly impartial moral high ground.

The Holocaust

How did Pacelli acquit himself’?

On the morning of the roundup, which had been prompted by Adolf Eichmann, who was in charge of the organization of the Final Solution from his headquarters in Berlin, the German ambassador in Rome pleaded with the Vatican to issue a public protest. By this stage of the war, Mussolini had been deposed and rescued by Adolf Hitler to run the puppet regime in the North of Italy. The German authorities in Rome, both diplomats and military commanders, fearing a backlash of the Italian populace, hoped that an immediate and vigorous papal denunciation might stop the SS in their tracks and prevent further arrests. Pacelli refused. In the end, the German diplomats drafted a letter of protest on the Pope’s behalf and prevailed on a resident German bishop to sign it for Berlin’s benefit. Meanwhile, the deportation of the imprisoned Jews went ahead on October 18.

When U.S. chargé d ‘affaires Harold Tittmann visited Pacelli that day, he found the pontiff anxious that the “Communist” Partisans would take advantage of a cycle of papal protest, followed by SS reprisals, followed by a civilian backlash. As a consequence, he was not inclined to lift a finger for the Jewish deportees, who were now traveling in cattle cars to the Austrian border bound for Auschwitz. Church officials reported on the desperate plight of the deportees as they passed slowly through city after city. Still Pacelli refused to intervene.

In the Jesuit archives in Rome, I found a secret document sworn to under oath by Karl Wolff, the SS commander in Italy. The text reveals that Hitler had asked Wolff in the fall of 1943 to prepare a plan to evacuate the Pope and the Vatican treasures to Liechtenstein.

After several weeks of investigation, Wolff concluded that an attempt to invade the Vatican and its properties, or to seize the Pope in response to a papal protest, would prompt a backlash throughout Italy that would seriously hinder the Nazi war effort. Hitler therefore dropped his plan to kidnap Pacelli, acknowledging what Pacelli appeared to ignore, that the strongest social and political force in Italy in late 1943 was the Catholic Church, and that its potential for thwarting the SS was immense.

Pacelli was concerned that a protest by him would benefit only the Communists. His silence on the deportation of Rome’s Jews, in other words, was not an act of cowardice or fear of the Germans. He wanted to maintain the Nazi-occupation status quo until such time as the city could be liberated by the Allies. But what of the deported Jews? Five days after the train had set off from the Tiburtina station in Rome, an estimated 1,060 had been gassed at Auschwitz and Birkenau – 149 men and 47 women were detained for slave labor, but only 15 survived the war, and only one of those was a woman, Settimia Spizzichino, who had served as a human guinea pig of Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi medical doctor who performed atrocious experiments on human victims. After the liberation, she was found alive in a heap of corpses.

But there was a more profound failure than Pacelli’s unwillingness to help the Jews of Rome rounded up on October 16. Pacelli’s reticence was not just a diplomatic silence in response to the political pressures of the moment, not just a failure to be morally outraged. It was a stunning religious and ritualistic silence. To my knowledge, there is no record of a single public papal prayer, lit votive candle, psalm, lamentation, or Mass celebrated in solidarity with the Jews of Rome either during their terrible ordeal or after their deaths. This spiritual silence in the face of an atrocity committed at the heart of Christendom, in the shadow of the shrine of the first apostle, persists to this day and implicates all Catholics. This silence proclaims that Pacelli had no genuine spiritual sympathy even for the Jews of Rome, who were members of the community of his birth. And yet, on learning of the death of Adolf Hitler, Archbishop Adolf Bertram of Berlin ordered all the priests of his archdiocese “to hold a solemn Requiem in memory of the Führer.”

There were nevertheless Jews who gave Pacelli the benefit of the doubt. On Thursday, November 29, 1945, Pacelli met some 80 representatives of Jewish refugees who expressed their thanks “for

his generosity toward those persecuted during the Nazi-Fascist period.” One must respect a tribute made by people who had suffered and survived, and we cannot belittle Pacelli’s efforts on the level of charitable relief, notably his directive that enclosed religious houses in Rome should take in Jews hiding from the SS.

Settimia Spizzichino, a holocaust survivor

We are obliged to accept these contrasting views of Pacelli are not mutually exclusive. It gives a Catholic no satisfaction to accuse a Pope of acquiescing in the plans of Hitler. But one of the saddest ironies of Pacelli’s papacy centers on the implications of his own pastoral self-image. At the beginning of a promotional film he commissioned about himself during the war, called ‘The Angelic Pastor,’ the camera frequently focuses on the statue of the Good Shepherd in the Vatican gardens. The parable of the good shepherd tells of the pastor who so loves each of his sheep that he will do all, risk all, go to any pains, to save one member of his flock that is lost or in danger. To his everlasting shame, and to the shame of the Catholic Church, Pacelli disdained to recognize the Jews of Rome as members of his Roman flock, even though they had dwelled in the Eternal City since before the birth of Christ. And yet there was still something worse. After the liberation of Rome, when every perception of restraint on his freedom was lifted, he claimed retrospective moral superiority for having spoken and acted on behalf of the Jews. Addressing a Palestinian group on August 3, 1946, he said, “We disapprove of all recourse to force…Just as we condemned on various occasions in the past the persecutions that a fanatical anti-Semitism inflicted on the Hebrew people.” His grandiloquent self-exculpation a year after the war had ended showed him to be not only an ideal pope for the Nazis Final Solution but also a hypocrite.

The postwar period of Pacelli’s papacy, through the 1950s, saw the apotheosis of the ideology of papal power as he presided over a triumphant Catholic Church in open confrontation with Communism. But it could not hold. The internal structures and morale of the church in Pacelli’s final years began to show signs of fragmentation and decay, leading to a yearning for reassessment and renewal. In old age he became increasingly narrow-minded, eccentric and hypochondriacal. He experienced religious visions, suffered from chronic hiccups, and received monkey-brain-cell injections for longevity. He had no love for, or trust in those who had to follow him. He failed to replace his secretary of state when he died and for years he declined to appoint a full complement of cardinals. He died at the age of 82 on October 9,1958. His corpse decomposed rapidly in the autumnal Roman heat. At his lying-in-state, a guard fainted from the stench. Later, his nose turned black and fell off. Some saw in this sudden corruption of his mortal remains, a symbol of the absolute corruption of his papacy.

The Second Vatican Council was called by John XXIII, who succeeded Pacelli, in 1958, precisely to reject Pacelli’s monolith in preference for a collegial, decentralized, human, Christian community, the Holy Spirit, and love. The guiding metaphor of the church of the future was of a “pilgrim people of God.” Expectations ran high, but there was no lack of contention and anxiety as old habits and disciplines died hard. There were signs from the very outset that papal and Vatican hegemony would not easily acquiesce, that the Old Guard would attempt a comeback. As we approach the end of this century, the hopeful energy of the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, as it came to be called, appears to many a spent force. The church of Pius XII is reasserting itself in confirmation of a pyramidal church model: faith in the primacy of the man in the white robe dictating in solitude from the pinnacle. In the twilight years of John Paul II’s long reign, the Catholic Church gives a pervasive impression of dysfunction despite his historic influence on the collapse of Communist tyranny in Poland and the Vatican’s enthusiasm for entering its third millennium with a cleansed conscience.

As the theologian Professor Adrian Hastings comments, “The great tide powered by Vatican II has, at least institutionally, spent its force. The old landscape has once more emerged and Vatican II is now being read in Rome far more in the spirit of the First Vatican Council and within the context of Pius XII’s model of Catholicism.” A future titanic struggle between the progressives and the traditionalists is in prospect, with the potential for a cataclysmic schism, especially in North America, where a split has opened up between bishops compliant with Rome and academic Catholicism, which is increasingly independent and dissident. Pacelli, whose canonization process is now well advanced, has become the icon, 40 years after his death, of those traditionalists who read and revise the provisions of the Second Vatican Council from the viewpoint of Pacelli’s ideology of papal power — an ideology that has proved disastrous in the century’s history.

Source:

Hitler’s Pope
(Abridged)

by John Cornwell
Published in Vanity Fair, October 1999

The Culture of Hate

*click image

“The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilization. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages, and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights on the one hand, and the violation of these on the other hand.  It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilization. Civilization do not clash but compete.

The Muslims are the one who began this expression.  The Muslims are the one who began the clash of civilizations.  The Prophet of Islam said, “I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.”  When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called on to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash and began this war. In order to stop this war, they must examine their Islamic books and curricula which are full of call of takfir and fighting the infidels.

My colleagues has said that he never offends other people’s beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names they did not choose for themselves. Once he calls them Ahl Al- Dhimma, another times he calls them “People of the Book”, and yet another times he compares them to apes and pigs or he calls the Christians “those who incur Allah’s wrath.” Who told you that they are ‘People of the Book”?  They are not the “People of the Book”, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to calls them “those who incur Allah’s wrath”  or those “who have gone astray”, and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the belief of others?

a Islamic protest

“Why does a young Muslim, in the prime of life, with a full of life ahead, go and blow himself up? How and why does he blow himself up in a bus full of innocent passengers? In our countries, religion is the sole source of education, and is the only spring from which terrorists drank until his thirst was quenched. He was not born a terrorist, and did not become a terrorist overnight. Islamic teachings played a role in weaving his ideological fabric, thread by thread, and did not allow other sources, – I am referring to scientific sources, to play a role.  It was these teachings that distorted this terrorist and killed his humanity. It was not the terrorist who distorted the religious teachings and misunderstood them, as some ignorant people claim.  When you recite to a child still in his early years the verse; “They will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate side cut off “, regardless of this verse’s  interpretation, and regardless of the reasons it was conveyed or its time, you have made the first step towards creating a great terrorist.

Murder is terrorism regardless of time or place, but when it is committed as a decree from Allah, this is another matter. The Crusaders wars about which the professor is talking, these wars came after the Islamic religious teachings, and as a response to this teachings. This is the law of action and reaction.  The Islamic religious teachings have incited to the rejection of other, to the denial of the other, and to the killing of the other. Have they not incited to the killing of the Jews and Christians? If we had heard that a tribe in the distant corner of China has  a holy book and religious teachings calling to kill Muslims – would the Muslims stand idly by in the face of such teachings? The Crusaders war came after this Islamic religious teachings. When this Islamic teachings were delivered, America did not exist in the face of the the earth, nor was Israel in Palestine.

Why doesn’t he talks about Muslim conquests that proceeded all the wars he is talking about? Why doesn’t he mentioned that when Tariq bin Ziyyad entered Andalusia with his armies, he said to his people; “The sea is behind you, and the enemy is in front”? How can you storm a peaceful country, and considered all its inhabitants as your enemies, merely because you have the right to spread your religion? Should religion be spread by the sword and through fighting?

Can you explain to me the killing of a hundred of thousand of children, women and men in Algeria, using the most abominable killing methods? Can you explain to me the killing of 15,000 Syrian civilians? Can you explain the abominable crime in the military artillery school in Aleppo? Can you explain the crime in Al-Asbaqiya neighborhood of Damascus, Syria? can you explain the attacks of the terrorists on the peaceful village of Al-Kisheh in Upper Egypt, and the massacre of 21 Coptic peasants? Can you explain to me what is going on in Indonesia, Turkey and Egypt, even though these are Islamic countries which opposed the American intervention in Iraq and which don’t have armies in Iraq, yet were not spared by the terrorists? Can you explain these phenomena, which took place in Arab countries? Was all this revenge on America or Israel? Or were they merely to satisfy bestial wild instincts aroused in them by religious teachings, which incite to rejection of the other, to the killing of the other, or to the denial of the other. When Saddame Hussein buried 20,000 Shiites and Kurds alive, we did not hear a single Muslim protesting. Your silence served to acknowledge the legitimacy of these killings, didn’t it?”

 

(Excerpts from Wafa Sultan)

Another God on Earth?

Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica, Juridica, Moralis, Theologica, Ascetica, Polemica, Rubristica, Historica. by Lucius Ferraris ARTICLE 2 Concerning the extent of Papal dignity, authority, or dominion and infallibility.

(English Version)

PAPA  – POPE

ARTICULUS II – ARTICLE 2

Quoadea quoeconcernunt papae dignitatem, auctoritatem, seu potestatem, et infallibilitatem.
Concerning the extent of Papal dignity, authority, or dominion and infallibility.

SUMMARIUM – SUMMARY

1. Papa tantae est dignitatis et cesitudinis, ut non sit simplex homo, sed quasi Deus, et Dei vicarius.

The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God.


2. Papa adeo summae et supremae dignitatis est, ut proprie loquendo non sit in dignitate constitutus, sed potius in ipso culmine dignitatum positus.

The Pope is of such lofty and supreme dignity that properly speaking he has not been established in any rank of dignity, but rather has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks of dignities.


3. Papa idem est ac Pater patrum.

The Pope is the Father of fathers.


4. Et hoc nomine uti potest solus Summus Pontifex.

Therefore he alone holds the office of Supreme Pontiff.


5. Papa appellatur Sanctissimus, et quare?

The Pope is called most holy, why?

 

From column 1825:

5. Papa Sanctissimus appellatur, quiatalis vere praesumitur.

The pope is called most holy because he is rightfully presumed to be such.


6. Neque sanctissimi appellari possunt imperatores et reges?

Nor can emperors and kings be called holy, why?

 

From column 1826:

6. Neque sanctissimi appellari possunt imperatores et reges, quamvis enim in legibus civilibus videatur aliquando usurpatum ab imperatoribus nomen sacratissimi, ut observat card.

Nor can emperors and kings be called most holy; for although in civil laws the term most sacred seems
sometimes to have been usurped by emperors, yet never that of most holy.


7. Merito solus Papa appellatur nomine Sanctissimi, et quare?

The Pope alone merits to be called Most Holy, why?

 

From column 1826:

7. Et merito solus Papa appellatur nomine Sanctissimi, quia solus ipse est vicarius Christi, qui est fons et origo, atque plenitudo omnis sanctitatis.

The pope alone is deservedly called by the name most holy because he alone is the vicar of Christ, who is the
fountain, source and fullness of all holiness.


8. Papa prae excellentia suae supremae dignitatis vocatur episcopus episcoporum.

The Pope by reason of the excellence of his supreme dignity is called bishop of bishops.


9. Item appellatur Ordinarius ordinariorum.

He is also called Ordinary of ordinaries.


10. Item episcopus universalis Ecclesiae.

He is likewise bishop of the universal Church.


11. Item episcopus seu dioecesanus totius orbis.

He is a bishop with jurisdiction over the whole globe.


12. Item divinus monarcha, ac imperator supremus et rex regum.

He is likewise the divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and king of kings.


13. Hinc Papa triplici corona coronatur tanquam rec coeli, terre et infernoram.

Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of hell.


14. Imo Romani Pontificis excellentia, et potestas, nedum est circa coelestia, terrestria et infernalia, set etiam super angelos, quorum ipse major est.

Moreover the superiority and the power of the Roman Pontiff by no means pertains only to heavenly things, but also earthly things, and to things under the earth, and even over the angels, whom he is greater than.


15. Ita ut si foret possibile, quod angeli errarent in fide, vel contra fidem sentirent, per Papam judicari et excommunicari possent.

So that if it were possible that the angels might err in the faith, or might think contrary to the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the Pope.


16. Papa tantae est dignitatis ut faciat unum, et idem tribunal cum Christo.

For he is of so great dignity and power that he forms one and the same tribunal with Christ.


17. Adeo ut quidquid facit Papa, ab ore Dei videatur procedere.

So that whatever the Pope does, seems to proceed from the mouth of God.


18. Deveniendo ad Papae auctoritatem, Papa est quasi Deus in terra unicaus Christifidelium princeps, regum omnium rex maximus, plenitudinem potestatis continens, cui terreni simul, ac coelestis imperii gubernacula ab omnipotenti Deo credita sunt.

As to papal authority, the Pope is as it were God on earth, Sole sovereign of all the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having a plentitude of unbroken power, entrusted by the omnipotent God to govern the earthly and heavenly kingdoms.


19. Congruunt ulterius quaod Papae summam auctoritatem et potestatem texius juris Caesarei.

Consistent beyond that superior papal authority and dominion is derived from the law of the Caesars.


20. Non minis summam Papae auctoritatem, et potestatem extollunt rescripta et dogmata virorum aliorum Imperatorum.

By no means lessened, superior Papal authority and dominion appear dogmatically in letters from various Emperors.


21. Magis magisque supremam Papae auctoritatem, potestatemque extollunt plurimi sacri canones et ibi canonistae communiter.

More and more, supreme Papal authority and dominion is extolled in many sacred canons and within canons commonly.


22. Egregium dictum S. Cyrilli Alexandrini de admirabili auctoritate, seu potestate Summi Pontificis.

Distinguished dictates of Saint Cyril Alexander of admirable authority, or dominion Supreme Pontiff.


23. Hinc jam communis opinio docet, quod Papa utriusque gladii habeat potestatem, spiritualem, scilicet, et temporalem.

Hence the common doctrine teaches to what extent the Pope possesses authority to punish capitol crimes, spiritual, of course, and temporal.


24. Quae opinio auctoritate sanctorum Patrum, juris canonici et civilis dispositione, et Apostolicis constitutionibus latissime confirmatur.

Which opinion is abundantly confirmed by the authoritative sacred fathers, the canons of civil law, and Apostolic constitutions.


25. Adeo ut contrarium affirmantes videantur adhaerere fere illi opinioni haereticorum reprobatae per Bonifacium VIII in extravagant. Unam Sanctam 1, De obedient.

Indeed contrary declarations appear similar to those opinions considered as reprobate by Boniface VIII in his extravagant. Bull Unam Sanctam 1, the obedient.


26. Unde principes et reges, infideles possunt per sententiam Papae privari in certis casibus Dominio, quod habent super fideles.

Hence infidel princes and kings, by the decision of the Pope, may be deprived, in certain cases, of the dominion which they have over the faithful.


27. Et inde Papa provincias, quae olim Christianorum erant, ab infidelibus occupatas, alicui ex principibus Christianis regendas concedit.

And hence the pope may cede those provinces, which formerly belonged to Christians, that were subsequently occupied by infidels, to any Christian princes to be redeemed.


28. Imo Papa in casibus, quibus propter haeresim regis, videat periclitari religionem illius regni, fidemque aliorum, nec aliter tanto damno succurri possit, tunc potest non solum a rege regnum, sed etiam ab ejus successoribus, si illud debeliaverit, concedere.

In cases in which, on account of the heresy of the king, the religion of the kingdom, and the faith of others seem to be in danger, if he can in no other way prevent this loss, the pope may not only deprive him of his kingdom, be he may also concede it to a Christian  prince and his successors, if this prince will fight for it and conquer it.


29. Afferuntur ad id varia exempla.

Offered therefore are various examples.


30. “Papa tantae est auctoritatis et potestatis, ut possit quoque leges divinas modificare, declarare, vel interpretari, ad num.

The Pope is of so great authority and power, that he is able to modify, declare, or interpret even divine laws.

 

30. “Papa jus divinum potest modificare, cum ejus potestas non sit ex homine, sed ex Deo, et in terris Dei vices fungitur com amplissima potestate oves suas ligandi, et solvendi”

“The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth with most ample power of binding and loosing his sheep.


31. – 32. Papa id potest de se solo etiam sine generali concilio. Est enim Papa supra concilium generale, et non e contra.

The Pope has sole power also at general councils. As the Pope is above general councils, they may not contradict him.


33. Quanto vero Papa major, et excellentior est omnibus, tanto humiliorem se reputat, et nominat, ac se vocat Servum servorum Dei.

Truly how great the Pope is, his excellency is universal, his reputation of great humility, and renown, indeed he is called the Servant to the servants of God.


34. Papa quare se vocet Servum servorum Dei?

Why is the Pope himself called the Servant to the servants of God?


35. Quis fuerit primus Pontifex qui se Servus servorum Dei nominavit?

Who was the first Pontiff named the Servant of God’s servants?


Why Put Poison To Your Specialty?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe,” the use of MSG remains controversial.

Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse

"The Japanese are concerned about the health affects of MSG. Should we not be also?"

reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

While the benefits of MSG to our food industry are quite clear, this food additive slowly and silently doing major damage to your health.

There are a couple of main reasons why MSG is one of the worst food additives in the market. First, as Dr. Blaylock, author of the highly recommended Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, says in the video, MSG is an excitotoxin, which means that it overexcites your cells to the point of damage, acting as a poison. The second part of the equation is that MSG can be literally hidden in food labels, under names like broth, casein, hydrolyzed, autolyzed, and more, making it extremely difficult to identify.

You may remember when MSG powder called “Accent” first hit the U.S. market. Well, it was many decades prior to this, in 1908, that monosodium glutamate was invented. The inventor was Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese man who identified the natural flavor enhancing substance of seaweed.

Taking a hint from this substance, they were able to create the man-made additive MSG, and he and a partner went on to form Ajinomoto, which is now the world’s largest producer of MSG (and interestingly also a drug manufacturer).

Chemically speaking, MSG is approximately 78 percent free glutamic acid, 21 percent sodium, and up to 1 percent contaminants.

It’s a misconception that MSG is a flavor or “meat tenderizer.” In reality, MSG has very little taste at all, yet when you eat MSG, you think the food you’re eating has more protein and tastes better. It does this by tricking your tongue, using a little-known fifth basic taste: umami.

Umami is the taste of glutamate, which is a savory flavor found in many Japanese foods, bacon and also in the toxic food additive MSG. It is because of umami that foods with MSG taste heartier, more robust and generally better to a lot of people than foods without it.

The ingredient didn’t become widespread in the United States until after World War II, when the U.S. military realized Japanese rations were much tastier than the U.S. versions because of MSG.

In 1959, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeled MSG as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS), and it has remained that way ever since. Yet, it was a telling sign when just 10 years later a condition known as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” entered the medical literature, describing the numerous side effects, from numbness to heart palpitations, that people experienced after eating MSG.

Today that syndrome is more appropriately called “MSG Symptom Complex,” which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies as “short-term reactions” to MSG. More on those “reactions” to come.

For years MSG Symptom Complex has been known in the US by the misnomer Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. We do not use that term anywhere on this site, except this page. The reason is quite simple. Calling this health problem Chinese Restaurant Syndrome not only does a disservice to Chinese Restaurant owners who do not add MSG, but it also dangerously hides the fact that American processed food is now so loaded with the flavor enhancer Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) as to be the largest source of MSG in the average American diet. Most Americans, when told MSG is harmful respond with “I don’t eat Chinese food, so I don’t need to worry”.

It is interesting to note the joke that after eating MSG in foods at a Chinese restaurant “you are hungry an hour later”, may have some merit. The glutamate in MSG acts as an insulin trigger. This will definitely give you a hunger response about an hour and a half later. This fact has not been lost on American food manufacturers. They know the value of an addictive food ingredient. If they keep you hungry for more, they have succeeded.

The Japanese company called Ajinomoto – only recently found guilty of price-fixing MSG on the world market, is today the prime maker of MSG. Japan is also where taurine and CoQ10 are now used to treat heart disease, and ginger and taurine-rich sushi are eaten alongside MSG sprinkled food. These foods have protective effects against an MSG reaction. However, even the Japanese have found recently that MSG fed to mice can lead to blindness. The Japanese are concerned about the health affects of MSG. Should we not be also?