CROMWELL – “So, did you know that Pope Pius XII was a good Pope?” asked Deacon Tom Davis, director of the Pope John Paul II Bioethics Center at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, as he introduced Gary Krupp, founder and president of Pave the Way Foundation.
Mr. Krupp appeared as the 2014 Pope John Paul II Bioethics lecturer to dispel some misconceptions about Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, and to reveal what he called a deliberate campaign to assassinate the character and papacy of this man. Mr. Krupp and his foundation are recognized worldwide for groundbreaking research.
The audience was familiar with the decades-long controversies concerning the pope’s alleged silence during the Holocaust. He has been called a Nazi sympathizer, a Nazi collaborator, an anti-Semite and Hitler’s pope, nearly derailing the cause for his beatification.
Mr. Krupp, himself a Jew, has led the research that has resulted in the world’s being on the cusp of exonerating, and honoring, Pope Pius XII. The research is summarized in the 300-page book presented to each attendee as a gift from the foundation.
Compiled and edited by the speaker, the book, Pope Pius XII and World War II, The Documented Truth: A Compilation of International Evidence Revealing the Wartime Acts of the Vatican,” contains copies of the actual documents the foundation’s researchers have obtained from Vatican archives.
Mr. Krupp began, in his decidedly New York accent, with the declarative, “We grew up hating Pius the XII because we believed the lies that were spread about him.”
He then spent the next hour providing an account of the years since 2006 and the series of events resulting in the establishment of the Pave the Way Foundation, which he founded with his wife, Meredith.
Because of his life-long detestation of Pacelli, he initially shrugged off a request in 2006 to intercede on behalf of t Pope Pius XII from the apostolic nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco. The request concerned a “very hurtful and historically incorrect” placard of remarks that had been placed next to the portrait of Pope Pius XII at the Holocaust Memorial of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
Mr. Krupp said that God intervened through circumstances that prompted him not only to say “yes,” but to embark on what has become a nearly decade-long journey. He related with passion and respect for the Catholic Church the mission of the foundation in identifying obstacles between the world’s religions and moving to eliminate them by initiating historic gestures that open doors and set a level of trust.
In the beginning, he was perplexed, then shocked and later angry as the collective evidence from Vatican documents was found to be “so compelling you would have to be an idiot to not understand what they [the documents] say.” Mr. Krupp labeled the perpetrators of the conspiracies against Pius XII, as “historical revisionists.” He said they never consulted archival documents.
But the gain has not come without pain, for the foundation and for individual researchers. Mr. Krupp named many individuals, Catholics among them, who have attacked both him and his foundation’s researchers for publishing the vast amount evidence on the Pave the Way Foundation website, http://www.ptwf.org. There, one may pore through over 76,000 Vatican archival items by simply registering. The imminent release of additional years of documentation, all of which will be made available online, is widely anticipated.
In his book Mr. Krupp states, “The world’s historians have a sacred and moral responsibility to be absolutely accurate. How is it possible that these historians, whom we trust to ‘get it right,’ could have gotten this so wrong?”
His answer was emphatic: “There is nothing to support anything they say, nothing, that’s the bottom line of it.”
He offered astonishing statistics that make the numbers of saved Jews in Steven Spielberg’s historical account of Schindler’s List pale in comparison. He said that as many as 25 percent of Jews alive today can thank the papacy and Vatican of Pius XII for their very lives.
David Charette, of Sacred Heart Parish in New Britain, was among attendees. He had heard Mr. Krupp some time ago in an EWTN interview and has studied what the Pave the Way Foundation has been doing. “Pave the Way,” he said, “is making a lot of headway.”
Deacon Davis said Pope Pius XII’s prophetic warnings about National Socialism (Nazism) to Church hierarchy even before 1920, long before he rose to a position of power, and those he delivered in the 1950s on medical-moral topics, all speak to the mission of the Pope John Paul II Bioethics Center … the protection of human life.
In fostering this mission, the center’s Lecture Series in Bioethics is an annual address by a leading voice in moral theology and bioethics.