The “Sin of Omission”? Radio Vatican and the anti-Nazi Struggle, 1940–1942

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Abstract

Studies and articles have recently appeared condemning Pius XII and Vatican policy during World War II. Pius XII and the Vatican are charged with having committed “crimes of omission”. The papacy is accused of having remained silent during the mass killings of the Jews and of passivity when no order was given to the national Churches to act in the Jews' defence. An examination of broadcasts from Vatican radio challenges such conclusions. These broadcasts show that Vatican radio exposed Nazi persecution of the Church and opposed collaboration with Nazism. Furthermore, Vatican radio also appealed to Christians to remain true to their faith's injunctions: to defend the sanctity of life and the unity of humankind. In so doing the Vatican pursued a policy of spiritual resistance to Nazi ideology and racism.

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