Abstract

The frequent anti-Jewish articles in the official Vatican newspaper in the 1930s disappeared during the papacy of Pius XII (1939-1958). The research below shows that, even so, L'Osservatore Romano did not publicize the destruction of Europe's Jews during the Holocaust and remained reticent on other German atrocities. It did report Soviet cruelties and aggression. Even after the liberation of Rome in June 1944, the newspaper failed to denounce the ongoing genocide. It did, however, print the pope's three speeches that included expressions of compassion for those suffering because of "nationality and descent," his two encyclicals mentioning the unity of the human family, and several articles objecting to biological racism. After the roundup of 1,259 Roman Jews on October 16, 1943, it referred twice to the pope's universal charity without distinction of "nationality, religion, or descent," while in December it objected to arrests of Jews by Italians; the paper suffered no serious consequences. The author argues that L'Osservatore Romano could have done more.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1476-7937
Print ISSN
8756-6583
Pages
pp. 249-277
Launched on MUSE
2003-08-19
Open Access
No
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