By Paul O’Shea (auth.)
The papacy of Pius XII (1939-1958) has been a resource of near-constant feedback and debate on account that his loss of life, rather as a result of his alleged silence throughout the Holocaust. Paul O'Shea examines his little-studied pre-papal existence to illustrate that Pius was once neither an anti-Semitic villain nor a 'lamb with out stain.'
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Additional resources for A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe
46 Jesus was the fulfillment of the Hebrew Bible, and to ensure that people did not think this a Christian fabrication, the Jews served as witnesses of biblical authenticity, therefore demonstrating the veracity of Christian claims. This was evidence that it was part of God’s plan that the Jews remained. Augustine’s second reason is that Jews were living proof of Christian truth. Through their rejection of Christ and defiance of God, they were punished with the destruction of the Temple and loss of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
41 It is in this context that we can understand the ferocious tone of the preacher. We need also to recall that four centuries had passed since the time of Christ and that memories of first-century Judaism were dim. The stereotypes created in the composition of the gospels to address particular issues pertinent to its day were now accepted as universal motifs applicable for all time. Therefore, for example, the words of Matthew “His blood be upon us and upon our children” had a literal force as powerful in Chrysostom’s day as in the decades following the destruction of the Temple.
It was Paul of Tarsus, the most energetic of the apostles, who made the move away from the synagogue. His conversion from being a devout Pharisaic Jew and an active persecutor of the early Christian community to a committed follower of Jesus became the prototype of Christian discipleship. Paul’s conversion experience had convinced him of the inadequacy of Halakah and Torah as vehicles of salvation. The death and resurrection of Jesus not only overshadowed the Law, but rendered the Law superf luous.