iUniverse, 2012, ISBN 978-1475962864
A Igreja Católica abriu o caminho ao Holocausto
Anthony J. Sciolino é um Juiz americano aposentado, filho de emigrantes italianos, que se dedicou ao estudo da Teologia e foi mesmo ordenado diácono da Igreja Católica.
Publicou em 2012 este livro bastante provocador que liga o Holocausto ao tradicional anti judaísmo da Igreja Católica. Aparentemente, não fez muita investigação para escrever o livro, mas consultou uma extensa bibliografia que cita com abundância. Merecem destaque estes livros e autores:
John Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen- A Moral Reckoning': The Catholic Church's Role In The Holocaust
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen- Hitler's Willing Executioners
Garry Wills, Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit
Guenter Lewy, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany -- 1964
Michael Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965
Gordon C. Zahn, German Catholics and Hitler’s Wars
Todos estes autores são bastante críticos da evolução da Igreja Católica no século passado.
A tese é que as Leis racistas de Nuremberga promulgadas em 1935, não teriam sido possíveis se não existisse uma tradição católica de ódio ao Judeu.
Dizia Roberto Farinacci (1892-1945), elemento preponderante do movimento fascista italiano:
Noi cattolici fascisti consideriamo il problema ebraico un problema strettamente politico e non religioso, e in materia politica ognuno ha e difende le sue idee. Ma diciamo a conforto dell’anima nostra che se, come cattolici, siamo divenuti antisemiti, lo dobbiamo agli insegnamenti che ci provengono dalla Chiesa attraverso venti secoli. [...]
Nós católicos fascistas consideramos o problema hebraico um problema estritamente político e não religioso e, em matéria de política, cada um tem e defende as suas ideias. Mas dizemos para conforto da nossa alma que se, como católicos, nos tornámos anti-semitas, devemo-lo aos ensinamentos que nos vêm da Igreja, ao longo de vinte séculos […]
A não condenação do Holocausto pela Igreja liga-se directamente à actuação do Papa Pio XII, personalidade muito discutida. Negociou muito rapidamente a Concordata em 20 de Julho de 1933 com Hitler que este, em posição de força, desrespeitou sempre que lhe apeteceu. Sendo já Cardeal e Secretário de Estado em 1935, não reagiu às Leis de Nuremberga e, já como Papa, nunca condenou expressamente o Holocausto, que era já conhecido desde 1942. Dizem alguns que não o fez por ainda querer aparecer como medianeiro em eventuais negociações de paz no final da guerra, o que afinal nunca sucedeu, porque os Aliados decidiram a derrota total do regime nazi.
Um episódio impressionante foi a vida de Edith Stein, morta em Auschwitz em 9 de Agosto de 1942. Em Abril de 1933, ela tinha escrito ao Papa Pio XI a carta que transcrevo no Anexo 1, à qual o então Cardeal Pacelli respondeu dirigindo-se à Madre Superiora do Convento onde ela estava. Não se sabe se o Papa a terá lido. Edith Stein foi beatificada em 1987 e canonizada em 1998.
A rejeição do anti-judaísmo pela Igreja só aconteceu no Concílio Vaticano II na declaração “Nostra Aetate” em 28 de Outubro de 1965:
Praeterea, Ecclesia, quae omnes persecutiones in quosvis homines reprobat, memor communis cum Iudaeis patrimonii, nec rationibus politicis sed religiosa caritate evangelica impulsa, odia, persecutiones, antisemitismi manifestationes, quovis tempore et a quibusvis in Iudaeos habita, deplorat.
Além disso, a Igreja que reprova toda a perseguição contra qualquer ser humano, lembrando o património comum que partilha com os Judeus, e motivada não por razões políticas, mas conduzida por religiosa caridade evangélica, deplora os ódios, as perseguições, as manifestações de anti-semitismo, dirigidas contra os Judeus em todo o tempo e por qualquer pessoa.
Outro documento produzido pelo Vaticano no âmbito de fazer mea culpa em relação ao Holocausto, foi “We remember: A reflection on the Shoa”, do final de 1997, que pode ser consultado aqui.
Esta ligação da Igreja Católica ao Holocausto é de facto impressionante, se nos lembrarmos que, durante a guerra, os próprios militares alemães eram nominalmente cristãos, católicos ou protestantes, e muitos sem dúvida, de prática religiosa. Isto, ao mesmo tempo que cometiam as maiores barbaridades, como por ex., o Holocausto à bala de dois milhões de pessoas no Leste europeu!...
O Autor fala, no título, da Lei das “Unintended consequences”, que ele aplica ao Holocausto. A Igreja Católica nunca previu que o seu anti-semitismo de séculos tivesse como consequência um dos piores crimes de toda a história com a eliminação criminosa e absurda de seis milhões de pessoas.
Só é pena que o Autor não inclua também a Inquisição nas instituições que, ao longo do século, incutiram no povo o anti-judaísmo até como razão da sua própria existência. Em Portugal esse ódio foi incentivado através do falso pretexto de castigar os hereges que não teriam seguido a religião católica por que haviam optado no baptismo. Mas a realidade era que se perseguia o sangue hebreu, por mínima que fosse a sua presença. Ou, se calhar, nem isso interessava muito aos Inquisidores, o que queriam era que aquela instituição, em que eram senhores e mandadores, não desaparecesse e para isso tinha de ter uma função e essa era perseguir cristãos novos.
Naturalmente, o Autor transcreve para o livro muitas das críticas que são feitas à Igreja Católica na actualidade. Para além da apreciação, positiva para uns, negativa para outros, da actuação de Pio XII, é referida a personalidade autoritária de Pio IX, que também já foi beatificado. Depois, o espírito pidesco de S. Pio X, que nos deixa perplexos. Esta iniciativa de beatificar e canonizar Papas merece reservas de muita gente. Não foi por acaso que este ano foram canonizados dois Papas de sinal contrário, João XXIII e João Paulo II, o primeiro, a bondade e o segundo, a autoridade, como se as duas figuras se compensassem mutuamente.
São referidos também no livro os teólogos condenados pela Santa Sé:
P.e Tissa Balasuriya, do Sri Lanka
Hans Küng, alemão
Jacques Poyer, francês,
Edward Scillebeeckx, belga
Leonardo Boff, brasileiro
Charles E. Curran, americano
Matthew Fox, americano
Thomas Reese, americano
Margaret Farley, americana
O Autor cita ainda um célebre artigo publicado em 2005 por Hans Küng na Alemanha e em Itália, que pode ser lido aqui.
THE DAILY RECORD
In the first months following his retirement from the Monroe County Family Court bench in December 2006, Judge Anthony Sciolino was asked to participate in an interfaith adult education course titled “The 2000 Year Road to the Holocaust.” He was delighted to take part, having a life-long interest in deciphering how human beings permitted what he refers to as history’s greatest tragedy.
Judge Sciolino was one of 18 presenters for the 15-session course, which was offered at Temple B’rith Kodesh from 2007-2010. His research for the curriculum generated the opportunity to present a scholarly paper on the Holocaust at the 42nd Annual Scholar’s Conference on the Holocaust, held at Monroe Community College in May 2012.
That research was then massaged into a published book, “The Holocaust, the Church and the Law of Unintended Consequences: How Christian Anti-Judaism spawned Nazi Anti-Semitism,” now available at Barnes and Noble.com, Amazon.com and other online booksellers. If the book’s title doesn’t get your attention, perhaps the cover picturing several Catholic priests saluting Hitler will make you look twice.
The book is 270 pages long and available both in hardcover and soft; plans are in the works for an e-book version later this year.
Judge Sciolino is a Rochester native, the youngest of five children born to Italian immigrant parents. From Franklin High School, he attended Columbia University on an academic scholarship. He served as an editor on the Cornell Law Forum while earning his law degree at Cornell Law School in 1970.
In the 1990s, while serving on the bench, at the prompting of his local pastor, Judge Sciolino earned his master’s in theology from St. Bernard’s School of Theology & Ministry in Pittsford. Thereafter, he was ordained a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Rochester.
“My pastor planted the seed to study for the Roman Catholic deaconate,” he said. “My wife also completed her master’s in theology degree before retiring from teaching in the city school district for 32 years. We have been members of the Church of the Transfiguration in Pittsford since 1987.”
Back in junior high school, Judge Sciolino read “The Diary of Anne Frank,” introducing him to the Holocaust through the eyes of a young girl his own age. In college, he saw “The Deputy,” a controversial play accusing Pope Pius XII of failure to take action against the Holocaust.
As a young man, Judge Sciolino assumed the play was a lie. He always hoped his research would exonerate Pope Pius XII.
The more educated he became, the more he recognized the probability that the Catholic Church’s actions and attitudes may have unintentionally fueled the anti-Semitic culture that evolved in 1930s Germany.
Judge Sciolino classifies himself as a progressive Catholic, and his views have occasionally evoked criticism from conservative bloggers and others who object to his analysis of church history and doctrines.
His studies of the Holocaust have included visits to European sites. A 1970 trip included a tour of the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam and the Dachau concentration camp outside Munich. A 1980s trip to Poland included a tour of the killing camp of Majdanek near Lublin. On a trip to Rome, he toured the historic Jewish Ghetto, established by order of Pope Paul IV in the 16th century.
Did the Catholic Church’s centuries-long dehumanizing of Jews cause the Holocaust?
“Certainly not,” Judge Sciolino said. “But the church’s history of scapegoating, demonizing, persecuting and denouncing Jews surely helped prepare the political landscape of Europe, planting the seeds of hatred that Adolf Hitler brought to fruition. The Nazi war machine faced little direct resistance from either the Vatican or the Catholics of Europe. Certainly it was an unintended consequence of the church’s negative view of the Jewish people.”
The escalating evil of the Third Reich was silently accepted by millions of European Catholics throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Catholic bishops and priests were required to swear allegiance to the Third Reich, even to make the seig heil (Heil Hitler) salute. The Vatican’s policy of neutrality in World War II raises the question of how history may have been changed had the church taken a different stance.
Judge Sciolino hopes his book might be used in college courses to stimulate thought about unintended consequences.
“There are important lessons for today in the relationship between church anti-Judaism and the Holocaust,” Judge Sciolino said. “The church still tries to silence Catholic dissenters, as it did then. It sometimes seems committed to preserving the institute above all else, as it was then.”
Meanwhile, he does have plans to promote the book through his own network of contacts at Columbia and Cornell. He hopes to travel to some of the Jewish book festivals to broaden the circulation of the book.
“A top 10 in nonfiction by Charlie Rose would be very welcome,” Judge Sciolino joked, “as would a favorable review in the New York Times Book Review.”
His publisher, iUniverse, has given the book an Editor’s Choice rating and designated its author as a “rising star.” In plain English, the online self-publishing company not only indicates that this is a top notch self-published book, but it has true commercial viability.
Besides his obvious academic and religious commitments, Judge Sciolino has been active in the local and state bar associations, as well as the New York State Permanent Judicial Committee on Justice for Children. He served on Rochester City Council from 1980-1986 and has been active in Rochester Rotary Club and Columbia alumni programs. He has earned professional awards from the Center for Dispute Settlement, the Rochester City School District and St. Bernard’s.
Judge Sciolino and his wife Gloria enjoy traveling. Her post-retirement endeavors include teaching an SAT prep course to high school students in international schools worldwide through Academic Services International, which has enhanced their travel opportunities from time to time, taking them to Egypt, China and Malaysia.
This spring, she has a gig in Zurich, which has prompted Judge Sciolino to join her for an extended vacation in Spain.
The Sciolinos have one grown daughter, Kate, who earned her degree in Women’s Studies from Fordham and now lives in Boulder, Colo.
“Judge Sciolino demonstrates that Nazism’s racial anti-Semitism was rooted in Christian anti-Judaism. From at least the third century, Christianity’s “teaching of contempt” concerning Jews set the encounter between Jews and Christians on a tragic course. These were two related religions that shared many sacred texts and ideas. Christianity emerged out of Judaism originally as a Jewish sect. It laid claim to the Hebrew Bible and to the covenant with God. But the fact that the majority of Jews did not become Christians was a source of concern and hostility to early Christian leaders and a theological threat to the very legitimacy of Christianity.”
, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
“(Sciolino is) a master of detail and an expert judge of where the detail fits into the overall structure…neither tendentious nor shrill. (He) points to those figures, popes and others, who strove against the anti-Semitic trends of their times. The result is that we get a nuanced picture of Christian complicity. And with that comes the encouragement we need to struggle mightily for reform.”
, permanent Catholic deacon and author of several books on the Muslim-Christian dialogue
“This is an impressive, scholarly, provocative and well-written book, that stimulates thinking and discussions, which can be unsettling for a traditional Christian reader. The author provides facts, references and history to prove that the Catholic Church has contributed both to anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism, not only in its actions, but also when it failed to act. Papal authorities, and especially Pope Pius XII is identified as someone who could have, but did not, (maybe for good, but also, maybe for political reasons) done more to prevent Nazism’s atrocities. Many other books on this subject have been written, but this author’s background, legal training, and religious education and ministry provides an honest and courageous perspective.”
, Victor, NY
“Mr. Sciolino brings a wealth of academic training, experience and discipline to this work. He is a lawyer and a retired Family Court Judge, as well as an ordained Catholic Deacon with an advanced degree in Theology. His ministerial experience includes a successful suburban parish, a mission parish in rural Kentucky, and Jail ministry in his home town of Rochester, NY.
In a well researched book, with a wealth of footnotes, he examines, as I expect he did as a judge, the very often painful history of Christianity and its relationship with Judaism.
As any good judge tries to do, he strives to present the facts and leaves you and I, the jury, to decide culpability. The body of this book sticks with the 2,000 year historical case of Christians and Jews. But, toward the end of the book, Mr. Sciolino lists a few of the cases that the Catholic Church has brought against some of its own clergy and laypeople, who have spoken and/or written their prophetic views on justice and equality and its relationship to the Gospel. These views, when not in direct alignment with Church authorities, have often been met with harsh treatment, and little or no opportunity for explanation or representation. Historically and presently, little seems out of bounds when The Church sees a possible threat to its authority and self preservation, whether from without or within.
The redeeming fact we all must keep in mind is that at Vatican II it was proclaimed that The People of God are the Church, not simply the institutional Church.”
, Webster, NY
Well researched and well written. Almost as though the author actually lived it. I would recommend it to any history or religion buff.
“Anthony Sciolino’s book on the Holocaust is insightful. If more people had the courage to speak the truth and the bravery to take action, this could diminish some of the injustices in the world.”
, New York
This book is a cogent summarization of an enormous amount of scholarship all in service of proving the central thesis of the book as stated in the title. Utilizing the form of a legal brief, Judge Sciolino, in readable prose free of all jargon, makes a compelling case for his thesis which should convince all but the most partisan readers. This is an excellent work appropriate for all readers from high school and college students to all adults interested in one of the great issues of historical thought-What caused the Holocaust.
Judge Sciolino has carefully researched his subject and presents us with irrefutable information we are uncomfortable in knowing. However, no positive change occurs without acknowledgment of past mistakes and this book is a good step towards those needed changes.
Judge Sciolino has produced a scholarly (but quite readable) book. His honest approach to the connection between the Holocaust and Christian history will serve as a catharsis for many Catholics and Jews. His work will unquestionably improve the bond between our faiths. I can highly recommend it to everyone with a desire for a better understanding of the events of the twentieth century and the two millennia preceding it.
Past Chair of the Anti-Defamation League Interfaith Committee
I found Judge Sciolino’s
book to be both fascinating and scary at the same time. I was raised in a Jewish
home and as a child remember hearing how many Christians felt that Jews had
killed Christ and that we were not to be trusted because of our different
beliefs I never quite understood how this happened. Now, reading this very well
documented book that cites church teachings that go back over 2000 years, it’s
easy to understand how these ideas developed. Anti-Judaism became part of the
Catholic church’s doctrine, supported
by many of the popes through history. Judge Sciolino then fast forwards to the rise of Nazi Germany in the early 1930′s where Hitler himself was able to reference some of these same teachings, and in fact uses some of the same demonizing language in his own writings. Add to that the fact that Pope Pius XII and the Church did nothing to denounce Hitler and the Holocaust while it was happening, Judge Sciolino builds a strong case for rendering his decision that the Catholic Church, by its unwillingness to speak out against Hitler, helped to support his goal. I learned so much from reading it.
Sciolino’s exposure of the Catholic Church and its role in failing to stop the Holocaust is very well done.
He opens with a brief, personal, subjective view. Thereafter, he objectively and methodically unfolds two thousand years of history with thorough research and interpretation. He shows astute balance when he skillfully weaves the forces of good into his research which include the acts of those who followed their conscience in an attempt to stop the injustices and genocide. The concluding chapter includes more current research (as recent as 2012) which refers to present and future issues. It leaves the reader with much to ponder.
I would recommend that this book be placed on High School, College and University book lists. I have been sharing it with others and will keep a copy on my bookshelf as one of my favorite reads and valuable historical resources.
Book extremely well researched and footnoted to back up all statements in the book. Thus one is able research all stated facts.
This book is a masterful summarization of the key ideas in the cultural/intellectual history of the Roman Catholic Church and Western Europe underpinning the anti-Judaism which ultimately lead to the Holocaust. It resembles Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel in that like Professor Diamond, Judge Sciolino imbues what is essentially a description of complex ideas with a narrative force that makes the book a real page-turner. The book is ideal for general readers of all ages and would make an excellent text for any course in Western civilization at the high school or college level. All in all an outstanding work.
This book is well-researched. It is thoughtful and insightful. Mr. Sciolino is fair and honest and recognizes the courage of some Christians and the miserable failure of others, most notably high-ranking church officials. He comes across as someone who loves the Catholic faith, but is capable of acknowledging the many historical mistakes of the institutional Church which is very human. Anyone interested in history, particularly the Second World War, or anyone who has ever asked how the Holocaust could have happened, should read Mr. Sciolino’s extremely well-written book.
“This is one of the most informative books focused on the Shoah that I have read in a long time and I have read much on the subject. It is extremely well-researched and well-written. It held my interest and it’s 2,000 year view of Christian behavior toward Jews was eye-opening to say the least. If you are a student of the Shoah, this book is a must-read.”
“Anthony Sciolino, a scholar and deacon of his church has reviewed the history of the Church to uncover the pattern of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewsh traditions and has acknowledged the thread running through the Crusades, the Inquisition and the stunning refusal to oppose the Nazi holocaust. Even after the war, when the Pope and the church was safe, Pope Pius did nothing to condemn the atrocities or ex-communicate the Nazi perpetrators.
Mr. Sciolino’s courage is that he does not shy away from the backlash that his book will bring from his own cherished community. In a church that is hierarchical and authoritarian, it takes great courage to find fault with the church and its leaders. But the only way to move forward and to correct the wrongs of the past is to acknowledge the failings of the church and to try to correct it. This book exposes the underlying failures of the church and its history of anti-Jewish practices which helped create the holocaust.
“Five stars because of the thorough research and documented coverage of a delicate subject. Recommended for anyone who wants an unbiased history of the factors that led to the holocaust and the people and institutions responsible.”
“I have just finished reading your book and want you to know how much I enjoyed it. I admire your thorough research and scholarship. Although I had a passing familiarity with most of the historical events, I learned so much about the attitudes and interaction of the various popes. Your analysis presented opposing points of view and added a great perspective to the course of history. It compels any reader to think about the oppression of any minority now and in the future.”
This book is an incredibly thorough analysis of the Church’s role in the holocaust; but it is more than that; it thoroughly explains the history behind the lack of response by the Church.
Anthony J. Sciolino provides a sober, serious and judicious examination of the role Roman Catholic anti-Judaism played in Hitler’s campaign to destroy the Jewish people. Sciolino combines the skills of a lawyer and former judge with the conscientious dedication to the Gospel of Love as a deacon to provide the reader with a lucid , balanced and scrupulously fair analysis of the Church’s pervasive view of the Jewish refusal to convert as a threat to the legitimacy of Christianity as the “New Israel” superseding Judaism. He lucidly documents both the Church’s hostility toward and lack of concern for the Jewish people most especially during the Holocaust. Although there were a few righteous Christians protecting Jews, Christians overwhelming viewed the Jews as Christ- killers who were largely incapable of accepting the Gospel, wandering the earth spreading misery and corruption. Sciolino documents how the Church engaged in much evil out of religious conviction- blood libel against the “ignominious” Jews, the establishment of Jewish ghettos, inquisitions, synagogue burnings, copies of the Talmud burned, forced baptisms etc. All of this made Jews easy prey, according to Sciolino, during the Nazi period. As judge and deacon Sciolino makes his case that Christians generally and Catholics specifically have historically failed to exercise a well-formed conscience based on the Gospel of Love in their treatment of Jews setting the stage to treat the Jews as “the Other” leading putative Christians to participate actively or as bystanders in the Nazi genocide. What is most powerful and savagely honest in Sciolino’s courageous book is the need for the Church to face its history in humility, recognizing that it is not a “perfect society” on earth and consequently must constantly rededicate itself to the Gospel of Love in its concern for the socially and religiously marginalized.
Dr. Edith Stein,
Dozentin am Deutschen Institut für wissenschaftliche Pädagogik, Münster
Como filha do povo hebreu, que pela graça de Deus é desde há 11 anos filha da Igreja Católica, atrevo-me a exprimir ao Pai da Cristandade o que preocupa milhões de Alemães.
Desde há semanas vemos acontecerem na Alemanha factos que totalmente desprezam a Justiça e a Humanidade, para não falar do amor pelo próximo. Durante anos, os chefes do nacional-socialismo pregaram o ódio contra os Hebreus. Depois que tiveram nas suas mãos o poder, e armaram os seus sequazes – entre os quais há famosos elementos criminais – germinou a semente do ódio. Até há pouco tempo, o Governo reconhecia que tinha havido excessos. Em que medida, não podemos ter ideia nenhuma, já que a opinião pública está amordaçada. Do que eu posso julgar, com base no relato de pessoas conhecidas, não se trata de nenhum modo de casos isolados. Sob a pressão de vozes provenientes do estrangeiro, o regime passou a métodos mais “moderados” e deu ordens para que “a não nenhum Hebreu seja arrancado um cabelo”. Mas prossegue a sua política de boicote – que tira às pessoas a possibilidade de ter uma actividade económica, a honra da cidadania e a própria pátria – que levou muitos ao desespero: só na última semana tive notícia particularmente de cinco casos de suicídio na sequência destes ataques. Estou convencida que se trata de um fenómeno generalizado que provocará muito mais vítimas. Podemos concluir que aqueles infelizes já não tinham mais força interior, para suportar o seu destino. Mas a responsabilidade é em grande parte daqueles que os levaram até àquele fim. E é também daqueles que ficaram calados.
Tudo o que aconteceu e continua a acontecer dia a dia tem a sua origem num Governo que se intitula de “Cristão”. Desde há semanas, não só os Judeus, mas também milhares de Católicos crentes na Alemanha e, creio eu, em todo o mundo esperam e têm esperança que a Igreja de Cristo erga a sua voz para fazer parar este abuso do nome de Cristo . Não é este endeusamento da Raça e do poder do Estado, que é diariamente matraqueado na rádio, uma clara heresia? E não é a batalha de destruição contra o sangue Judaico um ultraje à humanidade santa do nosso Salvador, da Virgem Santíssima e dos Apóstolos? Não é tudo isto totalmente contrário à conduta do Nosso Senhor e Salvador que, até na Cruz, rezou pelos seus perseguidores? E não é isto um ponto negro neste Ano Santo, que deveria ser um Ano de Paz e reconciliação?
Todos nós, filhos fiéis da Igreja, que observamos a situação na Alemanha com os olhos abertos, tememos o pior para o prestígio da Igreja, se o silêncio se prolongar ainda por mais tempo. Estamos convencidos que este silêncio não será capaz a longo prazo de conseguir a paz com o actual Governo Alemão. Por enquanto, a luta contra o Catolicismo será conduzida ainda em silêncio e de forma menos brutal do que contra o Judaísmo, mas não menos sistematicamente. Não tardará muito que na Alemanha desapareçam todas as organizações católicas, a não ser que sigam incondicionalmente o novo curso de acção.
Aos pés de Vossa Santidade e solicitando a vossa bênção apostólica,
Dr.ª Edith Stein, Docente no Instituto Alemão de Pedagogia Científica, Münster