Pius XII: The Hound of Hitler

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Jan 6, 2010 - History - 232 pages
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A thoughtful and provocative biography of the controversial Pope who led the Catholic Church during World War II

There is a claim that Hitler's rise to power was left unchallenged by the inaction of Pope Pius XII. In contrast, Gerard Noel's Pius XII: The Hound of Hitler is a highly original study of the exercise of political and religious power, of realpolitik and the extent to which politics is always the art of the possible.

This book also offers an intimate portrait of a man at the pinnacle of the Catholic church. Noel contends that Pius XII was mother-fixated and dominated by a German nun, Sister Pasqualina, who became the real power behind the throne and who was ultimately more liberal and anti-Nazi than the Pope himself. Indeed, he says, it was Pasqualina who did most to shelter the Jewish population of Rome. As time advanced, Pius XII became more and more aloof and rigid in his views. By 1950 he promulgated the Doctrine of The Assumption, the ultimate expression of autocratic power, as infallible.

Today there is a movement to canonize Pius XII which is predictably resisted by many influential people, and for this reason alone Pius XII continues to command much attention, debate, and controversy. Pius XII: The Hound of Hitler is neither a demolition job nor a piece of hagiography, as Gerard Noel explores the fatal effect of the Vatican's concord with Hitler and Pius XII's failure to condemn Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews.

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Pius XII: The Hound of Hitler

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The opening of previously restricted parts of the Vatican Archive has made accessible more information on the role of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust. Noel's book is another attempt to use those ... Read full review


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20

Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 21
Bibliographical Notes

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About the author (2010)

The Hon Gerard Noel is a former editor of The Catholic Herald. He is also a celebrated biographer and historian. His life of Queen Ena of Spain was widely acclaimed as were his books on Harold Wilson and Cardinal Hume.

Bibliographic information