Montini (Pope Paul VI) defended Pius XII, and said he had shown courage and goodness in wanting to protect Rome even in its most dangerous and tragic moments. Pius had assured him that he would never, never leave Rome: “Pius XII did what was humanly possible to save human lives and alleviate unspeakable sufferings, even when the swift course of events stifled at birth any chance of success for his charitable activities.” (This was at the Angelus of March 2, 1975, when Paul VI recalled that Pacelli had been elected on this date in 1939.)
Montini looked up the address given to the vast crowd of refugees assembled in St. Peter’s Square on March 12, 1944. Pius had exclaimed, from the self-same window at which he, Paul VI, was speaking twenty-one years later: “Beloved people of Rome! In the whirlwind of so many misfortunes and hazards, we feel and admit the bitterness of our spirit at the way all human resources are unequal and inadequate compared with the excess of an unspeakable wretchedness.”
Peter Hebblethwaite in Paul VI, pages 194-196
In June of 1963, on the eve of his own election, Giovanni Montini, now, Blessed Paul VI, continued to defend Pope Pius XII and his oft criticized actions during World War II.
Papal Artifacts remembers in gratitude today the gift of Pope Pius XII to our Church.
Blessed Paul VI, pray for us!