- Dec 13, 2019
The story of Rudolf Höss, the commander at Auschwitz and one of history’s greatest mass murderers who eventually returned to his Catholic faith before his own execution, shows that God’s mercy can reach even into the greatest depths of evil.
In decisions made on July 8, Pope Francis moved forward the sainthood cause of a Hispanic bishop in the US who ministered to farm workers, and who had a special affection for ‘lowrider’ modified cars, and also an Italian layman who refused to swear allegiance to the Nazis.
In league with two trusted priests and “Joey Ox,” Pope Pius XII took an active role in encouraging anti-Hitler plots in Germany, and although the pontiff never put out a “hit” like a mafia don, he was also under no illusions that Hitler would survive if they succeeded.
Multiple U.S. intelligence documents from the World War II era link Pope Pius XII and his closest advisers to German military plots against Hitler, and the Vatican indirectly has acknowledged they have a basis in fact. Until now, however, the full story of Pius’ involvement in efforts to bring down the Nazi dictator has never been told.
Pope Francis will visit in late July while in Poland for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day festival.
“The Ninth Day” is newly available on North American DVD via Ignatius Press. It comes with a 16-page full-color booklet with my 2004 review of the film and my interview with the director, Volker Schlöndorff. “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days” is available on Blu-ray/DVD. In the cultural upheaval following the