Are charges against Pius X true?

In reply to my recent praise of Pope Piux X for his Oath Against Modernity, a reader quoted to me a New York Times article charging Piux X with, among other things, failing to refute the Blood Libel charge. If anyone has any information about this, could you please write to me. Here is the exchange.

Reader to LA:

Here is a quote from Gary Wills’ review of the book “The Popes Against the Jews” by David I. Kertzer appearing in the New York Times 23 September 2001:

None of the modern Piuses comes off well. Pius X favored a high official in his secretariat of state, Monsignor Umberto Benigni, who became one of the two principal distributors of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Italy. Pius also refused to intervene in the 20th century’s most famous trial of a Jew on the ritual murder charge, a trial conducted in Kiev in 1913. After a Catholic priest testified to the court that such murders were an established fact of history, British Jews asked the Catholic Duke of Norfolk to request from the pope a denial of the libel. Pius X’s secretary of state would not deny the myth, or send information about false uses of it directly to the presiding judge. As Kertzer notes, ‘by not taking this step, the pope allowed the Catholic press, including that part of it viewed inside and outside the church as communicating the pope’s true sentiments, to continue to tar the Jews with the ritual murder charge.’ This is the pope canonized by Pius XII in 1954.

If as you say, Pius X recognized the truth, then the Protocols must be true and Mendel Beilis was surely guilty of ritual murder.

LA to reader:

I know little about Pius X other than what I was reading last night and his stand against Modernism. I would not take what the NY Times says on such a matter as the truth. I’m certainly interested in knowing the truth. Some of the claims are vague or guilt by association. The charge that he refused to refute the Blood Libel strikes me as very serious and I want to look into this further.

I know as a fact from previous charges against Popes how many are false. For example Pius XII, before he was Pope, met diplomatically with some Bolsheviks and afterwards in a report to the Vatican described them in graphic and negative terms. But because he included the word “Jews” in the description, liberal opinion now considers the statement proof of his anti-Semitism. So we can’t automatically believe what the Times is saying about Pius X and we need to get the facts. Also, as I’m sure you’re aware, Gary Wills, a nominal Catholic, is a leftist enemy of Christianity. That doesn’t mean the charges against Pius X are not true, of course, but one must approach critically any charges made by Gary Wills against the Church.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 20, 2004 02:05 PM | Send

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