Questioning the double standard: Should Papa Che be called Castro’s Pope?

Ever since he assumed the papal throne in 1939 Pope Pius XII has been accused of coddling Adolf Hitler.

He has even been held partly responsible for the Holocaust.

Resarch has shown, however, that Pius XII — who was virtually a captive of Hitler’s close ally Benito Mussolini — could not act overtly without imperiling Catholics under the rule of the Third Reich.

All efforts by Catholic bishops and clergy to denounce Nazism were met with brutal reprisals.

In the Netherlands, for instance, the Nazi occupiers retaliated to all condemnations by Catholic bishops by rounding up and executing Catholic lay people at random.

In Poland, the Catholic Church was dismantled, and it is estimated that over 1,800 priests died in concentration camps.

Pope Pius XII’s silence led to him being called “Hitler’s Pope.”

Pius XII: Hitler’s Pope?

Now we have Pope Francis, who is no one’s captive, and who could speak freely about repression in Cuba without fear of brutal reprisals, even within Cuba, for the Castro regime now depends on the Catholic Church for many social services.

Yet Francis, who is not just silent, but overtly speaks and acts as if he has a fondness for the Castro regime, has yet to earn the title “Castro’s Pope.”

This double standard is examined by Father Dwight Longenecker.

Mixed signals ?

From Patheos:

Francis: Castro’s Pope?

by Father Dwight Longenecker

Remember when the secular Catholic hating media started crowing about Pius XII being “Hitler’s Pope”?

Funny how they thought it was wonderful when Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, B16 and Francis all paid a visit to Cuba and knocked on Castro’s door.

History is now showing that Pope Pius XII put up stout resistance to the Nazis as he was able.

Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis have taken a more diplomatic approach to Castro’s regime–visiting the murderous tyrant and hoping by diplomacy to do some good.

Pope Francis went so far as to express “sorrow” at the death of Castro.

Pius XII handled Hitler with diplomacy as well, but think of the brouhaha if Pius XII would have written to the Hitler family at the dictator’s death expressing “sorrow” at his loss.

To be consistent, shouldn’t the secular media be finger pointing and name calling Francis as “Castro’s Pope”?

But no, in True (deau) style most of them are giving the Cuban Mao a hero’s send off and presumably think Pope Francis is a marvelous fellow.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Pope Francis struck the right tone in being personal and pastoral, but it wouldn’t go amiss in the days to come if our Catholic leaders and media people were a bit more clear about Castro’s horrible legacy.

Furthermore, in addition to the personal condolences to the family of the deceased it would be great to hear an official statement from either the Vatican or the Cuban bishops along these lines:

“While we greet the death of any person with sadness, and offer sincere condolences to the family of Fidel Castro. We pray for the repose of his soul, hoping that in his final hours he may have turned to Christ Jesus in repentance and faith.

We also offer our prayers and condolences to the families of those he and his regime imprisoned, tortured and murdered. We pray that with his departure the shadow over Cuba might be lifted and true freedom and prosperity will be established for all Cubans.”

Will we hear that, or will we be presented with some wishy washy Liberation theology mumbo jumbo?

And, in case you wish to compare Father Longenecker’s wishful rendition of a proper papal message (above in light purple font) to the one actually sent by Papa Che to King Raul upon the death of Fidel, here is the full text:

On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of that country.


1 thought on “Questioning the double standard: Should Papa Che be called Castro’s Pope?”

  1. That condolence note sounds like it was written by a computer, and not an especially convincing one. And as with the piece by Gaetan, I can only approve of this one with reservations. I appreciate what Longenecker is trying to do, but he’s still pulling his punches, though no doubt that’s to be expected.

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