Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vatican planned to move to Portugal if Nazis captured wartime Pope



Vatican planned to move to Portugal if Nazis captured wartime Pope
Secret plans were drawn up by the Vatican to elect a new Pope and flee to a friendly country should Hitler have carried out his threat to kidnap the wartime Pontiff, it was claimed yesterday.
By Nick Squires in Rome and Simon Caldwell
Last Updated: 3:25AM BST 22 Apr 2009

Pope Pius XII told senior bishops that should he be arrested by the Nazis, his resignation would become effective immediately, paving the way for a successor, according to documents in the Vatican's Secret Archives.

The bishops would then be expected to flee to a safe country – probably neutral Portugal – where they would re-establish the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church and appoint a new Pontiff.

That Hitler considered kidnapping the Pope has been documented before, but this is the first time that details have emerged of the Vatican's strategy should the Nazis carry out the plan.

"Pius said 'if they want to arrest me they will have to drag me from the Vatican'," said Peter Gumpel, the German Jesuit priest who is in charge of researching whether Pius should be made a saint, and therefore has access to secret Vatican archives.

Pius, who was Pope throughout the war, told his advisers "the person who would leave the under these conditions would not be Pius XII but Eugenio Pacelli" – his name before he was elected Pontiff – thus giving permission for a new Pope to be elected.


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3 comments:

bill bannon said...

The Portugal part is weird. Neutral meant nothing to Hitler. The plan should have stressed strength like going to the US but I guess they felt we were too Protestant. How could they know that eventually according to Gallup, Protestants would vote more Catholic and more anti abortion than Catholics do. Oi Veh.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Do you mind updating to my new blog?

DR said...

Great post!

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