Hitler's Plan to Kidnap Pope Puis XII

By Dan Kurzman

As soon as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was ousted from power on July 25, 1943, Adolf Hitler began hatching a plan to kidnap Pope Pius XII and plunder the Vatican. Clearly, the Fuehrer thought, the "Jew-loving" pope had encouraged King Victor Emanuel II and some rival fascist leaders to overthrow his Italian puppet.

The following day Hitler called for an urgent meeting of his military leaders. They must liberate Mussolini and return him to power, he cried. And "we must occupy Rome" and "destroy the Vatican's power, capture the pope, and say that we are protecting him." The pope might even have to be killed.

About six weeks later, on September 13, SS General Karl Wolff, the SS commander in Italy, received a phone call from his boss, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, orchestrator of the Holocaust. Himmler, Wolff told me, bellowed that the Fuehrer wanted to see him urgently.

The general, who had previously served as Himmler's chief of staff, suspected why. Three days earlier, on September 10, German troops had marched into Rome, and German intelligence soon snatched Mussolini from captivity. The Duce was now to regain power in Nazi-occupied northern Italy, and Wolff would be sent to the capital in Fasano, near Salo, primarily to make sure that Mussolini followed the Nazi line. But Himmler had revealed to Wolff that Hitler had an additional secret mission in mind for him.

According to notes that Wolff told me he had taken during and after the meeting, Hitler barked: "I want you and your troops to occupy Vatican City as soon as possible, secure its files and art treasures, and take the pope and the curia to the north," probably Liechtenstein.

Referring to the threat of an Allied invasion of Italy, he added: "I do not want the pope to fall into the hands of the Allies or to be under their political pressure and influence."

Wolff promised to do his best but was conflicted, feeling that such an operation could alienate Italy and the entire Catholic world. Besides, he worshipped power, and the pope, like Hitler, was one of the world's most powerful leaders. The two men, although holding diametrically contrary views, were to the calculating general like earthly gods. Still, he felt, his mission might be useful—if he could sabotage it and obtain a blessing from Pius for saving his life and the Church itself. Wolff could perhaps also save his own life if Germany lost the war and he was tried for his war crimes.

But Wolff, who revered the SS, may have been prompted as well by other more sordid details of the kidnap plot that were later discovered in a letter that one Italian fascist leader wrote to another. It was headed Massacre of Pius XII with the Entire Vatican.

According to this message, which repeated what a high SS official (perhaps Wolff) told the fascist writer, the purpose of the plot was to avenge "the papal protest in favor of the Jews"— apparently referring to an expected papal outcry when the Roman Jews were rounded up.

The plan called for soldiers of the SS Florian Geyer Cavalry, disguised in Italian uniforms, to invade the Vatican shielded by night, kill all members of the curia, and take the pope prisoner. Then troops of the Hermann Goering Panzer Division would surge into the Vatican to "rescue" the pontiff and kill the disguised SS men, assuming they were Italian assassins rather than SS compatriots. Thus, no witnesses.

If the pope tried to escape (or was perceived as trying to), he, too, would be shot. The world, like the panzer soldiers, would be led to believe that the "Italians" were guilty.

Meanwhile, Wolff described Hitler's order to Rudolf Rahn, the German ambassador to Italy, who was to be transferred from Rome to Fasano as the emissary to Mussolini's new republic. Rahn then joined in a conspiracy with Wolff and several other like-minded German officials against the plot and went to see Hitler. If the people learned that their pope had been abducted, Rahn told the Fuehrer and his chief lieutenants, they might rise up against the Germans.

Most of Hitler's men seemed cool to an attack, fearing such a reaction. Even Himmler, who had been meeting secretly with the German Resistance, was uncertain; he had to choose between striking the Church, which he hated, and seeking to improve his image in Allied eyes in case Germany lost the war.

The only one present who strongly supported an attack was Martin Bormann, Hitler's ruthless secretary, who wanted to replace Christianity with a new religion headed by the Fuehrer. Bormann, Rahn told me, turned beet-red with anger as he, the ambassador, made his plea. But Hitler trusted his secretary most, and it appeared that his advice would be taken.

Meanwhile, General Wolff revealed to the Vatican that Pius was in danger. The pope loathed Hitler. And Hitler loathed him, viewing him as an obstacle to his —and Bormann's—grandiose plan to capture the minds and souls of much of mankind after a victorious war.

In 1939, realizing what was at stake, Pius had actually joined in a conspiracy by some German generals to overthrow Hitler and, if necessary, a high Vatican official told me, to kill him. The risks, he said, to both the pope personally and the Church were incalculable. But in the end the plot fell through.

In 1943, as the tension between the two men grew, Monsignor Domenica Tardini, the Vatican's assistant secretary of state, told the cardinals to "keep a suitcase ready because we might be deported at any time." The pope himself called a meeting of cardinals to choose a possible successor in case he was kidnapped. And friends of the pope prepared a plan for him to flee to Spain if necessary, though he vowed to remain in the Vatican unless he was carried out.

Ernst von Weizsaecker, the German ambassador to the Vatican, another anti-Hitler conspirator, tried to convince Pius that he should remain silent when the Nazis rounded up the Jews of Rome. The Pope, until then, had felt that if he spoke out strongly against the Jewish genocide, Hitler would not only attack the Vatican but would drag out the hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Vatican institutions in which they were hiding throughout occupied Europe, as well as their Christian protectors.

But the German diplomats were afraid that he would nevertheless speak out publicly if the Roman Jews, his neighbors, were deported. If he did, they argued, there was virtually no chance that Hitler would cancel his kidnap plan. And on October 16, the Gestapo in Rome began rounding up the Jews.

That rainy morning, Princess Enza Pignatelli Aragona, a friend of Pius, was awakened by a phone call from a friend, who informed her of the arrests. The princess told me she rushed to the Vatican and, interrupting a papal mass, blurted the news to the pope, crying, "Only you can stop them!"

"But they promised me that they would not touch the Jews in Rome!" Pius exclaimed. He then ordered Cardinal Luigi Maglione, his secretary of state, to summon Ambassador Weizsaecker urgently and protest the action. As the princess departed, the pope promised, "I'll do all I can."

When Weizsaecker arrived for a meeting with Maglione, he said he would "try to do something for these poor Jews." But, he asked, "what would the Holy See do if these things were to continue?"

"The Holy See would not want to be faced with the need to express its disapproval," the cardinal answered …"If the Holy See were forced to [protest], it would trust the consequences to Divine Providence." In other words, he would speak out publicly if the roundup of Jews continued.

Shaken, the ambassador responded, "I think of the consequences that a protest by the Holy See might precipitate."

Clearly, the word "kidnap" was on both their minds.

Meanwhile, other German diplomats—and, the Vatican would say, the pope's nephew—urged an eminent priest, whom Berlin trusted, to write an urgent note to a cooperative German commander in Italy that was to be wired to Berlin echoing Cardinal Maglione's warning.

At the same time, in Germany, General Wolff managed to convince Hitler that he would have a hard time suppressing an uprising in Italy if the pope felt forced to speak out and had to be dethroned. So, finally, Himmler ordered that the roundup stop after only about 1,000 of the 8,000 Roman Jews were picked up. And the pope, who had apparently been prepared to publicly condemn the roundup, felt there was no longer a need to do so now.

Several months later, in May 1944, Wolff secretly met with Pius, who, having learned of the general’s role in helping to sabotage the kidnap plot, felt that the man must have some good in him, whatever his background.

Both men agreed that the war would best end in an Allied-German alliance, without Hitler, to halt the Soviet advance on Europe. And Wolff assured the pope that he would try to frustrate any new plot against him.

Wolff was overwhelmed when the pope then blessed him. He now had the full confidence of both the Vicar of Christ and the Antichrist, an incredible interworld feat. The general rose, clicked his heels together—and raised his arm in the Nazi salute! The pope smiled forbearingly. His visitor had simply confused his gods. But he would eventually betray one of them—surrendering the entire German army in Italy, on his own, to the Americans.

The kidnap plot had failed, but it had helped to shape the policies and attitudes of the pope, Hitler, and their subordinates during a most important segment of World War II history.

(Catalyst, June, 2007)

Award-winning author Dan Kurzman is the only journalist who ever interviewed General Karl Wolff. His newly released book, A Special Mission: Hitler's Secret Plot to Seize the Vatican and Kidnap Pope Pius XII, is available from Da Capo Press.


Whittaker Chambers remembered

Elena Maria Vidal interviews David Chambers.
I copied this to add to the inmate library history buliten board.


Gabriel's Oboe

The touching and moving melody from the "Mission."



The Libya Situation... A Catholic Just War?

I have not commented heretofore on the action taken in conjunction with the French and the British Armed Forces in attacking Libya. No one in their right mind can conclude that this is a worthwhile exersize of our Navy and Marines or our Air Force. As a retired Marine I know one thing that many of those in this administration do not. War is bad. Real bad. No foolies. I am not being trite, I have seen the death and carnage. Just going down the road past deforested lots brings back memories.

It seems only those who have never been actively engaged in war are willing to use war as a first response instead of being the last final response. Louis XIV, no stranger to war had a motto for this, Ultima ratio regum, the last argument of Kings. He had it cast on bronze cannons.

Barack Obama who had promised us to end the wars in Afganistan and in Iraq has given us a new war, and has in fact changed the name of war to "Kenetic Military Action" (which really means war.) It is a LIE, and painting it otherwise is the proof. ...A rose by any other name...

The Libya Situation in Light of the Catholic Just War TraditionBy Rev. Robert Barron at Word on Fire.

...Lest this discussion move exclusively in a “political” ambit, I would like to analyze the incursion into Libya in light of the Catholic just war theory. According to the Catholic social teaching tradition, going to war can be undertaken morally only when definite criteria are met. These are 1) declaration by a competent authority, 2) the presence of a just cause, 3) some proportion between the good to be achieved and the negativity of the war, 4) right intention on the part of those engaged in the conflict, and 5) a reasonable hope of success. One might argue that the first criterion has been met, since the President sanctioned our involvement upon the resolution of the United Nations to offer humanitarian aid to Libya... More...

Um, anyone really know why we are attcking Lybia? If you do call 1-202-456-1111 and let them know.


St Thomas Aquinus on Kingship

“If therefore, kingship, which is the best form of government, seems to be worthy of avoidance mainly because of the danger of tyranny, and if tyranny tends to arise not less but more often under the government of several, the straightforward conclusion remains that it is more advantageous to live under one king than under the rule of several persons.” (De Regimine Principum, chapter VI, St Thomas Aquinas)




Indian 'living god' in critical condition: hospital

What does that tell ya?

HYDERABAD, India (AFP) – One of India's best-known spiritual leaders, famous for his apparent miracles and long list of influential followers, is on life support in a southern hospital, officials said on Tuesday. Satya Sai Baba, 85, who has devotees in more than 100 countries, was admitted to a hospital funded by his organisation in the town of Puttaparthi with lung and chest congestion on March 28.

His condition has since deteriorated and he is now on a ventilator and is receiving kidney dialysis, the most recent health bulletin from the hospital said on Tuesday. He remains "critical," although his "level of consciousness has considerably improved" and his vital systems are "stable", said the update from the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences.

Thousands of followers have begun arriving in Puttaparthi, home to Sai Baba's ashram in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, with many agitated by conflicting information given out by local authorities. Government officials have sought to play down the seriousness of his condition, while police are preventing groups from gathering in the town, according to local reports.

The wild-haired leader has a following of millions in India and abroad, many of whom believe him to be a living god, and the reincarnation of the great spiritual guru, Sai Baba of Shirdi, who died in 1918. The guru, who claims to have performed several miracles including bringing men back to life, counts former Indian prime ministers, top businessmen and even the country's cricketers among his devotees.

His organisation funds health and education projects in India, including a string of hospitals that claim to be able to cure ailments beyond the capabilities of mainstream medicine. He and Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, the so-called "hugging saint" of Kerala, are the best known of thousands of Hindu ascetics.

The swami's birth in Andhra Pradesh is shrouded in mystery.

One hagiographical account by a biographer claimed the mysterious sounding of drums signalled his impending birth.

In his teens he is said to have begun singing verses in Sanskrit, a language of which he had no prior knowledge, and then became able to materialise flowers and sweets to the astonishment of observers.

His devotees also credit him with an ability to remember his past lives, a frequent claim of Indian holy men, and he is believed to produce sacred ash every day. (Ash huh?)

His work in education and health have won him widespread acclaim and respectability, but his reputation has also been damaged by allegations of sexual abuse and paedophilia.

A BBC programme in 2004 called "The Secret Swami" featured interviews with former followers who claimed Sai Baba took advantage of them. The allegations were denied by the spiritual leader's organisation.

This is wrong on so many levels. As for me,

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. God of God, light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."




This is not another spagetti western this is the truth.

More, and more on the Christeros War, and more on the Christeros soldiers...

Viva Christos Rey! Christ the King Lives.


Debris being recovered from Air France jet

Brazil began Thursday recovering debris from an Air France jetliner that came down in the Atlantic, as conflicting clues emerged as to the cause of the disaster.

At the same time, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian families of the some of the 228 people on board the flight attended a religious memorial service along with the French and Brazilian foreign ministers.

Brazilian navy vessels that failed on Wednesday to find any trace of the plane's occupants on Thursday turned their attention to plucking the debris from the ocean. The items were to be transported to France, which is in charge of investigating the disaster, an air force spokesman, Brigadier Ramon Borges Cardoso, told reporters in Brazil's northeastern city of Recife. More...

Encore ici...

Paris Match Fotos

Par le Figaro... Campagne pour repêcher les boîtes noires Fabrice Amedeo 04/04/2011 Localiser l’épave de l’AF 447 n’était que la première partie de la mission. Les membres de l’enquête de sécurité aérienne qui ont retrouvé l’AF 447 ce week-end dans l’Atlantique sud, vont circonscrire le champ de débris et prendre de nombreuses photos avec les sous-marins d’exploration Remus.

Objectif : localiser les différentes pièces de l’appareil ainsi que les boites noires qui permettront de lever le mystère de la catastrophe aérienne. Selon nos informations, la cinquième phase, celle du repêchage des boites noires, des débris de l’appareil ainsi que des corps des victimes, devrait «débuter dans trois semaines», de source ministérielle et devrait coûter 5 à 6 millions d’euros. L’Etat avait déjà lancé la procédure d’appel d’offre dans la perspective d’une probable localisation de l’épave et les étapes de la consultation devraient s’enchainer rapidement.

Les premières photos envoyées par le navire Alucia, dans l’Atlantique sud, montreraient des morceaux intègres d’appareil et plusieurs corps de victimes encore identifiables. La profondeur (-4000 mètres), la pression et la température de l’eau auraient permis de conserver les corps des victimes. Les fonctionnaires en charge du dossier réfléchissent donc à envoyer des moyens spécifiques pour repêcher les victimes ainsi qu’une cellule d’identification. «Remonter les corps d’une telle profondeur, après deux ans de séjour dans l’eau, sans les endommager et en évitant la corrosion des eaux chaudes en surface relèvera de l’exploit», selon un proche du dossier.
Encore ici...


Conflicting stories Le Figaro reports bodies were found.

Prince Albert II's Fiance Converts to Catholicism

...and almost as important, she is veiled. Original post

Monaco (kath.net/KAP) Charlene Wittstock 33 the fiance of Prince Albert II of Monacho, is going to become a Catholic, according to a report from the Royal house. In an official statement on Monday it is said that she is from a free and personal decision, coming into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The South African Charlene Wittstock was baptized as a protestant. The civil wedding is set for the 1st of July. The Church wedding will take place after in the family chapel at the Palace.

The Roman Catholic Church is the official state Church in Monaco. The Principality has had its own Archbishop since 1981, who is appointed directly by the Holy See. The freedom of other religions and confessions is guaranteed by Monaco's Constitution. Report here, from Strait's Times...

Thus we see humility, a real prerequisite for Royalty.