Emeritus Professor Ira Sharkansky from Hebrew University writes on FDR, the Vatican, and the Roman Catholic Church in America, 1933-1945, dited by David B. Woolner and Richard G. Kurial (Palgrave: 2003) in the San Diego Jewish World. It is an interesting article on a book that has been around for nearly a decade. Sharkansky points out, yet again, how important getting history into context in the work of those of us concerned with describing and interpreting the past.
In the ongoing discussions between the Vatican and the ultra-traditionalist Society of St Pius X, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made it clear that acceptance of all the teachings of Vatican II is essential. One of the areas of great concern where statements made by the SSPX leadership that some elements of Vatican II were optional, including Nostra Aetate which repudiated centuries of Judeophobia, supercessionism and the charge of Deicide against the Jews. Cardinal Koch stated without ambiguity that acceptance of Nostra Aetate was mandatory if any reconciliation with the Church was to take place. It has been a matter of public record that the SSPX has held a controversial position on Jews and Judaism including the presence of the Holocaust denialist, Richard Williamson who has made statements accusing Jews of deicide.
And finally, Ed Michaels from Texas, has penned a thoughtful reflection on the difficult question of the moral responsibility of Pius XII during the Holocaust. He reaches his conclusion via several paths exploring the dilemmas confronting the pope and Catholicism, and while the final assessment is negative, it is one that Michaels has reached through a serious look at some of the complex issues. I found Michaels' line of argument sound and ethical.