Tag Archives: anti-Semitism

RADIO INTERVIEW ( fixed link)

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August 13, 2013

On March 19th, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio was elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, taking the name Pope Francis. He is the first Jesuit to ascend to the papacy, and his election has refocused world attention on the Vatican and its role in world.

Peter Eisner is a journalist and author who lives in Bethesda, and in his new book, he examines the role of another, much lesser known Jesuit, during the transition between Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII at the start of the second World War. The book is calledThe Pope’s Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to Stop Hitler, published by William Morrow.

Tom Hall talks to Peter Eisner about popes Pius XI and XII, and the Jesuit who went from serving the poor southern Maryland to helping the Vatican (almost) condemn the Nazis in an official encyclical.

http://www.wypr.org/podcast/peter-eisner-popes-last-crusade

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Radio Interview

PopeCrusade_desk (2)

RADIO INTERVIEW

August 13, 2013

On March 19th, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio was elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, taking the name Pope Francis. He is the first Jesuit to ascend to the papacy, and his election has refocused world attention on the Vatican and its role in world.

Peter Eisner is a journalist and author who lives in Bethesda, and in his new book, he examines the role of another, much lesser known Jesuit, during the transition between Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII at the start of the second World War. The book is called The Pope’s Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to Stop Hitler, published by William Morrow.

Tom Hall talks to Peter Eisner about popes Pius XI and XII, and the Jesuit who went from serving the poor southern Maryland to helping the Vatican (almost) condemn the Nazis in an official encyclical. LISTEN

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World War II and The Pope — Today’s Overtones

PopeCrusade_desk (2)My latest book, The Pope’s Last Crusade, just out from William Morrow, is more timely than I could have imagined.

It is the story of the 20th Century’s least-remembered pope, Pius XI, and his attempt at the end of his life to issue a condemnation of Hitler, Mussolini and Anti-Semitism. The setting is Europe just before the start of World War II.

How strongly should a pope or a priest speak out on issues of politics and violence? Can church leaders influence world affairs? Echoes of today’s news.

People at first confuse this pope — Pius XI — with his controversial successor, Pope Pius XII. Pius XII does figure in my story, but at the time he was the pope’s deputy, as Vatican secretary of state.

The other main character is a New York Jesuit journalist, John LaFarge, sent by his editor to Europe in 1938 to assess the prospects for peace. LaFarge had just written a book, Interracial Justice, that called on Catholics to fight for an end to racism in the United States.

Arriving in Rome, LaFarge is summoned by the pope, who asks him to write an encyclical that condemns Nazi Antisemitism. LaFarge is thrown into Vatican politics, with many prelates hoping to block the pope’s daring attack on Hitler.

Two men — a lowly priest and the pope — set out to change history.

The book reads almost as a mystery novel, though it is rigorously researched and annotated nonfiction. I’m attracted to such topics, people who face moral choices in crisis.

Let me know what you think.

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New and Noteworthy: From USA TODAY

Books: New and noteworthy
Jocelyn McClurg, USA TODAY6a.m. EDT March 17, 2013

New history examines Pope Pius XI’s crusade against Nazis

3. The Pope’s Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to Stop Hitler by Peter Eisner (William Morrow, non-fiction, on sale March 19)

What it’s about: Tells the story of American Jesuit John LaFarge, enlisted by Pius XI (who died in 1939) to draft a declaration condemning Nazism and anti-Semitism.

The buzz: Popes – and Jesuits, for that matter – are very much in the news these days.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2013/03/17/new-and-noteworthy/1988135/

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A timely look at the inner rivalries and machinations at the Vatican; in this case the protagonist is Pope Pius XI, the little known pontiff who served before World Word II. He opposed Hitler, Mussolini and their campaign against the Jews

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