Traditional Mass

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pius XII celebrating Mass at St. Peter's Basilica

Here's some more reasons why many of us are praying for the beatification of Pius XII! May he intercede for us and hasten the Motu proprio's release!
(Dcn John)
VATICAN - The great legacy of Pope Pius XII: Fides interviews Father Peter Gumpel, Relator of the cause for the beatification of Pope Pius XII

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides)- “Pope Pius XII played an important role in preparation for the Second Vatican Council and he encouraged the Church to reflect on issues which concerned modern men and women” Jesuit Fr Peter Gumpel, Relator of the beatification cause for Pope Pius XII told Fides in an interview on the occasion of the publication of a book by Andrea Tornelli “Pio XII. Eugenio Pacelli un uomo sul trono di Dio” [Pius XII. Eugenio Pacelli a man on the throne of God] (Milan 2007 pp. 661).

“If we look at the corpus of the doctrinal production of Pius XII, his encyclicals and other documents, we realise that this Pope intervened on most important matters of the times in the fields of morals, liturgy, biblical studies and the life of the human society” said Fr. Gumpel. “Before intervening on an issue Pius XII studied it, never hesitating to consult experts in the field”.

“Moreover people fail to realise Pius XII's role in preparation for Vatican II. The Council happened not unexpectedly but rather at the end of lengthy preparation during the Pontificate of Pius XII. He was aware of the necessity of a Council but decided to leave the task of convoking it to his successor for the following reasons. First of all Pius XII realised the Council would have lasted for years. A Council could not be convoked immediately after World War II when Europe and other parts of the world were struggling to overcome the war's consequences. The Bishops had to remain in their dioceses with the people of God to overcome the difficulties.

The second reason was derived from the fact that documentation had to be collected and preliminary studies undertaken and this would require time. Lastly, since he fell ill in 1954, Pius XII felt he was not strong enough to lead such an important event ”.

“The presence of Pius XII in the work of the Council is undeniable ” said Fr. Gumpel. “If we look at the minutes of the Council Fathers' discussions we find his name mentioned in no less than 1,500 interventions. In notes to Council documents Pius XII is cited more than 200 times. He is the most recurrent citation except for Sacred Scripture”.

On the human level, Fr. Gumpel, who met Pius XII, says “it is not true that as a person he was cold and distant. I can testify that Pius XII was amiable, cordial and also humble. I remember how he accompanied me personally to the door, and I was a simple Jesuit. Recently the letters exchanged between Pius XII and his brother Francesco were published and they reveal all his humanity. Thanks to these letters we can discredit another myth, namely that there existed misunderstanding between Pius XII and his predecessor Pius XI. When it was Pius XI who appointed him as Secretary of State for his Pontificate! The future Pope did not even want to be a Cardinal, he would have preferred to take pastoral care of a diocese. But Pius XI sensed that he would be his successor and wished to prepare him for the task. So he not only appointed him Secretary of State, he also sent him on a series of journeys to various countries, telling him “I want you to meet the world and the world to meet you ”. Between Pius XI and the future Pius XII there existed a compensation of character: if the former was more impulsive, the latter was more reflective. Together they formed a team which worked wonderfully ”.

“Lastly I would mention Pius XII's great concern for the poorest of the poor. In fact during the war thanks to him no less than 100,000 Romans received a hot meal every day. He donated his family heritage, a considerable sum, to the Church and the poor” Fr. Gumpel concluded.

(L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 5/6/2007 righe 46 parole 643)

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