entire era, 1932-1945 has left an evil legacy
for the Catholic Church. Although many have argued that the Catholic
lived in fear and under the thumb of a dictator, therefore the Church
powerless to help the enemies of the Third Reich. Perhaps we can give
Vatican the benefit of the doubt in February 1942, but what about in
1944 or March 1945. Was the Catholic Church living in fear of a Nazi
in April 1945? Was the Church fearful of reprisals in May of 1945 by
SS divisions? No, the Catholic Church, not only intentionally helped
criminals escape justice, but helped them establish new lives in
countries. The Vatican used every means at their disposal to assist war
criminals, including dressing SS officers in priests clothing and
hundreds of millions of gold bullion through Vatican banking channels.
that humanitarianism is one of the Church’s missions to fulfill on this
but does this mission of brotherly love include harboring escaped
war criminals? Granted that love of ones neighbor is one of the bedrock
principles of the Church, but does that include covering up the sins of
members of the SS who willing sinned against their fellow human beings?
I will leave to readers to decide for themselves.
Intermingled within the crowds of
displaced persons were
some of Europe’s most notorious war criminals, individuals who had the
millions on their hands. Just before the end of the war, the Holy See’s
Secretariat of State conducted a lobbying campaign to provide spiritual
material assistance to the impoverished. The Vatican has "consistently
claimed that they were unaware of the identity of those who were
their humanitarian assistance." Unfortunately, a number of high
ranking priests not only knew who these wanted war criminals were, they
actively sought these men out, gave them extra assistance and afforded
benefits that very few people received throughout the war years.
later it became public knowledge that war criminals
like Klaus Barbie, Adolf Eichmann,
Heinrich Mueller, Josef
Bluemle, Franz Stangl
and a whole
list of other war criminals escaped war torn Europe via the Catholic
Most of these men escaped through the work of one man, a Roman Catholic
named Alois Hudal, Rector of the Pontificio Santa Maria dell’ Anima.
"During the war Hudal served as Commissioner or the Episcopate for
speaking Catholics in Italy, as well as Father Confessor to Rome’s
community." Hudal harbored anti-Semitic feelings and his pro Nazi
stance was well known throughout the Catholic community. During
Bishop Hudal often spoke about the unity between the Catholic Church
In Gitta Sereny’s book Into That
described how Bishop Hudal was expecting Stangl (it seemed he expected
hundred war criminals), and that he was arranging papers, passports, an
visa and work permits for South America. Hudal arranged Stangl’s
quarters, transportation, via a car, plane, ship, and seemed to have
money for extra pay offs, bribes and emergency’s that may arise.
contacts with the German Red Cross, the American Office of Strategic
British Intelligence, and even seemed well connected to two well known
escape organizations, ODESSA and DIE SPINNE. Both of these
well financed, connected, and secretly assisted ex Nazi officers to
homes in the Middle East, South America and even the United States.
Wiesenthal has argued on numerous occasions, that Nazis, who were
escape, knew they had to go to the Vatican and find Bishop Hudal.
believed that Stangl had the same help that his two good friends,
Wagner, former Deputy Commandant of Sobibor, and Alois Brunner, a
commander of a mobile killing squad in Russia, received when they
Allied justice. According to several credible witnesses, Bishop Hudal
very close friend with Walter Rauff, an ambitious SS officer who
development program for the mobile gas vans. Their friendship began
and many believed their friendship remained until Rauff’s death.
After the sudden death of Cardinal Magione in August of 1944, Pope Pius XII decided not to appoint a new Secretary of State and assumed personal responsibility over foreign affairs. One of the Pope’s closest advisors became Monsignors Domenico Tardini and Giovani Montini, the latter being a very close personal friend of Bishop Hudal. Once the war ended Bishop instantly transformed himself from a pro Fascist into an ardent anti Communist who sought potential allies in his holy crusade against Communism. Hudal convinced Montini that a lenient policy was needed with those individuals who were Catholic, anti Communist, and deemed valuable to the upcoming struggle against Communism. Martini and Tardini convinced his Holiness the Pope and ex Nazi war criminals flooded out of Europe to find new homes around the world. Eventually the Pope appointed Bishop Hudal the Vatican’s official Spiritual Director of the German People and was ordered to visit all of the German POW camps in order to find those worthy anti Communists and give them special assistance with the eternal blessing of the Vatican’s Holy Office.  U.S Intelligence agencies knew Bishop Hudal’s mission and even helped provide transportation, living quarters and even identity papers for some of Hudal’s chosen few. Over 30,000 Nazi war criminals made their way to freedom and a new life. ODESSA was an amateur escape organization when compared to the Vatican RATLINE. A large number of these escaped criminals were not even German, thousands were eastern European collaborators who willingly killed for the Nazis.To see source and other Catholic War Crime activity go here: