Letter showing Pope Pius XII had detailed information from German Jesuit about Nazi crimes revealed
The Toronto Star
Newly discovered correspondence from World War II suggests that Pope Pius XII had detailed information about Nazi atrocities, including the gassing of Jews and Poles, according to documents from the Vatican archives. The letter, dated December 14, 1942, was written by a German Jesuit priest and addressed to the Pope's secretary. The correspondence contradicts the Vatican's argument that it could not verify reports of Nazi atrocities and adds fuel to the debate about Pius XII's legacy. Historians have long been divided on whether Pius XII did enough to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
In photos: Centuries-old Kyiv cathedral and monastery on U.N. danger list
The United Nations has classified historical sites in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Lviv as World Heritage sites "in danger" due to the ongoing conflict with Russia. The St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv, dating back to the 11th century, and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery have both been damaged by Russian missile strikes. The medieval centre of Lviv, which features buildings and religious sites from the 13th to 17th centuries, has also been added to the list. UNESCO hopes the classification will encourage more financial aid and emergency protective measures.
Notes in Bible margin could be handwriting of the Venerable Bede
Michelle Brown, the former curator of illuminated manuscripts at the British Library, believes she has discovered examples of the handwriting of the medieval theologian and scholar Bede, along with his “lost” Old English translation of the Gospel of St John. Brown argues that two manuscripts contain extensive evidence linking them to Bede, including grammar and linguistics that resemble his published writings. She also notes the use of Greek and Hebrew, as well as marginal reference annotations, which reflect Bede’s interests and practices. The original translation of the Gospel of St John has not survived.
Polish government officials accused of accepting bribes in exchange for visas
Poland's ruling Law and Justice party has been accused of corruption after it was revealed that Polish consulates in Africa and Asia were giving out visas to migrants in exchange for money. Piotr Wawrzyk, the deputy foreign minister with oversight of consulates, was dismissed in connection with the reports. It is alleged that consulates have issued around 250,000 visas to migrants from Asia and Africa in the last two years in return for bribes of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. The ruling party, which is campaigning on an anti-immigrant platform, has been accused of hypocrisy.
EU ministers agree on fiscal reform 'camino', aim for year-end deal
European Union finance ministers have supported a timeline that calls for the reform of the bloc's fiscal rules by the end of the year. The EU fiscal rules currently set limits on budget deficits and public debt levels, but many countries have exceeded these limits due to the COVID-19 pandemic and energy price crisis. The Commission and EU governments are discussing changes to the framework that would take into account differences in debt levels and economic growth among countries while ensuring equal treatment. Germany wants uniform debt reduction benchmarks, while France believes individually negotiated paths are necessary. The talks also need to address incentives for green and digital investments and defense spending. Spain aims to reach an initial agreement in October.
‘Turkey is a place where writers matter’
Maureen Freely, author and academic, recently released her new book, My Blue Peninsula, which explores the Armenian genocide and its impact on a woman trying to understand her family’s role in the event. Freely, who grew up in Istanbul, has been involved in the movement to open up the history of the Armenian genocide, and her book attempts to navigate the complexities of living with such a dark legacy. She also discusses her work as a translator, particularly her translations of Orhan Pamuk, and her friendship with the novelist. Freely and Pamuk have collaborated on several books, but she admits that their last project together, The Museum of Innocence, was not a happy experience and they will not work together again. Freely also mentions her recent reading recommendations, including Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov and Pearl by Siân Hughes.
Freely’s book, My Blue Peninsula, delves into the Armenian genocide, a topic that has been contentious in Turkey. She explains that her involvement in the movement to open up the history of the genocide began when Orhan Pamuk, a friend of hers, was prosecuted for his involvement in discussing the “dark chapter” of Turkish history. Freely’s book aims to explore the legacies of the genocide and how people live with them, particularly those who are descendants of the perpetrators or beneficiaries.
The interview also touches on Freely’s work as a translator, specifically her translations of Orhan Pamuk’s novels. She explains that translation changed the way she writes and sees the world. Additionally, Freely discusses her friendship with Pamuk and their collaboration on multiple books. However, she reveals that their last project together was not a positive experience, and they will not work together again.
Overall, the interview provides insight into Freely’s motivations for writing My Blue Peninsula, her experiences as a translator, and her relationship with Orhan Pamuk. She also shares her recent reading recommendations and discusses the importance of exploring difficult historical legacies in literature.
British retirees attracted by our conservative values, says Polish minister
Poland has seen a surge of British retirees moving to the country due to its conservative values, according to Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Poland's deputy minister of foreign affairs. Poland, which has strict laws on abortion and where the majority of the population is Catholic, has been ruled by the conservative Law and Justice Party since 2015. Mularczyk said that Poland's history and the role of the Catholic Church have shaped its conservative values, and some Polish people are nervous about Western governments importing their politics and ideology. The country has also faced pressure from the EU over its stance on LGBT issues.
Letter shows Vatican knew about Nazi death camps despite long denial
The Sydney Morning Herald
Newly discovered correspondence from the Vatican archives suggests that Pope Pius XII had detailed information about the extermination of Jews in German-occupied Poland during World War II. The documents, published by Italian daily Corriere della Sera, contradict the Holy See’s argument that it could not verify reports of Nazi atrocities. The correspondence from a German Jesuit priest, who was part of the Catholic anti-Hitler resistance, was addressed to Pius’ secretary and reported that up to 6,000 Jews and Poles were being gassed each day in Poland. Historians have long debated Pius’ record during the Holocaust.
As coup follows coup in West Africa, could Cameroon be next?
A new survey from Afrobarometer has found that while two-thirds of people in 36 African countries want democracy, 53% would support a military coup if they felt elected leaders were abusing their power. The survey also suggests that the apparent support for coups does not imply a loss of faith in democracy, but rather frustration with years of foreign interference. The study found that in Cameroon, 66% of citizens would support a military takeover if leaders abused their power. However, the Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI) has said that this is not a possibility in Cameroon due to the way President Paul Biya has divided the country’s armed forces.
Letter shows Pope Pius XII probably knew about Holocaust early on
A letter found in the Vatican archives suggests that Pope Pius XII knew about the Nazi attempt to exterminate Jews in the Holocaust as early as 1942, contradicting the Holy See's official position at the time. The letter, written by a Jesuit who was part of the anti-Nazi resistance in Germany, confirms that the Vatican had detailed information about the crimes being perpetrated against Jews in labour camps. Supporters of Pius argue that he worked behind the scenes to help Jews, while critics claim he lacked the courage to speak out. The letter was discovered by an in-house Vatican archivist and made public with encouragement from Holy See officials.
Majority of voters support assisted dying bill, poll reports
A YouGov poll has found that 77% of Scots support proposals to allow terminally-ill people to take their own lives. The poll conducted by campaign group Dignity in Dying also showed that the majority of respondents who had some or “a lot” of life-limiting health or disability issues backed the bill. The poll also found majority support for the bill among members of the Church of Scotland, Roman Catholics and Anglicans. The Scottish parliament is due to publish a bill on assisted dying later this year. However, the bill is expected to be opposed by disability rights and faith groups.
Wartime Pope Pius XII probably knew about Holocaust early on, letters show
A letter found in the Vatican archives shows that Pope Pius XII knew about the Nazi attempt to exterminate Jews in the Holocaust as early as 1942, contradicting the Holy See's official position at the time. The letter, written by a Jesuit and addressed to the pope's personal secretary, confirmed that labor camps were actually death factories. Supporters of Pius say he worked behind the scenes to help Jews, but his detractors argue that he lacked the courage to speak out. The letter was discovered by an in-house Vatican archivist and made public with the encouragement of Holy See officials.
This activist is bringing the message of 'zero tolerance' for clergy abuse to the doorstep of the Vatican
Clergy abuse survivors and allies are embarking on a pilgrimage to Rome this week to demand that Pope Francis signs a proposed zero tolerance law for clergy abuse. Gemma Hickey, founder of the Pathways Foundation, will lead the group of 10 survivors and allies on a 120-kilometre walk from Montefiascone to St. Peter's Square, where they will arrive during the Pope's noon blessing on 27 September. Hickey has previously led a similar walk in Newfoundland in 2015 to improve services for abuse victims.
Macron defends decision to attend Pope's mass in Marseille
French President Emmanuel Macron has sparked debate by announcing that he will attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis during his two-day visit to France. Macron defended his decision, stating that he will attend as the president of the republic, not as a Catholic. Left-wing politicians have criticised the move, arguing that an elected official should not participate in a religious ceremony in an official capacity. However, a law professor in Paris argued that since the pope is a foreign head of state, it is normal for the president to attend the ceremony. Macron also announced a public fundraiser to restore church buildings in French villages.
One person in hospital, another in custody after stabbing at Whitby school
The Toronto Star
One person has been taken into custody and another person has been injured following reports of a stabbing at a school in Whitby, Ontario. The incident occurred at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School and the school was briefly on lockdown. The injured person was taken to a hospital in Toronto. The Durham Catholic District School Board has been contacted for comment.
Vietnam activists to seek US refuge after Biden administration deal -US officials
Two Vietnamese activists who were believed to have been wrongly detained by the country's Communist government are relocating to the United States under an agreement negotiated ahead of President Biden's recent visit to Hanoi. The activists, a human rights lawyer and a Catholic parishioner, along with their families, will seek resettlement under the "Priority 1" refugee program in the US. In addition, Vietnam has agreed to release two imprisoned Vietnamese activists sought by the US and has signed a private agreement to make progress on religious freedom, NGO operations, prison conditions, and labor laws.
Vatican considering report into ‘very serious’ allegations against former bishop, church says
The Vatican is investigating "very serious and deeply distressing" allegations against a former Catholic bishop in Australia, according to the Catholic archbishop of Perth. The allegations against former bishop Christopher Saunders are being examined by the Vatican after an investigation by the church. The nature of the allegations has not been disclosed. Saunders, who resigned in 2020 after sexual misconduct and bullying claims emerged, has denied the allegations. The investigation by the Vatican follows inquiries by Western Australian police, who have not charged Saunders.
Updated list of schools in England with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete
The UK Department for Education has released a list of schools in England that have confirmed the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac). The list includes state-funded schools, maintained nursery schools, and further education colleges. The schools are divided into four sections based on the action being taken to deal with the Raac. Some schools are offering remote learning while arrangements are finalized, while others are offering remote learning on some days as not all students can receive face-to-face education. There are also schools where the presence of Raac has been confirmed recently and action is still under discussion. Finally, there are schools where all pupils are receiving face-to-face learning either on-site or nearby. The list is arranged alphabetically and includes the name of the school, whether the school has been newly identified or previously identified with Raac, and whether it is a primary or secondary school. One school, Brandhall Primary School, was initially identified as having Raac but further tests have determined that it does not have Raac present.
Mark Wahlberg says he began producing ‘out of necessity’
Mark Wahlberg has revealed that he took on the role of producer "out of necessity" in order to have control over his career. The actor, who has an extensive list of acting credits, explained that he didn't want to wait for established actors like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise to pass on a movie before he could take it on. Wahlberg has since produced or executive produced many of his major releases and expressed an interest in directing and working with new talent in the future. He also discussed his most recent film, "Father Stu," a biopic about a former professional boxer who became a Catholic priest, revealing that he was inspired by his own priest's story. Wahlberg hopes to continue making faith-based films through his production company.
Rise of the Nazis: the Manhunt, review: why we must never forget the horrors of the Holocaust
The BBC Two documentary series "Rise of the Nazis: Manhunt" examines the events surrounding the capture and trial of Nazi war criminals after the end of World War II. The series includes footage from the Nuremberg trials and reconstructs key moments such as the Mossad operation to capture Adolf Eichmann. It also highlights the moral ambiguities of the post-war era, including the recruitment of Klaus Barbie by US intelligence and the assistance of the Catholic clergy in helping war criminals escape. The series serves as a reminder of the importance of continuing to make programmes about the Holocaust.