juni 1938: Pius XI wil encycliek tegen racisme

ID: 193806001788

In June 1938 he summoned Father John LaFarge, an American Jesuit priest, to confer with him. Impressed by LaFarge's antiracist work in the United States, Pius XI went outside the usual Vatican personnel and assigned LaFarge to draft "Humani Generis Unitas" ("The Unity of Humankind"), an encyclical that would denounce racism and the persecution of Jews by advocates of racial purity. As the fate of German and Austrian Jews worsened under the Nazi grip, LaFarge and a few trusted colleagues worked in Paris, writing and revising a text that grew to almost 100 pages.

A heart attack took the life of Pius XI during the night of February 9, 1939. LaFarge's draft of "Humani Generis Unitas" was reportedly on the Pope's desk at that time. Delayed for several months by the Vatican's bureaucracy, it had reached the Pope too late to be of consequence. Cardinal Pacelli, who feared Communists more than Nazis, succeeded to the papacy on March 2, taking the name Pius XII. His leadership record during the Holocaust years would be problematic at best. Six months later World War II began. "Humani Generis Unitas" was shelved in Church archives. Nothing much was heard of it until long after the Holocaust took place. (20030908)

Voor een weerlegging van de redenen voor het doen verdwijnen van de encycliek, zie: (20030908)

Land: VAT