Future Pope Pius XI Makes Expresses His Low Opinion of Polish Jews

Future Pope Pius XI Makes Expresses His Low Opinion of Polish Jews

Achille Ratti, Pope Pius XI
Source: Wikipedia

Achille Ratti, the future Pope Pius XI, writes a letter to Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Vatican Secretary of State, about his one and only apparent meeting with Jews in Poland. Ratti makes it clear that he doesn't think very highly of the Jews in Poland.

The future Pope Pius XI writes:

"Even the Jews (numerous here too as in almost all the cities of the Kingdom, whether small or large, they only subsist through small commerce involving contraband, fraud, and usury) asked to be received."

Ratti had been asked by Pope Benedict XV to look into the conditions for Jews in Poland, and this one meeting appears to be the most he bothers to do. Ratti will assume the position of pope shortly after the end of World War I, a time when many are still recovering from the devastation and a few still seem hungry for further conflict.

His fear of modernism, something he shares with his predecessors, will lead him to support Franco, the leader of fascism in Spain, as well as sign concordats with fascist leaders Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. According to Pius XI's way of thinking, it is better to have a repressive fascist in power who also supports traditional social structures than a democratically elected leader who might undermine traditional social structures.

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