Correcting Cornwell Again…

Correcting Cornwell Again…

Catholic Truth blogger, Athanasius, submitted the following letter to the Catholic Herald, in an attempt to correct yet another attack on Pope Pius XII by the pseudo-journalist John Cornwell. We’ve discussed his writings in the past here
When you’ve read the letter, please vote in the poll to tell us whether you think the Editor of the Catholic Herald published this letter or not. Then share your thoughts on why – against all the evidence to the contrary – John Cornwell continues to defend his unconscionable attacks on Pope Pius XII…

Letter from Martin Blackshaw, aka Athanasius…

In an attempted rebuttal of Fr. Leo Chamberlain’s observation that “Hitler’s Pope” received warm reviews in the liberal press, as opposed to harsh reviews from knowledgeable experts, John Cornwell offered Professors Owen Chadwick, Paul Preston, Denis Mack Smith and Saul Friedländer as “academic specialists on the period” who praised his book (Letters, March 17).

The problem with this defence is that all of the aforementioned are left-leaning, non-Catholic revisionist historians who have little regard for the Catholic Church. Indeed, Friedländer abandoned Catholicism to become a leading left wing Zionist in Israel.

Mr. Cornwell then went on to describe the Reichskonkordat as “the international treaty negotiated by Pacelli and Hitler in the summer of 1933”.

In fact, the concordat in question was negotiated by Cardinal Pacelli, representing the Holy See, and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, on behalf of President von Hindenburg and the German government. Hitler’s signature is not on the agreement and neither he nor his Nazi Party are mentioned in it. This is very important to note as it demonstrates how Mr. Cornwell slants his presentation of events.

In a further misrepresentation he proposes that the Reichskonkordat was agreed to by the Nazis on the understanding that the Catholic Centre Party would be abolished, but only after it had voted in favour of the Enabling Act that handed Hitler his dictatorship.

In response to this common revisionist error, historian Michael Phayer writes: “the view that the Concordat was the result of a deal that delivered the parliamentary vote of the Catholic Centre Party to Hitler, thereby giving him dictatorial power (the Enabling Act of March 1933)…. is historically inaccurate”. (The Catholic Church and the Holocaust (1930–1965), 2000, p. 18).

In truth, there is not a shred of historical evidence supporting a link between the Enabling Act of March 1933 and the Reichskonkordat signed on July 20 of the same year.

Hitler’s dictatorship was actually sealed in February 1933 with the ‘Reichstag Fire Decree’. From that date it was only a matter of time before he intimidated his way to full control of the Reich. The dissolution of opposition political parties was well underway by then and the Catholic Centre Party knew its days were numbered.

The Nazis were viciously anti-Christian, as well as anti-Jewish. Cardinal Pacelli knew this and acted “with a gun at his head”, as he put it to one British journalist, to preserve the Church in Germany as best he could under the circumstances. One of Germany’s leading Cardinals of the time, Cardinal Faulhaber, concurred when he declared “With the concordat we are hanged, without the concordat we are hanged, drawn and quartered”.

History vindicates both Churchmen in that by the end of the war Dachau concentration camp held so many imprisoned catholic clergy that it had its own barracks. Others were not so fortunate; those many priests and religious who were murdered when their churches, monasteries and convents were ransacked and desecrated by the Nazis.

The trouble with revisionists like John Cornwell is that they are unable to distinguish between martyrdom and suicide. It seems they also have difficulty in separating truth from falsehood.

I still remember the consternation of Fr. Peter Gumpel, vice postulator of the cause of Pius XII, during a telephone conversation I had with him when Hitler’s Pope was first published. According to Fr. Gumpel, John Cornwell lied when he said he had been given privileged access to secret Vatican archives on Eugenio Pacelli that shocked him and prompted him to write Hitler’s Pope.

The truth is he was only granted access to publicly available archive information that covered the period 1912 – 1922. There is no mention in those documents of Hitler or the Nazis.

I don’t know about anyone else but that revelation of Fr. Gumpel tells me all I need to know about Hitler’s Pope and its author. END.



Comments (35)

  • editor

    Be assured, we will reveal the truth about publication of the letter submitted to the Catholic Herald by Athanasius. In the meantime, have fun with the voting poll!

    March 29, 2017 at 8:49 pm
    • Margaret USA

      Will you share the results of the poll with the Catholic Herald?

      March 30, 2017 at 2:28 am
      • editor


        That’s a great idea. We certainly will! In fact, I’ll send the link to this thread to Luke Coppen, the Editor of said Catholic Herald right now. Thank you for that inspiration.

        A few minutes later…

        Done & Dusted!

        March 30, 2017 at 8:58 am
      • Margaret USA

        Wonderful! I’d love to see their response.

        March 31, 2017 at 3:47 am
      • editor


        To date Luke Coppen has not replied, which is, to be fair, unusual – in the past, he has always replied to my emails if only to say “no, your letter is NOT going to be published!”

        Still, he’ll read this thread and that’s the main thing. He is overwhelmingly under the influence of Modernism so it will do him good to be given a chance to “mix” with some real, live Catholics for a change.

        March 31, 2017 at 9:59 am
      • Margaret USA

        Both St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori and St. Padre Pio insisted on spiritual reading. CTS and other TC blogs are spiritual works of mercy by instructing the ignorant. Yours truly has been one of the many beneficiaries of TC literature, yet there are billions who are still in darkness. God willing, your gracious gesture may help Mr. Coppen make CH a herald of the constant and unchanging Catholic Faith.

        April 1, 2017 at 3:04 am
      • editor

        Let’s hope that reading this thread will help Mr Coppen to see something of the light, Margaret. Then again, when one’s mortgage depends on keeping the Modernist Muddle afloat, who can tell…

        April 1, 2017 at 10:01 am
      • RCA Victor


        Speaking of the mortgage, which bishop does Mr. Coppen report to?

        April 1, 2017 at 2:24 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I have no idea where Luke Coppen lives, if that is what you mean, so I don’t know to which diocese he belongs. If you are asking which, if any, English/Welsh bishop has oversight of the Herald, again I don’t know and it really makes no difference since they all hold to the same Modernist creed.

        April 1, 2017 at 4:53 pm
  • Therese

    No, obviously, but what a splendid letter.

    March 29, 2017 at 9:19 pm
  • Lionel

    This is an excellent development! it should have been published.

    March 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm
  • Josephine

    I don’t buy the Catholic Herald but i’m guessing Athanasius’ letter didn’t get published.

    What I wonder is, does anyone know why Cornwell is so determined to believe the worst about Pius XII, despite all the evidence from the Jews themselves that he was a true friend to the Jews during the war?

    March 29, 2017 at 9:53 pm
  • Athanasius


    John Cornwell is an apostate Catholic, though he pretends not to be. He has written a number of books injurious to the Catholic Church. One of his productions is entitled “The Dark Box” and is an open assault on the Sacrament of Confession. My opinion is that he has a very badly troubled conscience which he tries to salve with his attacks on the Church.

    He wrote another book on John Paul II in which he derides the Pope for adhering to traditional Catholic moral teaching, which Cornwell believes should be decided by the people in accordance with changing times. I think we have a very strong clue here about that conscience problem of John Cornwell. Besides that, he plays to the haters of the Catholic religion and has gained a big reputation amongst them, not to mention a small fortune from the sale of his Church-hating works. Talk about thirty pieces of silver!

    March 29, 2017 at 10:53 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Josephine always said that our own kind were the worst and Pope Francis seems to really clarify that . As regards Pius 12 no matter what he would have done or tried to do men like Pope Francis would always find wrong. It’s like the Romance you hear about The Spanish Civil War where The Pope did support The Fascists what did they expect that he supported the Communists who Butchered Nuns Priests and Bishops by the thousands. Yet songs are written and still sung about the brave Irishmen and Red Clydsiders who went and fought alongside The Communists. True stories like The Scarlet and The Black could never have come to fruition without the knowledge and aid of Pope Pius 12 . Were The Allies not persecuting and killing Monks when they carpet bombed Monte Casino , probably yet never has there been a so called bad press on that incident. War is a terrible thing and terrible things happen; it’s never Black and White.

      March 30, 2017 at 1:30 am
  • Theresa Rose


    An excellent letter, but I think that the Catholic Herald will never publish it.

    John Cornwell does not care about the truth about Pope Pius XII. There is money to be made from this book, his attitude seems to be who cares.

    March 29, 2017 at 10:53 pm
  • crofterlady

    It’s strange the way the media in general give house room to these apostates. Surely some journalists must care about the truth?

    March 29, 2017 at 11:30 pm
    • editor


      Luke Coppen, editor of the Catholic Herald, is far too young to have a clue about the truths of the Faith. Last time I checked, he was in his early 40’s, so he’s never known the true Faith in its entirety, just the modernist version. In his position, however, as editor of a “Catholic” newspaper, any ignorance on his part is culpable. No question about that. He will have to answer for his wilful ignorance at his judgment.

      Given his uncritical acceptance of the modernist version of the Faith, he is unable to discern the spiritual blindness afflicting the Bishops and he is even LESS able to recognise Pope Francis for what he is – the worst ever pope in the history of the Church.

      He’s published a couple of rebuttals of John Cornwell but he should publish everything in order to drive home the truth about Cornwell, not just maintain the ridiculous “balance” – allowing falsehood a fair say alongside truth. How crackers is that?

      The shocking thing is that, if my memory serves me correctly, John Cornwell’s original letter was billed as the “Comment of the week”, placed in a box at the top of the letters page. That is, his outrageous anti-Catholic rubbish was deemed to be the best letter that week!

      The reader who passes me a copy of the papers hasn’t done so for the past couple of weeks so I don’t know if further responses to Cornwell have been published or not. However, the fact that Athanasius’ letter has not been published speaks volumes. That seems to suggest that the truth is being suppressed. Remember, Athanasius submitted a shorter version of his letter above, to allow the editor no excuse not to publish. Shame on any “Catholic” editor who permits the blatant falsehoods about Pope Pius XII to be perpetuated with his active help. Shame on him.

      March 30, 2017 at 9:13 am
  • Benedict Carter

    Well done Athanasius! Obviously the letter was unpublished, or published in a heavily edited form. The Catholic Herald recently has published one or two articles supportive of the True Mass and critical – indirectly – of Pope Francis, but in general it’s a complete rag, controlled I would imagine by Cardinal (how the heck did THAT happen?) wotsizname, the scouser, and his minions.

    March 30, 2017 at 1:15 am
    • Margaret USA

      Dear Benedict,

      I second your opinion re the letter of Athanasius. However, as Theresa Rose said: An excellent letter, but I think that the Catholic Herald will never publish it. It would be nice if they did, but imho it’s highly unlikely.

      Also, I can’t comment on the Catholic Herald. Apparently, I’m persona non grata.

      In Christ the King,


      March 30, 2017 at 3:05 am
      • Benedict Carter

        It has stopped all comments, some months back; but I was banned from it more than several times before then. You too, Margaret? What on earth for?

        The CH is a typical example of a head-in-the-sand mainstream Catholic outlet which wouldn’t know a Mason or other enemy of the Church if he hit it in the face. Half-secularised, fully Vatican II-ised, gone along with all aspects of the Revolution; questions very little or nothing.

        March 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Benedict,

        Apparently CH didn’t like my comments on Fatima esp in re to the Third Secret (the exact words of Our Lady have yet to be revealed) and the necessity of the *Collegial* Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

        Shortly after that, I couldn’t post any more comments.

        I looked at CH online yesterday and they promote the official version of Fatima, which really irks me.

        That’s it for now.

        In Christ the King,


        March 30, 2017 at 5:16 pm
  • Athanasius

    Yes folks, it’s a sad fact that like the “fake news” out there in secular society the liberal Catholic media has also turned fake. It publishes seriously damaging articles and letters that its editors know to be untrue and then restricts or completely suppresses factual responses. The SCO has gone down this road recently, moving from partial suppression to full suppression under its new editor. And of course the so-called Catholic Times has been attacking the Catholic Faith via Mgr. Basil Loftus for years while rejecting all opposition to his heresies.

    The Catholic Herald’s editor seems to think it’s ok for him to publish people like Cornwell in the name of objectivity. But the teaching of the Church has always been very clear about dangerous writings and their authors. It’s the Catholics whose writings attack the Church and the Faith of Tradition that should be banned, for error has no rights.

    March 30, 2017 at 10:49 am
    • Helen

      Can someone please tell me what is meant by “fake news”? I keep hearing the term from Trump to Athanasius. What is it?

      March 30, 2017 at 11:05 am
      • gabriel syme


        “Fake news” is misinformation – lies or propaganda – dressed up as a genuine news story.

        March 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm
      • WurdeSmythe

        That’s the right sense of it. The phenomenon nearly as old as gossip itself received a new label.

        The term was recently applied by the mainstream media against Donald Trump near the end of the 2016 presidential election to cast a pall over his remarks and campaign rhetoric. The effort back-fired, however, when Americans rightly observed that the mainstream media itself had been a purveyor of fake news for years; this observation gained ready acceptance – to the chagrin of the leftists.

        Any more the term “fake news” is used:
        * by the mainstream media to describe just about anything the Trump administration says,
        * by people on the American political right to characterize leftist propaganda delivered through news agencies.

        The two sides routinely accuse each other of misusing the term, level charges of special pleading, etc.

        March 30, 2017 at 12:41 pm
    • Margaret USA

      Hear, hear!!!! 👏👏👍👍

      March 30, 2017 at 5:18 pm
  • Helen

    Thank you both. What a sad world we live in!

    March 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm
  • Laura

    That’s a fantastic letter from Athanasius, but it was never going to be published in any GB Catholic newspaper; surely he would know that by now, LOL!

    That’s the great thing about the internet, these charlatan editors can be exposed whereas before people just had to suffer in silence, wasting time writing letters that never got published. So, that’s something.

    As for John Cornwell – he just doesn’t know when to shut up! He talks nonsense and anyone who knows anything about Pius XII and the Jews/War, knows it.

    March 30, 2017 at 9:11 pm
  • RCA Victor

    That’s a marvelous letter by Athanasius (OK Editor, just so you don’t feel left out, that was a marvelous idea to post it!).

    I am not familiar with this controversy beyond headline depth, but here is a review of Hitler’s Pope that completely rakes John Cornwell over the coals:

    March 30, 2017 at 10:32 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor

      This quote from the Catholic Culture article says it all:

      When the definitive history of deceit is finally written, this book will take pride of place. For make no mistake, Hitler’s Pope is one of the great publishing hoaxes of our time, every bit as disreputable as The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk or the discredited Hitler’s Diaries.

      In fact, there is so much damning information about Cornwell in that one article alone, that it’s astonishing that anyone – even the hapless Luke Coppen(!) – would fall for his groundless allegations.

      March 31, 2017 at 12:01 am
  • Margaret Mary

    A first class letter but I’m betting it wasn’t published. Even the front cover of the book “Hilter’s Pope” is a phony, giving the impressed Pope Pius XII was coming out of a meeting with Hitler, when the photo was taken before he became pope and before the Nazi regime. How dishonest is that?

    March 31, 2017 at 10:57 am
  • Michaela

    Athanasius, as always, has written a marvellous letter. I would be interesting to read the letters which were published instead of that masterpiece. I bet they were all, or mostly, about unimportant matters.

    Although I think it’s a waste of time writing to these rags, I still think it’s good to do so because at least the editor is reading the information and he cannot claim he didn’t know.

    March 31, 2017 at 10:12 pm
  • Josephine

    Are we going to find out if the letter got published? My guess is “no” but I’d love to be wrong, LOL!

    April 1, 2017 at 8:11 pm
  • Athanasius

    I would like to thank you all for your kind support of my letter to the Catholic Herald. I haven’t seen this week’s edition yet but I suspect it won’t get published now. Still, as someone pointed out above, we do our Catholic duty by writing and submitting letters to these publications and then we leave the rest to God, not to mention the conscience of the editors.

    April 1, 2017 at 9:52 pm
    • editor

      As you will all have realised by now, Athanasius’ letter was NOT published – neither the full blown submission nor the shortened version. So the “no’s” have it – at this time of writing, the above voting poll stands at 96.3% who believe that the letter would NOT be published.

      Nor have I had any reply to my email to Luke Coppen giving him the link to this thread, so I think we can safely assume very bad conscience on his part.

      Pray for him. Anyone who is actively supporting the revolution in the Church – such as the editors of these allegedly Catholic newspapers – is actually in very serious spiritual danger, as the crisis in the Church, the Modernist “takeover”, moves into its final stages.

      April 5, 2017 at 10:18 am

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