Thursday, January 28, 2021

Canonisation of Pope Saint Pius XII by Anglican Patriarchate

By Jean DuBois


Earlier this week, on Sunday 24 January, His Holiness and Eminence the Archfather solemnly declared and defined Pope Pius XII as a confessor saint within and pertaining to the jurisdiction of the Anglican Patriarchate, the New Roman Communion, and the Stato Pontificio. The canonisation was defined in a Patriarchal Bull Nulla Dubitatio and formally proclaimed following the mass on Sunday. Quoting from the bull, "With the help and grace of God, [Pope Saint Pius XII] used his diplomatic skills to prevent giving the vile Nazi regime the excuse they needed to invade the Vatican City-State and to persecute and murder even more Catholics. Over two million Catholics died at the hands of the Nazis and the Holocaust. Yet while Pius was engaging in diplomacy, he and his network were working tirelessly and at great risk to save countless people, Catholics, Jews, escaped soldiers, and others." 

The overall efforts seeking canonisation for St. Pius XII already found a potential miracle. The Patriarchate believes this to be true. However, the act of canonisation was made by scientia certa, and thus a proven miracle was not needed. Canonisation is a solemn declaration by the church that She believes the person to be in heaven. Within the jurisdiction of the Anglican Patriarchate and New Roman Communion, the supreme authority for canonisation rests with the Archfather as successor to Pope Leo X and the temporal successor to St. Peter the Apostle.

Pope Saint Pius XII was born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli in a family of the so-called "Black Nobility," i.e., Italian nobility with strong ties to the papacy. His brother, Francesco Pacelli, was a lay canon lawyer who advised Pope Pius XI and helped to negotiate the Lateran Treaty with Benito Mussolini which, in 1929, established the sovereignty of the Vatican City-State that had been lost by the Savoy Kingdom of Italy's invasion of Rome. 

St. Pius XII was raised in the centre of Rome, attending school at the convent of the French Sisters of Divine Providence in the Piazza Fiammetta and worshiping at the famous Chiesa Nuova, where he served as an altar boy. He studied theology at the Almo Collegio Capranica and also studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare, and the University of Rome (La Sapienza). He earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree. 

Pope St. Pius XII was ordained to the priesthood on Easter Sunday 1899 alone in a private chapel. His clerical career involved significant academic work and long stretches in the administration of the church government and church diplomacy. As the Papal Nuncio ( ambassador) to Bavaria, he was effectively the papal representative to the entire German Empire for the latter part of the Great War. Thereafter, he was appointed as the Apostolic Nuncio all Germany during the new Republic that followed the Great War. He played a major role in denouncing the rising Nazi ideology, describing the Nazis as "false profits with the pride of Lucifer." 

Later as Cardinal Secretary of State, having been elevated to the Secret College as Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo on December 16th, 1929, he signed a number of concordats, including the Lateran Treaty. The most controversial was that with the German States, which is in fact still valid and in force to this day. Purpose was to help safeguard the German Catholics as well as protect the sovereignty of the church.

St. Pius XII was crowned pope on 12 March 1939. He chose the name of Pius because his entire life had largely been spent on the popes with that name. It was also especially a sign of respect and gratitude for Pius XI. He removed the Italian monopoly on the Roman Curia and presided over one of the most tumultuous times in Church history, the Second World War. After the War, he invoked Papal Infallibility and defined the dogma of the Assumption of Mary, namely that she "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."

Pope Saint Pius XII died on 9 October 1958. His feast day has been set to that same day, with the liturgical rank of Double. The Stephenian Curia expressed a sincere desire that the Roman Pontiff will follow and define Pope Saint Pius XII as a saint for the Roman Communion.