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Church of Spies: The Pope's Secret War Against Hitler by Mark Riebling

By Mark Riebling

Pope Pius XII is likely to be the main detested pope in sleek heritage, vilified for allegedly appeasing Hitler and betraying the Jewish humans by way of ultimate silent through the Holocaust. yet this traditional narrative isn't the complete story.

In Church of Spies, the intelligence specialist Mark Riebling attracts on a wealth of lately exposed records to argue that, faraway from being Hitler’s lackey, Pius used to be an lively anti-Nazi spymaster. He directed an unlimited community of Vatican operatives—priests and laypeople alike—who partnered with the German resistance, tipped the Allies off to Hitler’s invasions of France and Russia, and concerned themselves in 3 separate plots to assassinate Hitler.

A fast moving and gripping story of secrecy, hazard, and self-sacrifice, Church of Spies takes readers from hidden crypts underneath the Vatican to Nazi bunkers in Germany to chart the real legacy of Pius’s mystery conflict. even though those revelations don't excuse Pius’s public silence in the course of the warfare, they supply us with a deeper knowing of the fellow reviled via such a lot of.

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Extra resources for Church of Spies: The Pope's Secret War Against Hitler

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Ecclesiastical and lay landlords continued to feel the pinch as rent revenues from their tenancies shrivelled up, for the tenant farmers could not afford the old rates. Historians have argued that this crisis in revenues drove some lords to banditry and helps explain the endemic civil wars in fifteenth-century England, France, and elsewhere. Some impecunious lords mortgaged their holdings and rights, handing them over to civic governments or wealthy individual townsmen. The ploughmen, who had formerly been the social and economic backbone of the peasantry, also fell into debt to urban moneylenders and Jews.

Conflicts over the personal allegiances of powerful churchmen in England, France, and especially the territories subject to the Holy Roman Emperors of the German Nation would often sour medieval Church–state relations, but by 1300 the papacy’s role as head of Christendom seemed unassailable. The early modern reformers looked backward through Church history to determine the pure form of religion and Christian community they hoped to realize. Inevitably they would read the Bible in light of their own experiences, with the confidence that the Holy Spirit would guide them.

In 962, Pope John XII, hoping to forge an alliance against his rivals, offered Otto the Imperial crown in Rome. Otto, who had built his power in Germany by substituting royal patronage for local lay patronage over ecclesiastical benefices, sought to reform the papacy along the same lines and deposed John when he resisted. This act initiated a century of imperial involvement in papal affairs. In the tenth century there were also signs of revival within the Church. Monastic communities, spearheaded by Cluny in Burgundy, reinstated the strict Benedictine rule.

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