The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair By Daniel J. Goldhagen (362 Pages)Publisher: Knopf, 2002
A penetrating moral inquiry into the Catholic Church's role in the Holocaust that goes beyond anything previously written on the subject. Goldhagen cuts through the historical and moral fog to lay out the full extent of the Catholic Church's involvement in the Holocaust, transforming a narrow discussion fixated on Pope Pius XII into the long overdue investigation of the Church throughout Europe. Goldhagen shows that the Church's and the Pope's complicity in the persecution of the Jews goes much deeper that has been previously understood. The Church's leaders were fully aware of the persecution of the Jews and did not speak out or urge resistance. Instead, they supported many aspects of it. Some clergy even took part in the mass murder.
But Goldhagen goes further. He develops a precise way to assess the Church and its clergy's culpability, which was more extensive and varied than has bee supposed. He then devotes the largest part of the book to proposing a new and fuller understanding of restitution, including moral restitution, and shows that the Church has, even according to its own doctrine, an unacknowledged duty of repair. He explores this duty, analyzes the Church's tactics of evasion, and delineates all that the Church must do to redress the harm it inflicted on Jews and to heal itself.
Brilliantly researched and reasoned, A Moral Reckoning is a path breaking book of profound, and far-reaching, importance.