KGB sto i sin tid bak en bakvaskelseskampanje mot pave Pius XII, og bidro til Rolf Hochhuts berømte stykke «Stedfortrederen», hevder en tidligere rumensk sikkerhetssagent.

THE KGB hatched a plot to smear the late Pope Pius XII as an antisemitic Hitler supporter and fostered a controversial play that tarnished the pontiff, according to the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence officer to have defected to the West.

Former Lieutenant-General Ion Mihai Pacepa, who headed the Romanian secret service before defecting in 1978, has broken a silence of nearly half a century to reveal that he was involved in the operation code-named Seat12, a Kremlin scheme launched in 1960 to portray Pius XII «as a cold-hearted Nazi sympathiser».

The result, according to Pacepa, was the 1963 play The Deputy, by Rolf Hochhuth, which argued that Pius XII had supported Hitler and encouraged him to launch the Holocaust. It ignited a furious debate over Pius XII’s attitude towards Hitler.

The controversy was revived when the director Costa-Gavras adapted the play for his 2002 film Amen, whose poster depicted a swastika twisted into the cross.

The cold war plan had the motto «Dead men cannot defend themselves» as the Pope had died in 1958. «Because Pius XII had served as the papal nuncio in Munich and Berlin when the Nazis were beginning their rise to power, the KGB wanted to depict him as an antisemite who had encouraged Hitler’s Holocaust,» Pacepa wrote in an article published by the National Review.

To obtain original Vatican documents, the KGB recruited the Romanian foreign intelligence service to pretend that Romania was ready to restore its broken relations with the Vatican. Pacepa said he was granted access to its archives by Mon-signor Agostino Casaroli, who was in charge of confidential talks with Soviet bloc authorities.

Det fremgår ikke klart hvorfor KGB skulle ønske å sverte en død pave, hvis det da ikke var for å svekke den katolske kirke generelt og paven spesielt.

Det må nok tilføyes at det finnes mange andre kilder til pave Pius XIIs heller distanserte forhold til Holocaust. Men da tyskerne okkuperte Roma ga han ordre til at klostre og kirker skulle åpne sine porter.

KGB and the plot to taint ‘Nazi pope’

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