The Policies and Politics of Pope Pius XII

Between Diplomacy and Morality

by Frank J. Coppa (Author)
©2011 Monographs 205 Pages


The Policies and Politics of Pope Pius XII delves into the diplomacy of the most controversial pope of the twentieth century: Pius XII (pontificate, 1939-1958), «Advocate of Appeasement» to some and «Apostle of Peace» to others. Disagreement prevails on his quest for peace, recourse to impartiality during the Second World War, and relative public silence during the Holocaust. His abandonment of impartiality to play a prominent role in the Cold War has contributed to the charges and counter-charges leading to what has been deemed the «Pius War.» Unfortunately, a good deal of the literature published by the defenders and denigrators of this papal diplomacy has shed more heat than light. In this book, Frank J. Coppa, who has written on numerous controversial figures including Pius IX (pontificate,1846-1878), seeks to objectively explore the origins and rationale of Pius XII’s diplomacy during the war, the Nazi genocide, and its aftermath.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (February)
World War II Diplomacy Politics Holocaust Impariality Geermanophile Pius War Silence
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. VIII, 205 pp.

Biographical notes

Frank J. Coppa (Author)

Frank J. Coppa, retired Professor of History and Director of Doctoral Studies in Modern World History at St. John’s University, received his doctorate from the Catholic University of America. He is the author of a series of biographies on Giovanni Giolitti, Camillo di Cavour, Pope Pius IX, and Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli, among others. His most recent volumes include The Modern Papacy, The Papacy Confronts the Modern World, The Papacy, the Jews, and the Holocaust, and Politics and the Papacy in the Modern World. Coppa has edited and contributed to Controversial Concordats and received numerous grants including Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2011 Dr. Coppa was the first recipient of the American Catholic Historical Association’s Lifetime Distinguished Scholarship Award.


Title: The Policies and Politics of Pope Pius XII