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Rome’s Record on Nazi “Migrants” Should Shame Pope Francis into Silence

Updated: May 17

How can Catholics trust the Vatican on migration when it was complicit in helping 80,000 war criminals to escape justice?

How do you solve the problem of demographic death in the wealthy West? Pope Francis has a silver bullet: import migrants from the Third World.


Francis renewed his plea for one-way mass migration on Wednesday while addressing a Consultation labeled “Care is work, work is care”, organized by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.


“These rich countries are not having children: everyone has a small dog or a cat, everyone, but they do not have children,” Francis pontificated. “The decreasing birth-rate is a problem, and migration helps to respond to the crisis that causes it. This is a very serious problem.”


“For a variety of reasons, many people emigrate in search of work, while others do so because they find themselves forced to flee their countries of origin, often rent by violence and poverty,” he pleaded, urging even more immigration to the West.


Is the pope, who is called to lead the Church in interpreting the “signs of the times,” so blind that he has failed to notice the conflagration engulfing the West over the crisis in the Middle East — an inferno fueled primarily by masses of jihadist migrants and their leftist allies?


Has the papal nuncio to Britain not informed Francis that the erstwhile empire on which, it was once said, “the sun never sets,” is now being held to ransom by Islamic shariah law and politicians pandering to religious vote banks, akin to its former colonies like India?


Days before Francis’ pro-migration demagoguery, Muslim politician, Sadiq Khan, won the mayoral election of London for the third time in a row, despite leftist policies deeply disliked by indigenous Londoners.


Why? Because Muslim-dominated London is now Londonistan, a name coined by British author Melanie Phillips in her prophetic book published in 2012.


Demographics win elections. Try getting a White/Black/Hispanic Catholic or evangelical voted in as mayor of Dearborn! Its mayor is Abdullah Hammoud, who has won three terms representing his Islamic caliphate in the Michigan House of Representatives.


“Britain has become the European hub for the promotion, recruitment and financing of Islamist terror,” Phillips wrote in Londonistan. “In Britain’s universities, Islam is taught as dogma out of fear.”


Twelve years later, in 2024, Muslim migration and the population explosion among Muslims has flooded Britain to such an extent that apart from London, the mayors of Birmingham, Leeds, Blackburn, Sheffield, Oxford, Luton, Oldham, and Rochdale are all Muslim.


Today, England alone has 3,000 mosques, 130 sharia courts, and 50 Sharia Councils, fulfilling another prophecy unwittingly uttered by the former archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, who triggered outrage when he said that Sharia law was inevitable in the UK.


France, Germany, Holland, and even the traditionally-Catholic stronghold of Italy, the subject of a recent investigation on “Immigrants and Violence: The Muslims Who Hate Italy,” have now become bastions of Islamic extremism — a consequence of the unhinged immigration policies championed by leftists like Pope Francis.


Which is why I cringe each time I enter St. Peter’s Square and am confronted with the utopian sculpture promoting immigration unveiled by Pope Francis in 2019 on World Migrant and Refugee Day — an eyesore that would make Gian Lorenzo Bernini shudder in despair.


During my time as Rome Correspondent for Church Militant, I have, of course, learned to view the open-border policies of the Marxist-led Black Lives Matter supporting bishops with a hermeneutic of suspicion.


We have covered scandals surrounding Catholic Relief Services (which receives $1 billion in US government funding, plus Catholic laity donations of about a third of that from an annual parish collection) and Catholic Charities, both accused of abetting illegal immigration.


But what really fuels my distrust of papal pronouncements on migration is the dark history of the Vatican in aiding and abetting the escape of Nazi war criminals under the guise of helping refugees and asylum-seekers after the overthrow of Hitler's axis of evil.


Historian Gerald Steinacher is one of many researchers delving deep into recently-opened archives to tell the story of how the Vatican and many leaders of the Catholic Church, knowingly or unknowingly, were complicit in “large-scale Nazi smuggling.”


In his book Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice, published by Oxford University Press, Prof. Steinacher investigates the role of the Pontificia Commissione Assistenza, Profughi (PCA), under the supervision of Under-Secretary of State Giovanni Montini (later Pope Paul VI) in helping Nazi war criminals escape trial and prosecution.


“The Vatican of course is the largest single organization involved in the illegal movement of emigrants,” Vincent La Vista, a senior official with the US Embassy in Rome, wrote in classified correspondence to the State Department in Washington on May 15, 1947.


La Vista sent the US State Department a list of Catholic organizations who were engaging in illegal migration or were suspected of it. The Vatican denied its involvement after the New York Times published the La Vista report in 1984, claiming it never sheltered Nazis.


However, since the Vatican’s denial, historians like Steinacher have unearthed damning evidence to demonstrate that “the Vatican relief commission for refugees played a central part in the escape of Nazis and war criminals” after Pope Pius XII transferred responsibility for the care of prisoners of war and refugees to the PCA in April 1944.


The PCA received a large portion of its funding from the US bishops through the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) — a precursor of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).


Cardinal Francis Spellman, a closeted homosexual and a close friend of Pope Pius XII, was a key player in ensuring the flow of funds, reasoning with the Vatican that assisting the Nazi “refugees” was in some way combating the spread of communism.


Bishop Alois Hudal, an Austrian prelate based in Rome who openly supported the Nazis and war criminals, was a key figure in the network. In 1937, Hudal published his book The Foundations of National Socialism (Die Grundlagen des Nationalsozialismus) and sent Hitler a copy with the dedication: ‘To the Siegfried of German greatness.’


Hudal’s most thoroughly documented instance of helping a war criminal is his assistance to Franz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka extermination camp. Hudal found room and board for Stangl at 20 Via della Pace in Rome, and then got him a job in the library of the Collegium Germanicum, later providing him a visa, ticket to and job in a textile factory in Styria, Austria.


Stangl later fled to Brazil. With the aid of recommendations provided by the Vatican to the International Red Cross, who then provided the coveted travel documents, visas, and denazification certificates, other war criminals would find havens in Argentina, Peru, and other Latin American countries.


In April 2024, the German division of Vatican News reported that the Hudal archive had been completely digitized, giving historians unprecedented access to his role in assisting Nazism and helping war criminals to escape.


The Croatian, Hungarian, and Polish subcommittee of the papal aid organization, in collaboration with other Catholic relief agencies like Caritas, cooperated in assisting war criminals to escape.


The Catholic Church aided at least 80,000 war criminals in their flights to Latin America, many through the “Ratline” — “an intricate, underground railroad created to abet Nazi war criminals” in escaping justice, writes researcher Claudia Laird in her monograph “Deserting the Sinking Ship: Ratlines, Vatican and the Nazi Escape from Justice.”  


The reasoning that the Vatican was using Nazism to fight Bolshevik Communism is facile at best and perverse at worst. It was the economist Friedrich Hayek in The Road to Serfdom (1944) who identified fascism and Nazism as leftwing ideologies — cousins of communism.


After all, the official name for Hitler’s Nazi party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party — the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP).


Historians like Anthony James Gregor, Renzo De Felice, and Zeev Sternhell, followed by the popular book by Dinesh D’Souza titled The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, demonstrate how “Mussolini and Hitler both identified socialism as the core of the fascist and Nazi weltanschauung” (worldview).


“The escape of Nazis and war criminals aided by the Red Cross and the PCA was an open secret at the time,” concludes Steinacher.


“The US intelligence services knew, the US State Department knew, the International Committee of the Red Cross knew, its presidents Max Huber and Paul Ruegger knew, the Swiss government knew, the Italian government knew, Monsignors Carroll and Montini (Pope Paul VI) from the Vatican knew,” he writes.


The powers-that-be knew what they wanted to accomplish through “migration” then and now. The Vatican’s record on migration stinks. So how does Pope Francis expect his flock to trust him?


A full disclosure and an unconditional apology from the pontiff for the Church’s role in aiding Nazi war criminals under the guise of helping migrants would go a long way in healing our broken trust.

Dr. Jules Gomes, (BA, BD, MTh, PhD), has a doctorate in biblical studies from the University of Cambridge. Currently a Vatican-accredited journalist based in Rome, he is the author of five books and several academic articles. Gomes lectured at Catholic and Protestant seminaries and universities and was canon theologian and artistic director at Liverpool Cathedral.

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