Over 250 attendees crowded into Washington, D.C.’s elite Cosmos Club on February 16 to hear Professor Roberto de Mattei, president of the Rome-based Centro Culturale Lepanto, refute widespread allegations that Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli) did nothing to stop the Nazi rise to power.
At the American TFP sponsored talk, Prof. de Mattei countered the thesis raised by British author John Cronwell’s book Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII by proving these allegations were not simply an attack on Pius XII, but an assault on the Catholic Church. Prof. de Mattei is well known as a professional historian and brilliant Catholic writer. He authored the book Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, The Crusader of the 20th Century.
Mr. Mario Navarro da Costa, director of the TFP Washington Bureau, introduced Prof. de Mattei thanking him for coming and expressing his joy in recalling how Prof. de Oliveira had dedicated great energy to opposing the rise and expansion of Nazism by pointing out its doctrinal likeness to communism and the fact that both are inimical to the Catholic Church.
Notable guests included Prof. Michael Novak, former Ambassador to the Holy See, Thomas Melady and the Sovereign Order of Malta’s Knight of Justice Fra’ Michael von Stroebel. Many professors were present with their students, attracted by an intellectual debate on Cornwell’s book.