Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Jesuits and Mussolini

Yesterday, I attended a talk at the Commonwealth Club that was delivered by David Kertzer.

He discussed his new book, The Pope and Mussolini. Although I had no initial plan to buy his book, I attended the talk just because I wanted an overview of the relationship between Pope Pius XI and Mussolini, I found the talk so fascinating that I bought it.

Kertzer is a great storyteller and he seems to have mostly used original source material, including a diary of one of Mussolini's mistresses, and recently released to the public, papers from the Vatican and fascist archives.

Pope Pius XI's relationship with Mussolini seemed to be one where each used the other for power and control needs.

But one thing that struck me in the presentation by Kertzer was the role played by the Jesuits during that period. Given the recent attack by Jesuits on Walter Block and the socialists tendencies of the current and  first Jesuit pope, Pope Francis, I am wondering if the Jesuits ever come down on the right side of an issue.

Ketzer pointed out during his talk that Wlozimierz Ledochowski, the global head of the Jesuit order at the time of Mussolini's reign, believed in a Jewish conspiracy and that he urged the pope to issue a worldwide warning about this "terrible danger that grows more menacing each day."

At one point, the pope said publicly that "It is impossible for Christians to participate in anti-Semitisim. We recognize that everyone has the right to self-defense and can undertake those necessary actions to safeguard his legitimate interests. But anti-Semitism is inadmissible. Spiritually we are all Semites."

Ledochowski was part of a cabal that found a way for a published account of these remarks by the pope to be eliminated  from the  report in L'Osservatore romano.

The Jesuit Pietro Tacchi Venturi acted as a go-between for Pope Pius XI and Mussolini. He remarkably met with Mussolini over 100 times. According to Kertzer, Venturi believed that the pope did not have enough concern about the "Jewish threat" in Italy. And Venturi took it upon himself  to alert Mussolini to this threat. He called for a special police to monitor Italy's Jewish bankers and called for the abolition of Italy's stock exchange. In a pamphlet that he gave to Mussolini, Venturi wrote: "No one can doubt the Jewish sect's formidable, diabolical, fatal activity throughout the world."

Eventually, Venturi started ending his letters to Mussoloini, "Your loyal Fascist."


  1. Don't get too involved in these Jesuit conspiracy theories RW. You have people who believe the Jesuits created Communism, Fascism, started both world wars, secretly helped write Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto (they claim Karl Marx was Jesuit trained) created the Jehovah's Witness, freemasonry, Islam, and are responsible for just about every damned event that's ever occurred. These people are VERY PARANOID

    1. I don't come close to saying any of that. I report on the comments of David Kertzer, who used original source material from Vatican and Fascist archives.

    2. "I don't come close to saying any of that."

      Yes I know. I'm just saying don't go too overboard is all. I've run into a number of these nutcases and am just completely sick of the idiocy of it.

  2. I am wondering if the Jesuits ever come down on the right side of an issue.

    Perhaps not in the past century, but lets not forget Luis de Molina of the scholastic school.