Hitler planned to kidnap Pope Pius XII in 1944 and
have him taken to Germany, according to Italian reports.
Hitler gave a direct order to SS General Karl Friedrich Otto Wolff
to kidnap the head of the Catholic Church but the general refused to
carry out the order and warned the pontiff of the danger, La Repubblicca reported Sunday.
The information was contained in a written statement by the
general in 1972 and released by the Vatican as part of documentation
supporting claims that Pius XII be made a saint.
Hitler was said to have been enraged by the Catholic Church’s
sheltering of thousands of Jews. Under the plan the pope was to have
been incarcerated in a castle in Baden-Württemberg.
Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, has been widely
criticised, not least by Dr.Ian Paisley, who calls him Hitler’s Pope, for not openly condemning the Nazis.
Reuters also run with the story.