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Church of Spies: The Pope's Secret War…
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Church of Spies: The Pope's Secret War against Hitler (2015)

by Mark Riebling

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Still stuck in WW2, but this story wasn’t gripping by any definition. Riebling seems to want to place more credit and intrigue where little is due. There is little substance to the book, though 1/3rd is composed of historical notations.
  2wonderY | Apr 11, 2017 |
Church of Spies is the thrilling story of how Pope Pius XII joined with the Admiral Canaris and his circle in the plot to assassinate Hitler. The go-between was a Munich lawyer named Joseph Müller. Since the Pope felt it was too risky to speak out against Hitler (who had a nasty habit of arresting, torturing, and killing Catholics in revenge), he turned to espionage. Naturally, Hitler had spies in the Vatican too, and the two sides would play a game of cat and mouse until the plot was uncovered in 1944 and the German participants arrested. The events are so fantastic it reads like a novel. Once the plot is broken up, the book turns into a gripping and inspiring testimony of what political prisoners endured in Nazi Germany, as many are hung and a few lucky prisoners manage to survive to the end of the war.

In a time, when we seem to have lost sight of what suffering and being willing to die for a cause truly means, Church of Spies offers a reminder that sometimes the things you think are worth dying for may in fact require you to die for them. A compelling account of a dark chapter of European history, perfect for those who interested in Pius XII, German history, plots to assassinate Hitler, or real life spy stories. Highly recommended. ( )
  inge87 | Oct 24, 2015 |
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How do we represent our religion?
Just as a system, or as glowing fire?

—German Jesuit Father Alfred Delp
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For Robin
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In April 1945, the Nazis tried to break the man they called "the best agent of the Vatican Intelligence in Germany."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465022294, Hardcover)

The Vatican’s silence in the face of Nazi atrocities remains one of the great controversies of our time. History has accused wartime pontiff Pius the Twelfth of complicity in the Holocaust and dubbed him “Hitler’s Pope.” But a key part of the story has remained untold.

Pius ran the world’s largest church, smallest state, and oldest spy service. Saintly but secretive, he skimmed from church charities to pay covert couriers, and surreptitiously tape-recorded his meetings with top Nazis. When he learned of the Holocaust, Pius played his cards close to his chest. He sent birthday cards to Hitler—while secretly plotting to kill him.

Church of Spies documents this cloak and dagger intrigue in shocking detail. Gun-toting Jesuits stole blueprints to Hitler’s homes. A Catholic book publisher flew a sports plane over the Alps with secrets filched from the head of Hitler’s bodyguard. The keeper of the Vatican crypt ran a spy ring that betrayed German war plans and wounded Hitler in a briefcase bombing.

The plotters made history in ways they hardly expected. They inspired European unification, forged a U.S.-Vatican alliance that spanned the Cold War, and challenged Church teachings on Jews. Yet Pius’ secret war muted his public response to Nazi crimes. Fearing that overt protest would impede his covert actions, he never spoke the “fiery words” he wanted.

Told with heart-pounding suspense, based on secret transcripts and unsealed files, Church of Spies throws open the Vatican’s doors to reveal some of the most astonishing events in the history of the papacy. The result is an unprecedented book that will change perceptions of how the world’s greatest moral institution met the greatest moral crisis in history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 14 Sep 2015 21:57:00 -0400)

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