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Did Cardinal Pacelli (Pius XII) really say this?

For decades now, I have had the quote that is alleged and attributed to Cardinal Pacelli.  On and off, I have tried to find the real source or a reliable attribution to this quote.  Even today, I still see it circulate around the internet, appearing in websites, forums, and such places.  It’s one of the quotes that I want to be real, but I want to be sure that Cardinal Pacelli REALLY said this.  Somewhere, there has to be a newspaper article, book, or something that quotes this quote.  I bet it’s in Italian.  I’m throwing my hands up, so I decided to ask you guys if anyone has the skills to hunt down a real answer.

Here’s the quote, usually claimed to have been said in 1931, I’ve had (it varies from place to place on the internet as I suspect people add their own editorial “flare” to it:

“I am concerned by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. Mary’s persistence about the dangers that menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul…. I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.
“A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, ‘Where have they taken Him?’”

A qualified “Wow” is warranted.  But something in me keeps saying this is too good to be true — that it might have been manufactured.  Finding a newspaper that reported the quote around 1930, or a book that cited it from the period, would be ideal.  So far my efforts haven’t turned up a source.

So — can any of you guys determine an answer to Pius XII’s question:  <<Hoc Dixi?>>

Does that quote sound a little “too good to be true” to you too? Have you seen this quote “in the wild” as well?

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One Response to Did Cardinal Pacelli (Pius XII) really say this?

  1. The quote is a translation from the French. The original text can be found on p. 52 of a book published in 1972 entitled, “Pie XII devant l’Histoire”, by Georges Roche and Philippe Saint Germain. The authors claim that these words were a confidence made by the Pope to Enrico Pietro Galeazzi. The book was given a scathing review by Emile Poulat at the time of its publication in “Archives des sciences sociales des religions” (vol. 33, no. 33, p. 292-293). Poulat called the work “invraisemblable, dans tous les sens imaginable du mot,”, ie. improblable, bearing little resemblance to the truth. He criticized the authors for ignoring the secondary literature, for giving no blibliography for the primary sources they supposedly consulted, for thinking that documents drawn from the Vatican Archives and prepared for publication by the Jesuits were documents drawn from the Roman Archives of the Society of Jesus, for claiming published records were as yet unpublished. Poulat says that the authors’ work is riddled with minor errors, as well as with other errors less minor. “Tout est de la meme encre fantaisiste”–all from the same fanciful ink.

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