Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Deacon Sciolino’s revisionist history smears Pope Pius XII and now Pope Francis

March 22nd, 2013, Promulgated by benanderson

The D&C reports that Deacon Anthony Sciolino, board member of St. Bernard’s Institute, is promoting his self-published book

Francis has been accused of ignoring the murders and kidnappings of thousands during the so-called “Dirty War” in Argentina in the late 1970s and early 1980s… For Sciolino, the current controversy — and questions of whether Francis was silent during the Dirty War — are remarkably similar to those explored in his book. “The legitimate question is to what extent, if you’re in a high religious position, do you have an obligation to speak out against injustice,” he said.

Of course, there is little in history to compare to the injustice and savagery of the Holocaust. A Catholic himself, Sciolino writes in his book:

“Jews ponder the Holocaust and rightly ask: Where was God? Christians must do the same, but also ask: Where were we Christians? And where was the Church?”

The thing is this – there is really no controversy around either of these situations. It is merely a case of people inventing history to smear the Church. I’ll simply quote the first comment on the D&C article:

Some facts, which Mr. Sciolino’s book, a work of biased pseudo-history (given his recent lecture), chooses to ignore:

In 1967 , ISRAELI diplomat Pinchas Lapide estimated that Pope Pius XII was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands.

3,000,000 Polish Catholics were murdered by Nazis, including 20% of Poland’s clergy.

Rabbi David G. Dalin wrote recently in an article that the Communist lie (i.e. that Pope Pius did not do enough) has been appropriated by “lapsed or angry” Catholic writers (read Mr. Sciolino, a self denominated “progressive” catholic) as “simply the biggest club available for liberal Catholics to use against traditionalists”.
The Head Rabbi of Rome during the war, Mr. Zolli, actually converted to Catholicism in 1945, and took Eugenio as his Christian name, to honor the Pope (Eugenio Giovanni).
For the next 20 years after the war, you would not hear anyone criticizing the Pope’s role during the War… why? Because there were still plenty of people around that were saved and survived because of his intervention.

The new pieces of information (not included in the book) that recently came to light, reinforce the above stated arguments. This is settled, but pointing out instances in which the Church (fictitiously) was wrong is the favorite pass time of those that disagree with its teachings. Progressives, put it to rest, you are done, you are old, and the JPII generation is here to replace you : )

ref. Crocker H.W. Trumph. Three Rivers Press. 2001

Eugenio Zolli. Before the Dawn. Ignatius Press.

Also, for 1930’s admonishment of the Nazis by the Catholic Church, see the encyclical Mit Brenneder Sorge.

For even more information on Pope Pius XII see here –

Not only has Deacon Sciolino self-published his book and been highlighted in the D&C, but he’s also polluting young minds by giving lectures at places like St. John Fisher College.

Apparently Deacon Sciolino has been at this for years now. A quick google search turned up the grandaddy of orthodox Rochester blogs – Rochester Catholic: Fair and Balanced?

Some biographical information on Deacon Sciolino from the dor’s site:

Anthony Sciolino is a retired Monroe County Family Court judge. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Cornell Law School. He was ordained a permanent deacon of the Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Rochester, in 1998, the same year he earned a Master of Arts in Theology degree from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. Deacon Sciolino ministers at the Church of the Transfiguration, Pittsford and, among other ministries, is dedicated to promoting Catholic-Jewish relations within the Diocese and beyond. He also serves as a NYS Advocate, Friends of Family Court, and is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association.

How long, Lord, will the progressives be allowed to continue running this diocese into the ground? How long?


25 Responses to “Deacon Sciolino’s revisionist history smears Pope Pius XII and now Pope Francis”

  1. avatar Jim says:

    How long, Ben? Probably until we get another bishop.

  2. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    When I first learned that both Deacon Sciolino and Deacon Driscoll were collaborating with Dr. Morris Wortman on a Holocaust presentation I began to inquire, do some research and attempt to correspond with both of the Catholic Deacons.

    Neither Sciolino nor Driscoll replied to any of the respectful emails I sent them. Trusting that these Catholic clergymen were conducting their presentations in good faith, I periodically sent them substantial, well documented information regarding Pope Pius XII’s successful efforts to save Jewish people during World War II. Again, neither acknowledged receipt of my emails.

    One can only wonder whether their efforts to understand the Holocaust were based on factual evidence or false revisionist history. Why a Catholic clergyman would spend so much time and effort maligning his own Church and her heroic leader is beyond my comprehension.

    While I refuse to attack Sciolino’s person or cast aspersions upon his motives, it is impossible to draw any other conclusion than this Deacon has refused to make use of all of the information an impartial investigation reveals.

    There is so very much that can be said about the holy and heroic Pope Pius XII. Perhaps a few quotes from his contemporaries will help readers realize Deacon Sciolino’s conclusions are wrong.

    “Cardinal remembers Pope Pius XII as wartime hero” He’s now 96-years-old, Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini asserts, “Pius XII helped everyone”. “The Pope gave an order to open all the convents, seminaries and monasteries. The Pope did his duty.” “For those who knew him and his intelligence and holiness, in accusing him of not having acted in favor of the Jews, they tell lies fully knowing what they are doing.”

    WHAT HAS GOLDA MEIR SAID ABOUT THE WORLD WAR II POPE? SHE “praised Pius, saying, “When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the DECADE of Nazi TERROR, the voice of the Pope was raised for the victims.”

    Albert Einstein was quoted in Time magazine in 1940 as stating, “Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth.”

    Chief Rabbi Alexander Safran of Bucharest, Rumania, wrote in an April 7, 1944 statement, “In the most difficult hours which we Jews of Rumania have passed through, the generous assistance of the Holy See was decisive and salutary. It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the warmth and consolation we experience because of the concern of the Supreme Pontiff”.

    The Charity of Pope Pius XII | Eugenio Zolli | From Before the Dawn: Autobiographical Reflections by Eugenio Zolli, Former Chief Rabbi of Rome:

    “There is no place of sorrow where the spirit of love of Plus XII has not reached. Volumes could be written on the multiform works of succour of Plus XII. The Catholic priesthood throughout the whole world, religious men and women and the Catholic laity, stand behind the great Pontiff. Who could ever tell what has been done? The rule of severe enclosure falls, every thing and all things are at the service of charity. As the sufferings grow, so grows the light from the heart of Christ, and from His Vicar; more vigilant and ready for sacrifice and martyrdom are his sons and daughters in Christ. Young Levites and white-haired priests, religious of all orders, in all lands, dedicated Sisters, all in quest of good works and ready for sacrifice. There are no barriers, no distinctions. All sufferers are children of God in the eyes of the Church, children in Christ, for them and with them all suffer and die. No hero in history has commanded such an army; none is more militant, more fought against, none more heroic than that conducted by Plus XII in the name of Christian charity.” “Pope Plus XII is followed by all with the fervor of that charity that fears not death. No one asks for anything except to follow in the footsteps of the Master under the guidance of Plus XII.”

    There is so much more evidence available to document the goodness, the holiness and the courage of Pope Pius XII.

    Perhaps in God’s Divine Providence, Deacon Anthony Sciolino and his collaborators will relent in promulgating revisionist lies.

  3. avatar BigE says:

    Just curious – did you read the book?

  4. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    BigE, there are many more pertinent questions to ask.

    Did Deacon Sciolino (and his collaborators) utilize all of the resources available in drawing their conclusions. For example, did he (they) analyze what is available here:

    Or, did the Deacon receive and read my Christmas greeting sent him (them) by email which included over 100 links accessing substantial research on Pope Pius XII and which read in part:

    “Merry Christmas 2009, Brothers and Sisters Interested In Issues Jewish,
    While doing some on line study regarding the historicity of the Gospels and especially the Infancy Narratives, I stumbled upon an interesting blog by a so called PERTINACIOUS PAPIST. Wouldn’t you know it, this blogger had in his archives the links to numerous articles and books regarding Pope Pius XII and the Jews. Please enjoy and know that this email has been sent by Dominick Anthony Zarcone to staff of LIGHT OF CHRIST CATHOLIC CHURCH, Deacons Sciolino and Driscoll, Diocesan Spokesman Mandelaro and a beloved Jewish colleague of Zarcone’s. Peace and Joy to all this Christmas Season. DZ”

    I am no historian, nor an attorney nor judge who is able to “analyze complex fact patterns according to legal principles; formulate conclusions based on facts; advocate persuasively; hone fact finding skills by dispassionately weighing evidence, applying legal principles, and fearlessly rendering just decisions in thousands of difficult and sometimes controversial cases” as Anthony Sciolino described his abilities at the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of Kristallnacht on November 9, 2008.

    Yet, when a Roman Catholic Deacon purports that “…during the Holocaust… leaders, yes, including Pius XII, were silent and in some cases, complicit…..(and that) James Carrol, author of “Constantine’s Sword“, contends that Pius XII’s pact with Hitler was a “foundation stone of the Shoah……” (and that )”One can only speculate how many more Christians might have acted heroically before or during the Holocaust if Pius, as the Vicar of Christ, had modeled ethical behavior fearlessly in the prophetic tradition.” one must wonder, DID HE READ ALL THE AVAILABLE RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY?

    BigE, the day after the D & C included an article regarding Deacon Sciolino, his book “The Holocaust, The Church and the Law of Unintended Consequence” and his presence at Barnes and Noble Pittsford, I went to Barnes and Noble at RIT desirous to purchase it. Unfortunately, it was not there and to date I haven’t seen it.

    Suffice to remind readers, the Deacon himself intimated he grew up with Pius XII’s picture in his house and that he hoped his research would exonerate him. Apparently, Anthony Sciolino’s research did not.

    So, did or did he not utilize all of the available research and historical evidence?

  5. avatar BigE says:

    1) Deacon Sciolino’s book can be purchased through Amazon.
    2) Your questions on whether or not all available research was used might be easily answered if you read the book.

  6. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Thanks, Big E.

    So, what are your impressions of this subject and
    Sciolino’s conclusions.

    Perhaps you know something I don’t.

  7. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Don’t forget the New York Times, of all newspapers, issued an editorial, I think it was in 1943, stating the Pope was the only voice for the persecuted Jews.

    And the Chief Rabbi of Rome during World War 2 converted to Catholicism after the was, largely related to the heroism of Pope Pius XII

  8. avatar BigE says:

    1) The only thing I know that you don’t -> is that I’ve read Deacon Sciolino’s book and you haven’t. 🙂
    2) I thought overall the book was balanced in it’s presentation, even if someone may not agree with the author’s conclusions. As for Pius XII specifically, for me, it’s not that he didn’t do anything, it’s a question of could he have done more? Which is the point Deacon Sciolino makes. On the one hand, the answer is probably yes. On the other hand, armchair quarterbacking is easy. And of course, hindsight is always 20/20. So gee, I guess Pius XII was human in trying to balance and discern a lot of complicated stuff going on around him…..

  9. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Thank you, Richard Thomas, for the reminder of the New York Times article during the War. References to contemporary commentators and comments is an apt approach to researching Pope Pius XII.

    However, Former Chief Rabbi of Rome Zolli does not attribute his conversion to Catholicism primarily to the Pope. In Roy Schoeman’s “Salvation Is From The Jews”, the author relates Zolli’s mystical experiences of Jesus Christ himself. When I read Schoeman’s book it sounded like the former Rabbi’s conversion was primarily due to the Living Word of God himself.

    See excerpts from “Before the Dawn: Autobiographical Reflections by Eugenio Zolli, Former Chief Rabbi of Rome” at wherein one reads:

    “Did you become a convert out of gratitude toward the Pope, who did so much for the Jews of Italy during the Nazi persecution?” “My reply has always been in the negative, but this ought not to be interpreted as a lack of gratitude, and in fact in another book of mine, I have emphasized the great charity of the Holy Father and my admiration for him and his work.”

    BigE, please tell us more about the book. For example, does the author Sciolino make any references at all (whether balanced or not) to “Consensus and Controversy: Defending Pope Plus XII” by Margherita Marchione. Paulist Press (May 1, 2002), to Rabbi David Dalin, “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis. Regnery Publishing, Inc. (July 25, 2005) or to
    “Another Reckoning: A Response to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s A Moral Reckoning”, by Ronald J. Rychlak. Crisis, January 1, 2003?

    I look forward eventually to reading Sciolino’s book. I sense, however, that it is not much more than a summary of the numerous presentations he has already made for a number of years. In fairness, however, one should read the book.

    BigE, I will not be reading to determine if Pope Pius XII did or didn’t do as much as he could. I will be reading to determine how the author interprets the overwhelming evidence that he did more than anyone else and did it in holiness and righteousness.

    “Rabbi Says Pius XII Deserves “Righteous” Title Interview with Rabbi David Dalin. Zenit News Service. January 17, 2006.”

  10. avatar Richard Thomas says:


    Remember. The Dutch bishops openly protested against Nazi persecution against the Jews. As a result, beginning the next day, deportation of Jews increased.

    Church leaders quickly realized that open opposition would do nothing for the plight of the Jews so it was decided to help our Jewish bretherin in an undercover way.

    So when people say” Could the Church have done more”, they are ignorant of history. 850,000 saved souls is quite a remarkable feat.

  11. avatar Richard Thomas says:


    Before 1957, there was universal acclaim that Pope Pius XII did heroic work saving the Jews. It was only after the publication of the novel “The Deputy” did his role came into question. There was no scientific backing of these false claims. IT’s too bad society sided with this false accusation but we know that truth, especially when it comes to the Catholic Church, will be denied or altered.

  12. avatar annonymouse says:

    Well if Deacon Sciolino’s scholarship in his book is as shoddy as his most recent attack on our new Holy Father has been, I wouldn’t waste my time reading it, nor my money purchasing it.

    Deacon Sciolino has an agenda and he will not let facts get in the way of the advancement of said agenda.

  13. avatar Scott W. says:

    Don’t have to drink the whole gallon of milk to know it is spoiled when one whiff will do.

  14. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE –

    You are correct about one thing – hindsight is always 20/20. Would you, or Deacon Sciolino, like to have every decision you’ve ever made in the heat of the moment subjected to after-the-fact detailed scrutiny? Such scrutiny can never fully appreciate the historical context of the decisions, including the knowledge or lack of knowledge of the parties, the public or not-public communications among the parties, and so forth, can it?

    As a more recent example, I’ll bet Deacon Sciolino is one of those “Bush Lied, People Died” proponents, ignorant of the fact that every intelligence agency in the free world judged that Iraq had WMDs. It’s oh-so-easy to criticize based on that which has come to light long after the decision had to be made.

    But this post wasn’t about Pius XII so much as it was about the good Deacon’s immediate criticism of Francis based on already-debunked “news reports” about his alleged complicity in the military regime’s actions of 30 years ago. Such immediate Francis-bashing on the part of the good deacon is not only shoddy, but it sure smacks of an anti-Papist bent on the good deacon’s part, would you not agree? The embers were still smoldering in the Sistene Chapel fireplace and such “news reports” were already out there, quickly embraced without question by the likes of the good deacon. Hmmm.

    Apparently he does not accept that the Pope is the visible sign of the Church’s global unity, upon whose authority rests our worldwide communion.

  15. avatar annonymouse says:

    One more thing, which I address to Deacon Sciolino – you are an ordained minister in the Church. You have now publicly criticized Pope Pius XII, saying in effect that he did not do enough to stop the holocaust. You have jumped on immediate criticisms of Pope Francis, that have proved to be baseless (which cast judgment on your objectivity, sir, but I digress).

    So, since you are an ordained minister, and the question is legitimately raised “did he do enough to stop the slaughter” – Where is YOUR outcry, YOUR outrage, sir, in the face of the wholesale slaughter of one million innocent preborn children in our nation every year? You are quick to criticize the Holy Fathers, but do you not also have an obligation to speak out against the holocaust of OUR times? 55 million killed since 1973. Where is your outrage, sir? If indeed Piux XII could have done more, could not the same be said for you, sir?

    And while we’re at it, Deacon Sciolino, millions of same-sex-attracted people are ignoring the very clear teaching of our Church and engaging in what our Church teaches to be objectively, gravely, sinful activities, that place the eternal destiny of their souls at risk. What do you say publicly about this? Do you offer compassion and assistance for homosexual people to live a chaste, holy life, or do you instead condone their lifestyle and activities?

  16. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    And Deacon Sciolino.

    You say the Church did not do enough to stop persecution of the Jews.

    Are you pro life. Do you believe Bishop Clark did all he could to promote the Pro life position. After all he said he would not preach the pro life position because he did not want to offend pro choice women. How many hundreds is not thousands of women were denied God’s grace and healing because someone put their light under a bushel basket.

    Where is your outcry. Or are you happy with what Bishop Calrk did concerning pro-Life.

  17. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I think it’s scandal that a pro homosexual Court Judge was llowed to be ordained a deacon.

  18. avatar annonymouse says:

    One other thing – unless I’m reading the linked blog post from 2009 incorrectly, Deacon Sciolino collaborated on this project with none other than unabashed, unrepentent, proud abortionist, Dr. Morris Wortman.

    Investigate and criticize the Church’s purported insufficient reaction to the holocaust of sixty years ago, in consort with a proud perpetrator of the holocaust occurring every day in our hospitals and clinics!?! Talk about the height of hypocrisy!

    If I misread that, if Deacon Sciolino has NOT been working with Dr. Wortman on this project, please forgive me.

  19. avatar Dr. K says:

    The deacon continues with this subject on Facebook:

    I take it he doesn’t like Ven. Pius XII?

  20. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I googled the Deacon and read that he collaborated with Dr. Wortman on this project. Wortman was the originator

  21. avatar annonymouse says:

    DrK-thanks for posting that. Deacon Sciolino appears to be quite full of himself. No shortage of hubris there. Is this man a deacon in active ministry in the DoR? Whereabouts?

    That he could work with a man who has killed literally thousands of babies and then turn around and throw stones at Pius XII is an unspeakable travesty.

  22. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Yesterday, September 10, 2013, I received a phone call that Deacon Anthony Sciolino would be making a presentation at Saint Jude Church tonight (September 11) at 8:30 PM. I did not, however, make the effort to confirm whether or not the Deacon is talking up his book tonight.

    But today I discovered a very interesting article that joins the countless others which rightfully acknowledge Pope Pius XII’s goodness and courage in the face of Nazi evil.

    Enjoy and pray that Anthony Sciolino one day relents.

  23. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    There is a St. Louis Parish bulletin announcement that states the Deacon was scheduled to speak tonight 7 to 8:30 PM at Transfiguration…..

    “Book Talk, Church of the Transfiguration, Parish Life Center, —W. Bloomfield Rd, Pittsford NY, September 11, 2013, 7 to 8:30 pm. Free and open to the public.
    Retired Monroe County Family Court Judge and deacon, Anthony J. Sciolino, will explore the Church’s unintended complicity in the Holocaust. Judge Sciolino is the author of The Holocaust, the Church, and the Law of Unin-tended Consequences: How Christian Anti-Judaism Spawned Nazi Anti-Semitism, recently awarded a 2013 Independent Publisher Book Award, a Silver Medal in World History”.

  24. avatar Ron says:

    Did any of you read his recent vile interview in City Newspaper?

    Not only does he go after Pope Pius and the Church during the Holocaust, but he also raises questions about infallibility and the Church’s stance on birth control!

  25. avatar Hopefull says:

    Is this not exactly what Pope Paul VI meant by the smoke of Satan having already entered the church? That this man was actually a judge in our community is frightening to those who believe Truth matters.

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