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Author QuotedRolf Hochhuth
Title QuotedDeputy / Translation from the German Der Stellvertreter
Date (Year/Month/Day)1963/12/12
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1964
QuotationI have been asked to write some notes on a notorious play [Hochhuth's The Deputy] which treats Pius XII as a renegade for not having openly protested against the mass murder of Jews by Hitler. The play is mediocre and heavy-handed, and there is obviously an air of resentment and prejudice everywhere in it, and yet after all one can see something of a justification for this viewpoint, in its essence. The idea that a Pope should put first of all the "duty" of retaining political advantage and power, and that the "good of souls" depends on this, is something that we cannot deny exists in Rome, and furthermore the play makes a great point of the fact that the whole Catholic notion of obedience and authority has come to be something dependent on this concept of power. In other words, obedience is something that ultimately has a political use: it makes the members of the Church pliant instruments of policy. This can be seen to have utterly shocking consequences. And amusing ones, for instance, in the curial indignation over the mere idea of reform... Obviously for the Curia obedience means nothing outside the context of their own power. They obey a Pope as long as he plays their game.
JournalThe Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1985, p. 585
Link to Merton's Copy