Many are up in arms about the fact that B16 has moved Pius XII up a few steps on the board game "Sainthood". They feel that Pius XII, a lover of things German, did not do enough to fight the Holocaust.
As usual, most folks don't know how to deal winningly with the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
They want to protest, express anger, demand retraction. That is simply not the right strategy.
I'd like to propose something a bit more subtle and sly based on some well known facts about the relationship between Pius and Francis Spellman.
Here is what we ought to do. The queer community and the Jewish community and all modern enlightened Roman Catholics (and I know some of you will protest the possibility of such a critter) should praise this papal action resoundingly as a demonstration that the gay clergy is finally being recognized for their holiness in Roman Catholic history. Much should be written and blogged about the well known fact that Pius XII was best friends with little Frannie Spellman when they both young and randy clerics. Spellman would probably have never amounted to much in terms of ecclesiatical power had it not been for the ascendancy of his "particular friend" Pacelli to the papacy. A mere six weeks after becoming Pius XII, Pacelli made Spellman Archbishop and soon Cardinal of New York, much to the chagrin of almost all other American bishops. It's a love story full of ambition and church politics, some Kennedys, A Roman princess, and not a little sex and romance. Let us trumpet the move to sainthood of one of the great queen popes of modern history. And then let's watch as the fidgety clueless Vatican tries to spin that while abandoning their affection for Pius XII.
If B16 is going to push anyone forward to sainthood, let it be this woman who was excommunicated because of gossip and episcopal jealousy and had the patience to endure it because she loved the Catholic Church and eventually received an apology.
Here's the young Pacelli and covergirl Francine Spellman with the man behind her throne.
PS: In Rome, I came to possess the key to Francine's desk. I still have it. I also was given the scarlet cassock he kept in Rome for quick trips to Eugenio. It fit me perfectly. One crazy night, I gave it to a young German Benedictine monk named Anselm whom I met through Rembert Weakland....I wonder if he still has it.
PS: Their grandmother introduced Pacelli to Spellman. (The wiki account is incorrect.) An interesting squabble over a fabulous inheritance. I'm searching for a photo of gay Jonathan's lucky Brazilian partner, Elson Braga.
PS: Go to the 3:33 mark in this video to hear the voice of Francine Spellman. No wonder he hated Fulton Sheen!