Wartime Pope Pius XII, maligned by some for alleged lack of condemnation of Hitler’s Nazi regime, considered the Beatitudes precious.
In his 1939 Christmas Eve address [known as ‘The Pope’s Five Peace Points’], Pius XII stated:
“They [the warring nations] must cultivate that hunger and thirst after justice which is claimed as a beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount, and which supposes as its natural foundation the moral virtue of justice…”
Wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell, maligned by some for alleged child sexual abuse, also shared the Pope’s love of the Beatitudes – highlighting his ‘Five Peace Points’ in 1940*.
In a letter to his close friend Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned and later executed by the Nazis, Bishop Bell wrote:
“May God guide you and keep you. Let us pray together by reading the Beatitudes”
Richard W. Symonds