The heart-pounding history of how Pope Pius XII--often labeled "Hitler's Pope"--was in fact an anti-Nazi spymaster, plotting against the Third Reich during World War II
The Vatican's silence in the face of Nazi atrocities remains one of the great controversies of our time. History has accused wartime pontiff Pius the Twelfth of complicity in the Holocaust and dubbed him "Hitler's Pope." But a key part of the story has remained untold.
Pope Pius in fact ran the world's largest church, smallest state, and oldest spy service. Saintly but secretive, he sent birthday cards to Hitler--while secretly plotting to kill him. He skimmed from church charities to pay covert couriers, and surreptitiously tape-recorded his meetings with top Nazis. Under his leadership the Vatican spy ring actively plotted against the Third Reich.
Told with heart-pounding suspense and drawing on secret transcripts and unsealed files, Church of Spies throws open the Vatican's doors to reveal some of the most astonishing events in the history of the papacy. Riebling reveals here how the world's greatest moral institution met the greatest moral crisis in history.
Basic Books; September 2015
- ISBN: 9780465061556
- Edition: 1
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: Church of Spies
- Author: Mark Riebling
Imprint: Basic Books
In The Press
"[F]ascinating...offers a compelling narrative of the actions taken by Pope Pius to stop Hitler from carrying out his campaign of world domination and ethnic cleansing. Backed by a mass of carefully compiled documentation, Riebling shows that Pius cooperated in a variety of plots, initiated by patriotic, anti-Nazi Germans, to assassinate Hitler and replace the National Socialist regime with a government that would make peace with the west."
About The Author
Mark Riebling is a path-breaking writer on secret intelligence. The author of Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and CIA, he lives in New York.