The Pope’s Thundering Silence on the Ethiopian Cause – By Kidane Alemayehu

April 14th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

A Vatican clergy blessing the Italian Fascist army. (more…)

A Vatican clergy blessing the Italian Fascist army.

The repeated appeals to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to express the Vatican’s apology to the Ethiopian people for its complicity with the Fascists in the perpetration of the crime of genocide in Ethiopia have so far gone completely unheeded. Letters of appeal written directly to His Holiness’ office, the Vatican Embassy in Washington, DC as well as through the media including the internet have so far been ignored. As an example, I can mention my letter dated August 18, 2005 to His Holiness soon after his selection as a Pope and his visit to a synagogue in Cologne, Germany where he expressed his apology to the Jewish people for the “unimaginable crime” of holocaust committed against them by the Nazis. For more details, please check:

While Pope Benedict XVI is recognized for his prompt response to issues such as his travel to Turkey following his controversial remarks regarding Islam, his apology to the Jews, and his reaction regarding the alleged crime committed by pedophile clergy, it is a matter of a great concern that His Holiness has chosen, so far, not to own up to the Vatican’s complicity with the Fascist crime, during 1935-41, which resulted in the murder of one million Ethiopians as well as the destruction of 2000 churches, 525,000 homes, and 14 million animals. Could it be because Ethiopia is a poor African country?

It is a matter of a historic fact that the Fascist army had the Vatican’s blessing when it proceeded on its murderous journey to Ethiopia where it committed the horrendous crime by using various weapons of mass destruction including poison gas which was made to rain in rural and urban areas throughout the country.

Pope Benedict XVI must be fully aware of the Vatican’s complicity in the Fascist crime of genocide in Ethiopia. He must know that when the Fascist army managed to reach Addis Ababa, the then head of the Vatican, Pope Pius XI had expressed his joy, on May 12, 1936, by stating:

“The triumphant joy of an entire, great and good people over a place which, it is hoped and intended, will be an effective contribution and prelude to the true place in Europe and the World.”

According to Avro Manhattan, the Pope’s joy was expressed in a more cogent and graphic declaration by the Archbishop of Toreno with the following words:

“The war against Ethiopia should be considered as a holy war, a crusade” (as Italian victory would) “open Ethiopia, a country of infidels and schismatics, to the expansion of the Catholic Faith.”

With the heroic struggle by Ethiopian patriots as well as the support of friendly countries such as the United Kingdom, Ethiopia was liberated from Fascist Italy’s occupation in a short period of five years. However, to this day Ethiopians are still awaiting the required apology by the Vatican and an adequate compensation by the Italian government.

With regard to compensation, it should be recalled that recently the Italian government has consented to compensate Libya (a country that was also a victim of colonization) with $5 billion for having used 30,000 of its citizens in the fascist invasion of Ethiopia. It is, therefore, obvious that the miniscule amount of 6 million sterling pounds that was alleged to have been a compensation for Ethiopia could not, by any wild imagination, be considered sufficient! After all, if $5 billion dollars were paid for the military deployment of Libyan citizens in the unjust attack against Ethiopia, the murder of one million Ethiopian people should have more serious consequences.

As if to add insult to injury, the Vatican is in the process of beatifying Pope Pius XII, a person who is known to have masterminded the fullest support to Fascist Mussolini, to sainthood. The Vatican is also still proceeding with its age old policy of promoting Catholicism in Ethiopia, an attempt that was the cause of a devastating loss of life during the reign of Emperor Susneyos, as it is in the process of establishing a Catholic university in Addis Ababa.

The Vatican has apologized to the Jewish people repeatedly for having been silent during the Nazi holocaust. If silence were enough reason to apologize, would being complicit in the Fascist crime against Ethiopia not be a much stronger reason for a sincere apology to the Ethiopian people?

It is extremely important for the Vatican to take such an action as it would pave the way for other required measures that would be needed from the UN as well as the Italian government. Therefore, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is called upon to do his Christian duty by expressing the long awaited Vatican apology to the Ethiopian people thereby putting to rest the open wound that has festered for generations.

  1. GOD bless Ethiopia. amen
    | #1

    Thank you ato kidane Alemayehu for bring this very improtant issue forward.The whole world knows that the roman catholice was behind fascist mussolini. The roman catholice ‘ church” collected money and gave to fascist mussolini.The vatican said sorry for the jew because the jew’s intellectuals forced to do so. so NOW THE ROMAN catholice is proccessing to build a university at the heart of Ethiopia and bring more catholic crusaders and prepare for the third round “holly war”.This is really an insulting for our country and our ppl who were being killed like dog in their own country ” villages” The vatican should know that it can build as many as it wants, but no single crusader” Holly war fighters ” against ethiopia and it ppl will come to ethiopia from other country. Why should it be in Ethiopia? because Ethiopia doesn’t have any responsible leader? Even those the so called vaticaners in ethiopia should demand from the former adolf hitler soldier and the current head of vatican church to ask to apologize the ethiopia’s ppl for the vaticans involuement in the genocide against 1,000,000 innocent ethiopians, and fatty compensation instead of building CRUSADERS university , whcih will not operate at all. we will never allow any single crusade from any other country to come in our country to study theology. we have enough here. they can build in brazil, argentina, Italy and carry on with their hidden mission.

    | #2


  3. havlo
    | #3

    A very nice point raised. Keep up the good work

  4. Gertachew
    | #4

    There is a saying in our beloved language that my father who was a farmer who used to say ‘gebe gebe gebe kediha tekenseshe kehabtam tekenesh’. the translation would be something like this that it would be imposible to get all the worker bees and the newly hatched queens to abounden their hives and fled to house another hive.Because the rich have
    other empty hives ready for them.But the poor and anorganized with no plan for the future will loose all their bees including the old.
    We are divide along fake tribal lines and that is why everbody gives us a deaf ear. First let us fight tribalism and form a strong united government then we would fight for anything that we want. The world will listen to us. It is not just the vatican that gives us a deaf ear.Let us fight to overthrow the fastic and undemocratic regiom that is our biggest enemy that is on our shoulder.Let us uinte and fight to overthrow Meles and his adminitrative officals.Long live Ethiopia and the ethiopian people.

  5. who cares
    | #5

    with all due respect, who cares what the Pope says today? Will it change one bit of history? Find something more productive to do please.

  6. Dagnachew Koru
    | #6

    Gegna lihun bay neh, mejemeria ategebih yalewun tashenifina Rome tihedaleh ehie?

  7. Truth
    | #7

    Though Mr. Kidane Alemyehu have a good reason and probably intention too, I believe this issue could be more effectively addressed and solved when the Ethiopian government along with organization like Mr. Kidane’s and other come together and have a comprehensive approach. As a Catholic and Ethiopian, I do think yes Vatican have to apologize but at the same token I am worried that people who have other intention aganist the Catholic church will use this to degrade the Catholic church. Ethiopia is no question formost Orthodox Christian country which has a big Muslim community too and a small other divers Christian denominations. We should all respect each other. Building Cathlic University in Ethiopia is not a crime or sin. Ethiopians build churches in the u.s. cities and around the world, no body complains? so why now complain on the Catholic University in Ethiopia. Anyway. I idea of getting an apology from the Vatican thou is good intentioned, the process, complications and aftermath is very delicate and difficult. It is not as easy as one would think.

  8. Yonatan
    | #8


    tell me, are you stupid, or you just pretend to be stupid ?
    Do you believe that if the yekatit12 killing Debre lebanos massacre and Holocaust did not happen
    You just keep living in your little naive world. I challenge you to really educated your mind. Mankind is capable of great achievement. It is also capable of great destruction. Do you think for one moment that Graziani or Mosolni would have hesitated to use nuclear weapons?

  9. Yonatann
    | #9

    @who cares
    Those who do not study history and learn from it are doomed to repeat it. Is it going to take another Holocaust for us in this country to wake up to the reality that this part of history must never be forgotten?
    So u r advice to people is to let it go. These people were real and are no longer with us. You shame our warrior memory. You also shame the memory of the near 1 million ethiopan who perished because of people like you who choose to remain ignorant of history.

  10. capri
    | #10

    Take away the majestic churches and cathedrals; take away the FALSE message of salvation and love in Christ; take away the museums and the banks accounts, and what do you have?

  11. marmalush
    | #11

    Roman Catholicism is counterfeit Christianity. Pontificus Maximus is the name for both Ceasar and the Pope. The Pope is the modern form of Ceasar. With all the Paganism and brutality of Caligula and Nero. “Sun” day is not the Sabbath of the Bible, but is the sun worship of Sol Invictus, a roman diety. This is where the “lawlessness” of Roman Christianity begins. And as the Bible says, if ANY of the law is broken, it is ALL broken. Hence the Holocaust. Islam and Catholicism are one and the same. telling the truth is for you catholic hating. common. the catholic chruch was respond for millions of millions deads. people must know the truth

  12. Qum-Neguer
    | #12

    የቫቲካን መንግሥት; ከፋሺሽቶች ጋር ተመሳጥራ ለተፈጸመው እጅግ ከፍተኛ የጦር ወንጀል; ማለት አንድ ሚሊዮን ኢትዮጵያውያን ለተጨፈጨፉበት ይቅርታ ሳትጠይቅ; አሁን ደግሞ, በእንቅርት ላይ ጆሮ ደግፍ እንደሚባለው; የፋሺሽቶቹን ጦር የደገፉትን ጳጳስ (ፖፕ ፓየስ 12ኛ) የቅዱስነት ደረጃ እንዲያገኙ እያመቻች ነው:: ይህ አልበቃ ብሉዋት; ኢትዮጵያን ወደ ካቶሊክ ሃይማኖት ለመለወጥ ከአጺ ሱስንዮስ ጊዜ ጀምሮ የነበራትን መርሕ ለመተግበር; የካቶሊክ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ለማቁዋቁዋም እየተንቀሳቀሰች ነው::

    እንግዲህ ይህን ሁሉ እያየ ዝም የሚል ኢትዮጵያዊ ሊኖር አይችልም:: ስለዚህ ጉዳይ መታገል ኢትዮጵያ ላይ በተከሰቱት የፖለቲካና የኢኮኖሚ ከባድ ችግሮች እንዳንዱ ተደርጎ ሊቆጠር ይገባዋል:: ምክንያቱም ስለ ሐገር መብትና ክብር አለመታገል ትርፉ ኪሳራና ውርደት ስለሚሆን! ከይቅርታው በሁዋላ መፈጸም የሚገባው ተገቢ የሆነ የጦር ካሳ ስላለ!!

    “ትሩዝ” የካቶሊክ ሃይማኖት ተከታይ ቢሆኑም የቫቲካን መንግሥት ኢትዮጵያን ይቅርታ መጠየቅ እንዳለባት እውነቱን በመቀበላቸው ግሩም ክርስቲያንነታቸውን አረጋግጠዋል:: ቤተክርስቲያናቸውም የርሳቸውን ምሳሌ እንድትከተል በኢትዮጵያዊነታቸው ተገቢውን እርምጃ እንደሚወስዱ ይታመናል:: ስለ ዩኒቨርሲቲው ማቁዋቁዋም ጉዳይ; ቫቲካን ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ያላትን አሳዛኝ ንቀት ሳታስተካክል የእርዳታ እጅ (ያውም በመርዝ የተለወሰ)መዘርጋት ከማስመሰል ሊያልፍ አይችልም::

  13. David from Dubai
    | #13

    His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI apologizes, then what? Apology only gets us a headline in page 27 of the New York Times. Nothing more. Asking for apology without attaching it to some kind of compensation is too exotic for a poor nation like ours. I wish Mr. Kidane asks the Catholic Church some kind of compensation for the people of Ethiopia instead of asking for a mere apology. For example, I can suggest a fully equipped free hospital in each region paid for and administered by the office His Holiness. I am sure Mr. Kidane will agree with me and incorporate this idea in his pursuit of justice.

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