|20110129||Vatican City, December 1942.|
As war rages across the globe, Pope Pius XII prepares to deliver his annual Christmas message.
It is perhaps the most important public address he will ever give - and that's why the Pontiff faces the starkest dilemma of his reign.
For months beforehand evidence has been growing of a vast, organised genocide of Jews and other races in German-occupied lands.
Now the Vatican is coming under increasing pressure to speak out against Nazi atrocities.
In private audiences, the British and American ambassadors to the Holy See urge Pius to show moral leadership by explicitly attacking Hitler in his Christmas message.
Yet Pius is reluctant to specifically condemn the Holocaust.
He is concerned that speaking out risks making things worse.
As Pius writes and discards draft after draft of the message, it becomes clear that there are other factors to explain his ambivalence.
Europe's future seems to hang in the balance between Nazism and Bolshevism, and it is the latter ideology that he most fears.
In My Dear Children of the Whole World, by Hugh Costello.
Pope Pius XII was played by Hugh Ross
And Sir Francis Osborne by Nick Dunning.
Cardinal Maglione was played by Pat Laffan
Monsignor Tardini by Patrick Fitzsymons
Mother Pasqualina - Stella McCusker
Harold Tittman - Stuart Milligan
Myron Taylor - Colin Stinton
And Sister Teresia Benedicta - Christine Kavanagh
My Dear Children of the Whole World was directed in Belfast by Eoin O'Callaghan.
Rome 1942 and Pope Pius XII (Hugh Ross) is urged to speak out against Nazi atrocities.