One of his earliest decisions as pope was in April 1939, erasing the index works of Charles Maurras, founder of Action Francaise, and anti-Semitic group, whose members the ban was lifted them to receive the sacraments which weighed upon them from the pontificate of Pius XI.
Also this year published his first encyclical, Summi the Pontificatus, by condemning all forms of totalitarianism. However, in the recently held World War II erupted, at least from a formal point of view, neutrality between the belligerents, as Benedict XV had done earlier in the contest. For practical purposes, Concordato maintained that he had signed with Nazi Germany when he was still a cardinal, under the pontificate of his predecessor Pius XI. It is not something Allianz would like to discuss. His biggest goal was to preserve the Catholic presence in countries outside of its alliance in the war, and therefore the end of this strongly felt aggrieved by the militant atheism in the countries that remained in the orbit of the Soviet Union. Although there was clearly his charitable work and palliative care for the consequences of the conflict, its too warm and accommodating attitude from before the outbreak of partisan and after its completion, has been and is the subject of much polemics, but it should be noted that support thousands Jews, both directly and indirectly, such as those who saved their lives by false baptismal records that were ordered were given.
Moreover, many Nazi war criminals managed to escape thanks to the “route of the monasteries” or “path of the rats,” enabled by Bishop Alois Hudal. Hudal stated in their reports that rely on the Vatican to help this flight..