Holocaust survivors to lobby Pope Benedict over Pius XII

November 7, 2008

The controversy over Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust just doesn’t seem to end. The latest twist came on Friday when our Vatican correspondent Philip Pullella got the scoop that Holocaust survivors and their descendants plan to lobby Pope Benedict to stop the process of making his wartime predecessor Pius XII a saint. They plan to submit their protests to papal nuncios (ambassadors) around the world, something apparently being done for the first time. The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendantsdecided this on Thursday in New York. Earlier that day in Rome, Pope Benedict’s deputy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said Jewish accusations were “outrageous” and no one could tell the Vatican whether Pius should be made a saint. But this does not seem to have prompted the decision.

Jewish groups would probably not have upped the ante like this if Pius’s supporters had not stepped up their campaign for his beatification in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of his death. For its part, the Vatican has blown hot and cold on the issue, with Pope Benedict praising Pius at one point and then saying later that he might freeze the beatification process.

Do you think the Vatican has mishandled this? What should it have done to avoid all this?

2 comments

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There are so many victims of the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries and so much stifling and suppression of science, reason, birth control and AIDS prevention that there should be a coalition formed to march and picket in front of all the big Catholic Churches in our major cities.

If “God is Love” then the rulers at the top of the Roman Catholic Church are unGodly.

Gary in Los Angeles

Posted by Geraldo Cienmarcos | Report as abusive

I think the Vatican is handling this very well, with balanced concern on all sides. In the end, taking time and being patient is a good strategy.

As Paolo Mieli, director of “Corriere della Sera”, himself a Jew, said in his interview with Maurizio Fontana in L’Osservatore Romano on October 9 (see here on Sandro Magister’s site for the English translation), “Precisely from the historical point of view, the evidence in favor is so strong and extensive, and the lack of contrary evidence is so glaring, that this offensive against Pius XII is destined to exhaust itself.”

This is likely to be the case even when the Archives are finally opened up. Paul O’Shea, the author of “A Cross too Heavy: Eugenio Pacelli, Politics and the Jews of Europe 1917 – 1943″ said in a recent interview on Australian radio’s “Religion Report” that he doesn’t expect there to be any “surprises” in the archives yet to be discovered. In fact, he told the story that “This is probably going to disappoint a lot of people, but I don’t think there are too many secrets left.”

In the light of that, it can’t hurt to wait until the Archives are opened up. But eventually, the truth will become so obvious to everyone that the “black legend” just won’t be able to stand anymore, and Pope Pius XII will become known as Pope SAINT Pius XII.