«Pope Benedict XVI was «impressed» by warnings that relations with Jews would be ruined if he put the World War II pontiff on the road to sainthood».
This is a statements from Peter Gumpel, a German Jesuit who is spearheading the effort to make Pope Pius XII a saint. The Jesuit priest made this statement on a conference in Rome.
The Vatican on Friday condemned this statement as «unjustified and inopportune». The rebuked a claim by a church official that pressure from Jewish organizations is delaying the beatification of Pope Pius XII.
Some historians and Jewish groups say Pius didn’t do enough to prevent or limit the scope of the Holocaust. The Vatican insists Pius used quiet diplomacy to try to help Jews.
The ANSA news agency quoted Gumpel as saying that in recent meetings Jewish leaders had told Benedict that «relations between the Catholic church and Jews would be definitively and permanently compromised” by Pius’ beatification».
The Vatican quickly issued a statement, saying that it is «exclusively» up to the pope to decide on a beatification, which is the last step before sainthood, and that Benedict «must be left completely free in his considerations and decisions».
«If the pope thinks that the study and the reflection on Pius XII’s cause should still be prolonged, this position must be respected without interfering with unjustified and inopportune statements», the Vatican said.
Jewish leaders also criticized the priest’s comments, with Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni denying that Jews were responsible for any delay.
Vatican refuses to open War time secret archives
Last year, Jewish leaders asked the pope to speed up the opening of the Vatican’s secret archives on Pius’ papacy to settle the issue of what he did or didn’t do to save Jews.
According to participants in the October meeting, Benedict said he would give «serious consideration» to their request to freeze the sainthood process until the archives were opened.
The Vatican later rejected the request for quick access to the archive, saying it would take another six years for experts to catalog the 16 million documents on Pius’ 1939-1958 papacy.
Source: Jerusalem Post.
Lets be honest. The Jesuit priest spoke the truth, but with the wrong motive in mind. If the Vatican makes the War time pope a «saint», it will brand the Vatican as anti-Jewish for ages to come.
Saint, or not to be saint. Pope Pius was not only, at best, silent to the genocide against Jews in Nazi-Germany. He was also against a return of the Jews to the Middle East, and the restoration of the Jewish homeland.
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Pope Pius XII is also know for being the Pontiff that made peace with Hitler-Germany. Few Jews and Catholics knows that it was the Fascists who put the Pope back into power in Rome, by trading «peace» for a new Vatican statehood:
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