Menu
ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special Session on Jerusalem

ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special…

New York, NY, The Anti-De...

Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

Jerusalem is our capital. We will c…

PM Netanyahu's remarks at...

ADL Monitoring Anti-Israel Rallies Globally: Anti-Semitic Images Appear in Arabic Language Media Following Trump Action on Jerusalem

ADL Monitoring Anti-Israel Rallies …

New York, NY,  Anti-...

PM Netanyahu attends MFA Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony

PM Netanyahu attends MFA Chanukah c…

​A great light emanates f...

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and ADL Announce Lab to Engineer New Solutions to Stop Cyberhate

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitte…

New York, NY -  Face...

ADL to Challenge Justice Department Religious Liberty Guidance Calls it a “Roadmap for Discrimination”

ADL to Challenge Justice Department…

New York, NY- - The Anti-...

JWV Welcomes Greater Accountability for VA Employees

JWV Welcomes Greater Accountability…

The Department of Veteran...

Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Foundation Donates Transformative Endowment Gift to Sinai Akiba Academy

Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Found…

Los Angeles, California -...

Swiss Town Returns Painting Looted during World War II

Swiss Town Returns Painting Looted …

Following a lengthy legal...

PM Netanyahu welcomes US President Trump’s decision regarding Iran

PM Netanyahu welcomes US President …

​PM Netanyahu: President ...

Prev Next
A+ A A-

Pope Francis wants to open Holocaust-era Vatican archives as quickly as possible Featured

WJC, Pope Francis has reiterated his position to open the secret Vatican archives covering the period of World War II to allow researchers to assess the role played by Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust.

In an extensive interview with the Israeli newspaper 'Yediot Ahronot', Francis said there was "an agreement between the Vatican and Italy from 1929 that prevents us from opening the archives to researchers at this point in time. But because of the time that has passed since World War II, I see no problem with opening the archives the moment we sort out the legal and bureaucratic matters."

The pope expressed worries that the current debate about Pius XII was not fair. "One thing worries me, and I'll be honest with you – the image of Pope Pius XII. Ever since Rolf Hochhuth wrote the play The Deputy in 1963, poor Pope Pius XII has been accused of all sorts of things (including having been aware of the extermination of the Jews and doing nothing). I'm not saying he didn't make mistakes. He made a few. I get things wrong often too. But prior to the release of the play, he was considered a big defender of the Jews.

"During the Holocaust, Pius gave refuge to many Jews in monasteries in Italy. In the Pope's bed at Castel Gandolfo, 42 small children were born to couples who found refuge there from the Nazis. These are things that people don't know. When Pius XII died, Golda Meir sent a letter that read: 'We share in the pain of humanity. When the Holocaust befell our people, the Pope spoke out for the victims.' But then along came this theater performance, and everyone turned their backs on Pius XII.

"And again, I'm not saying that he didn't make mistakes. But when you interpret history, you need to do so from the way of thinking of the time in question. I can't judge historical events in modern-day terms. It doesn't work. I'll never get to the truth like that. Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, once gave me a copy of the book he wrote about the Inquisition. I read it studiously. I'm not saying we should justify the actions of the Inquisition, but we need to investigate this period with the right tools and only then pass judgment.

"Did Pius XII remain silent in the face of the extermination of the Jews? Did he say all he should have said? We will have to open the archives to know exactly what happened. But to judge the actions, we will also need to understand the circumstances under which he was acting: Perhaps it was better for him to remain silent because had he spoken, more Jews would have been murdered? Or maybe the other way around? I don't want to sound petty, but it really gets my goat when I see that everyone is against the Church, against Pius XII – all those detractors.

"And what about the Allies during the war? After all, they were well aware of what was going on in the death camps and they were very familiar with the railroad tracks that led Jews to Auschwitz. They had aerial photographs. And they didn't bomb those tracks. I'll leave that question hanging in the air, and say only that one needs to be very fair in these things."
Last modified onSaturday, 12 September 2015 08:05

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

back to top

Sections

Jewish Traditions

About Us

Community

Cooperations

Follow Us