Files on Pope Pius XII's involvement in World War II, particularly with regards to the Holocaust, will likely be released by Pope Francis, according to one of his close friends.
Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who has known the Argentine former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio for 20 years, told the British Catholic weekly newspaper The Tablet that Francis would likely make the secret documents available so that Pius' legacy could be "investigated thoroughly."
"It's a terribly sensitive issue, but he says that it must be investigated thoroughly," Rabbi Skorka said. "I have no doubt that he will move to open the archives."
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Pius XII has been criticized for being complacent during the Holocaust, and even cooperating with Nazi Germany as they rounded up Jews and other minorities throughout Europe, in a 1999 book by British journalist John Cornwell, "Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII." In the book, Cornwell argues that Pius XII assisted in the legitimization of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany.
Six years later, Rabbi David Dalin countered with his book, "The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis." In his book, Rabbi Dalin writes that Pope Pius XII saved far more Jews than German industrialist Oskar Schindler.
There is evidence that Pius worked to arrange the exodus of 200,000 Jews from Germany in the 1930s, reported Britain's Telegraph
In an interview with The Tablet, Rabbi Skorka, the rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary in Argentina, predicted Pope Francis would be a "revolutionary" Pope.
According to Rabbi Skorka, when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis made an effort to bring the two religious communities together, with the pair often attending each other's services.
Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America.
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Rabbi Skorka added that Pope Francis is a staunch opponent of anti-Semitism or "any kind of fanaticism," reported the Telegraph.
"What is certain is that the Jews now have a very good partner in the Vatican," he said.
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