Tags: Vatican | Pope | Jews | backdown

Vatican Refuses to Backdown on WWII Pope

Wednesday, 23 Dec 2009 11:29 PM


ROME — In an effort to calm growing tensions with Jewish groups, the Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision moving the wartime pope Pius XII closer to sainthood was not a “hostile act” against those who believe Pius did not do enough to stop the Holocaust.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement saying that the beatification process evaluated the “Christian life” of Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, and not “the historical impact of all his operative decisions.”

Moving Pius toward sainthood “is in no way to be read as a hostile act towards the Jewish people, and it is to be hoped that it will not be considered as an obstacle on the path of dialogue between Judaism and the Catholic Church,” Father Lombardi wrote.

Benedict confirmed the “heroic virtues” of Pius — along with those of John Paul II — on Saturday, opening the door to beatification once a miracle is attributed to each. A second miracle would be required for sainthood.

The move created anger among many Jewish groups, which have argued that Pius did not speak out vocally enough against the Nazis or intervene to save Jews during World War II, and that the Vatican helped many former Nazis escape to South America after World War II.

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2009-29-23
Wednesday, 23 Dec 2009 11:29 PM
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