"His Holiness Pope Pius XII" by Michael Pitcairn / Public Domain

Pope Pius XII, accused of silence during the Holocaust, knew Jews were being killed, researcher says

Apr 30, 2020

By Tom Heneghan

(Religion News Service) —The long-awaited opening of Pope Pius XII’s wartime records lasted only a week before the coronavirus outbreak shut down the Vatican archives. But that was long enough for documents to emerge that reflect badly on the pontiff accused of silence during the Holocaust, according to published reports.

In that week alone, German researchers found that the pope, who never directly criticized the Nazi slaughter of Jews, knew from his own sources about Berlin’s death campaign early on. But he kept this from the U.S. government after an aide argued that Jews and Ukrainians — his main sources — could not be trusted because they lied and exaggerated, the researchers said.

They also discovered that the Vatican hid these and other sensitive documents presumably to protect Pius’s image, a finding that will embarrass the Roman Catholic Church, which is still struggling with its coverup of clerical sexual abuse.

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