Vatican to Open War Archives to Jewish Historians
Kennedy, Frances, The Independent (London, England)
THE VATICAN announced yesterday that it will open its Second World War archives to a team of Catholic and Jewish historians to help to overcome any differences in interpretation of the Church's response to the Holocaust.
Six scholars - three Jews and three Catholics - will be able to consult volumes of archive material. The role of wartime pontiff Pius XII, who the current Pope wants to see beatified, has been one of the most divisive issues in Catholic-Jewish relations for decades.
The Vatican announcement appears to be an attempt to counter criticism of the beatification plans after the publication of a controversial biography. In his book, Hitler's Pope. The Secret History of Pius XII, the English Catholic historian John Cornwell tables new evidence of Pope Pius's anti-Semitic attitudes: how he halted the publication of an encyclical from his predecessor condemning the Nazis; his failure to mention the Holocaust; and his failure to speak out against the round-up of Roman Jews in 1943.
The Vatican has always staunchly defended Pius XII, saying he worked subtly behind the scenes but did not speak out strongly against the Nazi …
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Publication information: Article title: Vatican to Open War Archives to Jewish Historians. Contributors: Kennedy, Frances - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: October 2, 1999. Page number: 19. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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