.- During the presentation of a new book chronicling the “anonymous heroes” who worked against the Holocaust during World War II, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, recalled the exemplary role of Pope Pius XII in the fight against the Nazi’s and in the effort to help those in need, especially the Jews.
According to Vatican Radio the Cardinal said on Wednesday that independent historical research has now proven that Pope Pius and those around him sought to help all who were in need during the war.
"The story of the 20th century Catholic Church ran into an unprecedented tragedy with the extermination of the Jewish people, a tragedy which confronted all of Europe with questions about its religious and human values," said Cardinal Bertone during the presentation of Martin Gilbert’s book, "The Just: The unknown heroes of the Holocaust."
Cardinal Bertone explained that "the story of ‘The Just’ is the story of a chain of goodness that has crossed humanity regardless of religions, even at the risk of losing one’s own life and those of their relatives."
The protectors of Jews during Nazism, stated the Prelate, developed a "peaceful and silent war against the forces of evil and against the prejudices of their environment."
In this war, indicated the Vatican Secretary of state, "the Catholic Church had a prominent role: The story of “The Just” is intertwined with that of Pius XII and is a story that ends the controversies about a supposed papal 'collaboration (with Nazis)' or anti-Semitism."
The book clearly proves, said Cardinal Bertone, "a clear attitude of Pius XII to help in every possible way the pursued Jews;" and even more, it was precisely the in the "continuation of the guidelines of Pius XII, the Holy See sought, not only to organize the search for the scattered, but also to coordinate the efforts in favor of the victims, thus giving example to the faithful as to how they should help," concluded the Cardinal.