Pius XII letters only taste of full Vatican archive
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Jewish New Yorker who has made it his life’s work to clear the name of Pope Pius XII is welcoming the first public display of letters from the Vatican Archives that suggest the wartime pontiff helped many Jews escape Nazi persecution.

“This wonderful exposition is merely a tasting of what is in store for the world when the Secret Archives are fully opened,” Gary Krupp of the Pave the Way Foundation told CNA March 3.

The archived letters are featured as part of the “Lux in Arcana” exhibition, which opened last week in Rome. It showcases 100 articles from the Vatican’s Secret Archives to celebrate its 400th anniversary.

To date, documents relating to the 1939-58 papacy of Pope Pius XII have remained unpublished. In recent decades his critics have accused him of indifference to the plight of the Jewish people during the Second World War.

The new exhibition features several documents outlining his efforts to assists Jews in Italy.
They reveal that in 1941 the Pope sent a high-ranking Vatican official to inspect the welfare of Jews being held in seven internment camps in southern Italy. One year later, a rabbi who was being held in one of the camps wrote a long letter to Pope Pius thanking him for sending aid to the prisoners, including clothes for the interned children.

Finally, in 1944, former detainees wrote to express their gratitude to the Pope for his “keen and paternal interest” towards their “physical, spiritual and moral wellbeing” during their detainment.
They also credited him with saving them from deportation to Poland in 1942. “Your Holiness extended your fatherly hand to protect us and prevented the deportation of the Jews imprisoned in Italy, thereby saving us from almost certain death.”

Gary Krupp said these wartime documents merely reflect the “thousands of pages of documents from the war years that have been available for years in individual diocesan archives throughout Europe.”

Those documents, he said, show how “the Pope acted firmly and directly while the Vatican was surrounded by hostile forces, infiltrated by spies, (and) without an army to protect them.”

Krupp himself has seen letters documenting how the Vatican sent money to support Jews in Austria, Romania and France. At present, his foundation’s website has over 46,000 similar documents in support of Pope Pius XII.
“For example, we have posted on line documents proving the Pope’s direct action to stop the arrests of October 16, 1943, thereby saving an estimated 12,000 Jews in Rome,” he said.

Bishop Sergio Pagano, Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, told the media last week that all the files relating to Pope Pius XII will likely be made available “within one or two years,” adding that “the final decision, however, depends on the Pope.”

He said that “Benedict XVI’s willingness to accelerate the opening” would also be “a way of silencing dissonant voices” and “can only benefit the Church.”
Cardinal Raffaele Farina, Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, said that the documents gave a “little preview of the archives for the period of Pius XII” which are “not yet ready” to be opened to the public in full.

“We’re still classifying these materials,” he explained.

Tags: Pius XII

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30