In cooperation with the Vatican, the Pave the Way Foundation will soon publish online twelve volumes of World War II documents from the Holy See during the time of Pope Pius XII. The documents have been “almost completely ignored” until now, the organization's founder told CNA.
The Pave the Way Foundation is a non-profit group founded by Gary Krupp, which seeks to promote inter-religious dialogue and reduce religious conflict. A major focus of the organization is to vindicate Pope Pius XII from false accusations surrounding his papacy. Many have claimed that the late pontiff did nothing to assist European Jews during the Holocaust.
Speaking on the significance of the documents, Krupp, who is Jewish, explained to CNA how the accusations against Pope Pius XII surfaced. In 1963 a play called “The Deputy” by Rolf Hochhuth debuted in Europe which denounced Pope Pius XII and claimed that he failed to take any action in speaking out against the Holocaust.
Although “everybody condemned” the play at the time, including Israeli and Jewish leaders around the world, it nevertheless “caught on and started changing the entire impression of Pope Pius XII,” said Krupp.
Krupp continued to say that “in an effort to correct some of this misinformation, Pope Paul VI ordered three Jesuits to study, to go into the papacy of Pius XII, into those archives, and to pull out every significant document they could find.” Krupp said that the Jesuits described the documents, copied them and eventually published them in a series of twelve books.
“The twelve books, called the 'Acts of the Holy See during the Second World War' were published in 1981 and have been almost completely ignored internationally,” noted Krupp. “In fact, there were only a few hundred that were ever printed.”
“By digitizing the entire collection,” he explained, “we are enabling it to be spread all over the world so people all over the world can look at it and come to their own conclusions.”
A recent article from the Agence France Presse (AFP), claimed that although the volumes contain information relevant to WWII, they are “unrelated” to Pope Pius XII.
When asked about this, Krupp responded, “this type of thinking comes from people who have no idea how the Vatican works. It's as simple as that.”
Krupp explained that as an example of this, one could look and see how few documents are actually signed by Pope Benedict XVI but are rather endorsed by various Vatican officials. In other words, he said, just because Pius XII's name may not be signed on a document, does not by any means indicate he had no relation to it.
Krupp told CNA that the volumes will be posted on his website as well as the Vatican's within the next few weeks.