Rome, Italy, Feb 2, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Fr. Aldo Brunacci, lauded for his efforts on behalf of at least 250 Jews, credited Pope Pius XII for the large number of Roman Jews saved during the German occupation, and predicted even more evidence will be found about the pontiff’s heroic actions in the future.
The 90-year-old priest from Assisi made this statement in the January issue of Inside the Vatican. In the article, titled “The Secret Letter,” Fr. Brunacci also confirms his earlier testimony that a letter his bishop, Giuseppe Nicolini, read to him during the Second World War – which urged clergy to ensure the safety of Jews – was indeed issued by Pope Pius XII.
Author Susan Zuccotti has challenged the letter in her controversial book “Under His Very Windows”. She argues that the Catholic rescue in Italy was accomplished without the support of Pius XII, who allegedly did "little or nothing" for the Jews. She suggests the bishop lied about the letter “to make his assistants believe that they were doing the pope's work.”
However, Fr. Brunacci denied Zuccotti’s claim and told Inside the Vatican that it was “impossible” that Bishop Nicolini lied to him.