Vatican City, Jun 25, 2007 / 07:35 am
On a visit to the Papal Library and the Vatican’s Secret Archives this morning, Pope Benedict came to the defense of those whose work involves the case of Pope Pius XII. Accusations have been made by critics of the World War II era pope, in particular by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, that the archivists have withheld incriminating documents.
The charges frequently leveled against Pope Pius XII include anti-Semitism and having aided Hitler. However, none of the charges has ever been substantiated.
The critics of the pontiff requested that Pope John Paul II open the secret archives from the reign of Pius XII before the normal period of secrecy ended so that they could prove their case. The late Holy Father granted permission to open the archives early.
A joint committee of Catholic and Jewish scholars was formed to study the secret records, but upon finding no evidence condemning Pius XII, some claimed that the Vatican was still hiding documents.