Vatican daily responds to 'black legend' about Pius XII


In an editorial, the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano, reaffirmed on Wednesday the heroic and decisive work of Pope Pius XII to save Jews during World War II, rejected the accusations that the Pontiff ignored the Holocaust, and called such claims “black legends” unsupported by history.

The editorial was published two days after Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen of Haifa spoke at the Synod of Bishops asking for the suspension of the cause of beatification of Pius XII, and one day after the 50th anniversary of the late Pontiff’s death.

“Pius XII was a man of peace, who did the best he could during one of the most violent periods of history,” the editorial said.  “He confronted the tragedy of that time of war like no other leader did.  Even when he faced the monstrous persecution of the Jews, he worked in silent suffering, which is understandable, with the objective of making an efficient effort of charity and undeniable help.”

The editorial went on to explain that Pius XII worked silently behind the scenes to help the Jews, since more direct intervention would have made the situation worse.  It also denounced “the black legend about the Pope, which was insensitive to the Shoah (the Hebrew word for the Holocaust) and even pro-Nazi.”  Such accusations were “inconsistent from the historical point of view,” it said.

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