According to the Italian press, Pope Benedict has put the brakes on the canonization process for the wartime Pope, Pius XII. Apparently Benedict has set up a committee to review old documents from the Second World War period and study new ones that have recently come to light.
There is no question that Pius XII has become a very controversial Pope because of his attitude to the Holocaust. Some Jews have accused him (he reigned from 1939 to 1958) of being indifferent to the Holocaust and not speaking out against Hitler’s treatment of the Jews.
Some historians say Pius did not speak out publicly because of what happened in Holland. There the Catholic bishops publicly condemned Hitler’s Jewish policy. The Nazis responded ferociously. Many Catholics were killed and the Jews were not helped. The argument goes that Pius did not want that disaster repeated at the level of the universal church.
Pius’ supporters argue that he was a very holy man who worked behind the scenes to help Jews throughout Europe. In Rome alone Pius saved hundred of Jews by keeping them in safe places such as monasteries and convents. After the war no less a person that Albert Einstein praised the Vatican for its efforts to help Jews.
Because it was a moral issue should Pius have publicly denounced Hitler for his massacre of the Jews no matter what the consequences?
Would you like to see Pius XII become a saint?