Editor's Briefing

Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

World Jewish Congress criticises Pope Benedict over Pius XII move

leave a comment »

The World Jewish Congress has criticised Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to move the Cause of Pius XII forward.

A press release issued this morning reads:

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) today criticised the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to pave the way for the beatification of his controversial war-time predecessor Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), who was pontiff of the Catholic Church from 1939 to 1958.

WJC President Ronald S Lauder declared: ‘As long as the archives of Pope Pius about the crucial period 1939 to 1945 remain closed, and until a consensus on his actions – or inaction – concerning the persecution of millions of Jews in the Holocaust is established, a beatification is inopportune and premature. While it is entirely a matter for the Catholic Church to decide on whom religious honours are bestowed, there are strong concerns about Pope Pius XII’s political role during World War II which should not be ignored.’

Lauder called on the Vatican to immediately open all existing archives about the Pius era to international researchers in order to dispel doubts that still persist. ‘Given the importance of good relations between Catholics and the Jews, and following the difficult events of the past year, it would be appreciated if the Vatican showed more sensitivity on this matter,’ he said.

The World Jewish Congress is the international organisation representing the Jewish communities in 92 countries around the world. The WJC serves as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to governments and international organizations, and it has in the past been at the forefront of dialogue with the Vatican.

Advertisements

Written by Luke Coppen

December 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: