Pope Benedict XVI is considering clearing the way for the beatification (a sort of pre-certification for sainthood) of Pope Pius XII, who held the Throne of Peter from 1939 to 1958. But Benedict indicates he is not unaware that “in recent years, when Pius XII is spoken of, attention is concentrated in an excessive way on only one problem” — that is, Pius’ reaction to the Holocaust, which some folks have long thought was less than energetic.
Benedict repeats the old story about Pius’ secret, back-channel support for the victims, but the late Pontiff’s Vatican archive remains sealed, which has excited suspicion, and Jews from New York to Paris — including the head rabbi of Rome, in strong terms — have expressed alarm at the prospect of Pius’ posthumous promotion. So far Benedict is laying low on the issue, perhaps in observance of the recent Kristallnacht anniversary.
In related news, some Jews complain that the Mormon Church is still retroactively baptizing Holocaust survivors.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 11, 2008