May 31, 2000
volume 11, no. 101

NEWS for Wednesday, May 31, 2000

    Martin Doorhy, historian specialized in World War II, expressed his opinions on the publicized book of John Cornwell, "Hitler's Pope", in an interview for the Chicago "Catholic New World" weekly magazine. In his declarations, he underlined that it was impossible for Cornwell to work exhaustively in the Archives of the Secretariat of the Vatican State "for months", as he stated.

    "We know," said Doorhy, "his research began May 12 and concluded June 2, 1997 -22 days- including weekends he was never there. The longest time he spent in a single day was seven hours. Other days he spent only one to two hours… We know from the logs there were just two areas he accessed," and it is impossible that he investigated the archives after 1922 due to the 75-year closure rule on Vatican Secretariat of State archives. Cornwell "has drawn most of his conclusions from secondary sources unfriendly to the Church," he added.

    Asked about Pope Pius XII's work with European Jews, Doorthy stated that "the 80 % survival rate in Italy is far and away the highest rate in any of (the other occupied) countries." He also stated that the 'Encyclopedia of the Holocaust', published in 1990 in Tel Aviv, written mostly by Jewish scholars -a very unbiased source-, credits Pope Pius XII with saving no fewer than half the Jews of Rome during the Nazi occupation. "Pius XII," he added, "during World War II saved more Jews than all the other church groups and rescue agencies combined."

    Among other aspects, Doorhy emphasized the existence of a series of not so well known facts such as the policy of the American army not to intervene in what they called "rescue operations" to assist refugees, because this could present a serious diversion of men and supplies from "legitimate military objectives," and also the "silence" of the different meetings of great ally leaders regarding the killing of Jews in Europe.

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