January 13, 2001
volume 12, no. 13
Jewish Group Claims New Evidence Against Pius XII

    NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 01 ( - The World Jewish Congress said on Thursday that it had found new evidence that Pope Pius XII held a double standard for Nazi and Soviet atrocities.

    The group said it had a copy of a four-page report by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini, who was then the Vatican secretary of state and later became Pope Paul VI, from 1945 that detailed abuses by the Soviets against Germans in occupied Berlin. WJC executive director Elan Steinberg said the Vatican's denunciation of crimes committed by the Soviets contrasted with its alleged failure during the war to condemn the Nazi genocide.

    "In a sense, it's an indictment of the dual standard of morality practiced by Pius XII," Steinberg said. "They (the Vatican) have no hesitation in properly charging the Soviets with atrocities but tragically failed to do so when it came to the murder of the Jews in the Holocaust."

    Some Jewish groups protest the prospect that Pius XII could be canonized, saying the wartime pope held Nazi sympathies or did not do enough to protest the Holocaust. However, defenders of the Pope point out that the Holy Father spoke out in Christmas Eve homilies during 1941 and 1942 against the exterminations and Israel, after the war, planted a forest of 400,000 trees in the Negev desert in memory of the Pope, one for each Jew they claimed were saved by his actions.

    In recent years, the WJC has repeatedly made claims that wartime documents prove that Pius was guilty of failing to use his moral standing to denounce the Nazis.

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January 13, 2001
volume 12, no. 13
Church News in the USA

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