World Jewish Congress welcomes Pope Francis’ decision to open Vatican’s WWII archives
The announcement was made during an audience for managers and staff of the Vatican Secret Archives, which took place on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the election of Pius XII as Bishop of Rome. In New York, Rabbi David Rosen, the international director for interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, called Francis' decision "enormously important to Catholic-Jewish relations."
Pope Francis has decided to let historians research II. During World War dominant church people and secret archive documents, which Jewish organizations have been demanding for decades regarding XII. Pius. The Israeli government and the Jerusalem Yad Vashem Holocaust museum welcomed the move.
The past decades the Vatican has claimed that during the Second World War XII. Pius worked quietly behind the scenes to be able to save as many Jews as possible. Not everyone is of the same opinion, though.
Pope Francis said that “the Servant of God Pius XII, guided the Barque of Peter in one of the saddest and darkest moments of the twentieth century”. The figure of Pius XII, he said, “has already been investigated and studied”, and widely discussed and even criticized – at times in a prejudiced or exaggerated manner. Today, he said, the pontificate of Pius XII is being re-evaluated, in the hopes that a more balanced historical judgement might emerge.
To further those efforts, the Pope said that Vatican archival materials pertaining to Pius’ pontificate (1939-1958) will be accessible to scholars beginning on 2 March 2020.
” “The Church is not afraid of history,” Pope Francis said. “On the contrary, she loves it, and desires to love it more and better, as God loves it”.
In announcing the opening of the archives for the pontificate of Pius XII, Pope Francis said he made the decision “with a serene and confident soul, certain that serious and objective historical research will be able to evaluate it in its proper light.
World Jewish Congress greatly appreciates Pope Francis’ Decision to open Vatican’s WWII archives.
In New York, Rabbi David Rosen, the international director for interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, called Francis’ decision “enormously important to Catholic-Jewish relations”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called opening the Vatican archives “particularly important in these days of ongoing anti-Semitic attacks, the rewriting of history and attempts to deny the Holocaust.”