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Pope Benedict alienates Israel over Pius

December 22nd, 2009
12:59 PM ET

The recent decision of Pope Benedict XVI to recognize the “heroic virtues” of Pope Pius XII – the 260th head of the Catholic Church – has been provoked an angry reaction from Jewish leaders. [cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/22/pius.art.jpg caption ="Pope Pius XII was criticized for not helping Jews in Nazi Germany. "]

The head of Germany's Central Jewish Council, Stephan Kramer told AFP this week that the Vatican's stance on Pius XII was “a clear hijacking of historical facts concerning the Nazi era.”

Pius XII, who served as pontiff from 1939 to 1958, has long been accused of failing to do enough to help the Jews during World War II.

But the Vatican has insisted that Pius didn’t ignore the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany.

They argue that he chose to pursue a quieter, more diplomatic course of action because he thought any public denunciations he made would only produce more deaths.

This stance has failed to convince the World Jewish Congress (WJC) who believe the beatification process of Pius should be at the very least deferred until the facts of his actions can be established.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement: “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.”

But the Vatican maintain that the archives on the Pius era will not be opened to public historians until 2014.

The row over Pius XII's path to canonization comes on top of an ongoing ownership dispute between the Vatican and Israel over a number of holy sites including the “Last Supper room.”

Both spats are threatening to put Pope Benedict’s scheduled visit to Rome’s synagogue next month in jeopardy.

We would like to hear your views on the ongoing disputes between Israel and the Vatican.

Are Jewish leaders right to argue that the canonization of Pope Pius XII shouldn't go ahead while the full extent of the former pope's views aren’t known?

Post your comments below.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. MLS

    "Are Jewish leaders right to argue that the canonization of Pope Pius XII shouldn't go ahead while the full extent of the former pope's views aren’t known?"

    Its is not about the Jewish leaders, it is about the world, and it is not about Pope Pius XII's VIEWS, but it is about his ACTIONS, or as some have said his INACTION, by which he, as must everyone in the world, be judged.

    The Vatican's refusal to open the archives of his correspondence , and records which would demonstrate his actions and possibly inaction questions if they really want to know what happened.

    Perhaps he was a righteous person who did great deeds during WWI, and perhaps not, but the WORLD (Jews, Catholics, and others) will not know until the written record is mad available.

    December 22, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  2. TEDD JOSELSON

    I feel that Mr. Lauder is absolutely justified and correct in his statement. While the pope may have had good intentions, his sainthood should and must be delayed until all the facts are accurately revealed, discussed and thoroughly analyzed.

    December 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  3. George Kremer

    Another outrageous act by the Catholic Church! If they believe this pope did good during WW2, let them prove it by opening the archives prior to 2014 and showing the world. But what can one expect from an institution that has always chosen expediency over moral values.

    December 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  4. Kerry Berger

    I think the Vatican should expedite opening its records on Pius XII to a third party organization for archiving purposes. This is the only way to ensure documentation from "miraculously" disappearing that would otherwise hinder the beatification process. Jewish leaders are completely correct in raising these concerns. Many EU nations such as Sweden and Spain are going through rise of anti-Semitism. There has been way too much white-washing of Nazi sympathizers and protection of Holocaust Deniers within Europe and also within the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Unfortunately, the words and actions of this German Pope have demonstrated that unlike his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI cannot be trusted.

    December 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  5. Marc North

    Yes. This knowledge is crucial to the world for us all to learn from and particularly important to the Jewish community so those people can close in peace one of their WWII yet open historical circles.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  6. Adam Glasser

    Why should non-Catholics care about this issue? Make him a saint or not, it WOULD NOT affect any non-Catholics... am I right?

    December 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  7. Ricardo Acosta

    Jews deserve respect over WWII issues. Trying to make this Pope a Saint is definetively one more of the miscues of Benedict´s policy toward other faiths and religions, not to mention his own. I´m not a Catholic but I think there sould be thousands of better human beings within this church deserving canonization! Jesus (and the best leaders) never prefered silence when he saw injustice, and to my knowledge, he died in part for being and open critic of the stablishment.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  8. KC

    Why do the Jews care if the CATHOLICS want to beatify (and, I'm assuming, canonize, as beatification is the 3rd step in the process) their former pope? And why would the Catholics care how the Jews felt? Neither of are the other's religion so frankly it should not matter who the other religion considers a "saint" if it has nothing to do with your own beliefs. I say this not as a Catholic or Jew, in fact I practice no religion @ all, and therefore can have an unbiased opinion about this and I say: why does anyone care?

    I wasn't alive at that time and since I can not read the archives, I can not make a judgement to whether this man did enough or too little for the Jews. But I fail to see how or why that would matter to Jews anyway.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  9. ANS

    Seems like everything has to go around what the Jews think. Sympathy for the Jews has been diminishing over the last 10 years so to speak due to their sometimes exagerated gestures. Sadly.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  10. Chuks Onua KSJI

    It is important to note that the Pope is infallible in his teaching as is in the case.

    His decision stems from his authority as Supreme Shepherd, Successor of St. Peter, and the Spiritual Father of all Christians whom it is his duty to keep strong in the faith.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  11. KSF

    The Jewish leaders are entirely correct. The Vatican gleefully ignored the Holocaust, just as it ignored its own pedophile priests. Nothing but hypocrites and liars.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  12. Jewish; holocaust survivor descendent

    I agree – any declaration one way or the other should wait until the evidence is available. I am however extremely surprised that the Vatican won't make the documents public until 2014? As you know, most of the people that lived through the holocaust are quite old, most are dead by now; I would think it would be important to reveal the truth before the last of the survivors is gone.... And if there's nothing to hide, why the need to wait anyway?

    December 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  13. JJB

    Not only are there questions about the churches activity or inactivity during the period of the holocaust, but also about members of the church being actively involved in helping war criminals escape from justice. The church has a history of not owning up to problems of their own, and therefore looses much credibility.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  14. Steve Bird

    Handing out "Sainthoods", reminds me of awarding "Nobel Prizes" to individuals, the only difference is that we don't pray for miracles from our deceased Nobel Laureats. We expect their time on Earth will have benefitted mankind now and in the future. The doubts expressed already in your readers views, not only about the Jewish Holocaust and the Catholic Churches role in downplaying this horror by Pius XII but the "Irish Holocaust" manifested by Catholic priests sexually abusing young children under their care in institutions all over Ireland. This Horror was also covered up by the bishops and also by the top clerics in Rome since the 1960's on to recently. Are these people SAINTS?

    December 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  15. James Scanlan

    Read the recent book 'The Cross and the Third Reich' by John Frain
    Published Nov 2009 by Family Publications Oxford. It answers all the rubbish written about Pius XII and shows him to be a brave man. It also shows the depth of the Christian response against the Nazi's as well as the Nazi's determination to eradicate Christianity. The Nazi's were furious at Pius XII's broadcasts and seriously considered kidnapping him. He saved the lives of ten of thousand European Jews a fact attested in another recent book by Rabbi David Dalin.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  16. JB

    Seems to me that it's time for Jews to get over their 'victim' mentality. I'm sure I am not the only one who is tired listening to this on almost every issue. What happened to the Jewish people in WWII was horrific. Horrific and terrible things have also happened to other people and groups throughout history and, no doubt, will continue in the future given human nature. So my advise to Jews is move forward, and refrain from criticizing the Catholic Church from moving forward as Pope Benedict XVI sees fit.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  17. Honor Lightwell

    Sure would be interesting to see both sides of this get together to build a Canaanite Holocaust Museum honoring those who died in the first holocaust when a group came into the land of 'milk and honey' and killed every man woman child and living beast of the field so that they might steal the land which had been worked into a garden of plenty. There are plenty of written 'confessions' of this genocide in the religious tomes of all three of the world's major religions.... and of course any attempt to minimize this holocaust could be covered under the various holocaust denier laws punished by the attendent consequences... as for the canonization of the 'Deputy' ... this does not even pass the laugh test

    December 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  18. Chad In Japan

    The WJC is out of line.

    What could Pius have really done anyway? What? Send his Swiss guards to do a little "regime change" in Berlin?

    Don't forgot that there were also Catholics in German concentration camps.

    It was a difficult time, and Hitler listened to NOBODY.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  19. Sympathy for me is diminishing regarding to ANS

    If ANS would have right to decide then I wouldn't have the right to be here. Pius XII was a pope from 1939 during the second WW. Would he have condemned what the Nazis did than maybe this would have saved many people. Many more Poles and Germans who were Catolics could have helped to save Jews or hindered the extermination. To do it without voicing it loudly resulted in what happened. If he feared for his live or that this would be worse for these people than he had planty time to regret his behavear after the war. Had he done that? If pope is silent today about moral things, what is happening in the world today he is an object of critic. Millions of people were exterminated but he was silent. But to some people that doesn't matter. ANS speak about sympathy for the Jews. Is this the question? Not what the nazis or the pope did?

    December 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  20. W. E. Gutman

    ANS - Your reply demonstrates a staggering ignorance of (or crass indifference to) the millennial plight of world Jewry.

    When it comes to injustice, persecution, or systematic ethnocide, there are NO exaggerated "gestures."

    December 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  21. RA

    Benedict is just setting a precedent for his own eventual rise to Sainthood. By making Popes into Saints as a matter of course, he will do the same for himself. This man is not nearly as remarkable as his predecessor.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  22. JR

    I agree with ANS. Seems like everything has to go around what the jewish community thinks.

    If the Roman Catholics want to recognize a "long dead" pope for his "heroic virtues", what difference will it make to anyone living, especially the jewish community? And if he did or didn't do enough during those tragic years, let's be honest, anyone who knows anything about history knows that "no one did enough to stop the holocaust."

    As for those at the World Jewish Congress, I think they should start looking at the hear and now, and the human right abuses that are carried out in Palenstine. If they really want everyone to remember the atrocities of the holocaust, and make sure it never happens again, then they should stand up and direct their time and efforts at the walled in ghetto conditions that the state of Israel is presently subjecting on the Palestinian people, not a dead pope.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  23. G Griffith

    I think it is fine for the JWC to criticize the Pope and the Catholic church if they and the Jewish church are willing to accept guidance from the Pope.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  24. pedelgado

    I'm really tired from hearing again and again about the faith of the jews. Why do they think that they are different (= superior) than any other people, person or nation? It's enough with the permanent victimization!

    December 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  25. jo an

    When the Jews clean up their MESS with Palestine, they will have a right to speak....for now it is the POT calling the KETTLE black..,.both the Catholics and the Jews need to find a corner and contemplate their nasty deeds.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  26. Dan Benchley

    The process of beatification, canonization and sanctification seems completely arbitrary to me. In an age of reason, will this not just highlight the irrelevance of the vatican nomenklatura?

    December 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  27. timbuk2

    Since when do Jewish or Muslim or any other religious leaders determine what the church releases and when and who should be canonized and when? Butt out of the RC church's internal machinations.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  28. Jeff

    "Why should non-Catholics care about this issue? Make him a saint or not, it WOULD NOT affect any non-Catholics... am I right?"

    Because this is just another unjust excuse for the Catholic religion to make themselves appear morally supreme. Creating all these so-called Saints in the world so that the ignorant can look upon this church as a moral institution. The Churches actions and inactions need to be criticized fairly and need to they need to be held accountable to the highest degree.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  29. Robert Brackney

    NEVER AGAIN!!!

    December 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  30. Peter Holland

    There is a principle involved here. The church wants to do what they have always done, brainwash the masses with all the power they have, and they have plenty. It is not what jews want or do not want.
    It is simply unfair, as an example to humanity, to sanctify somebody, a pope or otherwise, until the records of his deeds are open to scrutiny. The world cares about those things, that's why they are bringing criminals to justice in The Hague. And all those comments about Palestine are out of place in this argument. They belong to another chapter and should be discussed under different circumstances, not mixing of motives and realit

    December 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  31. Barbara Hooker

    My Father was in Rome when the American troops liberated the Vatican. He had a lifelong disliking of the Pope as the African Americans he fought with were not allowed to be near the Vatican or the Pope. Was he prejudiced? You bet.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  32. John Pitoniak

    The Catholic Church has played an historic role in history for two thousand years. She remains a player on the world stage. She is the voice of representing and instructing millions. To exclude what the church did during the Nazi era, to ignore it, or say it doesn't matter denies the simple truth of what power she holds in the lives of millions to this day. Yes, Pope Pius XII played a pivotal role in how the church responded to the murder of millions of Jews. To proceed with canonization without further disclosure of his action or inaction is hubris on the part of the Vatican and belies an inherent arrogance on their part that harkens to the Middle Ages. Further steps to canonize this man would only serve to tarnish the already tenuous respect the church holds for millions.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  33. Alfredo Medina

    The Catholic church does not care what actions took this pope, as they make a saint of an intellectual murderer, Cyril Patriarch of Alexandria who sent his followers to brutally kill Hypatia who was the most notable woman in Alexandria. What could we expect from such an action? Jews are probably right about this pope not doing anything during WWII.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  34. Gisela

    Pope Pius, at the very least, turned a blind eye to the slaughter of millions of people. If they don't want to let the archives be made public until 2014, then wait until then to even think of canonizing him. And where does the Vatican get off wanting ownership of a part of a country's territory? I'm not Jewish, and you don't have to be Jewish to agree that the Vatican's stance, in both cases, is outrageous.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  35. DogeFiesco

    Benedict is doing his "best " to antagonize the Jews! Not only is he speeding up the canonization process of Pacelli (Pius XII) but slowing down the same process of the really sainted Roncalli (John XXIII). Look at the contrast. Pacelli kept silent about the extinction of the Jews in Europe and prevented his Nuncios to rescue Jews. He only reacted when Jews were abducted and arrested on his doorstep, in Rome- as Bishop of Rome. Meanwhile, the papal Nuncio in Ankara, Roncalli, issued thousands of visas to Jews, only to be restrained by the then-Pope. John XXIII was a great man and a great Pope. He was not a politician, and his true successor was John Paul the Second.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  36. p j weber

    Once again the Catholic church is trying to write history their way. The saint business should be postponed, like who really cares if the guy is called a saint.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  37. Vincent

    The media have only be echoing the outrage of the World Jewish Congress, yet did not provide any information as to what the motivations the Pope might have been. And I would be in much wonder if he did not mention some reasons for it.

    All the information all these articles give to us, is that Pope Benedict does not care about political correctness.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  38. JL Martinez

    What difference does it make to Jews anywhere if ANY Catholic (or Protestant) is "beatified" or given that church status of "saint"? Jews in general don't believe in Christianity, or the NT for that matter. Christianity is completely at odds with Judaism. It is a dead religion for Judaism sake. They could proclaim Hitler or Mao or Fidel Castro a saint and it wouldn't mean a thing, religiously speaking. In true Judaism, Catholicism or Protestantism aren't going anywhere. Behold, spiritual blindness at work. Interestingly, in the NT is a verse that says, "Let the dead bury the dead." Thus, Jews, beware: Let the dead deal with its dead. The RCC won't open its books on Pope Pius until 2014, but Ecclesiastes 12:14 says that Elohim will someday bring every secret thing into judgment, good or evil. Take it from there.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  39. Santorio

    Regarding the "heroic virtues": it is not a statement about political and historical questions, not a statement about having done "good during WW2", it answers the question whether Pius XII lived the Christian virtues. And whether someone lived a life of strong Christian virtues is not judged by the world, but by the Christians in this world, represented by the Roman Catholic Church.

    For people who have the image that a saint is always someone like Francis of Assisi. Paul Badde comments correctly, that the typical saint is closer to St. Dismas, a criminal who was crucified next to Jesus Christ.

    The Archives will not be opened until 2014 because there are still 16,000,000 documents to sort, and as the Vatican has in complete 932 citizens, and most of them are probably busy with other affairs (like running a state and the worldwide Church) than sorting archive documents, one could assume that this might be a logical reason for the opening of the Archives taking some time.

    All in all it would be a good thing, if people first inform themselves about a topic and afterwards comment it.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  40. Lurong

    They will delay releasing any of the pope's records as long as possible, because they will show that the catholic church recieved millions of dollars in pirated Jewish money from Germany for keeping quiet.

    December 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  41. Jack

    I would have expected THIS Pope to be particularly sensitive to issues regarding the Holocaust, given that he was born into the Third Reich and I understand that he was a member of the Hitler Youth (which is either Boy Scouts with goose stepping or training grounds for future concentration camp guards)

    But instead he allowed back into the church a Holocaust denier, and then moved to elevate Pope Pius XII. He just doesn't get it.

    December 22, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  42. Harry Husted

    I think the Jews should stay out of whatever Christians do. The Jews haven't liked nor favored Christians since the days of Jesus. They will do whatever they can to denounce Christianity.

    December 22, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  43. Stu

    Long overdue. It's good to see the myth regarding Pius XII's actions during the war is being set aside by the truth of Pius XII being a "righteous gentile.

    December 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  44. george

    it is very hard for me to understand how human beings can decide and make other humans "saints".
    is it not in god's discresion to decide??

    December 22, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  45. om

    it is sad to said but the pope and jewish people are satan fallowers, thant want to conquer the Christian people of the world. readthe book illuminati 666

    December 22, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  46. Harry

    religions are a joke; the first amusement parks with all the necessary mickey's and donald's; roman catholic is particularly bad because, in a nutshell, it siphoned off the existing jewish one and, in the process, killed the Roman Empire, destroying its institutions and monuments : a crime against humanity;
    the latter avatar, islam, is even worse : like the youngest kid around, it's the most immature and irresponsible.
    it's only a bloody power game and priests and their likes have always pilfered around them : souls, bodies, money, ideas
    in one word : disgusting!

    December 22, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  47. ad

    LOL!!LOL! "Heroic virtues", please! Mr. Pope, will you please tell us all what these virtues consist of ? The catholic church get's cookier and cookier.

    I can't believe they're still allowed to operate after all the child molestation cases that have come to light, but I guess when you're filthy rich, you can do as you please, whenever you please.

    "Puts him closer to sainthood", what a joke!!! Are any of us really that pure that we can go about sanctifying one another...he's just a mere man, for crying out loud!

    December 22, 2009 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  48. Mike James

    These goons in gilded robes are not true priests anyway. The real priests are on the streets ministering to the poor and distressed. The Vatican is a beauracracy of cozy autocrats, who live in the glow of their self-deluded gloriousness.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  49. Irish Observer

    This is a Church ( Religion ) which were enablers in WW2 and helped the Nazi War Criminals move , and provided protection in their Churches, as an underground tunnel to escape to different parts of South America etc.
    This fact is well documented in history.
    An evil religion who protects their "Sexually Challenged Priests" - Worldwide.
    And they have Saints - Give me a break.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  50. Claudia Calabrese

    Enough with the Israelis. They made a profession out of showing themselves as the poor persecuted people of the world.As if they were the one and only. Always expecting support from the rest of the world even in cuestionable facts. The media takes care to criticize or make a joke about anything Jew, but never care when is about any other religion. If somebody dared to make some criticism or joke, immediately a lot of voices are raised and Israel sents the dogs. An equivalent complaint is not heard when they make awful remarks or jokes about Christ, Mahoma, Buddha, or its churches. Israel and their supporters must keep its noses in their own country and take them out from the rest of the world, enough they made to ruin it already.And as far as I´m concerned,they showed they are as racists as the ones they accuse.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  51. Holger Breme

    What do you expect from the head of an institution which persecuted the Chosen People many centuries long and laid thereby the ground for much worse? That Benedict (the not so blessed in this occasion) is of german birth is a ironic footnote of history.
    But The LORD will judge them all or not? Holiness is not a matter of bureaucratic deccisions of the church but: you name it Holiness!

    December 22, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  52. Josh

    Wow such anti-Catholic vitriol. If any other religion such as Judaism or Islam was even remotely criticized it would not be tolerated.

    Many of you claim that Pope Pius was a bad man and jump on the band wagon. The Vatican is completing a thorough investigation that goes much more in depth than many of you conspiracy theorists conclude from internet forums. Silly people.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  53. Jon

    Israel is condemning what a pope might or might not have done 60 years ago, yet when it comes to harvesting organs recently Israel states that is old news. What hypocrisy!

    December 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  54. d

    Yes the jewish leaders are right!!!! He definately has not compassion nor respect for the Jews & the Holocaust they suffered...
    My parents ran from Poland, the Holocaust, and throughout my entire life I heard, read, that Pope Xll was not angel, that he did not do what was expected from him...better yet, there were plenty of comments in the 50's that he was anti jewish....But what can you expect from this present Pope that served as a Hitler Youth, a Nazi....do you really think he has repented???Doubt it, it is imbeded in his soul....it is a wonder why he was chosen, to be a Pope, after Pope John who was a compassionate, intelligent man....this one is not fit for the job...They should have chosen the Bishop of Brazil, or Sto. Domingo, R.D., more in tune with humanity.....this Pope is even a bad politician..!!
    d. miami

    December 22, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  55. perrucho

    And what are the Jewish "religious" leaders doing for the Palestinians and for the atrocities made by Israel unto other people? Please, stop playing the role of the victim, and look at your own deeds. Also, if Jewish are non-Catholics, why should they care who becomes saint or not? Catholics don't go around sticking their nose in Jewish business. So, move on and be more respectful, in the same way you want (and think you are entitled) to be respected.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  56. DanB

    This is a sham and a cover-up. What did Pius do that was miraculous or even remotely deserving of sainthood (which is a bankrupt honor the same as knighthood.)? Why do people keep believing in this stuff?

    December 22, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  57. Herman

    Lock "the pocker face of both" they were pro or nazis since the begining of their "church work".

    Who is a Hitler Youth´s member to say that someone can be a saint: AMAZING.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:08 am | Reply
  58. Herman

    I will not do it.

    You can erased it; is not new. It is the normal politics at CNN:........ONE SIDE !!!!!!

    December 23, 2009 at 12:15 am | Reply
  59. Saad

    I think we are ignoring a very important factor here..It was Hitler and his Nazi army that killed the jews and not the pope.. Under any scenario, failure to stop someone from committing a crime, especially when the perpatrator of the crime is extremely powerful and cunning like Adolf, is not a crime in itself.. I am a Muslim and i don't have any affilitions with the christians other than they are people of the book like Jews and us..
    In any case, i believe only pope Pius knew to what extent he could go to protect Jewish lives without inviting wrath of the 3rd Reich, which would have inevitably destroyed the vatican and the pricess historical archives of christianity.. Germans would not have had any sympathies towards Vatican had they gone all out against the pope.. They would have destroyed the very foundation on which the Roman Cathlic religion stands so proudly today

    December 23, 2009 at 12:17 am | Reply
  60. Matt D

    Figures, a former Hitler youth venerating a former Nazi sympathizer. Proves my point that the Catholic church is being run by Nazis. Prove me wrong Vatican...

    December 23, 2009 at 12:28 am | Reply
  61. Jeff

    These Jewish leaders should worry about what their own people are doing and keep out of other groups' business. The world will be a better place when ALL these clubs start demonstrating more integrity.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:34 am | Reply
  62. Greg

    I believe that the Catholic Church owes a responsibility to the world to open the archives to show what kind of person that Pope Pius was during the course of one of the worst atrocities in human history. I believe we all need to know what kind of deeds did the pope do during the war and did he really work behind the scenes to save the jewish and many other minorities that the Nazis imprisoned and later executed just because they were different. Or did the Pope just twiddle his thumbs and let the Nazis murder over 6 million Jewish people and other various minorities. Thus the Vatican has a moral and historical responsibility to the world to let us know what happened, could the holocoust have been avoided or what we shall not know since the Vatican won't open the archives. The reason why they won't open the archives is that they are afraid of the truth coming out because Pius could have done more to help the jewish people during the course of the 2nd World War and he didn't at least not publicly which as a moral figure at that time he should have.

    December 23, 2009 at 1:01 am | Reply
  63. John

    I'm not Roman Catholic, but here's a nice piece of info from history, which I copy/pasted, for those that have never done any research into the subject, or are bias due to their religion, lack of religion, or maybe have a cushy job at the JWC.

    From 1941 to 1944, Pope Pius and the Catholic Church were responsible for saving more Jews from Nazi persecution than any other person or institution. Some Israeli scholars estimate that as many as 860,000 European Jews were saved from death through concealment in Church facilities, issuance of fake Baptismal certificates, public appeals and other methods.

    Question. How many countries or jewish organizations during that same time period can claim the same???

    December 23, 2009 at 1:06 am | Reply
  64. Tim

    The Israelis are too hung up on the past. They need to get over it, just like the Catholics who are not constantly bringing up the role they had in demanding the Romans to crucify Jesus.

    December 23, 2009 at 1:11 am | Reply
  65. Jim Sinclair

    It is the height of insensitivity and hypocrisy–it makes me very grateful I am not a Catholic. If I were, the consecration of Pius XII, would force me to become a non-Catholic.

    December 23, 2009 at 1:17 am | Reply
  66. George

    Pope Pius XII was a holy man who did an incredible amount to help the jews that were being persecuted by the Nazi's.

    My Jewish brothers: don't be misled by false propaganda against a holy man that did more than anyone else to save the persecuted jews of Europe. For the true story of the holy Pope Pius XII, read this article:
    http://www.catholic.com/library/HOW_Pius_XII_PROTECTED_JEWS.asp

    Here are some excerpts from the article:
    "What the Vatican did will be indelibly and eternally engraved in our hearts. . . . Priests and even high prelates did things that will forever be an honor to Catholicism." – Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli

    "More than anyone else, we have had the opportunity to appreciate the great kindness, filled with compassion and magnanimity, that the Pope displayed during the terrible years of persecution and terror" (Elio Toaff, Chief Rabbi of Rome, following Rabbi Zolli’s conversion)

    "With special gratitude we remember all he has done for the persecuted Jews during one of the darkest periods in their entire history” (Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress)

    "It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the warmth and consolation we experienced because of the concern of the supreme pontiff, who offered a large sum to relieve the sufferings of deported Jews. . . . The Jews of Romania will never forget these facts of historic importance." – Rabbi Safran of Bucharest, Romania

    "The final number of Jewish lives in whose rescue the Catholic Church had been the instrument is thus at least 700,000 souls, but in all probability it is much closer to . . . 860,000." – Lapide "Three Popes and the Jews"

    Lapide calculated that Pius XII and the Church he headed constituted the most successful Jewish aid organization in all of Europe during the war, dwarfing the Red Cross and all other aid societies.

    "We share the grief of the world over the death of His Holiness Pius XII. . . . During the ten years of Nazi terror, when our people passed through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims" – (Golda Meir, Israeli representative to the U.N. and future prime minister of Israel)

    "Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty." – Albert Einstein

    December 23, 2009 at 1:27 am | Reply
  67. Santorio

    Membership in the Hitler Youth was obligatory for all boys from 14 years of age since 1939, so that doesn't say anything about Benedict XVI. Besides, the statement of Williamson was made public after the ex-excommunication.

    The church is especially important for people who do wrong, as was said "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.", so allowing Williamson back into the church might not be good PR but good.

    The Church does not make saints, it finds out if someone is a saint. The only one in Catholic belief who decides is of course God.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:16 am | Reply
  68. marco

    I am happy for the news that Pius XII's cause is moving forward. I am also sorry that it would offend some Jews, but there is plenty of historical data that shows how the people of his time thought Pius XII was doing as much as he could. I guess there always be people arguing that he could have done more.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:52 am | Reply
  69. Fritz

    As far as the world KNOWS, Pius XII didn't lift a finger to save the six million Jews who perished in WWII. If that is not true, as the Church claims it isn't, why hasn't the Church released evidence of his so called efforts to save the Jews? It surely would not embarrass the Church to release evidence of such noble activity. One must conclude that the non-release of the evidence is due to its non-existence. Under such circumstances, sainthood for Pius XII is the ultimate travesty.

    December 23, 2009 at 3:47 am | Reply
  70. Jeremy Bosk

    There is a reason that over 400 Protestant clergy were murdered in the camps but no Catholic priests. Pius X11 instructed German Catholics that it was their religious duty to help the Nazis fight communism. Marx and Trotsky were both of Jewish ancestry. Given the propaganda links made between communism and Judaism by the Nazis, this was widely interpreted as "help Hitler murder the Jews".

    Pius was at best culpably naive and at worst the spiritual heir to Pontius Pilate.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:11 am | Reply
  71. paradowski

    Another example of the Catholic church demonstrating their lack of credibility. If there were a myth to be set aside the Vatican should provide complete transparency and open the archives of Pope Pius XII. There can be no credibility amongst such secrecy. And "reinstating a holocaust denying Bishop" - that's down right delusional and cruelly brazen.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:13 am | Reply
  72. Adam Glasser

    Again. Why. Should. Non-Catholics. Care. About. This. Issue? If the Scientologists proclaim to the world that Tom Cruise is L. Ron Hubbard reincarnated, should Non-Scientologists care?

    Again, why should anyone (other than Catholics) care if Pope Pius becomes a saint or not? If he does become a saint, will your mortgage double? Are they going to disconnect your electricity if he be canonized? Most comments here are just pretentious, here's reality people: If you are NOT CATHOLIC, this is a non-issue for you.

    I am not against ANY religion, I'm just saying that YOU SHOULDN'T care about this issue if you are NOT Catholic. Let's face it, most people in the West really don't care what the Vatican does. Not a lot of people have faith anymore, so why would this issue cause a such a stir? Oh yeah, because it's controversial (to non-Catholics anyway), suddenly, EVERYONE is on it like white on rice. *sigh*

    December 23, 2009 at 4:39 am | Reply
  73. RB

    It seems that anyone who was alive at the time and did too little to save Jews is antisemitic and needs to pay reparations to Israel.

    Forgiveness is a central theme of Christianity. Clearly it has no value to Jewish leaders.

    December 23, 2009 at 5:03 am | Reply
  74. Jason

    I'm Jewish and I've lived in Israel (and the U.S.) – the majority of Jews don't give a hoot what Catholics, Muslims, or anywone wants to make a saint. Its not of our business – its your religion, and we hope it fills your life with happiness and holiness. This problem is due to a generation that suffered immensely in the 1940's, and as long as they're around, they have a grudge against the Vatican for turning the other cheek (pun intended) to the Nazis. As long as the Vatican archives remain sealed, this group of elderly survivors are going to be very vocal on this point. Harry and others here – you're simply haters, or ignorant. You don't have the right to swipe an entire people with your (tainted) brush. Just as I don't have the right to blame Christians today for the inquisition or the popes who led murderous armies in the middle ages... I have no right to judge the wonderful Catholics I'm friends with today, for a totally unrelated event.

    December 23, 2009 at 5:53 am | Reply
  75. michael

    We've seen this church (historically) do things wrongfully,, maybe because there are too many translations of the books that their brains got mixed up,, considering they have one of the originals,, wonder why things happen? is when you start beleiving (religiously) in yourself and not on the things which were written....

    December 23, 2009 at 6:35 am | Reply
  76. John

    How dare these bigoted anti catholic so called jewish leaders attack and sully the reputation of a great Pope. Jews of this Pope's era loved Pius. He was a hero to them, he was honoured by the Jewish Congress and by Israel. He was praised in Time magazine and in the NY times during the war on this account. Thousands of Jews were hidden in Italy's churches, THOUSANDS. 75% of Italy's Jews were saved even though Italy was an ally of Hitler and Mussolini personally had no problem with targeting the Jews.

    Pope Pius worked behind the scenes for a reason.. when Bishops did speak out loudly the situation for Jews worsened. They had to be very careful as the Nazis were hardly friends of Catholics. Jews of his era knew this and were very thankful.

    I cannot understand why this horrible myth of a silent Pope is being promoted by some Jews today. The Jews who are spreading this lie are no better than the Protestant bigots who tried to attack Catholic immigrants with Papal horror stories and the bigots in Northern Ireland like Ian Paisley. I am horrified and sickened that this anti catholic bigotry is being promoted. Shame on CNN for not telling the whole story, for not mentioning all the Jews who were saved and who still praise him today. Shame on CNN and these Jewish organizations for not mentioning the praise their fathers and mothers heaped on Pius in their time. Was Israel wrong to honour him? Was the World Jewish congress wrong to honour him? This is sick stuff

    December 23, 2009 at 6:54 am | Reply
  77. Ruud

    I respect the faith everyone believes in. Religion should be pure, not a cult as both Catholic and Jewish are doing:

    Recognizing anyone for being a saint has nothing to do with real Christianity and in believing ...whatever.

    For the Jewish: when do they stop acting like slaughtered sheeps because of World War II??? It's annoys me for a long time. The Jewish should live by the time of the present, not in the past that only seems to go back to the 1940's.

    December 23, 2009 at 7:56 am | Reply
  78. MIGUEL VASCONEZ

    Pope Pius XII saved Rome, not from the Nazi, but from the Americans.
    The Nazis didn't destroy Rome, but the Americans were preparing to bomb everybody out. Then Pius XII presided personally the American soldiers occupation of Rome, risking his life to snipers from any of the three sides in dispute (Nazis, Americans and Italians).
    Think. Catholicisms is a religion of Peace. If Pius XII would have taken and aggressive stand all Jewish housed and hidden in convents and churches would have been killed by the Nazis, but before all the nuns and priests that housed the persecuted.
    The Jewish better thank Pius for saving their lives than attack the current Pope for small and temporary political gains.

    December 23, 2009 at 8:39 am | Reply
  79. Malcom Nobel

    Another reason why Jews will never be happy..Here is an opportunity for this culture to reach out and complain about their past before they recognize and appreciate what they have today.
    And yet another reason why the Catholic church takes it upon itself to justify making any individual holy!!!
    What would we do with out the freedom of the press to keep news contraversial.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:13 am | Reply
  80. Rsaleem

    The Jewish people and so called Israel, want to prosecute the whole world for what happened to some of them then. But they feel no shame and refuse to accept the English Court Orders and the international laws for the 9000 Palestinians in jail, more than 1 million killed by the so called Israeli guns, more than 6 million refugees, stole and dead Palestinians body part, continue to starve more than 1 million Palestinians in Gaza for more than 3 years, and destroying Palestinians homes after they stole Palestine in the name of god. So much for justice and international laws.

    December 23, 2009 at 11:01 am | Reply
  81. Allan Granovsky

    Here is a man who was not killed or touched in the Horror camps of the Germans,because he was german and a Nazi.Hitler youth trainned and dam his soul for it.
    Everyone around him was killed and he is the leader of a religion of fear and intimitation.His religion should be ashamed of it.

    December 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  82. Ken

    whoa ! wait a minute my Jewish friends. Do Christians decide how your religion should be run ?
    Besides, since you do not believe in the Christian faith anyway, this should not be a problem.

    December 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  83. Shep in Memphis

    You got to be kidding. This is a Pope who silently condemned tens of millions to their death. The evidence of his "complicity" in giving the Nazis religious credibility is overwhelming.

    This is a reminder that antisemitism is still a priority in the Catholic bureaucracy...but not necessarily in the body of the followers.

    December 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  84. Dennis Wilkinson

    If the catholic church insists on venerating this pope then they should unseal the documents pertaining to this man so that the whole world could see his involvement with the Jewish question during the course of ww 2 . Why wont they release the documents?
    Why do we insist on persecuting the Jews even now?
    A world gone mad!!

    December 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  85. Raphael

    There was a rumor going around when he became Pope that he was in Hilter's Youth, they say he was "forced". That is not true, the reason I know this is because a friend of mine in Germany was asked to be in Hilters Youth and he said no. The worst thing he said was that he was mocked, thats it mocked. How can someone who is suppose to be " holy" join something such as that. He is just proving time and time again that he is and was a Nazi.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  86. Andrew

    I believe that Pius XII did all he could.

    He faced an enemy in Hitler and his henchmen, that was also a danger to his own life. I believe that he did what he could, with as little visible sign as possible.

    Let us give him the benefit of the doubt.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  87. AmericanD

    open the sealed documentation...then lets discuss...shame that the Church still hords the truth! Why so many secrets?

    December 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  88. Nellore S. Venkataraman

    A thousand years to come, the sins of Germany or the silence of Pope Pius XII should not be forgotten.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  89. Harry Husted

    Every person is entitled to their beliefs. We live in a country where there is freedom of religion. That right cannot be taken away. So we should respect people and their religions, even if we don't like it. The only exception to that is if they do harm to other people – like the Islam do. The Catholic religion is not pure. It is not the true religion. Neither is Judiasm. They both go against the teachings of Jesus.

    But, whatever one religion does should not cause anger and resentment from another religion for any reason, unless that religion hurts others physically, like creating war. I do not condone making a man a saint. He is not a holy man. Only Jesus and God are holy. But if the Catholic people want to make Pius XII a saint, that is their business and no business of the Jews to get involved.

    The Jews do things that are wrong as well. Look at the Zionists. No religion is perfect. But when we begin to stay out of another religion and focus on our own faults, perhaps than we can pick on another religion. As Jesus said those who are without sin cast the first stone. If not, shut up.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  90. Elizabeth W.

    Someone in this comments list asked why it would matter to Jews or other non-Catholics whether a Pope was declared a saint or not. It matters because, as the Vatican spokesman quoted in the original article says, "With this decree the Pope says that Pius XII is a person that we have to admire, recognize as a model of Christian virtues..."

    If he is recognized as a model of Christian values, then other Catholics are expected to emulate him. Therefore it gives a clear foundation for the billions of Catholics in the world to avert their eyes from future genocide the way this Pope did. It allows them to replace Jesus's beautiful model of active, compassionate, altruistic Christianity with a false model of quiet passivity and self-preservation.

    I think there is a huge problem when we allow false idols like the Popes to lure us down un-ethical and un-Christian paths.

    I think Jews know there is a huge problem when the vast un-educated masses of religious gentiles start listening to someone that tells them that it is ok to remain quiet and still when someone starts killing Jews just for their religion.

    In some countries we have albinos being killed for their organs, because some itinerant preacher said they are 'magical'. In others we have a death sentence pronounced upon homosexual persons, based on the words of some TV preacher. It is not a far reach to understand that declaring a coward to be a saint will encourage cowardice in the face of tyranny and injustice.

    It matters to me, who believes in religious freedom for all, and I'll bet it matters to the Jews who have faced periodic mass murders at the hands of Catholics due to their religion.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  91. Mikki

    His silence is repulsive and lacks compassion and shows a blatant lack of moral fiber as he sits back while millions are slaughtered by the Nazis regime. He should be the last person to be sainted.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  92. Adam Glasser

    Why stop at WW2? If WJC is still boiling because of what happened 70 years ago, then why stop there? Why won't WJC complain about or sue the Egyptians? The Egyptians oppressed and enslaved the Jews thousands of years ago! You think those pyramids were built by aliens? Nope! They were built upon the blood, sweat, and tears of Israelites! DOWN with the Pharoahs! They were the Nazis of biblical times! How many Jews died and suffered during those horrific times?

    So, WJC, why not sue the Egyptians?

    See my point? Live your lives and move on, for crying out loud!

    December 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  93. Paul Murphy

    Pope Pius XII was the reigning Pontiff during a very difficult and insane time during history. Adolph Hitler was a not a man who took criticism lightly, not even from a Pope! Pius was spiritually responsible for millions of people throughout the world who found themselves facing Nazi persecution. His every word had to be carefully calculated lest Hitler take offence. Following World War II, many countries, including Israel, publically thanked and praised him for all he did to help the persecuted Jewish people. In fact, many Jewish groups accorded the Pope many awards and honours. The question should not be: "Could or should Pope Pius have done more?" Rather, the real question is: "WHO else did more to help the Jews?" Many 'democratic' countries and their leaders were strangely silent on the whole question of Jewish persecution during World War II. Pius did what he thought best considering the extreme and bizarre situation of the times.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  94. maurizio battifora

    Pius XII could have done something extraordinary to save the lives of millions of Jews, gypsies and gays who were killed during the Nazi regime and he choose to kept quiet.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  95. Richard Trifan

    Whether Pope Pius X11's records remain sealed until 2014 or were exposed now, the fact remains that whatever he may have done "behind the scenes", he could have done "in front of the scenes" a mass public appeal to all Poles and German Christians to block, stop, disrupt, in any way possible the concentration camp activities. Pius could have done radio broadcasts to all of Europe's listening public to do the above. And, if the Nazis broke into the Vatican and arrested him, and even executed him, THEN he would be a saint for TRYING HIS BEST to stop the Holocaust. Then I (an atheist) would VENERATE Pius for being a good human being! But it is crazy to consider sainthood now, because he DID NOT make a public appeal.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  96. AL

    The current Pope is out of touch with the world. He not only exalts cardinals involved in the moving of priests to avoid sexual abuse prosecution but now wants to continue the church's denial of its errors during the Holocaust and the treatment of other religions. For me raised Catholic since birth it is a shame to be that anymore.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  97. kk

    Plz Don't disgrace Pope Pius as he is a highly respected and honored person. The Jews shouldn't be complaining on who is better for Catholics, and or shouldn't be complaining for his being holy enough or not. They never asked Catholics or anyone for their religious choices.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  98. Bob

    For those of you that state Pius XII should have said more, or done more "in front of the scenes", instead of "behind the scenes", or made mass public appeal to all Poles and German Christians to block, stop, disrupt, in any way possible the concentration camp activities, ask yourself this question... How long do you think Hitler or the Nazi regime would have stood for that??? The Nazis overran most of the European continent, subjugating over a 100 million people within a year. They could have easily done the same to Pius and the Roman Catholic church in a matter of days, if not hours. Give me a break.

    December 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  99. Jane

    Some posts say that Pius XII maybe could have done more to help Jews. Some say that Pope Benedict XVI is out of touch. Many, however, are overlooking something. Immediately after the death of Pius XII, Padre Pio, a priest who has since been cannonized a saint, had a vision of Pius XII smiling down on him from heaven. If this vision is true, then Pius XII is certainly in heaven, and no amount of wailing by any person or any organization will ever change that. Are they going to say that God has made a mistake in bringing Pius XII into heaven?

    December 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  100. josh

    What's with all the involvement from non-Catholics eh? We Catholics could make a polar bear a saint if we desired to and frankly its none of your business who or who not we formally recognize for sainthood. Pius XII didnt have any weapons of defense since he was a man of God and its not like he could've ran into a phonebooth at the Vatican and change into super-pope. Instead he ran quiet, effective clandistine campaign to shelter thousands of Jews from their deaths by the Nazis.

    December 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  101. ronin

    The Catholic Church is lowering their standards for sainthood for these recent popes. At this rate the papacy is synonomus with sainthood, sorry but that is not enough. Where are the miracles they are supposed to perform?

    December 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  102. Ivan Salazar

    Some people use the Vatican's Archives as an excuse, a tool, to cover their prejudices. Their "impartial opinion" is already set.

    I kindly suggest them to look at the public declarations made by great figures of those troubled times, at the time of Pope Pius XII's death, calling him a friend during a time (the Second World War) when it was virtually suicidal to even be polite to Jews.

    Take, for example, a great lady: Mrs. Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel. Look at THAT public record. Is anybody afraid of Golda Meir's high regard and appreciation of Pope Pius XII ??

    December 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  103. mike

    Does the world need anymore evidence as to what an absolute joke the Catholic church is...??? Making humans holy - who the heck is the pope or the church to declare anyone holy? Please...

    December 23, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  104. A. Smith, Oregon

    The Catholic Church can claim its favorite 'butterfly' is a saint. That doesn't make it a fact in regards to the Creator. Thankfully, the Creator has the final say on spiritual advancement.

    December 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  105. michael

    Stop making Saints... only God can read a man's heart of what he really is,, "on benefit of the doubt we declare you a saint" absurd?

    December 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  106. ARKADYG

    Just buried another Auschwitz survivor.......my father......if Pius XII was so righteous ...why not disclose his righteous deeds.....if not... why bringing it up ...bury him with the other skeletons that Catholics have (and no I am not saying Jews don’t have they skeletons too)

    December 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  107. ABALA

    Well, i think that the matter should be decided and solved by most reputed historians of all religion,not by less learned like we common people.....

    December 23, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  108. Astro

    If the accusation is that pope Pius XII did not do enough to help Jews then why not include every single person, instatution,goverment, and country in the world, UK did not fight hard enough, America did not act until attacked, and mainland Europe just gave up...... why is it only pope PiusXII that gets it in the neck???? The truth is no one knew until after the war about the death camps.....but everyone says it's the pope Pius XII fault???

    December 23, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  109. Ruud

    Astro gets a point. But, as I comment earlier:

    Making someone holy, it is typical Catholic and has nothing to do with pure believing in faith, not religion because that's man-made. The Protestants refuse to follow the path Catholics do because these Christians see it as devoting a person as he is a god now.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  110. John

    Pius was given an award of thanks from the World Jewish Congress, praised by Albert Einstein, praised and thanked by Golda Mier, president of Israel. Since the 1960's when an anti catholic play was made ( by an anti semite strangely) the picture of Pius began to change. Now even mainstream Jewish groups openly attack Pope Pius and the Catholic church and try to make it seem like our current Pope, a German whose family was anti-nazi is somehow stained by his race for the holocaust. Pope Pius was against communism and against hitler. He spoke out against nazism but largely did it quietly and worked behind the scenes, meeting with Jewish leaders. It is so painful to see the jewish blogs filled with such anti-catholic hate. I am as a Catholic even welcome in Israel? I read the jerusalem post today and it was filled with vicious and evil attacks on Catholics. " Nazis, child molestors, beasts, monsters, demons" That is what Jews are saying and CNN is contributing to this hatred by not standing up to this hate speech from Jews. Catholics are friends of the Jews today and what is the response we get? Hate

    December 23, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  111. Moses

    I agree with Astro, except for one thing. The historical fact is, all the Allied governments knew about the death camps. They just chose to do nothing!
    More kudos for Pius XII!

    December 23, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  112. Catholic in Faith, but Furious with the Church

    ^ Because every single person does not have the power to influence the ideas and believes of millions of people. It is not true that "no one knew until after the war about the death camps". Intelligence from Poland was getting to FDR and Churchill and other leaders that choose to hide facts from their countries because they were to busy bending over to appease their "Uncle Joe". Pope Pius XII, leader of all Roman Catholics was the one most important person at that time that should have led and spoke with some assembles of a "moral compass". (I have heard a bishop speak of this "moral compass", when they themselves were hypocrites to their own teaching; let's hope that protectors of pedophiles are not the next to be considered for sainthood).

    December 24, 2009 at 2:16 am | Reply
  113. Rotceh C

    No one can condemn how Palestinians are treated.
    No one can complain about Israeli politicians who condone abuses in the Gaza.
    Now the Catholic Church cannot appoint saints.

    What else do the Israeli want?

    December 24, 2009 at 2:58 am | Reply
  114. tlaw

    It has been well known and well documented for a half century now that Pope Pius XII saved many potential victims of Nazi atrocities by his consistent but quiet involvement behind the scenes. He had the courage and foresight to do so despite pressure that he go more 'public' which certainly would have resulted in many more people becoming victims from retaliation by Nazi authorities. This wholly unfounded allegation that he stood silently by is nowhere supported in any historical records. Rather, it is simply another avenue of attack by those anti-church zealots in their attempts to do all they can to bring down the Catholic Church.

    December 24, 2009 at 8:15 am | Reply
  115. Glen Kemp

    It is my firm belief that the Vatican will oppose Israel in the Final Days, and that a future pope will be the False Prophet foretold in the Bible. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that the Vatican chooses to venerate the pope who failed to stand up to Hitler and Mussolini. The Catholic Church has a long history of persecuting Jews in Europe, and today supports the division of Jerusalem and giving the Temple Mount to Palestinian Muslims. This stance is anti-Christ, yet since when has the Catholic Church really been Christian?

    December 24, 2009 at 11:00 am | Reply
  116. wlc

    Mistake. The Catholic Church is unilaterally focused on its own promotion and preservation. Selecting a German Born Nazi affiliated (although young) current Pope and then this possible action proves there is no honest reconciliation in the hearts of the Catholics. Its another good example of the religious war that exists between the major religions and continued insensitivity regarding the holocost. If 6 million Catholics were rounded up and slaughtered 50 years ago, you would see a different level of sympathy. Empathy for non-catholics is non-existent. Its a selfish religious clan intent on self preservation over all (or should I say Uber all). Its also legal to behave the way they they are. Is it right? No.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  117. trastamara

    Why Jews – or any other njon catholic – have to issue opinions of what happens or is done within the catholic faith??? I believe the elevation to sainthood within the catholic faith is a catholic issue and non catholics must refrain from opinions on matters that have nothing to do with their faith.

    December 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  118. Wells

    This process must be delayed until the files are open to the public. Many books have been written about the Vatican turning a blind eye to the cries of the Jews. We cannot rewrite history. The Church should know that God sees all things and he continues to hear the cry of His people. Just because someone says these things did not happen does not make it so. Truth is not relative.

    December 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  119. John

    about 3, 500 Catholic clergy died in Poland alone under the Nazi regime and thousands more died under Communism during the same era. Pope Pius saved thousands of Jews. He was given praise and awards by Jews after the war.

    Yes, he had relations with Hitler. Just as the rest of the world did. There is nothing wrong with that. Hitler was the leader of German for 12 years. The Olympics were held in Hitler's Germany and attended by Britain, the USA, Canada, France and others.. The Nazi government wanted Catholicism to die out because it was so international and not uniquely German. They shut down the Catholic press and were known to disrupt church services. Hitler even had a plot to kidnap the Pope and viewed him as a Jew lover. The Pope was in a very difficult position. Even today it is hard for the Pope to condemn those who persecute Catholics in the Muslim or Communist world. He has to tread carefully because Muslim and communist radicals will stop at nothing to kill as many catholics as they can.

    December 25, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  120. SJF

    To those who argue that this story should not matter to people who are not Christians: I think that it should. We share the same planet and decisions made by venerable institutions, such as the Vatican, have an effect beyond their own "constituency".
    My further opinion: the archives should be open before continuing with the process. Not that I would expect from opening the archives that divergence of views would cease – but at least there would be a more relevant basis to form views on the subject.

    December 26, 2009 at 11:47 am | Reply
  121. John D

    It is a decision entirely up to the Catholic Church. Jewish leaders, or any other religious leaders for that matter, have nothing to do with it and should butt out.

    December 26, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  122. James Lytle

    It must first be understood that only God can make a man, or anything else Holy. Man has not the ability nor capacity to make ANYTHING holy, as "...our righteousness are as filthy rags" [Isaiah 64:6] Additonally, it is written that there is not ONE who is righteous; no, not one. [Romans 3:10] Further, if any person attains 'holiness', it will be attained while he/she is still living, and cannot be attained after they are dead. Therefore, if it cannot be proven that he was righteous and holy during his life, it's futile to try, in our own frail efforts of deceit, to make someone 'holy' when the record of their life is sealed in death, let alone that they are also concealed in the Vatican archives. The whole idea of attempting to 'beatify' someone after many years of death is preposterous! In any case, it will only be God who will judge this man. Leave it at that, and play some other game with the minds of the people.

    December 26, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  123. April Sandi

    I have to say I am disgusted by this pope and think that there should be a different kind of pope that is head of the Catholic church. I think he is a disgrace not only to my church but to the world and other religions. I think they should release his files. If not, it looks like the biggest lie the Catholic Church has come up with yet. It looks like a big show. It is very angering.

    December 28, 2009 at 11:34 am | Reply
  124. Tim

    The process begun by marking Pius XII venerable has only one purpose: to identify whether or not he is a saint. To be a saint, one must have entered into Heaven. Jewish complaints and opinions have absolutely no effect on his sainthood. God makes someone a saint, and the Pope can only do his best to identify the such. For the benefit of Catholics and of the who world, the Church is duty-bound not to ignore plausible cause for sainthood that meets the established criteria.

    As for sealed records, be patient. I have a feeling that we may learn a lot of WW2 secrets in the not so distant future. If you don't agree with me, go pray about it or something.

    December 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  125. Joe

    Pius XII hid Jews in his summer home. If he had done more, he might have stirred the attention of the Nazis, causing more killings. Because of this, the leader of the Jews at the time became Catholic. To all who read this: study Eucharistic Miracles, especially the miracle at Lanciano. These miracles PROVE God's exclusive favor toward the liturgy, Eucharist, faith, truth and moral teaching of the Catholic church.

    December 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  126. Bernie

    1. What public figure during WWII did more than Pius XII to defend the Jews? Name one. 2. Given the Vatican's fear of scandal if the pope should ever canonize someone who actually turned out to be less than admirable, it's not likely there is anything in the archives that would prove Pius XII less than justified in the stance he took. 3. This whole controversy surrounding Pius XII has been manufactured so as to line the pockets of mediocre historians and writers. They have defamed a saint for their own gain.

    December 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  127. maurizio battifora

    ...and don't forget the gay men and women who were killed during the Holocaust as well, not only jews.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  128. Beachbear10

    Once again "people" respond to their "religious" beliefs, and the predictable outcome is that they are at each others throats.....proving only one thing to me. They all need to figure out "religious" leaders are simply political leaders of "non-voting" entities and their masterful creation of "controversy" out of any kind of balderdash simply proves neither Jews nor Christians practice what they preach.

    January 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  129. Kenjiro Shoda

    As a young Catholic, I deeply admire Pope Pius XII. He was the Pope who bravely spoke out for all people who were victims during WWII regardless of race, religion, ethnicity. He made speeches urging protection for the poor, the homeless, the aged, minorities (including Jews even if not by name) that were being systematically hunted down and exterminated by the Nazi's. He worked tirelessly behind the scene against the Nazis to shelter Jews in convents, monasteries, seminaries, and in ancient Roman basilicas and churches. He opened both the Vatican soup kitchens and shelters, as well as his own summer villa of Castel Gandolfo near Rome to hide Jews. He worked tirelessly with a network of bishops, priests, and laypeople to disguise and transport tens of thousands of Jews across Europe to safety in Britian, Spain, or liberated parts of Italy. He worked against Hitler so strongly, that Hitler launched a plan to either kidnap or assasinate Pius XII. Had Pius done little or nothing to help Jews and to thwart Hitler, Hitler would not have been so anxious to destroy this brave and saintly man.

    To slander and villify the memory of a great man like Pius XII is a disgrace which should be politely but firmly ignored.

    January 2, 2010 at 12:46 am | Reply
  130. Suzanne Lane

    I agree that a man is judged by his actions, and Pope Pius was seen in the company of Nazis, attending events held by the Germans, and doing nothing to speak out against his hosts' atrocities during the war. Why are the state records sealed and kept secret? Do they contain information more harmful to Pope Pius? If they exonerate him in the eyes of the world, why not open them?

    January 9, 2010 at 1:52 am | Reply
  131. Julian Terris

    From 1941 to 1944, Pope Pius and the Catholic Church were responsible for saving more Jews from Nazi persecution than any other person or institution.

    Some Israeli scholars estimate that as many as 860,000 European Jews were saved from death through concealment in Church facilities, issuance of fake Baptismal certificates, public appeals and other methods. In one instance, Pius lent the Roman Jewish community part payment of a ransom demanded by the Nazis to save several hundred Roman Jews.

    Prior to becoming Pope, Pius negotiated a Concordat between the Vatican and Germany, which provided that Jews who had converted to Christianity would not be subject to persecution in Germany as Jews. This provision enabled local priests to save tens of thousands of Jews from deporation by issuing fake Baptism certificates.

    The World Jewish Congress, American Jewish community, Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem, Rome and Budapest, Golda Meir and many other prominent Jewish representatives praised Pius for his relief efforts and public denunciation of racial persecution.

    In August 2006 extracts from the 60-year-old diary of a nun of the Convent of Santi Quattro Coronati[181] were published in the Italian press, stating that Pope Pius XII ordered Rome's convents and monasteries to hide Jews during World War II.[182]

    The Kaltenbrunner Report to Adolf Hitler dated November 29, 1944 on the background of the July 20, 1944 Plot to assassinate Hitler, states that the Pope was somehow a co-conspirator, specifically naming Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, as being a party in the attempt.[183]

    -Wikipedia.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 am | Reply
  132. Robert Frank, M.D.

    This 84 year old now retired physician was a radio-operator in 87th Infantry Division's "Signal Company." We part of the "first-troops" who were into the first concentration camp (Buchenwald). We are still at odds with each other: was it April 10, 11, or 12 - that spring of 1945! Why the confusion? We were not allowed to write home about it, until "Ike" lifted the restriction some four to five days later! And our letters were completely screened by our officers before being forwarded into the mail – system! So much for "how much did Washington and London know about the camps? before that "freedom day!" We are still arguing about that! None the less, it is something that one never forgets!
    Nor should one! - Robert M. Frank, M.D.

    January 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  133. Vince

    no one seems to care about Pope Benedict's motives!

    everybody's been commenting on this decision, yet the media did not even try to explain what makes Pope Pius XII "beatifyable"

    and man, the Vatican must definitely have provided some kind of comment!?!

    so why not tell us???

    January 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  134. Sandra Crabb

    Gentlemen:

    Hilter's mind was not rational. . He mind was hideously deranged yet one sick mind, that was clever enough to present to others a front, a mask of sanity.

    Pope Pius the XII produced copious documents commending jewish people for outstanding work for the Vatican and gave them evidence to present to others of conversion to Catholicism. It was a way of hiding in plain sight. Yes, a Jew, but a convert with papers.

    He devused and used every faceet he could think of to deceive the enemy and help the jewish people, hide, disguise, leave, gain documents, provided papers, hid people in his summer home and both hid and helped the Jewish people escape Hitler's mad insane persecutions, persecutions that included many Catholic's, many relious figures in the Catholic chuch, many lay Polish lay people of faith, Auswitz had over 40% non-Jewish people, mostly Polish, many Catholics, along with 60% Jewish people and those associated with
    seminaries, chruches as priests, clergy, or in positions of authority that might rally people against Hitler. The Catholic relgion, the fate of the Pope, and Catholic practioners were high on the list of those persecuted by the Hitler regime. Pious the XII took every action available to him, to help those escape the unknown fates that later the world came to learn about which were perpetrated by Hitler and were beyond any human understanding. It was not Pope Pius the XII that failed the Jews, it was the German people, themselves Hiltler's prisoners, unable to lift a hand to help, or a voice to protest, without themselves losing their lives or families. Yet there were many brave Germans who did help and many brave Catholics and other peoples of faith that did help, and this Pope, this leader of millions, did everything he could, used every building he could, every avenue he could find, to aid and abet the hidding, the escaping, the evacuating as many Jews to safty that he could without being seen by the eyes of the mad man that ruled without mercy the German state and its people. It is the German people, who would not come to the Jews aid, and the Jews themselves, who would not believe they could come to such a fate, who took no action. And, the other world leaders like pacifist in Britian Chancellor ? whom Churchill tried to warn to no avail that you cannot pacify a madman, nor reason with a madman, nor defeat him alone. The Pope did all he could and remained able to do it, because he knew how to escape the madman's gaze and suspicion. Now, who comes to crucify him? As was pointed out, Golda Meir herself championed him. How easy to blame a Pope...did he have an army? Did he command a nation? If the German people did not stand up to Hitler, and the combined armies of England, France, the United States barely contained him in the end, with his German rockets, scientists and madman's dreams of a pure race, what did the Jew expect one Pope and an Italian dress guard in the small independent land of the Vatican be expected to do?

    I, myself, saw papers from that era given to a Jewish husband and wife, and brought to me, with two medillions of remnants of Saints, one from the month of February, one from the month of September, given as special gifts by the Vatican to their Jewish ancestors along with some papers written in Italian. Can you read us these letters?

    I saw with surprise the letter said they had converted to Christianity and were being given these mediallions with remnants of saints of each ones birth month. Thus, for his birthmonth, of September, there were 30 minuscule remnants, of Saints born in September, one for each day, and 28 or 29 days for her birthmonth of February, one for each day, ( Saints such as St Valentines, for February 14th). Both medallions had a small, tiny cross in the center, a supposed remnant of the true cross. These were magnificent gifts, meant to impress whomever saw them, ancient, and very believably holy.

    Carrying these items would add proof that the letter stateing conversion was not a phoney. Having come to me with the intention of gifting them to me, I was speechless. Firstly, at the magnificence of the gifts, for surely they were as prescious an item as the Vatican could ever give, not because of gold value or antique value, but of relgious value, as the belief would have been that each saint represented within there was a true part of that saint, of a bone, a hair, a piece of cloth, the true cross, a gift of 58 different saints, i.e. Saint Scholastic, Damien and Cosmos( the fathers of modern medicine).

    Someone carrying those, would have been a very impressive additon to a letter stating that the above couple had converted.

    I was now speechless. Iasked my friends, "To your knowledge, did anyone in your family convert to Catholisim during the war? or, at any other time, or did they marry a Catholic/" No, to all questions like those. Why? What does the letter say, I'm asked again. I answer, it says these are given as gift for outstanding work done for the Vatican an on the date of their conversion to Catholism......a very rough and shorten version of the translation. None of us spoke. They were speechless too. They were certain no conversion had ever occured. And, it was only upon reflection, that I realized it might well have been an attempt to help these two Jewish people escape the country, or provide them with somekind of safety, if they were caught, and claimed a long ago conversion.

    I now believe they were exactly that. And are an example of the extremes to which the Pope was willing to go, to provide a "cover story for the Jewish people." It is possible, they did convert, and later converted back, so as not to put the Pope's immortal soul endanger.

    Who will ever know the exact truth. But, to me, it states that not only did the Pope knowingly and actively help the Jewish people, but took no half measures, and worked at it with imagination and flair.

    As for me, I believe they came to me as I was helping to build a memorial building for our recently beloved world figure, John Paul 2, who gave his first Papal audience to his beloved neighbors and life time friends, the Jewish family of Jersey Kluger from the same village as Karol Wotilya was in Poland. They came to me, because they will someday be the gift from our family to the museum built in honor of this modern day Pope, who has just been beatified, for his healing spiritual work around the world and for elevating the Jewish people at every opportunity. The first line in his will, was I would like to thank the Rabbi of Rome for permitting me to be the first Pontiff in the history of the church to enter the Temple in Rome.

    The magnificent medallions of the Saints, will one day return to the Vatican, having done their work well, as the Pope Pius the XII did then, and John Paul 2 did during his lengthly papacy of 28 years.

    Thank you, May God Bless each man that tried to make room in this world for all. Sandra Rovsek Crabb, Los Angeles, California

    They gratitude was expressed for outstanding work done for the Vatican and for their conversion. Written in Italian, the Jewish family that brought them to me, asked, do these letter say something?

    I looked at them and said, to your knowledge

    January 30, 2010 at 9:39 am | Reply
  135. A blog about War & Peace

    Constantly justifying attacks on the Church and its leaders with references to the Jewish tragedy in the WWII is an insult to the memory of so many more millions of Gentiles whose tragedy was no less tragic both humanly and numerically.

    The Jews were not the only ones and not the ones who lost more, and in some cases where not always the victims.

    That is the case of the Russian October Revolution of 1917 for example, or the Xolodomor, which left 12 millions Ukrainians dead, and was orquestrated by Lazar Moiseevich Koganovich, a Jewish communist out of personal hate for Ukrainian people for whatever sick reason he had. That tragedy doubled the Holocoast numbers.

    As far as the WWII: The Russians lost 30 millions in the WWII and the Germans lost 10 millions.

    It all happened, and it all was tragic, but the Gentile world needs to get over this and judge nations on the basis of their actions today!

    January 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  136. Alfred Cordero

    I think the facts about what really happened should be cleared before that Pope is made a saint. I belive that as a Man, Human being he made mistakes. Now I do not believe that Saints are made...they are born....

    February 7, 2010 at 3:55 am | Reply
  137. Craig

    If the Pope is trying to build Love and Harmony in the world, this is a bad first step. The problem with the Catholic Church is they believe they are beyond reproach. Look how long they knew about the abuses and how hard the Church hide this from the world. Question the Pope's motives and the country he was born in. There is something in the archives that has them all worried. Show the world evidence to support the Pope's decision and help the Jews understand. The history in the archives belong to all the people. The Vatican should step forward now with the information, as this will comeback to haunt them!

    February 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  138. sptimus severius

    why this campagn ?,,,anybody who knows the jews can tell you it s all about greeed nothing to do with religion,,,,,,they used and still using the blackmail tactics to extract money,,,from germany and other countries,,,,,they make it look like hitler killed just jews which is not true,,,,the world is fed up with this holocost thing ,,,,,by the way the holocost is now associated with what is happenning to the palestinians in gaza now then to the jews all most 80 years ago

    February 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  139. Robert M. Frank -- M.D.

    This 85 year old, now retired surgeon, 65+ years ago was a radio operator in the 87th Infantry Division – WWII – 3rd Army. We were
    liberators of the first concentration camp – Buchenwald. The images of the piles of dead are something no one can forget! And to even suggest that the Pope of that era, living in Rome, which incidentally we never bombed, knew nothing about what was happened not that many miles north in Germany, would; be idiotic. Incidentally, Italy was also an enemy of ours during that conflict. Because of the power of the Church, that has never been an item open for discussion! Maybe now is the time to reflect on this one issue. But I will be surprised if it happens!
    Let me know if you agree or not!

    August 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  140. Robert M. Frank -- M.D.-- now "retired"

    Was it close to 65 years ago that this then 19 yr. old radio-op in the 87th Infantry Division was one of many who "cleared" the Buchenwald concentration camp? Time sure does fly! Yes, we saw it all - I carried a camera - and my photos taken that day are in the appropriate museum in Washington D.C. There are images one can never, or for that matter should never forget! It is interesting though, that already there are supposed scholars who are re-writing this history. One, who claims to be an "expert" on WWII - has public;y called me a liar! Of course he was not there - I was! And, of course it will always remain, my word against his! Guess one cannot win them all!

    August 8, 2010 at 12:51 am | Reply
  141. Tamsin

    Why shouldn't they condemn the idea? Pope Pius XII was a blockhead! First he gave the Nazis the Vatican stamp of approval, and then he denies the holocaust. And now the Vatican are going to make Pope Blockhead a saint???

    September 11, 2010 at 9:06 am | Reply
  142. zena

    I side with God's Chosen People.
    Pope Pius .. was in union with the Nazi and now the Roman Catholic Church wants to turn the Other Cheek. To To VIcar the Spoils

    February 25, 2011 at 8:56 am | Reply
  143. dedektif

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    February 18, 2013 at 3:35 am | Reply

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