Pope Pius XII Detractor Cries WolfHistorians in the News
tags: Holocaust, Catholic Church, Nazism, Pope Pius XII, World War 2
A German historian’s claims to have found a document purportedly showing anti-Semitism in the Vatican that helps understand Pope Pius XII’s approach to the Jewish Holocaust have been roundly criticized by Catholic and Jewish defenders of Pius as “sensational,” “wildly erroneous” and “ridiculous.”
The claims of Father Hubert Wolf, a professor of Church history at the University of Münster, relate to findings he and a team of six other researchers from his university made during a short visit in early March to the newly opened archives of Pius XII at the Vatican.
Pope Francis opened the archives of Pius’ entire 1939-1958 pontificate to the public in March after many years of requests from historians keen to find out for themselves how much the wartime pope knew about the Holocaust and what action he took to try to halt it.
Along with his team of researchers, Father Wolf, who called for a vote on the ordination of women in 2016 and advocated for married clergy before last year’s Amazon synod, was one of the first to be allowed access to the archives, but his visit was abruptly cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.
At the center of Father Wolf’s discovery is a secret 1942 U.S. report, based on information from the Jewish Agency for Palestine in Geneva, which said around 100,000 Jews had been massacred in and around Warsaw and an additional 50,000 killed in Lviv in German-occupied Ukraine.
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