Pope Francis stuck up for Ven. Pius XII:
One of your projects is to open the Vatican archives on the Holocaust.
They will bring a lot of light.
Does it worry you something could be discovered?
What worries me regarding this subject is the figure of Pius XII, the Pope that led the Church during World War II. They have said all sorts of things about poor Pius XII. But we need to remember that before he was seen as the great defender of the Jews. He hid many in convents in Rome and in other Italian cities, and also in the residence of Castel Gandolfo. Forty-two babies, children of Jews and other persecuted who sought refuge there were born there, in the Pope’s room, in his own bed. I don’t want to say that Pius XII did not make any mistakes – I myself make many – but one needs to see his role in the context of the time. For example, was it better for him not to speak so that more Jews would not be killed or for him to speak? I also want to say that sometimes I get “existential hives” when I see that everyone takes it out against the Church and Pius XII, and they forget the great powers. Did you know that they knew the rail network of the Nazis perfectly well to take the Jews to concentration camps? They had the pictures. But they did not bomb those railroad tracks. Why? It would be best if we spoke a bit about everything.
Pius XII should be declared as Righteous Among The Nations.
Also, for a great collection of primary source information about Pius XII, take a look at the great book by the Gary Krupp, Jewish, called Pope Pius XII and World War II: The Documented Truth: A Compilation of International Evidence Revealing the Wartime Acts of the Vatican. ALERT: Every library, secular or religious, needs a copy of this book. You might consider donating one to a seminary, a parish or college library. Note also Ron Rychlak’s, Hitler, the War, and the Pope, and Rabbi David Dalin’s The Myth of Hitler’s Pope.