April 13, 2007

Vatican Protests Israeli Blood-Libel Against Pope Pius XII

The evidence is clear and unambiguous -- Pope Pius XII actively worked to save Jews during the Holocaust, and was one of the few major voices in Europe who dared speak out against the oppression of the Jewish people at the time. Israel's founders, such as Golda Meir, knew that and spoke out in fervent praise of his efforts. The director of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and museum documented those efforts, and estimated that the Catholic Church was responsible for saving nearly 900,000 Jews during WWII. So why this defamation of the late pontiff in Israel today?

The Vatican and Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial got into a public spat Thursday over the wartime conduct of Pope Pius XII during the Nazi genocide, threatening to upset fragile relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish state.

Separately, church officials announced new developments Thursday in the Vatican's case to make Pius a saint. A massive dossier on Pius' virtues _ some six volumes of 3,000 pages _ was handed over to a panel of bishops and cardinals earlier this month to study, they said.

At issue in the Yad Vashem-Vatican dispute is a photograph of Pius in Yad Vashem's museum in Jerusalem with the caption: "Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the pope did not protest," refusing to sign a 1942 Allied condemnation of the massacre of Jews during World War II.

Pius "maintained his neutral position" with two exceptions, the caption reads, criticizing "his silence and absence of guidelines." The exceptions were appeals to the rulers of Hungary and Slovakia toward the end of the war, the caption says.

The Vatican's ambassador to Israel, Monsignor Antonio Franco, confirmed Thursday that he would not attend Yad Vashem's annual memorial service for Holocaust victims next week because of the Pius photograph.

"I don't intend to go to Yad Vashem if things remain the way they do," he said.

The memorial service is traditionally attended by all foreign ambassadors to Israel or their representatives. Yad Vashem said this would mark the first case in which a foreign emissary deliberately skipped the ceremony.

Yad Vashem is "shocked and disappointed" by Franco's decision, said spokeswoman Iris Rosenberg.

I'm shocked and disappointed by Israel's decision to include a blood-libel against a man universally recognized as a friend of the Jews during the holocaust -- by both the Jews and the Nazis. I wish more ambassadors had the integrity to stay away from the memorial service in recognition that the exhibit defames a good and decent man who did more than any other world leader to safeguard those targeted for death by the Nazi genocide machine.

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Little known fact, the head Rabbi in Italy converted to catholicism after WWII. It is said he did so because of the actions of Pope Pius. Also Genocide was also commited againist catholics during the holocost and also members of other religions and citizens of other countries, the Jews were not the only people targeted.



|| Posted by Phillip, May 9, 2007 10:47 AM ||
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