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Some Jews irked by claim of support for Pope Pius XII

November 02, 2011

The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity drew protests when he told an American audience that many Jewish people support the cause for the beatification of Pope Pius XII.

Speaking at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, Cardinal Kurt Koch said that the available evidence shows how Pope Pius XII tried to save Jews from the Holocaust. Recognizing that many Jewish scholars have pushed for the full opening of the Vatican archives covering that pontificate, Cardinal Koch predicted that when all the documents are made available, the full record will only strengthen the existing judgment, since the most important evidence is already on the record.

The cardinal’s comments irritated American Jewish leaders and others who have questioned the record of the wartime Pontiff. The former president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, Father John Pawlikowski, joined in the criticism, telling The Forward that Cardinal Koch was not “on a par with his predecessor,” Cardinal Walter Kasper.


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