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Israel asks Vatican to open wartime archives

January 18, 2010

Echoing previous statements of Jewish leaders, a senior Israeli government official has asked the Holy See to open the Vatican archives to research on Pope Pius XII’s activity during World War II.

“I asked the Pope to find a way to make it possible to open the archives in the Vatican in order to give some details of the papacy of Pius XII in order to ease tensions between the Jewish people and Catholics,” said Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom after the Pontiff’s January 17 visit to the Roman synagogue.

“In this specific case it is comprehensible that there should be a request to have open access to all possibilities of research on the documents,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi last month. “Yet for the complete opening of the archives-- as has been said on a number of occasions in the past-- it is necessary to organize and catalogue an enormous mass of documentation, something which still requires a number of years' work.”


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  • Posted by: saviles218254 - Jan. 22, 2010 9:49 PM ET USA

    It amazes me that Israel, who is so hostile to the Catholic Church, has the nerve to try to dictate whether She can canonize a man so dedicated to saving Jews in Europe in WWII, that all the Jewish leaders of the time went to Rome to THANK our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII. Time for them to admit the fact that they don't know history and perhaps learn humility and gratefulness.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2010 10:45 PM ET USA

    Only the Catholic Church would even entertain the request of verifying its in-house decisions to those who detest us and disbelieve us. I don't suppose that the appropriation of Catholic property by the state of Israel is topic that would generate much interest?