Catholic group asks Pope to halt moves toward beatification of Pius XII
February 17, 2010
A small group of Catholic scholars has written to Pope Benedict XVI urging him not to press forward with the cause for beatification of Pope Pius XII. Saying that the recent step to confer the title "venerable" on the wartime Pontiff "deeply troubles us," the signatories urge patience.
"Proceeding with the cause of Pope Pius XII without an exhaustive study of his actions during the Holocaust might harm Jewish-Catholic relations in a way that cannot be overcome in the foreseeable future," they argue.
The letter was signed by a group of American, German, and Australian scholars, including Father John Pawlikowski of the Catholic Theological Union and Dr. Eugene Fisher, who for years headed the staff of the US bishops' conference working on Catholic-Jewish relations. Their letter was sent not only to Pope Benedict but also the Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican's chief liaison with world Jewish leaders, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York.