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Jewish spokesman raps Pope's defense of Pius XII

Catholic World News - November 22, 2010

An American Jewish leader has said that Pope Benedict’s praise for Pope Pius XII has cast “a menacing shadow on Vatican-Jewish relations,” and warned that beatification of Pius XII would cause irreparable harm to those ties.

Elan Steinberg, the vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, was responding to reports that in his forthcoming book-length interview with journalist Peter Seewald, the Pope notes that Pius XII was responsible for saving more Jews from the Holocaust than any other individual.

While Steinberg objected to the Pope’s remark, he did not address its accuracy. The Washington Post, handling the question with an objective approach that is rarely seen in the secular media, reported:

An Israeli diplomat, Pinchas Lapide, wrote in 1967 that Pius and the Catholic church should be credited with saving between 700,000 and 860,000 Jews from certain death. Holocaust scholars dismiss the figure as guesswork.

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Nov. 23, 2010 7:28 AM ET USA

    Wonder what axe Mr. Steinberg has to grind? He didn't apparently even read the Pope's book and check out the numbers and source of those, which tells me he may be anti-Catholic and anti-Pope Benedict unless both come forth with anti-Pope Pius XII venom.

  • Posted by: imanxufan9901 - Nov. 23, 2010 6:34 AM ET USA

    Who really cares what Elan Steinberg has to say.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Nov. 22, 2010 7:40 PM ET USA

    I hope the Pope canonizes Pius XII in short order. So what if it casts a "menacing shadow on Vatian-Jewish relations!" Those relations have been strained for a very long time due to Israel's refusal to honor its commitments in exchange for diplomatic status from the Vatican. The Catholic Church doesn't tell them how to run their religion, and they shouldn't be telling our Pope how to run our Church.

  • Posted by: RobK - Nov. 22, 2010 6:56 PM ET USA

    The continued rapping of the current pope as well as the heroic Pope Pius XII by Jewish revisionists casts a menacing shadow over more than just Vatican-Jewish relations, but also on issues such as the freedom of religion and freedom of thought, as those from outside wish to change those of the Catholic Church.

  • Posted by: filioque - Nov. 22, 2010 6:47 PM ET USA

    "Holocaust scholars dismiss the figure as guesswork." That's pretty funny, considering that Eli Weisel admitted that the figure of 6,000,000 Jews killed was guesswork. It doesn't really matter what the exact figures are, either number killed or number saved. What matters is that a great evil was perpetrated and in the face of it heroic deeds saved hundreds of thousands.

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