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Strong criticism of Pope Pius XII from Israeli cabinet minister

October 23, 2008

Isaac Herzog, Israel’s Minister of Welfare and Social Services and Minister of the Diaspora, Society, and the Fight Against Antisemitism, has announced his opposition to the possible beatification of Pope Pius XII.

‘The intent to turn Pius XII into a saint is unacceptable,’ said Mr. Herzog, who is the son of the late Israeli President Chaim Herzog. ‘Throughout the period of the Holocaust, the Vatican knew very well what was happening in Europe. Yet there is no evidence of any step being taken by the pope, as the stature of the Holy See should have mandated. The attempt to turn him into a saint is an exploitation of forgetfulness and lack of awareness. Instead of acting according to the biblical verse 'thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbor,' the pope kept silent-- and perhaps even worse.’

Herzog's words are sure to provoke an angry reaction among Catholics. That Pope Pius XII should have openly denounced the Nazis is certainly arguable. But to say that 'there is no evidence of any step being taken by the pope' is simply dishonest in light of the abundant evidence that the Pontiff gave direct orders to shelter Jews from the Holocaust.

 
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