Catholic World News News Feature

New historical evidence supports Pope Pius XII January 14, 2008

An organization devoted to inter-religious understanding has uncovered a large amount evidence to rebut the charge that Pope Pius XII was indifferent to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.

The Pave the Way Foundation has announced discovery of a large quantity of evidence showing that Pope Pius XII actually worked to save the lives of Jews. Gary Krupp, the group's president, says that most of this evidence is already "available publicly but simply not known."

The Pave the Way Foundation points, for example, to "a personal verbal plea from Pope Pius XII to General Rafael Trujillo to issue 400 visas to the Dominican Republic for Jews trying to escape Europe." The group also notes that the efforts of the wartime Pontiff had enraged Adolph Hitler, who made plans to kidnap the Pope and seize the Vatican. Pope Pius XII was aware of these plans, the group says, adding: "The Vatican had actually begun forming a government-in-exile" in case Hitler's plan was carried out.

The foundation's research efforts, Gary Krupp notes, are "completely independent of any official Vatican archival records." He said that his information was being forwarded to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, in an effort to increase understanding of the role Pope Pius XII played during World War II.