Historian confident in eventual beatification for Pope Pius XII
June 30, 2014
Father Peter Gumpel, a Jesuit historian who has been active for years in the cause for beatification of Pope Pius XII, has told the Zenit news agency that he is confident the World War II-era Pontiff will be beatified eventually.
Father Gumpel said that he was puzzled, however, by a statement from Pope Francis, who had told an interviewer that the beatification could not proceed without the certification of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pius XII. The Jesuit researcher pointed out that Pope Francis has used the option of "equivalent canonization" to allow for the canonizations of Sts. Peter Faber and John XXIII without approved miracles.
In his interview with Zenit, Father Gumpel said that he was persuaded of the accuracy of reports that Adolph Hitler had ordered the kidnapping of Pope Pius XII. He rejected accusations that Pius XII had failed to denounce the Holocaust, recalling that after the Dutch bishops issued a statement against Nazi racial policies, there was a brutal intensification of the drive against Jews in that country. "Pius XII was aware of this and, therefore, decided to act prudently," he said.
(Father Gumpel committed one clear error of fact in the Zenit interview, referring to a book that defends Pope Pius XII, The Pius Wars, "edited by Joseph Bottum, a liberal person, who is not suspected of philo-Catholic sympathies." In fact Joseph Bottum is a Catholic of fairly conservative views.)
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