Jewish groups are furious over Pope Palpatine’s announcement that he is submitting Pope Pius XII, infamously known as “Hitler’s Pope,” for beatification.
Jewish leaders from around the world expressed their outrage today after the Pope opened the way for his controversial wartime predecessor to be made a saint, with some calling the possible beatification of Pius XII as “inopportune and premature”. Benedict signed a decree last Saturday on the virtues of Pius, who has been criticised for not doing enough to stop the Holocaust. The decree means he can be beatified once a miracle attributed to him has been recognised. Beatification is the first major step towards sainthood. But Benedict, who has long admired Pius, continues to draw fire for ignoring concerns over the controversial pontiff. Among those to criticise him was the World Jewish Congress, whose president, Ronald Lauder, said: “As long as the archives about the crucial period 1939 to 1945 remain closed, and until a consensus on his actions ‑ or inaction ‑ concerning the persecution of millions of Jews in the Holocaust is established, a beatification is inopportune and premature.”
The Vatican has long claimed that Pius 12 worked “behind the scenes” to lessen the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust. The degree to which that may have happened has been disputed by Jewish and other historians. The Jewish Virtual Library contains numerous accounts of refused pleas for Pius 12 to intercede or at least condemn the actions of the Nazis. The site does note several instances where Pius 12 helped Jews obtain foreign passports, but maintains that he did so only under pressure from the Allies and very late in the war after it was clear that the Axis powers would lose. The Vatican has consistently declined to open its Holocaust-era archives.