Scholars press Vatican on Holocaust
Pressing the Vatican to open up its wartime archives, Catholic and Jewish scholars have raised new questions about Pope Pius XII's silence amid Holocaust-era reports that Jews were being deported and killed.
While it was obvious the Vatican received early wartime reports from bishops and diplomats about the persecution of Jews in France, Romania and other countries, it was unclear how the pope responded, they said.
The scholars repeated complaints of Vatican silence over the occupation of Poland, asking whether there was further documentation "with regard to ... insistent (international) appeals on behalf of the Poles."
On the issue of a Jewish homeland, it noted that the future Pope John XXIII, a Vatican diplomat in Turkey during the war, helped Jews reach Palestine despite some personal uneasiness and asked for documentation on Vatican policy regarding Palestine.
The commission of three Jewish and three Catholic scholars began examining the Vatican volumes 11 months ago after some historians asserted Pius XII could have done more to save European Jews from the Nazis.
The scholars were appointed following an agreement between the Vatican and the International Jewish Committee for Inter-Religious Consultations.
The three Catholic scholars are Eva Fleischner, professor emerita at Montclair State University in New Jersey; Fr Gerald P. Fogarty of the University of Virginia's religious studies department and the Fr F. John Morley of Seton Hall University in New Jersey.