Jewish advocacy group claims new evidence against Pius XII
The World Jewish Congress, which is seeking to prevent the canonisation of Pope Pius XII, on Thursday made available a 1945 report which it said showed the wartime pope's moral double standard toward the Nazis.
The group provided Reuters with a copy of the four-page report by Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, who served as the equivalent of a secretary of state for the Vatican under Pius XII.
The report submitted to the US foreign service in October 1945 detailed abuses committed against German inhabitants of the Soviet sector of Berlin earlier that year, saying that among other things Russian troops had killed hundreds of people by setting fire to their homes with flamethrowers.
WJC executive director Elan Steinberg said the Vatican's denunciation of crimes committed by the Soviets contrasted with its failure during the war to condemn the Nazi genocide.
"In a sense, it's an indictment of the dual standard of morality practiced by Pius XII," Steinberg said. "They (the Vatican) have no hesitation in properly charging the Soviets with atrocities but tragically failed to do so when it came to the murder of the Jews in the Holocaust," he said.