A book claiming that Pope Pius XII was not only anti-Semitic, but also played a role in Hitler's rise to power, was denounced by the Vatican as "shameful lies". In Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, to be published this month, the British author John Cornwell said he drew on previously unpublished Vatican archive material. He said he was able to trace the anti-Semitism of Pius XII - whom Jewish groups claim did not do enough to stop the Holocaust - back to 1932, when he was Papal Nuncio in Munich.
The Zenit news agency quotes respected historian Fr Pier Blet's conclusion: "Conwell's book is very confusing. It's not really an historical analysis. There are no documents to back up his theories. Pius XII is charged with very serious accusations, without any real proof."
Fr Blet, together with Angelo Martini, Burkhart Schneider and Robert A. Graham, was co-editor of the twelve-volume work "Acts and Documents of the Holy See During the Second World War". When questioned by journalists in March 1998 about the alleged silence of Pope Pius XII, Pope John Paul II answered: "A sufficient answer has already been given, just read Fr. Blet's' book."
Telegraph & Zenit (available soon)