New text in Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial softens criticism of Pope Pius XII

UPDATE: Full story; papal nuncio says updated text is “a step forward.”

Visitors look at an exhibit at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. (CNS/Debbie Hill)

A new text revealed at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial  has in Jerusalem has softened the message regarding the actions of Pope Pius XII which has caused strife between the museum and the Holy See in the past.

While reportedly the new wall text still blames the pope for the Catholic Church not having intervened more forcefully to help save Jews from the Nazi persecution, it does paint a more complex picture of the situation, reports Catholic News Service correspondent Judith Sudilovsky in Jerusalem.

According to a report in the Ha’aretz newspaper, the text still includes veiled criticism of the Vatican for not opening its archives to allow historians to research the actions of the Holy See at the time.

The New York Times reports that the new museum panel is titled “The Vatican” instead of “Pope Pius XII.” The new text reduces the role of Pope Pius XII in negotiating the agreement that recognized the Nazi regime whole preserving the Catholic Church’s rights in Germany, explaining that it was reached under his predecessor, Pope Pius XI. Pope Pius served as secretary of state under his predecessor. The new text reads that Pope Pius XII “did not publicly protest.” when Jews were deported from Rome; the old text said he “did not intervene,” the newspaper said.

CNS is seeking comments from church officials and the museum and will post an update when they become available.

3 Responses

  1. Dennis thanks so much for sharing this information. Having visited Yad Vashem, I am happy to hear about this update. Will stay tuned.

  2. I hope the complete archives will be made available soon. There is criticism that he could have done more, but the hundreds of lives that were saved under his direction should be recognized by Yad Vashem.

  3. What does the catholic church think about the Seventh-day Adventist Church so called Phophet Ellen White comment about the Catholic church?

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