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Report: Misinformation Campaign by Pope Pius XII Apologists

Posted: January 5, 2010

After Pope Benedict XVI last year praised so-called "evidence" presented to him at a 2008 Rome conference which claimed that World War II-era Pope Pius XII did everything he could to save Jews during the Holocaust, the Anti-Defamation League embarked on a research project to analyze some of these materials.

Pius XII historian Paul O'Shea found that selected materials presented by Pave the Way Foundation are part of a campaign of misinformation by some Pius apologists who use selective church documents and issue unsubstantiated conclusions about Pius XII.  O'Shea is an Australian scholar and author of A Cross Too Heavy: Eugenio Pacelli, Politics and the Jews of Europe 1917-1943.

O'Shea analyzed some 2,300 pages of war-time era documents that had been found in the town of Avellino, near Naples.  These documents were originally from the town of Campagna, south-west of Avellino, site of one of the more than 40 Italian internment camps for Jews established between 1940 and 1945. Pius supporters claimed the documents illustrated the pope's efforts to help Jews in the face of Nazism.

O'Shea concluded that "to use the Campagna files to suggest that Pope Pius XII was active in attempting to rescue Jews is to demand something the historical record cannot sustain."

The complete report may be read and downloaded here (.pdf).

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Full Report
Download the full report by Pius XII historian Paul O'Shea (.pdf)
More on ADL's Policy on Pope Pius XII

ADL Calls on Pope to Reject Flawed Conclusions on 'Historical Evidence' on Pius XII and the Jews (12/29/09)

Church's Misguided Honor (op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/5/09)

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