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ADL Position on Pope Pius XII

Posted: January 5, 2010

The Anti-Defamation League has for years consistently stated that it is in the best interests of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish people to declassify and make available to responsible independent scholars and historians all relevant pre-war and post-war church archives to seek the best obtainable version of the truth about Pope Pius XII's role during the Holocaust.

These materials would include materials known as the Vatican's Secret Archives, the archives of European Bishops Conferences, and the archives of Papal Nuncios from around the world working under the administration of Pope Pius XII.

While we fully recognize that the process of sainthood is an internal matter for the Church, the issue of what Pius XII did or did not do to help save Jews during the Holocaust is a profound question that must be resolved first for the sake of the Jewish-Catholic relationship.

These church records have special significance for Holocaust survivors and their families. To proceed on the process toward sainthood without having all of the facts would be premature when so much is not known about the historical truth of the Vatican's actions during the war.

Until all the Vatican's secret World War II-era archives are declassified and made available to legitimate independent scholars for study and analysis, Pius XII's record vis--vis Jews will continue to be shrouded, and a source of controversy and contention. 

We strongly urge the Vatican to make full and complete access to the archives its highest priority.

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