Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
More confirmation that Pope Pius XII sought to save Jews from the Holocaust has been disclosed.
Catholic News Service reports today that a document has been found in a Rome convent confirming Pius XII instructed Church institution to harbor Jews fleeing arrest by Nazi authorities.
Jesuit Father Peter Gumpel, the relator of Pius XII’s sainthood cause, found the document, CNS reported.
“The saving efforts of Pius XII, which have also been verified by many Jewish sources, were carried out through personal messengers — priests — who were sent to various Catholic institutions and houses here in Rome,” Father Gumpel said.
Father Gumpel said written orders were not issued because they would provoke repercussions if Nazi authorities obtained them.
The new document is further evidence that Pius XII actively helped Jews during World War II. This Daily Blog post details some of the other facts that disprove the claim that he abandoned the Jews — a historically unfounded allegaton that was first made in the 1960s in a play published by West German playwright Rolf Hochhuth as part of a KGB campaign to discredit the Church.
The 70th anniversary of the coronation of Pius XII as Pope takes place March 12. Go here to read a Register article about the coronation. It’s written by Sister Margherita Marchione, author of several books about the wartime Pope including two that refute the claims that Pius XII ignored the plight of the Jews.