Pope Defends Nazi-Era Vatican
Church helped Jews in 'hidden ways'
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2010 4:16 AM CST
Pope Benedict XVI delivers a blessing from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

(Newser) – Pope Benedict yesterday defended the Vatican against criticism that it did little to challenge the Nazis during World War II, saying that the Catholic church helped Jews in "hidden" ways. "Unfortunately, many remained indifferent" to the suffering of the Jews, said the German pontiff. But the Vatican "itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way." His comments followed harsh criticism of the Vatican's silence during the Holocaust by the president of Rome's Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici.

"It still hurts because something should have been done," said Pacifici. "Maybe it would not have stopped the death trains, but it would have sent a signal, a word of extreme comfort, of human solidarity, towards those brothers of ours transported to the ovens of Auschwitz." Pacifici spoke out as Jewish anger continues to mount over moves to make Pope Pius XII—the pontiff during World War II—a saint.


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Showing 3 of 30 comments
BlueAyez
Jan 19, 2010 5:13 AM CST
He was just following orders right? He should be on trial as a war criminal.
BlueAyez
Jan 19, 2010 5:12 AM CST
He was a Hitler Youth. He would have helped expose sheltered Jews as a child. I sincerely doubt he's changed all that much.
BlueAyez
Jan 19, 2010 5:11 AM CST
All while kissing Hitler's ass.