Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced 4 that secret Vatican archives on the pontificate of Pius XII (1932-1958) will be opened in March of 2020, a gesture that could shed light on his actions during World War II .
"I have decided that the opening of the archives will take place at 2 in March of 2020," said Francisco, receiving archivists from the Holy See. The date coincides with the 81 anniversary of the election of Eugenio Pacelli (baptismal name of Pius XII) to the papacy .
Numerous researchers have been demanding access to documents for years to examine why Pius XII did not manifest himself during the extermination of Jews in the war, a silence that Jewish organizations regard as a form of passive complicity. The current pope defended the former pontiff, recalling that he was at the head of the Church "in one of the saddest and darkest times of the twentieth century" and firmly stated that "the Church is not afraid of history."
"I take this decision," said Francisco, "certain that historical research will be objective and will know how to evaluate, in the light of justice, with appropriate criticism, the moments of exaltation of this pope and undoubtedly also the moments of serious difficulties , tormented decisions, human and Christian prudence. " These decisions, he added, "may seem to some as a reluctance, but were in fact attempts ... to maintain, in times of deep darkness and cruelty, the little flame of humanitarian initiatives, of hidden but active diplomacy."
While his successors John XXIII (1958-1963), Paul VI (1963-1978) and John Paul II (1978-2005) were canonized, the process of beatification of Pius XII, relaunched in 2009 by Benedict XVI, has since been stopped. controversies over its role during the war.
To many historians, he should have condemned the massacre of Jews much more firmly, but he did so not for diplomatic caution and not to endanger Catholics in occupied Europe. Others, however, claim he saved tens of thousands of Italian Jews by asking convents to open their doors.
Source: AFP | Look