Thursday, January 13, 2005
Pope Pius XII - Vindicated Yet Again?
Addendum to the previous posts on Pope Pius XII kidnapping charge (The Guardian's Attempt to Slander Pope Pius XII 12/30/04, and "Pius XII, Pope John XXIII and the Jews" 1/2/05). According to Zenit.org:
The latest in a series of accusations about Pope Pius XII's behavior vis-à-vis the Jews and Nazi persecution seems to have little basis in fact.
The latest round began Dec. 28 when an Italian newspaper published passages of an alleged 1946 Vatican document that supposedly aimed to keep baptized Jewish children from being returned to their families. . . .
Apparently Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli of the Milan newspaper Il Giornale tracked down the original document on which the allegations were based ("kept in the Centre National des Archives de l'Église de France, archive of the secretariat of the French episcopate, position "7 CE 131"). Further examination by Zenit revealed marked discrepancies between the initial account published by Il Corriere della Sera and the authentic document itself, which reveals that:
. . . the text has the seal of the apostolic nunciature of France -- as opposed to what Il Corriere della Sera published, which attributed it to the Holy Office.
ZENIT also verified that the document is dated Oct. 23, 1946, three days later than that mentioned by Il Corriere, and that the terms of the Vatican proposal are very different from what the Italian newspaper had reported.
The original document contradicts Melloni's version. It states, in fact, that the children should be returned to their original Jewish families.
Regarding "Jewish institutions," which during those months were working in Paris and throughout Europe to transfer children to Palestine, the document states that each case must be examined individually.
Source: "1946 Document on Jewish Children Tells a Different Story" Zenit.org. Jan 12, 2005.
Zenit goes on to provide further details as to the origination of the document. Suffice to say the document's history vindicates Pius XII, with all the hue and cry of Pius' detractors being for nought. A good lesson to take slanderous reports about the pope with a big grain of salt . . . until all the facts come out.
(Thanks Ben Yacchov for the update).