Jesuits to open key archives on Pius XII to US researchers

VATICAN CITY - US researchers are to get access to the archives of a former Vatican specialist on the controversial role of wartime pope Pius XII, the Vatican journal L'Osservatore Romano reported Thursday.
Father Adolfo Nicolas, the head of the Jesuit order, had decided to open the archives of Father Robert Graham to researchers from the Pave the Way Foundation, said the Vatican, citing the Catholic News Service.

Jesuits to open key archives on Pius XII to US researchers
Pave the Way describes itself on its website as "a non-sectarian public foundation, which identifies and eliminates non-theological obstacles between the faiths."
Graham's collection comprises more than 25,000 pages of testimony and documents dealing with the actions of Pius XII, who served as pope between 1939, when World War II started, and 1958.
The documents could show how he had helped European Jews escape the Holocaust, L'Osservatore reported.
Graham was one of the pope's main defenders against accusations from other historians that he had remained silent and done too little to resist the Nazi genocide of the Jews.
Graham was one of the few researchers to be granted access to the secret Vatican archives.
The process of the beatification of Pius XII, opened in October 1967, has been a continuing source of tension between the Catholic Church and Jewish leaders.
Beatification is the first step towards canonisation, being declared a Catholic saint.
In 2007, the current pope, Benedict XVI, set up a special committee to investigate the matter before he makes a decision.
The Pave the Way Foundation has already gathered documents in an effort to show that Pius XII intervened both publicly and in private to try to save Jews and to get Catholic institutions in various countries to come to their aid.

Friday, April 24th 2009

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