The National Catholic Review

Says William Doino, who writes for Inside the Vatican and contributed to The Pius War, in a lengthy piece in the London Times today.  It's one of the most concise, and well-documented defenses of the pope that you will find.

In the Autumn of 1987, during one of his many meetings with the Jewish community, Pope John Paul II gave an important speech on the Roman Catholic Church and the Holocaust. Recalling “the strong, unequivocal efforts of the Popes against anti-Semitism and Nazism,” he cited Pius XI’s condemnation of Nazism as “an enemy of the Cross of Christ,” and went on to praise his successor, Pius XII : “And I am convinced that history will reveal ever more clearly and convincingly how deeply Pius XII felt the tragedy of the Jewish people, and how hard and effectively he worked to assist them during the Second World War.”

A decade later, John Paul issued a document on the Holocaust,We Remember, which again noted Pius XII’s humanitarian acts, and soon thereafter praised Pius’s entire pontificate: “He was a great Pope.”

Shortly before Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI validated John Paul’s judgment by signing a decree declaring Pius XII “Venerable,” advancing his cause for sainthood.

Benedict’s decision is certainly debatable, but it was not, as some have suggested, rushed, much less deliberately “insensitive.” It was rather the end result of a well-thought out, process.

Read the rest here.

Comments

William Doino | 1/8/2010 - 10:46am
Dear Chystalw:
It has long been known that there were individual renegade priests and bishops who collaborated with German war criminals, both during and after the War, but they were in the extreme minority, and acted against the teachings and desires of Pius XII, as well as every other decent Catholic.  Please let us not engage in guilt-by-association tactics that would make Joseph McCarthy blush.
Professor Phayer is mistaken; Pius XII did not help Nazi war criminals escape-quite the contrary, he provided evidence to the Nuremberg war crimes trials to help prosecute them (see the two letters of rebuttal to Phayer in Commonweal, June 6, 2003); and the main sources for Phayer's allegations are unsound and have since been exposed as such by German scholar Dr. Heinz Schneppen, in his 2007 book on the subject. More recently, Commonweal ran a highly critical review of Phayer's new book on Pius XII, in which Phayer repeats many of his allegations about Pius and Nazi war criminals, leading the reviewer, John Connelly to remark: ''If history were a court of law, Phayer's charges against Pius XII would be thrown out for lack of evidence.'' (''The First Cold Warrior?'' Sept. 26, 2008). In the Catholic Herald, investigative journalist Guy Walters, while rightly denouncing collaborationists, makes a clear distinction between their record, and Pius XII's: ''There is no reason to believe the pope was complicit....there is simply no evidence against Pius XII.'' (''The Truth about Pius and the 'Ratlines','' August 14, 2009.) Both Connelly and Walters, incidentally, are by no means uncritical of the Church, so their testimony is all the more significant.
 Father Rober Graham, SJ, answered spurious allegations against Pius XII in this regard long ago; see his commentaries on the subject I list in The Pius War (Lexington Book, 2004), pp. 194-195.)
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has gone over these allegations against Pius XII extensively, and found them baseless, yet they are still repeated as if they are valid.
Dear Mr. McCrea:
 I agree with you that ''diplomacy and tact'' is wrong in the face of manifold evil; thats why I admire Pope Pius XII who went well beyond that, and was- contrary to certain notions about him still in circulation today- a man of strength and daring, as I pointed out in post #10. And his record against the Nazis before becoming pope is equaly impressive; on this matter, see Charles Bracelen Flood's book, Hitler: The Path to Power (1991); David Dalin's The Myth of Hitler's Pope (2005); also, Pius XII: Greatness Dishonored by Michael O'Carroll (1980) and the updated edition of Ronald Rychlak's Hitler, the War and the Pope (forthcoming). 
Yesterday, the Jewish Chronicle, one of Britain's leading religious publications, published an excellent article by David Conway supporting Pius XII, so the truth is getting out.
Had the world had more leaders like Pope Pius XII in the twentieth century, it would have been spared countless disasters and enormous bloodshed.
William Doino | 1/6/2010 - 11:13am
Dear Chrystalw and Mr. Power:
Thank you for your latest posts; perhaps we have reached a measure of agreement, at least in some areas, in a very often contentious debate (I agree, too contentious). It is important that all of us carry on this discussion with dignity and respect. Because of the gravity of the issues involved, and the emotions, I realize that is sometimes difficut, but it should be our goal.
 Mr. Power, thank you for your clarifications, as I now realize we have much more in common. I am glad you are as familiar with the available evidence on Pius XII as you are; unfortunately, many are not, and that is why I felt it necessary to summarize some of it, firmly, particularly as it relates to unjust or innacurate allegations. I should also point out that my views are not simply based upon standard arguments, but interviews with many people over the last decade, who worked with Pius XII during the War, especially during the German Occupation of Rome.
I quite agree that people of good will often come to different conclusions about the evidence; but I also believe there has been a great deal of misuse of that evidence, especially by the anti-Pius crusaders: on this matter, see, Pius XII, the Holocaust and the Revisionists, by Patrick Gallo (McFarland, 2006); and Righteous Gentiles by Ronald Rychlak (Spence, 2005); the latter has an effective response to Zuccotti's flawed work. (Justus George Lawler's corrective writings are also outstanding). Even great historians like Saul Friedlander can make serious errors about Pius XII (on this, see my  critique, ''The Silence of Saul Friedlander,'' posted by First Things online, July 24, 2007).
I concur with the conclusion of Jose Sanchez, author of Pius XII and the Holocaust (Catholic University Press, 2002): ''In fact, most of the Pope's critics tend to extremism, while defenders tend toward moderation.'' If Pius's supporters do raise their voice from time to time, it is only because some of his critics are so over the top, and beyond the pale.
I agree, also, with Chrystalw that more primary documents should be made available, as rapidly as possible, especially online. But it is also necessary to point out, as I did in my Times of London piece, that ''The Vatican has already released a huge amount of important wartime archives (largely unread, alas).'' These include the twelve-volume Actes et Documents, which cover the War years, and which Fathers Robert Graham and Pierre Blet, two of their editors, have written extensively; and the entire archives of Pius XI's pontificate (1922-!939), when Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII), served as Pope Pius XI's Cardinal Secretary of State. The latter archives shed light on the Holy See's principled stand against Nazism and its manifold evils during this time; as well as the Vatican's interventions for the persecuted, including Jews. Unfortunatey, as the Vatican's sign-in records prove, most of the Church's critics have not even bothered to consult them yet.
Among Pius XII's most impressive (but least known) achievements during the War are the establishment of the Pontifical Relief Commission, and the Vatican Information Office. The first distributed massive amounts of food, medicine and clothes to people of all creeds and nationalities, without distinction, throughout war-torn Europe; the second fielded millions of wartime inquiries, on prisoners of war, and other missing or displaced people, helping re-unite countless families. In 2004, the Vatican released over 1,500 pages of documentation on this extraordinary agency, showing the depth and breath of Pius XII's humanitarian efforts. Very few people know about this resource, much less studied it. The Church needs to better publicize, translate and distribute such documentation.
Let me conclude with a reference to my extensive interview with Sir Martin Gilbert (Inside the Vatican magazine, August, 2003), a renown historian who has done as much research into primary Holocaust archives, and conducted as many interviews with first-hand witnesses, as any scholar I know. I asked him, given his encyclopedic knowledge, about the Holocaust and Second World War- and all the statements and interventions that actually were made- if he agreed with John Paul II's document on the Shoah, We Remember, which states:
"During and after the War, Jewish communities and Jewish leaders expressed their thanks for all that had been done for them, including what Pope Pius XII did personally or through his representatives to save hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives. Many Catholics bishops, priests, religious and laity have been honored for this reason by the state of Israel.''
Sir Martin replied:
 ''Yes, that is certainly correct. Hundreds of thousands of Jews saved by the entire Catholic Church, under the leadership and with the support of Pope Pius XII, would, to my mind, be absolutely correct.''
david power | 1/6/2010 - 7:01am
I think that you may have misunderstood my point or maybe I did not write it well enough.I did not write "just diplomacy and tact"as Bill Clinton said Strength and Wisdom can coexist. Also what you write does not have the same nuance as Cardinal Bertone and rather than reasoning you seem to be ramming the points home.I think that Pius was a Saint and a man of courage but also a man who often chose the path of diplomacy which he had been trained for.I know all of the arguments you make like the back of my hand ,but I also know that it is the Church itself which explains his actions in a context of silent sacrifice as opposed to grandstanding.I have been explaining to people for years all of the good that the Pope did for the Jews and have read many times "Mit brennender sorge" which he is credited with writing.Still he was a man of diplomacy and tact as well as strength and character.Many people do not apprecaite this ,you should.

Here is the article by Cardinal Bertone
http://ncronline.org/node/11154

Anonymous | 1/6/2010 - 6:39am
I wish that more primary source documents from Pius' time were available online.  As it is, most of us have to take the word of the writers of secondary sources, or even of people who comment on the secondary sources.  And everybody has their interpretation of the available information.
I would recommend a 2001 article from The Christian Century, a review of "Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy" by Susan Zuccotti.  The article is even-handed and informative .....  http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_27_118/ai_79371674/
 
 
William Doino | 1/6/2010 - 3:03am
I appreciate Crystalw's engagement in this debate, but am astonished by the complete failure to acknowledge, much less deal with, the evidence gathered in my original Times of London piece, including the hyperlinked references to the witnesses and testimonies and documents. Father Hughes and I also added subsequent clarifications and citations, but again, all ignored. 
Why is it typical of so many who question Pius XII's pontificate to shut themselves off to compelling evidence in Pius's favor, and remain in their own seperate world, trotting out outdated arguments and stereotypes along the way? I fear this is what has happened here; and I am stunned by some of the comments. OF COURSE Pius XII declared to "stop" the bloodshed and mass murder of innocents, in all of his major speeches on the War, not to mention his countless protests delivered through his nuncios-in fact it was Pius XII, during the first six months of his pontificate, who did everythng he could to prevent the War from happening in the first place. Had those responsible for it listened, there would have been no War-and no Holocaust-either. It is precisely because people did not listen to the Vicar of Christ's impassioned appeals for peace and human decency that such monumental evil took place.
We are told that ''many can be found from that time who didn't think Pius did enough to help,'' but no persuasive evidence for this sweeping judgment is offered. During the War, after it, and  at the time of Pius XII's death, he was hailed around the globe, by every kind of statesman and religious leader imaginable, for his outstanding pontificate, and especially for his humanitarian efforts during the War. Leading the tributes were the Jewish community. This has been copiously documented, and can be verified by a study of media coverage of the time. The pope's rescue efforts have also been heavily documented. The only group engaged in an organized effort at that time against Pius XII were the Soviets, a campaign well-documented in Father Robert Graham's book, The Vatican and Communism During World War II: What Really Happened? (Ignatius Press, 1996). The attack was chronicled in the New York Times, and Tablet of London during the 1940's and '50's, and has since been confirmed and expanded upon by former Soviet agents. Rolf Hochhuth picked up and chystalized the anti-papal attack, in his now-discredited play, The Deputy (1963), though the myth-makers have had their day, and Pius XII's honor is steadily being restored.
The BBC documentary mentioned, now gladly forgotten, was refuted at the time by Fr. Graham, the foremost authority on the Vatcan's wartime record, in the pages of the Tablet of London (February 4, 1995; and March 11, 1995). Said Graham: ''The BBC 2 producers let loose an avalanche of cruel imputations of motives, while ignoring, with an air of objectivity, substantial evidence in conflict with their thesis.''
The claim by Settimia Spizzichino that Pius XII could have warned the Roman Jews of the impending Nazi round-up of them (on October 16, 1943), assumes Pius had foreknowledge of the raid and its date-a claim that is recent in origin, has no documentary basis, and in fact is refuted by the testimony of Princess Enza Pignatelli Aragona Cortes, who was the first to alert the pope of the raid, in the early hours of the morning it occured. What we do know for a fact is that, as the Princess related, the pope immediately went into action to protest the roundup, through His Secretary of State to the German ambassador. Pius XII also had his close contacts influence the German Commander in Rome, and the papal intervention succeeded at ending the raid early on, saving the great majority of Rome's Jews-at least 85%- whom were given shelter under the orders of Pius XII (There is abundant documentation of all this, and the literature surrounding it, in The Pius War, the anthology I contributed to.) It is not a coincidence that Italy, home of Pius XII, had one of the highest survival rates of any Nazi-occupied country. Claims that Pius could have ''done more'' for Jews, in Rome or elsewhere, by acting another way, are entirely speculative, and have been answered-and demolished-again and again. As I mentioned, Michael Tagliacozzo (also a survivor of the Roman raid, and THE leading authority on the matter) has always supported Pius XII's decisions on this key event, and sharply criticized authors who have misrepresented the pope's reaction to it. Tagliacozzo would be the first to correct his fellow believer Spizzichino- who was unquestionably a victim of horrifying evil, and who deserves our compassion, but is obviously repeating what she heard (doubtless with sincerity), not what she knows- on the sequence of events involving Pius XII.
At that time, the Roman Jewish community, as a body, certainly thought Pius XII ''did enough'' and in fact honored him with a plaque, at Rome's National Museum of Liberation, and with many tributes, for his rescue efforts. Historical revisionism on this issue will simply not do.
Regarding Mr. Power's note, I do not think Crystalw ''makes a good point,'' precisley for the reasons outlined above. The "point" raised is liable to lead people into confusion and error. Further, Pius XII was not just a pontiff of ''diplomacy and tact,'' but a man of tremendous strength and character. After his first encyclical, Summi Pontifcatus appeard, very early in the War, the Allies were so pleased with it, that they dropped tens of thousands of copies from their airplanes; the Tablet commented that Pius spoke "in the words of a judge;" and the New York Times declared that it was Hitler that stands condemned in this encyclical-the Hitler of National Socialism and Germany.  (October 28, 1939, front page). Shortly therafter, Pius XII made contacts with the anti-Nazi resistance-whom he maintained relations with throughout the War-and actually supported a  plot to overthrow Hitler.
 By the time the Germans occupied Rome (Sept '43-June '44), the Nazis so hated Pius XII that there were plans to kidnap, deport and possibly muder him; Pius knew of this, but stayed on to be with the persecuted people of Rome. One false move by him, during or immediately after the roundup, could have triggered the plot (as several German officers testifed to after the War)-leaving Vatican City abandoned by its natural leader, and ALL of Rome's Jews left to the killing machine of the Nazis. That Pius XII was able to rescue so many, albeit not all, is a miracle , and something that should never be forgotten, diminished, or disparaged. It has not been, thank Heaven, for those grateful for his pontificate.
david power | 1/5/2010 - 8:17pm
Crystalw makes a good point.It seems to be the rub of the argument and then we come to realize that when the Ideologues have quietened down we are left with it being not the Pope being accused or under attack but diplomacy and tact.An entire way of thinking.Many silent victories and no real popping of champagne!If the Pope had cursed the Nazis in harsh language and it resulted in the killing of thousand from repurcussions I am sure either he would be called an idiot or a moral voice.He was a holy diplomat.The present Pope and the late popes have said "What you are doing is wrong ,stop it" on abortion ,but the world has not fallen to its knees in contrition.I am sure that the Rabbi of Rome at that time knew that the Pope loved the Jewish people and that his heart was with them throughout the war. The Pope did more than any other world leader for the Jewish people,but it was not enough.Like Cardinal Barberin we should pray to the victims of the Shoah .
Anonymous | 1/5/2010 - 3:43pm
I guess I'm in the minority in my opinion but I'd just say that many can be found from that time who didn't think Pius did enough to help.   The Telegraph had a past story about Settimia Spizzichino, the one women who  survived the Roman roundup of Jews after being sent to Auschwitz and experimented on by  Mengele ....... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1367640/Settimia-Spizzichino.html .... and although it's not mentioned in that interview, I've seen a quote attributed to a BBC interview with her saying she blamed Pius for not warning the Roman Jews.  Maybe I'm being too critical, but when I try to imagine a scenario where all the Catholics are getting rounded up and sent to camps to be worked to death, tortured, gassed, and the head of one of the biggest religions in the area never officially says "What you are doing is wrong.  Stop it.", I feel pretty upset at the thought of him being made a saint.  
 
JANICE JOHNSON | 1/5/2010 - 1:56pm
Thank you, Fr. Martin, for linking William Doino's article and to Fr. John Jay Hughes and Mr. Doino for their additional information.  It is heartening to learn that much of the support for Pius is coming from our Jewish brothers and sisters:  Michael Tagliacozzo, Rabbi Dalin, Sir Martin Gilbert and others who want to see Pius's reputation vindicated.  I am hoping that in this ongoing discussion of Pius's role during the Holocaust the estimated 5 million  non-Jewish  people who were murdered by the Nazis, will be remembered.  They, along with the Jews, were the most vulnerable members of society-mentally and physically disabled people, gypsies, homosexuals as well as Catholic priests and many, many Poles.  (After exterminating the Jews, Hitler planned to move onto the next group, the Slavs.)   The Holocaust began with the emptying of mental asylums and the taking of retarded children from their parents, to be experimented on and murdered.
Perhaps, it would be well at this time in our history, when "the culture of death" is a reality , when the most vulnerable in our society are at risk of abortion, euthanasia/eugencs to reflect on what happened just decades ago.  Then, we had a courageous, saintly pope whose efforts saved tens of thousands of people.  Who are our saints and prophets today?  Surely, Popes John Paul and Benedict who are absolutely clear about the evil of abortion, euthanasia and eugenics.  But, who in the United States can we look to for this kind of leadership? 
Anonymous | 1/5/2010 - 2:59am
Dear Father Martin:
Many thanks for linking to my article. And thanks to Father Hughes for clarifying some important issues, especially on the Vatican archives.
I'd like to add a few things to this important discussion.
The Cause of Pope Pius XII is proceeding because the Holy See sincerely believes the evidence is overwhelmingly on Pius XII's side; the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has produced 3,000 pages of documentation, gathered over 40 years, rich with testimony and massive documentary material; and also dealing with every possible objection, and Benedict is convinced of Pius's heroic virtue, and not impressed with outdated and discredited arguments. John Paul II, incidentally, also was a huge supporter of Pius XII-as was Paul VI and John XXIII. This is the culmination of a worthy movement.
I have personally interviewed people who knew and worked with Pius XII, particularly during the War years, and the difference between what they say-about his personal qualities, moral conduct, concerns and conscientious behaviour- and today's strident critics, who never knew him,and receive their information from dubious sources, is wide indeed.
On the debates surounding Pius's wartime conduct and use of language, see my 80,000 word annotated bibliography in the anthology The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII (Lexington Books, 2004), edited by J. Bottum and D. Dalin. The recent Pius biographies by Andrea Tornielli (Italy) and Michael Hesemann (Germany) are also excellent, as is the brilliant survey by Michael Burleigh in Sacred Causes.
In my view, the question is not whether any of his detractors are satisfied with a specific speech or act of Pius XII; the question is, is there strong evidence that Pius XII, during the War, was considered a strong enemy of Nazi Germany, and that his encyclicals, allocutions and messages, and those he authorized via Vatican Radio, were understod by Catholic rescuers and other contemporary witnesses, as anti-Nazi and a call for people of conscience to help the persecuted, especially Jews; and also whether or not there is evidence that he took action to assist Jews-and I believe a fair answer to those questions is yes. I supplied evidence of this in my article-including hyperlinks-from first hand-witnesses, rescuers, diaries, wartime newspapers and documents; but there is more-much more-I could have added.
Consider these headlines from the NY Times alone; ''Vatican Denounces Atrocities in Poland; Germans Called  Even Worse Than Russians,''(January 23, 1940); ''Vatican Amplifies Atrocity Reports: Weight of Papacy Put Behind Exposure of Nazi Excesses'' (January 24, 1940);' ''Pope is Emphatic About Just Peace: Jews Rights Defended'' (March 14, 1940); ''Vatican Says Nazism is Foe of Christianiity'' (November 20, 1940); ''Pope is Said to Plead for Jews Listed for Removal from France'' (August 6, 1942); ''Vichy Seizes Jews; Pope Pius Ignored'' (August 27, 1942). A perusual of the wartime issues of the Tablet of London or Palestine Post, to cite just two other major publications, would reveal similiar reports.
Charles Pichon, a prominent wartime correspondent, writes about the impact of Pius XII's famous Christmas addresses: ''Full and precise, the annual Christmas allocutions which so exasperated the Duce (particularly that of 1942), constantly reminded the world of the moral laws which the triumphant Axis violated more brutally every day....The pontifical texts condemned most strongly the anti-Semitic persecutions, the oppressions of invaded lands, the inhuman conduct of the War, and also the deification of earthly things which were made into idols: the land and the Race, the State and the Class.'' (The Vatican and its Role in World Affairs, E.P. Dutton,1950, p. 167).
An editorial in the Times of London, dated October 1, 1942, states: ''A study of the words which Pope Pius XII has addressed since his accession in encyclicals and allocutions to the Catholics of various nations leaves no room for doubt. He condemns the worhsip of force and its concrete manisfestations in the suppression of national liberties and in the persecution of the Jewish race.''
Pius XII's encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi (1943), like his earlier Summi Pontificatus (1939, issued right after the War began, condemned race-hatred in the strongest possible terms. Faithful Catholics knew who and what he was talking about, and also were inspired by his call to love, even if that is denied or forgotten today.
The pro-Pius testimony of Michael Tagliacozzo, the leading authority on-and survivor of-the Nazi raid on Rome's Jews (Oct. 1943), cited in my article, is key, especially because this episode has been so misrepresented by Pius XII's detractors; so too is the article in the Palestine Post, dated June 22, 1944, reporting from Vatican City, on how ''several thousand refugees, largely Jews'' had finally been able to leave the papal refuge at Castel Gandolfo, after the liberation, and come to thank Pius XII, who controlled the territory, for saving and protecting them.
I have been a long-time supporter of complete access to all relavent archives, but many of the critics of the Vatican have ignored the abundance of archives already made avaliable by the Vatican-as my article pointed out, linking to several pieces on this topic. More importantly, the critics constantly contradict themselves by claiming they don't trust the Pope, Vatican historians and archivists, and yet demand further access to archives inside the Vatican-but if the Vatican cannot be trusted, why demand more documents from the Vatican? Cardinal Avery Dulles  said of these conspiracy theorists: ''The opening of the archives would not satisfy all critics, because they could still claim that the archivists had concealed or destroyed incriminating records. The ample body of available evidence is sufficient to dispel the cloud of suspicion surrounding Pius XII, which seems to rest on prejudice or fanatasy.'' (The Holocaust Never to be Forgotten, Paulist Press, 2001, p. 63) Cardinal Dulles is exactly right.
John Smythe | 1/5/2010 - 12:07am
It is curious to see who is attempting to run/control the Catholic Church, THE only Church founded by God (Christ). 
 
It really does not matter one iota if Pius XII did or did not speak out against or for events of/during WWII. 
 
What actually matters is the simple fact of whether or not this person meets the criteria set forth the God's only true Church to declare him a saint.  Period.
Anonymous | 1/4/2010 - 9:27pm
Until I see an explicit sentence by Pius XII condemning Nazi atrocities against the Jews, all 'the small staff' 'we have to wait till 2015' to open files' b.s. is doing Pius's cause absolutly no good. It there is a good record it would have showed up by now. No show =no go.
Jeff Bagnell | 1/4/2010 - 7:25pm
The KGB-inspired propaganda against Pius has about run its course at this point.  It's great to see America helping to set the record straight.
REV JOHN HUGHES | 1/4/2010 - 4:20pm
In 1942 no one was in any doubt what Pius XII was talking about in his Christmas address. The NYTimes commented: "This Christmas more than ever [Pope Pius XII] is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent." The then German ambassador to the Holy See, Diego von Bergen, protested that the pontiff was “clearly speaking on behalf of the Jews.”  To reinforce this protest no one from his embassy attended the pope’s Christmas Midnight Mass.  In Berlin an official report called the pope’s speech “one long attack on everything we stand for. Here he is clearly speaking on behalf of the Jews ... and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminal.” The sole reason why the Vatican archives for Pius XII's pontificate are not yet open is the small staff available to catalogue and prepare several million documents for scholarly research. When the archives for Pius XI were opened in 2003, none of the critics of Pius XII showed up to study them, though he was Papal Secretary of State for much of the period; and though the archives contain his hand-written notes of his almost daily meetings with Pius XI. When the archives for Pius XII are opened in 2015, it is safe to predict little interest from the critics who, when they cannot find the smoking gun they are looking for, will simply tell us that the papers have been purged. 
Anonymous | 1/4/2010 - 2:56pm
I read the Times story but I wish it had been more specitic about the new evidence showing Pius did speak out against the Holocaust.  It mentions documents in the Vatican archives, but as far as I know, those are not available to anyone outside the Vatican -  the International Jewish-Catholic Hisotirical Commission disbanded in 2000 because it wasn't allowed access to the archive documents after 1923.  The article mentions the pope's 1942 Christmas message as an example of him speaking out against the Holocaust, but I've read it, and it doesn't even mention the Nazis or the Jews (<a href = "http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P12CH42.HTM">link</a>).  I don't know about the Vatican radio messages, but they are not messages given directly by Pius, are they? Are there transcipts of these?  Sorry to be so critical, it's just that without actual documentation available to the public or at least to scholars who are not working for the Vatican, it's hard to take all that's said at face value.
Anonymous | 1/8/2010 - 4:30am
Another article I came across yesterday that might be of interest, from 2003 in Commonweal, by historian and professor emeritus at Marquette University, Michael Phyer -  "Canonizing Pius XII:  why did the pope help Nazis escape?"
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1252/is_9_130/ai_104578550/
JIM MCCREA | 1/7/2010 - 6:08pm
"diplomacy and tact"
I think there are 6 million arguments against the value of this approach.