An Italian Jewish leader told Pope Benedict Sundaythat his wartime predecessor Pius XII should have spoken out more forcefully against the Holocaust to show solidarity with Jews being led to the “ovens of Auschwitz.”
The comments, from the president of Rome’s Jewish community Riccardo Pacifici, were made during the pope’s first visit to Rome’s synagogue and were some of the bluntest ever spoken by a Jewish leader in public to a pope.
“The silence of Pius XII before the Shoah, still hurts because something should have been done,” Pacifici told the pope, using theHebrew word for the Holocaust.
There is no attempt to solicit funds, there is no attempt to open a new holocaust museum based on this, no attempt by anyone to profit based on this statement. Now, one may contend that it is merely Pacifici to try to get attention, but he is actually raising a very valid point so that point is moot, and there is no evidence for that.
The article goes on to explain why the timing makes sense for this statement,
The visit, Benedict’s third trip to a Jewish temple since becoming pope in 2005, has deeply split Italy’s Jewish community after he took the decision last month to advance Pius XII on the path toward sainthood.
Many Jews say Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, did not do enough to help Jews facing persecution byNazi Germany.
While many of the saints over the years have been terrible to the Jews from Saint Sylvester to Saint Valentine, but never in the modern era has someone been made a saint who clearly could not have been less of a saint towards fellow human beings.
This person cannot be made a saint, it will be a slap in the face of the over 6 million Jews killed in the holocaust. Then again, some people probably wouldn’t mind that, and see it as a selling point.