|Rabbi: Pope may freeze Pius XII sainthood process|
|By News Agency|
|Tags: Israel NEws, Pope Pius XII|
Pope Benedict on Thursday told Jewish leaders that he is "seriously considering" freezing the sainthood process of his Nazi-era predecessor Pius XII until historical archives can be opened, a Jewish leader said.
Some Jews have accused Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust. The Vatican says he worked behind the scenes and helped save many Jews from certain death during World War Two.
Rabbi David Rosen, a leader of a Jewish delegation which met the pope on Thursday morning, said the subject came up in conversations after formal speeches were delivered.
The Vatican, however, has so far rejected Jewish groups' requests for the immediate opening of its secret archives on Pius XII's papacy.
It says it will take at least six more years before scholars can consult the archives, which historians and Jewish groups have been clamoring to study.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said the requests to see the wartime archives were understandable.
But he said Thursday that cataloguing some 16 million documents is expected to take another six or seven years.
Beatification is the last step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Some Jews have asked the pope to hold off on beatifying Pius until more information on his papacy can be studied.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Posted by SM Schwartz at 7:11 AM