Pope Pius XII War Record Continued Debate

World War II ended over sixty years ago, but the debate concerning record of Pope Pius XII continues to create tension between Jews and Catholics. Pope Benedict the XVI has made certain he will not tour the new museum at Yad Vashem which contains a section dealing with the performance of the wartime pope that is not not flattering to what he did or did not do. The Vatican insisted the tour of the Holy Land was a personal one for Benedict and had nothing to do with World War II or Pius XII. However, Pope Benedict was pressured not to meet with certain Palestinian leaders and to avoid having his picture taken by the wall which divides Arabs from Israel. His dilemma is a speech in which he displays concern for Muslims might be interpreted as anti-Israel and speaking up for Israel is a certain way to anger Muslims.

The issue of the role played by Pope Pius XII in World War II remains a divisive one. Most historians believe he did assist some Jews but he was remarkably quiet about the actions of the Nazi government. Most probably a definitive conclusion awaits opening Vatican archives.