Vatican stalling on secret files which could prove wartime Pope ignored Holocaust [Excerpts]
The Vatican appears to be dragging its feet over releasing secret files which could solve once and for all the question of whether a wartime Pope turned a blind eye to the Holocaust.
Documenting the archives will take at least another six or seven years, a Vatican spokesman said in response to a request from a senior Jewish leader.
Jewish groups and critics of Pope Pius XII, who was pontiff for the duration of the Second World War, have long called for the Vatican archives to be made available so that Pius's record on speaking out against Hitler and the Nazis can be examined.
In an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, Rabbi David Rosen of the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations repeated the request.
"We reiterate our respectful call for full and transparent access of scholars to all archival material from that period, so that assessments regarding actions and policies during this tragic period may have the credibility they deserve," he said.
But he was told that the secret archives for 1939-1945 contain around 16 million documents and the Vatican lacks the specialised staff to categorise them quickly.
(Nick Squires, “Vatican stalling on secret files which could prove wartime Pope ignored Holocaust,” London Telegraph, Friday, Oct 31, 2008)
[TBC: In view of Vatican concerns regarding the canonization of Pius XII, if the files would exonerate him, one would naturally expect an expediting of their examination.]