December 19, 2009 – New York – The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is disappointed by the Vatican’s decision to take another step toward the beatification of Pope Pius XII, who was silent during the Nazi genocide of Jews.
“We hope that the confirmation of the 'holy virtues' of Pius XII is a desire on Pope Benedict's part only to highlight the religious sincerity of his predecessor and not to suggest a 'fast track' to beatification,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
AJC has long supported the view that no steps be taken toward beatification until the Vatican’s secret archives on the World War II period are opened for objective scholarly scrutiny.
“True, the Vatican should determine who its saints are, but the Church's repeated insistence that it seeks mutually respectful ties with the Jewish community also means taking our sensitivities into account on the Holocaust era,” said Harris.
AJC has played a central role in advancing Catholic-Jewish relations around the world. It maintains an office in Rome that is the global advocacy organization’s liaison to the Vatican.