The Jan. 1 op-ed piece by Robert Westrich “Promoting Pius XII” pretty well spells out the issue regarding the impending beatification of that pope. The Curia in the Vatican wants it both ways: acknowledging the misfortune of the Shoah and simultaneously denying that Pius XII was in any way complicit in that tragedy. After all, did not the pope do what he could and saved some Jews (baptized ones, anyway) at great risk to himself and the Church?
I believe that Rolph Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” answered these questions 45 years ago. It was the pope’s duty as the Vicar of Christ to risk all – yet there would have been little or no risk involved had he spoken out against the horror that was inflicted by the Nazi regime. Instead there was enablement and complicity on the part of the Vatican and Pius XII.
As for the current pope, Benedict XVI, he has shown on several occasions a lack of understanding of history and the world we all live in. As Jews we must not curry any favor with him; it is up to the Catholic world to tell him what it wants and expects. On this question we, as Jews, should make no compromise.