Pope says beatification of Pius XII not hostile to Jews

VATICAN CITY (WJC)–The Vatican has defended the planned beatification of the late Pope Pius XII against criticism from Jewish groups, including the World Jewish Congress. A spokesman said that the decision by Pope Benedict XVI in December which recognized Pius XII’s “heroic virtues” did not concern the war-time pope’s “operative choices” but his “witness of Christian life”, and it was in no way hostile toward Jews.

Speaking to journalists in Rome, Pope Benedict’s spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that the Vatican’s position that Pius’ “concern for the fate of the Jews … has been largely witnessed and recognized even by many Jews.” He added that  Benedict was looking forward to his scheduled visit to Rome’s Great Synagogue  later this month, which would represent an occasion to “reaffirm and solidify” the pope’s friendship with the Jewish community.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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