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Tags: pope | sainthood | Jews | protest

Jewish Fury Grows Over Wartime Pope Sainthood

Monday, 21 December 2009 08:52 PM EST

WASHINGTON — The founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center voiced dismay and disappointment Monday at weekend Vatican moves to raise controversial wartime pope Pius XII to sainthood.

The Vatican sparked anger in Jewish communities worldwide with moves to nudge Pius -- whose beatification process was launched in 1967 -- closer to sainthood, its ultimate honor.

The Catholic Church argues that Pius saved many Jews who were hidden away in religious institutions, and that his silence during the Holocaust -- when millions of Jews were exterminated by Germany's Nazi regime -- was born out of a wish to avoid aggravating their situation.

But others believe Pius's inaction when it mattered to the lives of so many was appallingly wrong.

"I'm sort of amazed," Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a prominent Jewish human rights group, told AFP.

"It has become our business, because in my opinion, there would be a great distortion of history" were Pius XII to be elevated to sainthood, he said.

To read full AFP story — Go Here Now.

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Monday, 21 December 2009 08:52 PM
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