It has become fashionable to denigrate Pius for not grandstanding on the issue--an act that would not only have potentially shut the Vatican down, but which would have prevented the Vatican from helping hundreds of thousands of Jews during the war. It wasn't that way at the time, when numerous Jewish leaders praised the Catholic Church for what it did.
Lewy, speaking at a ceremony Thursday night to honor an Italian priest who helped Jews, said that Catholic convents and monasteries had opened their doors to save Jews in the days following a Nazi sweep of Rome's Ghetto on October 16, 1943.
"There is reason to believe that this happened under the supervision of the highest Vatican officials, who were informed about what was going on," he said in a speech.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
The Israeli envoy to the Vatican praised Pope Pius XII for his efforts to save Jews during World War II: