Rabbi protests beatification of WWII pope





Pope Benedict XVI should be welcomed when he visits Rome's main synagogue, but he should halt moves to beatify wartime pontiff Pius XII, criticized for not doing enough to stop the Holocaust, a former chief rabbi of Israel said Tuesday.

Israel Meir Lau, a Holocaust survivor and now chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, said Benedict's synagogue visit Sunday would be "appreciated and blessed." But in an interview with Italy's Sky TG24 television, he said he was "surprised" by Benedict's decision last month to move the controversial World War II-era pope closer to sainthood.

Benedict sparked outrage among some Jewish groups by signing a decree on Pius' heroic virtues, paving the way for him to be beatified once a miracle attributed to his intercession is confirmed.

Some Jews and historians have argued that Pius, pope from 1939-1958, was largely silent on the Holocaust and should have done more to prevent the deaths of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators....


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