Israel memorial softens view of WWII pope





Israel's national Holocaust memorial has toned down its account of Pope Pius XII's conduct toward the massacre of Jews during of World War II, following a long diplomatic dispute with the Vatican.

Critics have long contended that Pius, who was pope from 1939 to 1958, could have done more to stop the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were killed. Before his election as pope, he also served as the Vatican's No. 2 and before that as the papal envoy to Germany.

Given his deep involvement in the Vatican's diplomatic affairs with the Nazis, what Pius did or didn't do during the war has become the single most divisive issue in Vatican-Jewish relations.

A wall panel at the Yad Vashem memorial installed on Sunday still lists occasions when the wartime pontiff did not protest the slaughter of Europe's Jews. But it also offers the views of defenders who say the church's "neutrality" helped to save lives...




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