Archives Give Insight Into Pope Pius XII

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Historians studying newly opened Vatican archives say the material strengthens views that the future wartime pontiff, Pius XII, was a sometimes indecisive diplomat.

Scholars will have to wait years before the Holy See opens its files on Pius XII, who has been accused of failing to speak out enough against the Holocaust. But historians who have studied just a fraction of the 30,000 files from the papacy of his predecessor, Pius XI, say the material is providing insights into the man who would become Pius XII.

The files span the 1922-39 pontificate of Pius XI, which ended less than seven months before the outbreak of World War II. The Vatican's top diplomat in the run-up to the war was Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli -- the future Pius XII.

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