Monday, March 18, 2013

Will Pope Francis open the archives?

There is speculation in some quarters that the new pope, Francis, will speed up the opening process of the Vatican archives from the pontificate of Pius XII.  I suspect this is a bit of wishful thinking.  Francis needs time to settle into his new role and so far he has indicated that it will be "business as usual" for the time being until he is ready to make changes.  I doubt if the Archives are a major priority at present, but I am happy to be proven wrong.

This article was taken from Steve Lipman and Stewart Ain's article in The Jewish Week.  Whether or not the new pope speeds up the opening of the archives, his long and positive relations with the Jewish community in Argentina points to the ongoing, friendly development of relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people.  And this is a very good thing, following in the footsteps of the popes since John XXIII.

Opening Wartime Archives?


The selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina to be the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church is being seen as a move that will continue to cement Catholic-Jewish relations and perhaps end the debate over the Church’s actions during World War II.
Bergoglio, 76, who took the name Francis and is the first Jesuit ever to be chosen pope, has publicly called for the opening of the Vatican archives to learn the true role Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust. 

There have been allegations that Pope Pius XII, who is on track to be canonized by the Church, remained silent in the face of the mass extermination of Jews and that he was friendly to the Nazis. Others have claimed that he secretly instructed Catholic clergy to hide Jews and that he did so himself inside the walls of Vatican City.

Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who co-authored a book with the new Pope in 2010, “On Heaven and Earth,” told The Jewish Week that they devoted a chapter in which they “analyzed the attitude of Pope Pius XII during the Second World War. His answer was, in essence, that we have to wait to open all the archives and analyze all the details regarding this issue.”
Asked if he believes that with his new authority Pope Francis will order the opening of the archives, Rabbi Skorka replied: “I believe yes, that his attitude will be to search for all of the details and to open all the archives. He will use this opportunity to learn the truth.”
Rabbi Skorka said that during his discussion with Bergoglio about this issue, “I explained that I could not understand how a person — a spiritual leader — didn’t involve himself more and more during the Shoah [Holocaust]. His answer was, ‘Let us continue searching to reach the truth.’”

I have left the rest of the article out of this post as it is not directly related to the topic of the archives.



Pope Francis

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