World

Vatican recognizes wartime limits of Pius XII

The Vatican acknowledged for the first time Friday that wartime Pope Pius XII may not have done everything he could to stop the Holocaust

The Vatican acknowledged for the first time Friday that Pope Pius XII may not have done everything he could to stop the Holocaust.

The Vatican-controlled Jesuit magazine Civilt  Cattolica said in its Friday edition that Pius XII "probably did not possess the qualities of a prophet."

The article said Pius had been convinced that his Christmas message of 1942 was a strong denunciation of the deportation and slaughter of Jews.

The message irritated both the Nazis, who considered it an attack against the new European order, and the Allied forces, who said it didn't denounce Hitler's regime strongly enough.

Many historians and Jewish groups have criticized Pius XII for failing to use his position to stop the Nazis. Pius XII was appointed pontiff at the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.

Secret documents on the pope's activities in pre-war Germany are scheduled to be made public in mid-February.

The documents contain details of then-Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli's tenure as the Vatican's representative in Germany from 1922-1929, before he became Pope Pius XII.