Dialogika

Canonization of Pope Pius XII?

Absp Koch: more study of WWII era needed

This is an unofficial translation of a portion of an interview with Archbishop Kurt Koch, newly appointed president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, in the French paper Le Temps on July 17, 2010. For the entire interview see in the original French, click HERE.



Le Temps - You are especially responsible for relations with Judaism. What do you think the beatification of Pope Pius XII will lead to? Does it not risk does the undermining of the policy of dialogue with Judaism?

Koch - It's a complex issue. Until the publication of the play The Deputy by Rolf Hochhuth, the opinion of Jews regarding Pius XII was very positive. Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had told him he was a great friend of Jews. This view changed after the publication of The Deputy. It is necessary to deepen the historical knowledge of this period. Many politicians of the time were aware of the plight of Jews and remained silent and did nothing. Pius XII kept silent in order to help. The pope had noticed that a protest by the Conference of the Belgian bishops against the persecution of Jews had triggered further violence against them. In his conscience, he had this great burden, if I denounce the persecution, will not the Nazis commit further crimes? Of course there are Jews who oppose the beatification of Pius XII, but others say that this pope should be recognized as fair. This story is very complex and has to be handled with great sensitivity.