Vatican agrees to attend Holocaust memorial service

Vatican’s Ambassador to Israel Monsignor Antonio Franco will attend Holocaust memorial service at Yad Vashem, reversing earlier decision to boycott event due to caption at museum describing wartime conduct of Pope Pius XII; ‘it was only diplomacy,’ he says of affair

Lilach Shoval and AP
Published: 04.15.07, 15:40 / Israel News

The Vatican’s ambassador to Israel will attend a Holocaust memorial service at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, reversing an earlier decision to boycott the event, officials said Sunday.

The boycott had threatened to upset fragile relations between Israel and the Vatican.

The Vatican’s ambassador, Monsignor Antonio Franco, announced last week that he would skip Sunday night’s event because of a caption at the museum describing the wartime conduct of Pope Pius XII.

The caption next to the picture of Pius in Yad Vashem’s museum reads, “Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the pope did not protest,” refusing to sign a 1942 allied condemnation of the massacre of Jews.