Last update – 20:15 08/10/2008

Vatican defends wartime pope against charge he turned blind eye to Holocaust

By Reuters

Tags: Holocaust, Vatican

The Vatican on Wednesday rejected charges that wartime Pope Pius XII turned a blind eye to the Holocaust, saying it was a “black legend” not backed up by history.

An editorial in the Vatican newspaper defended Pius two days after the first Jew to address a Church synod, Haifa’s Chief Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen, told the gatheringthat Jews “cannot forgive and forget” Pius’s silence.

The Osservatore Romano called him a “man of peace” who tried to do his best during one of the most violent periods in history. The editorial was published on the eve of commemorations to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.

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