Pontiff Backs Opening Vatican Archives

Pope Francis has strongly defended his wartime predecessor Pius XII against accusations he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust, saying the opening of Vatican archives will shed light on the controversy.

In an interview published on Friday in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, Francis condemned anti-Semitism, saying it was a “continuing” problem that was more prevalent in right-wing parties in Europe, and called Holocaust denial “madness”.

He also repeated that he did not rule out resigning as pope like his predecessor Benedict XVI if he felt he could no longer rule the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church, saying that he would ask God for guidance “when the time comes”.

In his most comprehensive remarks to date on the controversy surrounding Pius, Francis confirmed that he intended to open up the Vatican archives for the wartime period but he did not say when that would happen.

“They will shed a lot of light,” he said.

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