Posted: Sunday, February 14, 2010 11:46 pm
ICN- Indepenent Catholic News
Pope Pius XII The Holy See has announced plans to publish secret archive documents from World War II on the internet.
The Pave the Way Foundation, an organization dedicated to bridging gaps between religions, has begun making digital files of about 9,000 pages of documents, descriptions from the closed section of the Vatican archives, from the period of March 1939 to May 1945.
The documents will be available on the Pave the Way and Vatican websites. Gary Krupp, the Jewish president and founder of Pave the Way explained that they had decided to make the documents in order to clarify the role of Pope Pius XII during World War II.
"Controversy abounds on whether he did enough to prevent the slaughter of Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Our research has revealed that five years after Pius XII's death, the KGB hatched a plot to discredit their enemy, the Roman Catholic Church, called 'Seat 12."
Krup said Rolf Hochhuth's fictitious 1963 play about Pius XII, 'The Deputy', was "the worst character assassination of the twentieth century."
He explained that in 1964, Pope Paul VI had asked a team of Jesuit historians to "conduct intensive research to identify relevant documents from the war years from the closed section of the Vatican Secret Archives."
They had begun the project, but not completed it, he said. In 1999, Cardinal Edward Cassidy, at that time the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, called for a special commission of Jewish and Catholic scholars to come together to study these documents. Again, the work was never completed.
Krup his foundation wanted to publish as many documents as possible, and make them publicly available so they can be studied by all.
He has requested that "French, Italian and German scholars consider helping us by translating documents into English and forward this work to Pave the Way Foundation so that we can make the information available to more scholars for research."
"We also would like to receive any comments, positive or negative, relative to the content of these documents."
He said: the initiative was "not meant to be a substitute for the full access" to the archives, "but will absolutely show the unique efforts of Pope Pius XII and the dangers he was forced to operate under a direct threat from the Nazi regime."