ROME (May. 24)
The Italian Foreign Ministry today issued a communique denouncing what it called “the slanderous campaign against the memory of Pope Pius XII by some Italian press organs.” The Ministry statement said that the campaign was “strongly deplored” by the Italian Government which includes persons “who are living witnesses of the late Pope’s fatherly solicitude in defense of the supreme values of humanity and civilization.”
The Socialist paper, “Avanti,” sharply criticized the intervention into the matter by the Foreign Ministry, declaring that, if some papers “slandered” the memory of Pope Pius XII, it was up to the judiciary to rule on it, not the Foreign Ministry.
At a press conference in the offices of the Jesuit publication Civilta Cattolica, meanwhile, Father Martini charged that the “historical documentation” of Rolf Hochhuth, author of the play, “The Deputy,” was “biased selection” from items of public knowledge since Hochhuth was unable to consult either the archives of the Vatican or those of other countries. He denounced what he called Hochhuth’s “misuse” of the writings of Father Leiber and Cardinal Tardini.
Father Martini said that there was documentation to show that Papal intervention at the time would have increased the sufferings of the Jews who had been aided by Christians.