ROME (Mar. 11)
Pope Paul VI yesterday defended Pope Pius XII, recently accused of failing to intervene and prevent Nazi reprisals in Rome 30 years ago. Pope Paul VI told a crowd of 8000 gathered for the regular Sunday benediction at St. Peter’s that Pope Pius XII had always done his utmost to prevent inhuman acts. Pope Pius XII never refrained from intervening “within the framework of his rights, when human life and liberty were in danger….He always tried courageously to prevent all injustice,” said the Pope.
In his book, “Massacre in Rome,” Robert Katz asserts that Pope Pius XII had foreknowledge of Nazi reprisal projects which ultimately cost 335 lives, but did not intervene. Katz’s lawyers last week asked the Pope to furnish material proving the contrary. Katz and film producer Carlo Ponti are accused of having dishonored the memory of Pope Pius XII, who was a close friend of the present Pope.