Jesuits: Pius documents won’t be released

ROME (JTA) — The Jesuit order denied reports that it plans to release a collection of documents that could shed light on Pope Pius XII’s role during the Holocaust.

A statement released by the Jesuits on Friday said that the documents, comprising files that had belonged to the Jesuit priest Robert Graham, will be "catalogued but not published."

Graham, who died in 1997, was one of the Vatican’s leading experts on Pius’ activities during World War II and had a personal archive of more than 25,000 documents. The Italian news agency ANSA and other media had reported that material from his files would be made available to scholars and that researchers would start digital scanning of them this summer.

"Such authorization has never been given," said the Jesuit statement, which was carried by the Vatican Information Service. "The documents will be catalogued but not published. A possible future publication can only happen after the Holy See opens its archives regarding the pontificate of Pope Pius XII."

The Vatican has initiated a process to beatify Pius. Critics accuse the late pope of having turned a blind eye to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust, but the Vatican says Pius worked secretly to save Jews.

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