The beatification of controversial Pope Pius XII does not appear to be imminent.
Father Frederico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See’s press office, said Tuesday that the beatification of both Pius XII and Pope John Paul II “remain in the kingdom of the future. In other words, it is not possible to say with any certainty when they will be celebrated.”
Lombardi spoke at a news conference outlining events marking the 50th anniversary this year of Pius’ death. Critics have long accused Pius of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust and have called for the Vatican to open its World War II archives to clarify matters.
At the news conference, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said these accusations against Pius were “totally groundless.”
Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Committee on Historical Sciences, said Jewish organizations should open their own archives. “So far, some 15 Israeli and Jewish archives have not been used,” he said. “For example, the archives of the World Jewish Congress have not been used yet. So I don’t understand these complaints about the lack of access to the Vatican (archives).”
Officials at the WJC and American Jewish Committee said they believed that their documents from that period were generally not restricted.