Vatican reportedly to post secret WWII documents online


ROME (JTA) — The Vatican plans to post selected documents from its World War II secret archives online, according to a Catholic news agency.

The move came at the initiative of Pave the Way, a U.S.-based foundation that promotes interfaith dialogue and has tried to counter criticism that wartime Pope Pius XII ignored Jewish suffering during the Holocaust, the Zenit news agency reported last Friday.

Pave the Way offered to digitize some 5,125 descriptions and copies of documents from the closed section of the Vatican archives, from the period of March 1939 to May 1945, Zenit reported. These would then be posted on the Web sites of both the Vatican and Pave the Way.

Pave the Way head Gary Krupp told Zenit that the documents in question had been "previously published and mostly ignored," such as "Acts and Documents of the Holy See relative to the Second World War" between 1965 and 1981.

Krupp told Zenit that the publication of the documents was "not meant to be a substitute for the full access" to the Vatican 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."

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