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Yad Vashem Studies The Pontificate Of Pius XII

2009-04-02

The two days of closed-door discussions between Jewish and Catholic experts finished on Monday afternoon, at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

Father Roberto Spataro, a Salesian historian who took part in the workshop, offered a positive assessment at the end of the meeting.

Fr. Roberto Spataro
Studium Theologicum Salesianum. Principal

THE OBJECTIVES HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED. IN THE FIRST PLACE, THE COOPERATION OF HISTORIANS OF DIFFERENT OPINION.

At the opening remarks, the chairman of Yad Vashem, Avner Shalev, spoke about the need for this update, since the documentation is so abundant.

Avner Shalev
Chairman, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial (Israel)

At least, a dozen books have been published in the last six, seven years, and hundreds of articles on this issue. Some of them are serious, well documented, others, not so serious.

Archbishop Antonio Franco, Nuncio to the Holy Land, welcomed the initiative and offered Yad Vashem the full collaboration of the Catholic world, since they share the same values.


Archbishop Antonio Franco
Nuncio to the Holy Land
For the Shoah, for the memory, to keep the memory, and to learn from the memory, the Catholic Church, I think, is the best partner, the best ally, of Yad Vashem.


Even though the topic, was not on the agenda, this meeting constitutes the first step Yad Vashem has taken in two years, when it agreed to reconsider the caption of Pope Pius XII which many Catholics find offensive.

 

Fr. Roberto Spataro, sdb
Studium Theologicum Salesianum. Principal
ITALIAN: IT IS EVIDENT THAT ALL THAT HAS BEEN SAID HAS IMPLICATIONS ON THE CAPTION AND ON THE DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW.

Now that the meeting has ended, Yad Vashem is looking forward to Benedict XVI’s visit.  He will not enter the museum itself, but will visit the memorial, as John Paul II did.  For its part, the Catholic Church hopes to continue with the beatification of Pius XII without offending the Jews.