December 21, 2009.
Benedict XVI has named Pope Pius XII venerable. Now, those heading the cause need to prove the late-pontiff performed a miracle in order for him to be beatified.
Benedict XVI delayed naming Pius XII venerable for two years. In regards to those who are opposed to his beatification, Benedict XVI has consulted with various historians before signing the decree.
Representatives from Jewish communities world-wide have asked Benedict XVI to open the Vatican archives regarding Pius XII before his beatification, in order to contextualize his role in World War II.
While some criticize Pius XII for not condemning Hitler explicitly, others maintain that he preferred to avoid unnecessary public statements to keep more Jews from dying.
Before becoming pope, Eugenio Pacelli was the apostolic nuncio in Bavaria.
In 1929, at the age of 53, Pope Pius XI named Pacelli cardinal and returned to Rome as the Vatican secretary of state.
Ten years later, in 1939 he began his pontificate. He proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption. He died at age 82 after one of the longest an most difficult pontificates in history.
PVB / JMB