Pius XII was a Saint, but his canonization was blocked by Israel, said Cardinal Martins.”
Edit: so much for Nostra Aetate!
(Rome) Israel put pressure to block the beatification of Pope Pius XII. This was according to Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, former prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Roman daily Il Messaggero.
From 1998 to 2008, the Portuguese Cardinal was in charge of the Church's canonization and beatification process for ten years. During his tenure, 1320 saints and blessed were raised to the altars. Among them were 500 martyrs, bishops, priests, religious and lay people who were murdered in the Spanish Civil War by members of the Popular Front, who were beatified together in 2007.
Looking back, Cardinal Saraiva Martins regrets a failed beatification that was already considered certain. The pressure exerted by "Israel and the Jewish community" against Pope Pius XII. (1939-1958) did not raise him to the altars, said the cardinal. The pressure had initially slowed the ongoing beatification process until it was finally blocked. Israel and the Jewish community had rejected the idea of beatifying the Pope, who ruled during the Second World War. They accused the head of the Church of not publicly condemning the Holocaust.
"I have tried to do what was possible, and I am content to have brought the position of Pope Pacelli to the stage of a venerable servant of God."
In his conversation with Franca Giansoldati of the Roman daily Il Messaggero, the cardinal made it clear that he was "finally" the beatification of Pius XII. hoped. "He makes no secret of the negative pressing," said the newspaper.
"When I was Prefect of the Congregation, one day the Israeli Ambassador came to the Holy See and wanted to see me and expressed his irritation. He asked me to drop the case. "
In 2016, the cardinal had said that Pope Francis Pius XII. "Could beatify even today," but would not do so because of Jewish resistance.
The Cardinal has no doubt as to the reputation of the Pope's holiness:
"I have thoroughly studied his life. He did his utmost to help the Jew and the persecuted. The Vatican was full and also Castel Gandolfo. He opened the monasteries. Hitler despised him. The question is to be seen in its historical context, and it is the files to study what I have done. Pius XII. was a saint."
The Cardinal, who had accompanied so many canonizations, had been invited by Pope Francis to present his new Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exultate on the call for sanctity last Monday. This presence was the occasion for the conversation with the journalist Giansoldati.
At the beginning of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. theChurch proceedings were completed. After much pressure, the pope suspended the proceedings and ordered a new file review. At the same time an Israeli-Vatican Historical Commission was used, which led to considerable rapprochement after several years of work. At the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, due to the study of the files, the negative text under the picture of the Pope was corrected. But this did not lead to a resumption of the beatification process.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org