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Pope Francis Says Secret Archives On Holocaust-Era Pope Pius XII Will Be Opened Early

Pope Francis announced Monday that the Vatican’s archives on controversial World War II-era pope Pius XII would be opened up eight years earlier than planned, in 2020, a move seen as an olive branch to Jews who have criticized the Vatican for not doing enough during the Holocaust.

“The church is not afraid of history,” Pope Francis said, announcing the move in a speech to members of the Vatican’s Secret Archives. “On the contrary, it loves it, and would like to love it even more, like it loves God.”

Many Jewish groups have been calling on the Vatican to open the archives for decades. Rabbi David Rosen, of the American Jewish Committee, welcomed the news, telling Reuters it would help historians to “acknowledge both the failures as well as the valiant efforts made” during the Holocaust.

The Catholic Church has said Pius, who was pope from 1939 until his death in 1958, worked quietly to save Jews during the Holocaust, while remaining tight-lipped to protect Catholics in Nazi-occupied countries.

Read entire article at Time