Sainthood Setback for Pope Pius XII

According to a recently discovered diary entries written in the
mid-Forties by Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, Pope Pius XII baptized
Jewish children after the Nazi defeat and then refused to return
them to their Jewish families.

Roncalli, later named Pope John XXIII, is largely known for his
proactive strides in reuniting war-torn Jewish families and
abolishing Jewish persecution. He served under Pius XII as papal
nuncio to Paris. In his recently published diaries he writes that
after World War II, Jewish families asked for their children to be
returned to them. But Pius XII refused to send children back who
had been baptized while under the Church’s temporary supervision.
The letter outlining these orders from the Vatican was published
last week by an Italian daily paper, Corriere della
Sera
.

The children who were taken under the wing of the Catholic
Church were spared from German death camps, but Pius’s motives were
not entirely altruistic. His agenda, it seems, was to seize on the
opportunity Hitler’s death camps afforded, and convert as many
Jewish children as he could. ‘Children who have been baptized may
not be entrusted to institutions that are not in a position to
guarantee them a Christian upbringing,’ the letter published in
Corriere della Sera reads.

The revelation comes at an inopportune time for Pope John Paul
II, who is working to beatifying Pius XII — the first step towards
achieving sainthood.

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