Pius XII’s Cause of Beatification Progresses



Statements by Relator Fr. Peter Gumpel

ROME, 4 MAY 4 2000 (ZENIT).

Pius XII’s cause of beatification "is proceeding rapidly with due seriousness," although it is still not possible to say when the beatification will take place. Fr. Peter Gumpel, relator of the cause, disclosed this morning, emphasizing that "there are no reasons to delay the conclusion of the process."

The Jesuit historian added that, beginning in 1963, a campaign was launched against Pius XII, which is continued by those who "are interested in discrediting the Catholic Church: Free Masons, pro-communists and, only marginally and as a last resort, some Jewish quarters."

"Two books have already been published of the ‘positio’ on his heroic virtues. Two additional volumes are being printed that include the deposition of witnesses who knew Pius XII personally," Fr. Gumpel said, as an aside at the International Symposium "The Martyrs of Eastern Europe and Nazism," organized by the Pontifical Athenaeum "Regina Apostolorum."

The German historian explained that "the year 2000 was never given as the date for the beatification." He clarified that John XXIII’s process was quicker because that Pope governed the Church for 5 years, while Pius XII did so for 19 years. This means that research on Eugenio Pacelli must be much more extensive.

When asked about Jewish criticisms of Pius XII’s silence in face of Nazism, the Jesuit replied, "I want to emphasize that this is only true of some Jews and some associations. There are many Jewish authorities who do not agree with this campaign against Pius XII. In fact, there were many Jews, beginning with President Ben Zevi, immediately after the Second World War, who thanked the Pope for the assistance he gave Jews during the Nazi persecutions. Moreover, Pope Wojtyla has always categorically rejected condemnations against Pius XII. We historians know what happened: those who want to be informed can study the Acts of the Holy See Relating to the Second World War, and realize that this is a false judgment." ZE00050411 

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