In late April and early May, there were multiple news stories about the long-awaited opening of Pope Pius XII’s archives. They were accessible for only a week, before being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first information gleaned from the archives was not good news for the World War II-era pontiff, as it revealed that Pope Pius knew about the genocide of the Jews, yet took little action.
The Religion News Service reported: “German researchers found that the pope, who never directly criticized the Nazi slaughter of Jews, knew from his own sources about Berlin’s death campaign early on. But he kept this from the U.S. government [which in September 1942 sought to confirm information it had about massacres of Jews from the Geneva office of the Jewish Agency for Palestine] after an aide argued that Jews and Ukrainians – his main sources – could not be trusted because they lied and exaggerated, the researchers said.”