Italian Film Defending Pope Pius XII’s Holocaust Record Criticized by Jews and Christians
JNS.org – Jews and Christians are objecting to a new Italian film that portrays Pope Pius XII, who was in office during the Holocaust, in a more positive light.
Pope Pius XII has been heavily criticized for ignoring the mass atrocities being committed by the Nazis at that time, and for failing to speak out publicly or use the influence of his position to try to stop the extermination of the Jewish people and other groups.
Shades of Truth, which has been badly received by viewers, recounts the story of a fictional American journalist who begins as a heavy critic of Pius but then changes his mind based on research in Rome, Europe and Israel.
The current pontiff Pope Francis told a Spanish newspaper last year that Pius “has to be seen in the context of that era.” The Vatican has also claimed that Pius actually worked behind the scenes to save thousands of Jews, but kept publicly silent, fearing that his words could lead to more deaths by the Nazis.
However, even the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said the film that refers to Pius as “the most misunderstood person of the 20th century” was “naive”, “lacking credibility” and a “frankly clumsy attempt” at defending the pontiff, Reuters reported.