Tense Relations Between Israel And The Vatican

Pope John Paul II visited Israel, but so far Pope Benedict XVI has not, even though the pontiff is said to have an open invitation.

Catholic officials say the reason is that Pope Pius XII, who was head of the Catholic church during World War II, is pictured at the Yad Vashem holocaust museum in Jerusalem by a plaque accusing him of having ignored the wartime deportation of Jews.

Meantime, Benedict has halted the process that would make Pius a Saint, according to reports “for fear of repercussions from Jewish groups.”
Benedict continues to insist that Pius XII, far from failing to act, quietly worked behind the scenes to save Jewish lives.
(Above photo AP – The caption reads : “While the (gas) ovens were fed by day and by night, the most Holy Father who dwells in Rome did not leave his palace.”)

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