Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2010

Pius XII

Quite popular during his time as Pontiff, Pius XII, who served at the Vatican from 1939 to 1958, has been the subject of heated debate in the decades since. As head of the Catholic Church during World War II, Pius has been pilloried in some quarters for not doing more to speak out against the atrocities of the Holocaust. In January 2010, the head of Rome's Jewish community confronted Pope Benedict XVI over Pius' perceived silence during the war. The church, however, has long held that Pius was active in saving Jews from the Nazis, a claim it says will be supported when Vatican documents related to the war are released to the public over the next half-decade.