VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican's No. 2 official has slammed as "outrageous" allegations that Pope Pius XII didn't do enough to save Jews during World War II.
Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on Thursday condemned the criticism by some historians and Jewish groups of the wartime pope.
Pope Benedict XVI recently said he hoped the path for sainthood could move ahead but also reportedly agreed to consider freezing the process until the Vatican's wartime archives are opened.
Bertone said the possible beatification, the last formal step before sainthood, is an internal affair and "a religious matter that requires respect."
The Vatican rejects criticism that Pius didn't speak out publicly to condemn the Holocaust, maintaining that he used quiet diplomacy to save thousands.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.