The Vatican and Israel

New controversy between the Vatican and Israel. Sources: John Allen. Jerusalem Post. Catholic World News.

The papal nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Franco, refuses to go to Holocaust remembrance at Yad Vashem because of the caption on a picture in a display erected two years ago. It’s a description of the wartime actions of Pope Pius XII, dubbed “controversial” in the caption. The man who was the nuncio at that time had objected; Yad Vashem responded that perhaps if the Vatican were to open the wartime records to scholars, instead of just the prewar records, perhaps they could come to a common understanding. The Vatican refused.

John Allen quotes Eugene Fisher of the USCCB as supporting the nuncio, saying “it is ‘inexcusable’ that such a caption is on display at Yad Vashem.”

Some pro-Vatican sympathy at the ADL on the matter of the caption, but not on the matter of the boycott. Allen quotes Abe Foxman:

Foxman said that, based on the version read to him, he feels the caption is “too judgmental, too conclusory” based on what is presently known, calling it “inappropriate” and saying, “I can understand the nuncio’s displeasure.” He insisted, however, that this does not justify refusing to attend the memorial, calling Franco’s absence “an insult to the victims.”