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Hidden and discreet assistance

Pope Benedict claims the “The Apostolic See itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way” during the Holocaust. How does he know this? Is there any evidence he has access to the rest of the world doesn’t? If so, given the controversy surrounding the role of the Vatican and of Pope Pius XII during the murder of six million Jews, the last and most devastating step in a long history of antisemitism fostered by the Church for centuries, it behooves the Church to release any information as soon as possible. Yet, about 50 years ago when the controversy about Pope Pius began the Holy See released eleven volumes of documents with the purpose of “exonerating” the wartime pope from any wrongdoing, including that of inaction. It stands to reason these must have been the best documents showing the Vatican’s “hidden and discreet” work to save Jews. Yet, almost none of it showed the Holy See or the pope had done that. The Vatican’s public efforts are of course well-known, and they show no clear action on behalf of the hounded Jews of Europe, including those of Rome. Now Pope Benedict wants to raise Pope Pius to the sainthood for his “heroic virtues”. Even though it’s the Church’s prerogative to canonize whomever they wish, canonizing Pope Pius XII before the Vatican Secret Archives covering the WWII period are opened to independent researchers is a misguided effort that can turn into a public relations disaster for the Catholic Church.