A Jewish leader says Pope Benedict XVI is considering a request to freeze the sainthood process for .
Rabbi Ravid Rosen says the pope was asked to do so during a meeting with a Jewish group Thursday and that the pontiff replied he would give “serious consideration” to the request to wait.
Frances D’emilio And Marta Falconi, Associated Press Writers
Some Jewish leaders and historians have said Pius didn’t speak out enough duringto save Jews during Hitler’s extermination campaign.
Rosen spoke after the Vatican had rejected Jewish groups’ requests for the immediate opening of its secret archives on Pius XII’s papacy during the Holocaust years.
Vatican spokesmansaid the requests to see the wartime archives were “understandable,” but added Thursday that cataloguing some 16 million documents is expected to take another six or seven years.
Currently, the archives can be consulted only up through the papacy of Pius XII’s predecessor, Pius X, which ended in early 1939, a few months before World War II began in Europe.
Pius XII was Pius XI’s secretary of state, as Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli. Some scholars who have examined archive documents dealing with the future Pius XII’s diplomacy say Pacelli was a sometimes indecisive diplomat as Nazism and Fascism took hold in parts of Western Europe.