Catholic scholars ask pope to slow process of Pope Pius XII's cause
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Nineteen Catholic scholars of theology and history are asking Pope Benedict XVI to slow the process of the sainthood cause of Pope Pius XII. Saying that much more research needs to be done on the papacy of the mid-20th century pope, the scholars said in a Feb. 16 letter to Pope Benedict that "history needs distance and perspective" before definitive conclusions can be reached on the role of Pope Pius during World War II and the Holocaust. Leading the effort are Servite Father John Pawlikowski, professor of ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and Holy Cross Father Kevin Spicer, associate professor of history at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. "We're not on a bandwagon to stop his eventual canonization," Father Pawlikowski told Catholic News Service Feb. 18. "We're saying allow some time." Father Pawlikowski said the scholars, known widely for their research and expertise on the Holocaust, wanted to express their concerns in a respectful manner to the pope. First sent Feb. 16 via e-mail to the Vatican and then sent a day later via overnight mail, the letter asked Pope Benedict "to be patient with the cause of Pope Pius XII." Pope Benedict advanced the cause of Pope Pius' sainthood in a Dec. 19 decree.