"· Shock as envoy rejects invite to Jerusalem service
· Row grows over reference to pope's wartime role
The Vatican ambassador to Israel has sparked a row after refusing to attend tomorrow's annual Holocaust memorial service in Jerusalem in protest at a description of the wartime role of Pope Pius XII.
The text notes that Pius XII's reaction to the Holocaust is controversial and states: "When he was elected pope in 1939, he shelved a letter against racism and anti-semitism that his predecessor had prepared. Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican the Pope did not protest either verbally or in writing." The description also says Pius XII chose not to sign a December 1942 Allied declaration condemning the extermination of Jews and did not intervene when Jews were deported from Rome to Auschwitz."
The Guardian, Saturday April 14, 2007