Pope Benedict XVI, in his address to the synagogue in Rome today, said that Pope Pius XII had saved Jews during the Holocaust "in a discreet way." But the president of the city's Jewish community told the congregation that the "silence" of Pius "still hurts." The two grafs of this story in the London Times provide a good summary of this long-awaited visit:
Pope Benedict XVI claimed today that the Vatican and many Italian Catholics had saved Jews during the Second World War, “often in a hidden and discreet way”. He was responding to accusations that Pius XII, the wartime pontiff he has put on the road to sainthood, failed to speak out against the Holocaust.
However, Jewish leaders used the Pope's first visit to the Rome synagogue to condemn Pius XII for failing to raise his voice in defence of “our brothers who were sent to the ovens of Auschwitz."