The Holocaust memorial museum in Israel has softened its criticism of Pope Pius XII's actions towards the Jews during the Second World War. The original text, displayed on a panel in the museum, said the wartime Pope did too little to help the Jewish people and signed a treaty with Nazi Germany to protect the Catholic Church.
The new panel displays an amended text which clarifies that the treaty was signed by his predecessor, Pope Pius XI. It also states that Pius XII did talk about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people on account of their ethnicity in a 1942 radio address, though without mentioning the Jews.
Yad Vashem described the change as "an update to reflect research that has been done in the recent years, and presents a more complex picture than previously presented".
When Pope Benedict XVI visited Israel in 2009 he spoke at the museum but did not visit the part that contained the text criticising Pius XII.
Homepage: Pope Pius XII gives a blessing at the end of a radio message in which he called for peace. Photo: CNS
Above: The new panel on display. Photo: Yad Vashem