Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF), a US-based non-sectarian organization tasked with removing obstacles between the world’s religions wishes to announce a special symposium to study the papacy of Pope Pius XII to be held in Rome on September 15-17 2008. "We hope to establish an open line of communication with historians worldwide and to present new documentation that has never been revealed before", said Elliot Hershberg, Chairman of PTWF.
In the furtherance of our mission to improve non-theological relations between the faiths, we have identified this period of history as one of the most contentious between Jews and Catholics and embarked upon an independent study more than two years ago, which was announced publicly in January 2008.
President of PTWF Gary Krupp added that "Historians have been waiting for the opening of the Vatican archives in order to review the papacy of Pius XII. Yet PTWF has come to the realization that this will not resolve the issue. We have discovered that many actions taken during those difficult and dangerous times were cloaked in absolute secrecy. Thus, documentation much of which was encrypted, verbal or destroyed after reading will be scant or simply non-existent. The truth of this period can only be revealed by the eyewitness accounts of those who were actually there. We are not aware of a concerted effort on the part of historians to actually interview those witnesses and thus we undertook our own investigation. It is now time to face this issue head on and try to mend some of the non-theological fences between Jews and Catholics."
Prior to 1963, public opinion regarding Pope Pius XII was generally favorable and he was revered by Christians and Jews alike. Then a fictitious play entitled "The Deputy" ("The Vicar" in the UK) portrayed Pope Pius XII as a cold, unemotional Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite. From this point until today, the public’s perception internationally has turned negative.
Until now there has been no venue wherein the known facts of his papacy can be examined and broadly disseminated to the general public. Dozens of books have been written on both sides of this issue with no conclusions beyond saying "we must wait for the Vatican Archives to open."
A PTWF interview with the prefect of the Vatican archives revealed that the only reason the Archives 1939-1958 are not completely opened is simply because the cataloging of over 30 million documents of this time period is not yet completed. Some of the archives of this period have been completed and have already been ordered opened by Pope John Paul II. Coupled with eyewitnesses, personal testimonies and the archives of other countries we are able to reveal many hidden actions of this papacy today with stunning new evidence not known by the Vatican itself. Pope Benedict XVI has ordered opening of the archives of Pope Pius XI up to 1939, which was just completed two years ago. He waived the normal waiting period allowing these to be opened.
PTWF will be delivering copies of all the video testimony and documents and transcriptions of all of the materials to many of the institutions tasked with studying this period in history. Yad Vashem in Jerusalem has stated that in the interest to achieve absolute historical accuracy that they welcome any information about this period so that they can accurately represent events of one of the darkest periods in human history. Some of the revealing eyewitness video testimony and documentation discovered is available for public viewing on the www.ptwf.org website.
About Pave the Way Foundation
Pave the Way Foundation is dedicated to bridging the non-theological gap between religions through cultural, technological, and intellectual gestures. The Foundation has a simple yet monumental vision: To enable all the world’s religions to mutually realize that extremism, politics and personal agendas must not be allowed to poison the true benevolent message common to all faiths. Bigotry and hatred must be abolished by the true faithful embracing their similarities and savoring their differences. More information on the Foundation can be found at www.ptwf.org.
Contact: David Hauser
+516 6725930 (cell)