popepiusA half-century after the death of Pope Pius XII, the pontiff who led the Vatican during World War II, the passionate debate over his wartime actions and his qualifications for sainthood shows no signs of fading. Critics have long insisted that Pius was no saint, accusing him of turning a blind eye to the fate of the Jews when he failed to publicly condemn the Holocaust. Pius’s defenders disagree, and the former pope’s legacy has become the center of a ferocious battle among the Vatican, church historians, and the Jewish community—a struggle, many experts believe, that has delayed Pius’s sainthood for years.

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