Pope Pius XII is also known as "the Nazi Pope". He helped Adolf Hitler gain power and did nothing to stop Nazi atrocities because he believed Jews got what they deserved.
So says John Cornwell in his book "Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII".
Cornwell was given access to secret church files because he had initially planned to defend the pope against charges he was silent about death camps.
But after studying Pope Pius XII's files and depositions taken under oath 30 years ago to support his eventual canonization, Cornwall concluded Pius XII was a very bad guy. Pope John Paul II was furious that Cornwell produced research critical of Pius XII and has proceeded with the steps necessary for canonization.
The Pope's real name was Eugenio Pacelli. He had met with Adolf Hitler several times before becoming pope in 1939. He apparently first agreed to aid the fledgling Nazi party 1933, when he was a mere Vatican diplomat, the book says.
He promised Hitler he'd disband a German Catholic political party in a deal that protected the Vatican's rights in Germany and wrote that Jews deserved "worldly and spiritual ruin."
Cornwall says that when Pacelli came to power in 1939, he knew about Hitler's plans for a "Final Solution" and was begged repeatedly by bishops in Germany, even by an emissary from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to use his authority to condemn Nazi atrocities.
But he said nothing, and never acted to stop Catholic clergymen who collaborated in racial certification to identify Jews before they were sent to death camps.