Francis ‘will open files on Hitler’s Pope’, says friend

Decades of doubt over the role played by “Hitler’s Pope” under the Fascist regimes in Italy and Germany during the 1930s and 1940s may be answered if Pope Francis, as a close friend has suggested, opens the Vatican archives.

Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who has known the Argentine former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio for 20 years, said he had discussed the role of Pius XII – the man long dubbed as “Hitler’s Pope” – at length with the new pontiff.

The Rabbi, who recently co-authored On Heaven and Earth, a book of interviews with his friend, said he had made clear that he thought Pius’s legacy ought to be “investigated thoroughly”. Continue reading

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina elected pope, takes name Pope Francis I

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday, becoming the first pontiff from Latin America and taking the name Pope Francis I.

Appearing on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica a short time later, the new pope greeted a vast crowd gathered below in St. Peter’s Square with salutations in Italian and led a prayer for his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

“As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome, and it seems to me that my brother cardinals went to fetch him at the end of the world,” he said. “But here I am.” Continue reading