Now here's something to be proud of: according to this article in Ha'aretz, the Jews are threatening legal action against the Pope:
U.S. Jewish groups threatened legal action against the Vatican on Thursday, saying the Roman Catholic church has stonewalled their requests for information about Jewish children placed in convents during World War II to protect them from the Nazis...
The letter said the Jewish groups were "deeply concerned about recent documents indicating a papal policy of encouraging Jewish children who were hidden by convents during World War II not to be retured to Jewish institutions after the war." Moreover, the letter said, in cases where the children were baptized, the documents' directive was to forbid the convent from returning the children to their parents...[Rabbi Shmuel] Herzfeld said the Jewish groups seek an immediate investigation of all archives related convents in northern Europe under the Vatican's influence in order to determine the blood lines of potentially thousands of missing children.
I don't think taking legal action against the Vatican is a good idea. (Didn't anyone read the Da Vinci Codes? You could end up dead at the Louvre... Just kidding...see comments on the Stephen King thread...) There's nothing to be gained, and almost every stride in interfaith relations to be lost.
That dozens, let alone thousands, of Jews do not know their lineage, that they were given away to convents so that they would live, that they were converted so they could survive? That there are people out there who have lived their whole lives as Christians and who may now discover, after more than half a century, that they've been lied to their whole lives? That entire lines of Jewish European families were unnecessarily terminated, not by Nazi persecution, but by a papal declaration? I find this prospect horrifying.
If the Vatican does not have such documents, let it so declare. If the Vatican does have documents proving complicity of Pope Pius in a "plot" to keep converted Jewish children after the end of the war, then the moral thing to do would be to share these records, and let these former children know where they come from. If, post- such a revelation, Christianity is still the belief system that gives meaning to their lives, so be it; I'm not part of any vast movement to reconvert people who have lived their whole lives as Christians and force them to live Jewish lives. But they should be given back the freedom of choice that they were stripped of by Nazi Europe. This does not do anything to undermine the authority of the Church, and in fact, makes a positive affirmation of morality. It should, in my humble, decidedly non-Vatican opinion, be a no-brainer.
Any of my Christian readers want to weigh in on this?