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      Archive: 6/26/2011
      13:59
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      News Brief

        6/26/2011, Sivan 24, 5771

      Ambassador Backtracks on Pro-Pius Statement


      Mordechai Levi, Israel's Ambassador to the Vatican, has retracted a statement praising Pope Pius XII for saving Jews during the Holocaust. On Sunday, Levi said in a written statement that his statement was “historically premature. The issue is still being researched, and it is inappropriate for me to present my opinion at this time.”

      Last week, Levi praised Pius, saying that he was behind the opening of Catholic institutions in Rome that hid Jews when the Nazis invaded Rome's Jewish ghetto on October 16, 1943. "There is reason to believe that this happened under the supervision of the highest Vatican officials, who were informed about what was going on," Levi said in a speech Thursday. "So it would be a mistake to say that the Catholic Church, the Vatican and the pope himself opposed actions to save the Jews. To the contrary, the opposite is true.”