The Vatican unseals secret archive on Holocaust-era Pope Pius XI

Finally, we might now be able to learn what the controversial Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII did, or didn't do, to help Jews facing annihilation at the hands of the Nazis.

Critics accuse Pius of having turned a blind eye to Jewish suffering, and researchers hope the archive will reveal why the pope did not intervene to help the Jews during the Holocaust. The Vatican maintains that Pius worked behind the scenes to save Jews.

Jewish and other scholars have long called on the Vatican to open its secret archives to clarify the issue.

The archive was unsealed Monday after archivists spent 14 years taking inventory of its contents, the French news agency AFP reported. Some 200 researchers requested access to the archive before its opening.

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