Vatican opens Pius archive

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The Vatican said yesterday that it would soon release Second World War documents which it claimed would prove that Pope Pius XII, often accused of anti-semitism, collaborating with fascist leaders and indifference to Nazi persecution, showed charity to all wartime victims.

The Vatican said it was opening parts of its archive to end "unjust speculation" that Pius, pope from 1939 to 1958, failed to use his position to head off the Holocaust. Last year a panel of Catholic and Jewish scholars studying the Vatican's wartime record stopped work as archives had not been opened.