NEW YORK, JUNE 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A New York-based organization will bring a group of Jewish Holocaust survivors to visit Benedict XVI next week. They want to personally thank the Pope for the Church’s intervention in saving their lives during the war.
The Pave the Way foundation is bringing the group to visit the German Pontiff on June 18. It is just one initiative the foundation has undertaken to clear up misunderstandings about the Church and its role during the Holocaust.
Another initiative is a September symposium on the papacy of Pope Pius XII.
The Pave the Way foundation partnered with TV News Agency Rome Reports to videotape eye witness testimony. They uncovered secret activities of the Pope and members of the papal household to save the lives of Jews during the war.
The foundation consulted various experts who will be panelists at the symposium. The audience will be over 100 mostly Jewish religious, educational and community leaders from around the world.
The participants will be presented with historical newspaper accounts, documents and eye witness testimony from those who are still alive.
The purpose of the symposium will be to analyze what is known to date, while Vatican archivists continue to prepare thousands of documents to be opened.
The foundation clarified that the symposium does not aim to give a scholarly review of archived manuscripts.
“This event will be almost like a jury, where events of the day and actual witnesses can help the group reach a reasonable conclusion today, which will be subject to historical confirmation when the archives have been opened,” a statement from the foundation explained.
The symposium participants will also get a chance to visit Benedict XVI.