• Sweden's news in English
 

Wallenberg Foundation: Pope was 'best' for Jews

Published: 26 Apr 2014 12:27 GMT+02:00

John XXIII, who will be made a saint along with John Paul II at the Vatican, is credited with saving thousands of Jews during the Holocaust and opening the door to Judeo-Christian dialogue, Baruch Tenembaum told AFP in an interview at the Foundation's  New York headquarters.

The Italian-born John XXIII, whose given name was Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, "did such extraordinary things. I'm delighted that he is becoming a saint, even if -- as a Jew -- beatification doesn't affect me."

"He couldn't have done more than he did," explained Tenembaum, a 80-year-old Argentine known for his efforts to improve inter-faith dialogue.

In 2009, his name was placed in the running for the Nobel peace prize.

As the Vatican's envoy to Turkey from 1935, John XXIII helped save the lives of thousands of Eastern European Jews facing persecution from the Nazis, including by giving Hungarian Jews baptismal certificates.

"At the time, having identity papers labeling you a Catholic was enough to save your life," Tenembaum said.

A document on file at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel cites the future pope as being "among the most sensitive to the Jewish tragedy and most vigorous in rescue efforts".

Tenembaum has asked that Yad Vashem add John XXIII to its list of "Righteous Among the Nations" -- a title honoring non-Jews who showed courage to protect Jews during the Holocaust.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation honours the legacy of a Swedish diplomat, posted to Nazi-occupied Budapest in July 1944, who is believed to have saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews in the final months of the Holocaust by providing them with protective passports.

The foundation works to preserve his legacy and that of others who saved numerous lives, and not only during the Shoah.

Tenembaum has worked hard to publicize John XXIII's work during his time in Turkey, about which there are few official records.

The scholar also praised John XXIII -- nicknamed "Good Pope John" -- for helping open up the Roman Catholic Church to dialogue with other faiths during his 1958-1963 papacy.

Less than three months after being elected pope, John XXIII announced preparations for the Second Vatican Council, a global gathering of Catholic bishops, which opened in October 1962 and proved to be revolutionary, in that it finally acquitted Jews of Christ-killing.

He was the first to put a stop to the use of the word "perfidious" to describe Jews in Good Friday prayers, Tenenbaum said.

During his time as a Vatican envoy to France, the soon-to-be-saint played a key role in plans for the partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

According to diplomats involved in the negotiations, he helped persuade Pope Pius XII to remain silent, effectively allowing mainly Catholic countries to vote on the partition plan free of Church influence.

"Roncalli's attitude definitely had something with do with the creation of the state of Israel. If the Vatican had given the order to vote against it, they would have voted against it," Tenembaum said.

Tenembaum says he current Pope Francis, a fellow Argentine, seems to be following in the path of John XXIII.

"Since the time of Pope John XXIII, I think the pope that most resembles Roncalli is Francis, at least from what we've seen so far," Tenembaum said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish royals share new snaps of prince
Chris O'Neill, Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Prince Nicolas. Photo: Brigitte Grenfeldt/Royal Court

Swedish royals share new snaps of prince

Sweden's youngest royal – six-week-old Prince Nicolas – melted the heart of many a Swede as a smiling Princess Madeleine of Sweden showed off her family on Monday. READ  

Sweden sees fall in public urination fines
Public urinators in the western county of Västra Götaland were found to be the worst offenders. File photo: TT

Sweden sees fall in public urination fines

At least 1,500 people have been fined for urinating in public in Sweden so far this year, showing a decrease in the offence compared with the same period last year. READ  

Lisa Holm murder
'New evidence' may shed light on Lisa Holm death
A detention hearing will be held in Skaraborg District Court in Skövde on Tuesday. Photo: TT

'New evidence' may shed light on Lisa Holm death

A Swedish prosecutor has requested that a 35-year-old arrested on suspicion of murdering 17-year-old Lisa Holm remain in custody, saying that evidence is mounting against the man. READ  

Swedish Facebook debut for gender neutral 'hen'
Facebook has introduced a list of new gender neutral words for Swedish-language users. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish Facebook debut for gender neutral 'hen'

UPDATED: A new gender neutral pronoun sparked headlines in Sweden on Monday when it made its debut on social media as Scandinavia's biggest gay pride festival kicked off in Stockholm. READ  

Swedish summer sun set to make a comeback
This week will see more rain pass through Sweden. File photo: TT

Swedish summer sun set to make a comeback

Could it be true? After weeks of grim weather, summer is once again on the horizon for Sweden (albeit temporarily.) READ  

Refugees in Sweden to get free bus passes
The initiative is a collaboration between the Swedish Migration Board, the County Council and Kalmar County Transport. Photo: TT

Refugees in Sweden to get free bus passes

Refugees living in Kalmar in southern Sweden are to receive free bus passes valid for the whole county, as part of a unique venture to increase mobility and integration within the migrant community. READ  

Snoop Dogg vows he'll never return to Sweden
Snoop Dogg's weekend gig in Uppsala. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Snoop Dogg vows he'll never return to Sweden

US rapper Snoop Dogg has told fans he will never go back to Sweden after he was briefly held by Swedish police on suspicion of using illegal drugs. READ  

My Swedish Career
'Indian traditions bring us together in Sweden'
Ravi Shankar and his son Rudra Singh. Photo: Private

'Indian traditions bring us together in Sweden'

Ravi Shankar, 36, was born in Ranchi in central India. But after six years working on projects for Ikea in southern Sweden he reckons he and his family are settled in Scandinavia for good. READ  

Swedish town in shock over girl's tragic death
Flowers left outside the apartment block where the girl lived. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Swedish town in shock over girl's tragic death

Residents in the small Swedish town of Bro north of Stockholm were mourning on Monday after a seven-year-old girl was found dead in an apartment over the weekend. READ  

Sweden drawn in World Cup 'group of death'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, captain of Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden drawn in World Cup 'group of death'

At a lavish ceremony in St Petersburg on Saturday, Swedish football captain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, saw his team thrown together in a tough group with France and Netherlands in the qualifying rounds for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Leonore through the years
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Blog updates

24 July

Editor’s blog, July 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, Our most read story this week was our tongue-in-cheek guide on how to become a..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
IN PICTURES: July summer snaps
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
National
Stockholm to host Eurovision 2016
Travel
Five quirky summer tours in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th
National
Is this Sweden's biggest burger?
Business & Money
How Greece is affecting Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
National
Hundreds mourn teen Swedish murder victim
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
National
Sweden's salmonella scare grows
National
'You become a Muslim if you eat halal meat'
Gallery
Property of the week: Huskvarna, Jönköping
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
National
Boy rescues lost engagement ring
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,302
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se