• Sweden's news in English
 

Wallenberg Foundation: Pope was 'best' for Jews

AFP/The Local · 26 Apr 2014, 12:27

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
Tax changes could cut costs for Swedish firms
Sweden is home to many of the world's successful startups, such as Spotify. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Tax changes could cut costs for Swedish firms

7 hours ago

UPDATED: Swedish Enterprise and Innovation Minister Mikael Damberg has told The Local about his action plan to turn Stockholm into the top startup city in the world. But critics of his proposals say they are too vague.

Euro 2016
‘I get a kick out of doing things that hurt you’
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the press conference on Wednesday. Photo: Pontus Lindahl/TT

‘I get a kick out of doing things that hurt you’

2 hours ago

Sweden's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has caused a stir after mouthing off in a press conference when a Swedish journalist asked about his business interests, ahead of his national side's Euro 2016 qualifier with Russia.

Hairy Swedish panties sew up artist's reputation
The hairy knickers. Photo: Private

Hairy Swedish panties sew up artist's reputation

3 hours ago

A pair of knickers made from thousands of strands of human hair has knitted overnight success for its maker. Swedish craftswoman Nina Sparr tells The Local that her efforts mirror a traditional craft that has been popular in her family for centuries.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

4 hours ago

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Secret anti-immigration blogger's name exposed
A file image of a Swede using the internet. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Secret anti-immigration blogger's name exposed

8 hours ago

UPDATED: 'Julia Caesar', an anonymous right-wing blogger who has blasted Swedish journalists for writing an "epoch of lies" about the benefits of immigration, is herself a former reporter for Sweden's biggest broadsheet, Dagens Nyheter, according to a Swedish tabloid.

Plea for help in hunt for Swedish woman's killer
Ida Johansson, who was found dead on a running track in Upplands Väsby. Photo: Polisen

Plea for help in hunt for Swedish woman's killer

12 hours ago

Swedish police have released a picture of the 21-year-old jogger murdered on a running track almost a month ago as her mother prepares to make a television appeal.

Swedish museum makes way for iconic train
The iconic Swiss locomotive. Photo: SBB

Swedish museum makes way for iconic train

11 hours ago

Railway buffs in Sweden are on track for a treat as a rare Swiss locomotive is set to roll into a Swedish transport museum in the coming days to celebrate a century of electric trains in the Nordic country.

The Local List
Seven bizarre Swedish academic traditions
Student life in Lund, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/SCANPIX

Seven bizarre Swedish academic traditions

12 hours ago

As thousands of students flock to Sweden's university towns for the start of the semester, The Local guides you through the top academic traditions you need to know about.

Swede wakes up with Justin Bieber on buttock
The Swede says he can't remember how he ended up with Bieber's name on his backside. Photo: stamminen/Instagram

Swede wakes up with Justin Bieber on buttock

1 day ago

A man in central Sweden has more reason than most to regret a drunken night out - after waking up with Justin Bieber's name on his backside.

Video
Video of Swedish longboarder goes viral
Ishtar Tussilago taking a tight corner in the Norwegian mountains. Photo: Screengrab

Video of Swedish longboarder goes viral

1 day ago

Stunning footage of Swedish longboarder Ishtar Bäcklund and fellow riders skating down the Norwegian mountains has gone viral, pulling in over 190,000 views on Vimeo.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
VIDEO: Swedish longboarder builds dreams with viral film
National
Swedish billionaire blasted for 'lonely' Twitter rant
Gallery
Property of the week: Stuverum, Västervik
National
Swedish ship rescues 5,295 refugees
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Blog updates

28 August

Editor’s blog, August 28th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, It was all glitz and glamour in Sweden this week as Stockholm Fashion Week got..." READ »

 

18 August

Preteritum eller presens perfekt? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hello everyone, It’s grammar time ! I got an interesting question about the past tense vs present..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: August 28th-30th
National
'Sweden Democrats will run the country'
National
Swedish bin men hailed as heroes after rescuing doomed kitten
National
This Swedish teen was told she was 'too big' to be a model
Sponsored Article
'It gives you the guts to believe in yourself'
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th
Sponsored Article
Nine places where Stockholm needs more English
National
Rescued baby lemur gets new Stockholm home
National
Stockholm Fashion Week turns island into Mars
Gallery
Property of the week: Stora Essingen, Stockholm
National
Swedish crayfish thieves caught red handed by officers
National
Veil soon to be lifted on new Millennium sequel novel
Gallery
People-watching: August 21st - 22nd
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se
Presented by Stockholm Academic Forum
International students welcomed to Stockholm
National
The Bridge: What does the third season have in store?
National
Lucky escape for Swedes after 'dead' bear launches attack
National
Syrian asylum seeker comic: 'We don't prefer Sweden any more'
Lifestyle
Baby joy for Swedish crime queen and her wrestler boyfriend
National
Soldier accused of faking first Isis attack in Sweden
National
Fire alert as Sweden sizzles in summer heatwave
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th
National
Meet the Swede who is crazy for Norway’s mass killer
National
Swede's review of night in drunk tank goes viral
National
VIDEO: Swedish teen melts hearts with this incredible Idol audition
Society
What's a Swedish crayfish party?
National
UN: Sweden can't be left to shoulder migrant crisis alone
Gallery
Property of the week: Skogås, Huddinge
National
Men outstrip women for first time
Society
IN PICTURES: Wooden town resembles 'war zone' after huge fire
Gallery
People-watching: August 14th-16th
Sport
Swedish referee shuts viral Facebook page explaining his decisions
Business & Money
A studio in Stockholm or a castle in the countryside?
National
How did twelve skeletons end up beneath a Swedish castle?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th
National
Millennium sequel author labelled 'grave robber'
National
Two metre long python stops traffic in Malmö
National
IN PICTURES: Shoppers pay tribute to Ikea stabbing victims
Technology
Danish 'monster' pulled out of Swedish waters
National
Bizarre baby baptism for hockey fan
Gallery
Property of the week: Löderup, Ystad
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
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

3,171
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