Rabbi Eric A. Silver initially believed Pope Pius XII to be either a silent, uncaring witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust, or a Nazi co-conspirator. When he was asked to be part of a group journeying to the Vatican to study documents for the canonization of Pius, he balked, but finally accepted. After spending several days searching the Vatican archives, he says his “eyes were opened.” Rabbi Silver, who served as rabbi at Salt Lake City’s Congregation Kol Ami in the 1980s, has now taken up a seemingly unlikely cause: promoting Pius as a friend to Jews. He recently traveled from Connecticut, where he lives after retiring from a synagogue there, to lecture on the topic at the IJ & Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center near the University of Utah, and gives such talks about 10 times a year.
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