The Pope praised Catholic-Jewish

Members of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican Thursday.

Jewish leaders “encouraged” the Pope to open the archives, said WJC Chairman Israel Singer.

“It’s not like we came in with an aggressive approach. We came in with a negotiated approach,” he said. 

A Vatican official said no new timetable had been set during the meeting. He said they still needed to organise the archives before making them public. 

Many Jewish groups claim wartime Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, did little to stop the "Holocaust" and oppose efforts to beatify him.

Jewish leaders have demanded the archives from that period be made available as soon as possible.

In February, six years ahead of schedule, the Vatican threw open archives on its ties with pre-war Germany. They included documents from 1922 to 1939 when Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pius XII, was ambassador to Berlin and then the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

The Vatican will next declassify the rest of the archives from that period. After that they will open archives from Pope Pius XII’s era.

Following the meeting the Jewish leaders said they better understood the complexities of opening the files.