Pope takes "time for reflection" before beatifying Pius XII
Pope Benedict XVI has suspended the beatification process for World War II pope Pius XII in response to protests from Jewish groups, a Vatican spokesman said Sunday, according to dpa.
Benedict needed more time "for absorption and reflection" before signing the decree, Federico Lombardi said.
Father Peter Gumpel, who is in charge of the Pius case, told Ansa news agency Saturday that the beatification process was complete and merely awaiting Benedict's signature.
Benedict valued "good relations" with the Jews, Gumpel said.
Jewish groups and historians have accused Pius, who was pope from 1939 to 1958, of remaining silent during the Nazi persecution of the Jews during WWII.
Benedict defended Pius against such accusations during a Mass to mark the 50th anniversary of his death 10 days ago.
Pius often worked "secretly and silently" because of the delicate historical situation, Benedict said, "to avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews possible."