A priest who knew Pius XII and had access to 'every strip of paper' in the Vatican archives says the pontiff believed he did the right thing during WWII despite knowing he would be questioned, reports the Catholic News Agency.
Ninety-year-old Father Peter Gumpel, a former professor at the Gregorio University in Rome for 25 years, was simultaneously appointed as a Theological Consultant to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and as Assistant Postulator General.
He was personally acquainted with Pope Pius XII, and has met every pontiff since with the exception of John Paul I.
The work that Fr Gumpel was assigned as a theological consultant was to 'examine everything' related to Pius XII and other causes of interest, and to present the information in a 'historically and theologically accurate way to the congregation before they start to discuss it,' he told CNA in a September 17 interview.
The cause of canonization for Pius XII was overseen by Fr Gumpel, who was in charge of the research needed in order to prove the late pope’s heroic virtue. 'I had absolute access to every strip of paper that is in the Vatican archives,' he said. 'The period of Pius the XII is not yet accessible to scholars, but as a responsible investigating judge, I had to see everything.'