Last week, a group of Catholic and Jewish scholars wrote to The Times to express "deep concern" over Vatican plans to beatify Pius XII, the step before sainthood.
They said the wartime pontiff had "condemned the effects of war on innocent victims but did not single out the persecution of Jews, either during or after the Holocaust".
The scholars called for archives relating to Pius XII's wartime record to be opened "with deliberate speed" since "more extensive study is required".
In an audience with Pope Benedict XVI today, Rabbi David Rosen of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations also called for the archives to be opened.
Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the request was "understandable and justifiable", but it was ''unrealistic'' to think that the archives could be opened soon. He said that the archive involved "about 16 million papers".
The Vatican was working on the archives for 1939-1945, but ''specialised staff is limited,'' Father Lombardi said.
He quoted the head of the Vatican Secret Archive, Monsignor Sergio Pagano, as stating that with the present workforce, the estimated timeframe for making the papers available for study was " at least 6-7 years".
Pope Benedict, who has said he hopes to visit Israel, praised Pius XII on the 50th anniversary of his death this month and backed his beatification, but without setting a date.
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