The Pope has visted Rome's main synagogue to speak in defence of Pius XII, who was Pope during World War II.
Pius XII is already well advanced on the road to canonisation. So presumably Benedict XVI felt he needed to say something in defence of Pius XII's controversial war papacy.
There is intense debate about whether Pius did enough to help the Jews, or to denouce their persecution by the Nazis. There appears to be evidence that he at very least disapproved of the persecution of the Jews. But he did little to publicly condemn the Nazis' anti-Semitism. Given the power the Church has in many parts of Europe, it is hard to believe saying nothing was a better moral choice than making a stand.
But when you visit the Vatican, as I have a couple of times, you begin to understand wby Pius XII did very little. If you were to live amidst such splendour, surrounded by great works of art, would you want to be known as the guy who lost it all? If Pius XII had condemned the atrocities against the Jews, Hitler may well have dismantled the Vatican state. Who knows what might have then happened to the treasures of the Church.
So to have condemned Hitler and his persecution of the Jews would have taken great moral courage. That is a courage it appears Pius XII did not possess. That does not mean he was a man of evil. But a man without the courage to do what is right can hardly be a saint either.