The reputation of an organization or individual can be increased or destroyed with the conclusions of historians who research records of the past.  Consider the Vatican in World War II.  Pope Pius XII has been lambasted for collaborating with the fascists in charge of Italy and for deporting Jews to concentration camps.  On the other hand, new evidence from its archives show the tiny nation-state was active in helping British POWs flee Italy back to England.  It puts a gloss on the country’s behavior that is at odds with dealing with the enemy.  Chances are that the Vatican’s ultimate reputation for its behavior in World War II will be mixed rather than damaged and condemned.  The world won’t know until even more documents are unearthed and evaluated.  Seventy-five years since the war is long enough for biases to cool.  Historians might not reach firm conclusions but they can fill in a blurry picture of actions taken during the war.  That might be enough.

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