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Germany's Catholic Church said Tuesday it would publish the diaries of a cardinal and confidant to World War II-era pope Pius XII in a bid to clarify the pontiff's contested role during Nazism.
Cardinal Michael Faulhaber's diaries will be made available online, said Munich's Cardinal Reinhard Marx.
Controversy surrounds both cardinal Faulhaber (1869-1952) and Pius XII, who was pontiff from 1939 to 1958.
In 1937, Faulhaber wrote the first draft of the pope's letter condemning Nazism, "Mit brennender Sorge" (With burning concern), but he also reproached the pontiff for what he considered an uncritical attitude towards Hitler.
Pope Pius XII denounced Fascism and Nazism but some critics say he was too passive over the atrocities committed during the Third Reich.
The diaries, which had been held by Faulhaber's secretary until 2010, cover the period between 1911 and 1952 and record around 52,000 meetings and discussions.