On 2 March 2020, the Vatican will open its archives on the World War II-era Papacy of Pius XII, who is accused by Jewish groups of remaining silent on the Holocaust, Francis announced.

According to some, Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, turned a blind eye to the Holocaust by not forcibly speaking out. The Vatican has defended Pius XII, saying that he was working discretely behind the scenes to save Jews in order to not attract attention and aggravate the situation. 

The Vatican routinely waits 70 years after the death of a pontiff to make archives available to the public, but pressure has prompted the Holy See to make public the documents on Pius XII sooner, while Holocaust survivors are still alive.