Pope: Vatican helped save Jews during Holocaust

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday defended Vaticanactions in the face of the Holocaust, saying the Holy See workedquietly to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.

Duringa visit to Rome's Great Synagogue, Benedict praised courageous actionsby Catholics in Italy and elsewhere and said the Vatican "itselfprovided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way."

He did not name World War II Pope Pius XII, who some Jews andhistorians contend failed to speak out enough to save European Jewsfrom the Nazi death camps.