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is a German jesuit priest and Church historian. Professor emeritus of the Gregorian University (Rome), he is presently the relator in Pius XII`s cause for beatification.
Under the National-Socialist regime, he and several members of his family were threatened by Nazis
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...
because of their Anti-Nazi views, and he had to flee twice, first to France and then to the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...
, where during the war
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
he went underground and helped Jews to flee.
In later times, Gumpel expressed regret that well known Catholic personalities and groups questioned the wisdom of promoting the cause of Pius XII` beatification
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name . Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process...
. For different reasons Jewish groups too were opposed to the pope's beatification.
Gumpel has also been criticized for having declared on Canadian television that "it is a fact that the Jews have killed Christ. This is an undeniable historical fact."