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Jul 3, 2011 6:02 PM by Matt Stafford

Miracle claimed for controversial WWII-era pope

CASTELLAMMARE DI STABIA, Italy (AP) - Maria Esposito says she was cured from an aggressive form of cancer after she and her husband prayed to the late Pope Pius XII.

The Italian woman is convinced that the World War II-era pope intervened with God to save her.

Esposito's local bishop, after consulting with outside doctors, concluded that she might have been healed by the chemotherapy she underwent. Nevertheless, her case has been proposed to the Vatican as the possible miracle needed to beatify Pius -- a step toward possible sainthood.

That's controversial, because many Jews say Pius failed to speak out enough to stop the Holocaust.

The Vatican insists that Pius XII used quiet diplomacy to save Jewish lives and that speaking out more forcefully against the Nazis would have resulted in more deaths.

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