Pius XII was “the ideal pope for Hitler’s unspeakable plan. Many are lodged in various archives in Vatican City. The word “secret” comes from a misunderstanding of the Latin word “secretum,” or private. After he was elected pope, six months before the outbreak of war, the Vatican maintained diplomatic relations with the Third Reich, and the new pontiff declined to condemn the Nazi invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. Read: Artificial intelligence is cracking open the Vatican’s secret archives. Pope Leo XIII opened the Vatican Secret Archives — recently renamed the Vatican Apostolic Archive by Pope Francis — to scholars doing historical research, since, as Leo XIII said, “The Church needs the truth.” Knights, Crusades and Inquisitions A year after Pope Francis announced the move, saying “the church isn’t afraid of history”, the documents from Pius XII’s papacy, which began in 1939 on the brink of the second world war and ended in 1958, will be opened, initially to a small number of scholars. The 6 Most Fascinating Things In The Vatican Secret Archives. The archives are housed in a section of the Vatican Library, adjacent to the Vatican Museum, at the northern boundary of Vatican City. He was brought to the House of Catechumens, the Church institution in Rome dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. The archive will be opened on March 2. He was also narcissistic and determined to protect and advance the power of the papacy, the book argued. Mr. Ventresca is one of the many scholars who have eagerly awaited the opening of the Vatican’s secret archives from the papacy of Pope Pius XII, which spanned from 1939 to … Pius XII—born Eugenio Pacelli—is reviled by some for his failure to speak out against the Holocaust. In reflecting today, too, on how hatred of the “other” is generated, the role that religion plays, whether in Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Jewish societies, remains an uncomfortable but necessary question. The pope said the Vatican's Secret Archive would be renamed to remove any negative connotations surrounding secrecy. He added: “The good [that Pius did] was so great that it will dwarf the few shadows.” Evaluating the millions of pages in the archives would take several years, he said. “The opening of the archives is decisive for the contemporary history of the church and the world,” said Cardinal José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, the Vatican’s archivist … Inspiring endless conspiracy theories, the Vatican Secret Archives contain relics from the whole history of Western civilisation. A marble plaque over the main entrance of the Vatican Archives reads in Latin "Secret Vatican Archive." The archive also contains state papers, correspondence, account books, and many other documents that the church has … Two days later, one of Italy’s leading national newspapers, La Repubblica, published a breathless article headlined“Thus Mussolini Tried to Stop Pope Pacelli.” The subhead read: “Documents from the (formerly Secret) Vatican Archive show the attempts to interfere in the conclave that elected Pius XII: ‘He is too political a figure and inclined to have a democratic mentality.’” The author claimed that a document in the about-to-be-opened archives showed that the Fascist leadership worked feverishly to prevent the election of Eugenio Pacelli to the papacy. Officially open on January 31, 1612, The Vatican claims that the “Secret Archives” is mistranslated and is better translated to “Personal Archives”. Not even Pius XII’s most fervent admirer would seriously argue that he had ever had a “democratic mentality.” The pope was most comfortable with authoritarian regimes and decidedly uncomfortable with multiparty democracies. Bishop Pagano was quoted by Milan’s Corriere della Sera as saying that only poorly prepared researchers will be looking for “scoops” in the first days or weeks after the opening of the archives. Yet there is reason for worry, if my own experience is any guide. The actual name of the Vatican archives is Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum . Notable among them are the central Jesuit archives, a stone’s throw from the Vatican, as well as the archives of the vicariate of Rome, on the other side of the Tiber. Critics of Pius XII have accused him of remaining silent during the Holocaust, never publicly condemning the persecution and genocide of Jews and others. David Kertzer, an American expert on the relationship between the Catholic church and fascism, who will begin examining the papers this week, said there were “signs of nervousness” at the Vatican about what would emerge from the archives. David I. Kertzer: The secrets that might be hiding in the Vatican’s archives. Free shipping for online orders over $75.00. In fact, German troops had occupied Rome and conducted a nine-month reign of terror. “If there are no miracles, it can’t go forward. Last modified on Sun 1 Mar 2020 08.17 GMT. That the Vatican is especially sensitive to what light the documents might shed on the controversy over the pope’s silence during the Holocaust was clear from the initial interview that Pagano gave Radio Vatican on February 20. Today, after decades of controversy over Pope Pius XII’s failure to condemn the mass murder of Europe’s Jews during the Second World War, the Vatican archives covering his papacy are at last open to researchers. The Vatican Secret Archives was a great documentary about the archives. Not only did the director of the archives refuse me access to the Mortara records when I was writing that book; he has continued to refuse access, not only to me but to other scholars. Readers of the major Italian newspapers in recent weeks could hardly fail to notice the sudden appearance of full-page articles describing what were said to be Pius XII’s heroic efforts to thwart the Nazis and protect the Jews. But categorising him as good or bad is not helpful – it’s about the decisions he took, and the space he had to make those decisions.”. The Vatican Secret Archives, containing millions of documents spanning 12 centuries, are no longer officially “secret”. That the article—which took up more than a page—was carried in the country’s most prominent left-leaning daily was especially notable. If you are a researcher, and can sufficiently document your need for access, the collection is open for limited periods of time – except for a section of the library known officially as the Vatican Secret Archives. Aliens, or evidence of alien life forms, such as extraterrestrial skulls! From the very first days of the war, with Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939, the pope was under great pressure to speak out on behalf of heavily Catholic Poland. And then there is the role the Vatican played in helping Nazi and Fascist war criminals escape to countries like Argentina. Available for everyone, funded by readers. In that archive, there is a small portion that is "restricted". Oddly, the article offered no evidence of any action taken by the pope to this effect. What will the Vatican archives reveal about discussions inside the Vatican regarding the persecution of Italy’s Jews, which the Fascists were justifying in no small part as simply putting into practice restrictions on the Jews long urged by the popes? In reality, however, the Vatican’s Secret Archives are not actually secret. His defenders say that he quietly encouraged convents and other Catholic institutions to hide thousands of Jews, and that public criticism of the Nazis would have risked the lives of priests and nuns. Cornwell’s claims were challenged by some scholars and authors. jubilee 2000. official acts of the holy see. The Vatican Apostolic Archive (Latin: Archivum Apostolicum Vaticanum; Italian: Archivio Apostolico Vaticano), known until October 2019 as the Vatican Secret Archive, is the central repository in the Vatican City of all acts promulgated by the Holy See. Some scholars have made an unflattering comparison between the outbursts by Pius XI, Pacelli’s predecessor, against Mussolini’s “racial” campaign, which began in 1938, and Pius XII’s failure to speak out against it—ever. Likewise, a fuller understanding of the Church’s actions during the German occupation of Rome depends on what may be found in the vicariate archive. Hitler’s Pope, a controversial biography of Pius XII by British author John Cornwell, published in 1999, claimed the pope was an antisemite who “failed to be gripped with moral outrage by the plight of the Jews”. In 2012, Yad Vashem changed the wording on an exhibit on Pius XII’s papacy, from he “did not intervene” to he “did not publicly protest”. In fact, Italian diplomatic correspondence indicates that the Italian ambassador to the Holy See favored Pacelli’s election and, together with the similarly inclined German ambassador, lobbied the cardinals on Pacelli’s behalf. The questions that researchers can now probe more deeply are all too topical today. Last year, Francis said Pius XII had led the church during one of the “saddest and darkest periods of the 20th century”. In December 1942, Pius XII spoke out in general terms about the suffering of the Jews, although he had known for several months about the Nazi extermination plans. His long papacy, stretching from 1939 to 1958, remains the subject of intense debate. Until now. Documents from the papacy of Pius XII may settle some long-debated questions. So far there has been no indication that they will be. No less urgent is the task of understanding the influential role that religious leaders played then, and play now, in supporting authoritarian leaders. As it is officially the personal property of the Pope. Bishop Sergio Pagano, the prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archive, said scholars would have to make a “historical judgment”. Among the first to view the documents will be representatives of the Jewish community in Rome, and scholars from Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Vatican archives would provide an “immense amount of fresh material from many millions of pages”, he told the Observer. The entire archive is called The Vactican Secret Archives even though it is no longer secret. The traumas of the Second World War and of the Holocaust remain very much alive. It’s blocked there,” Francis said after visiting Yad Vashem. Notice to the Scholars of the Vatican Apostolic Archives We advise the Researchers that from next December 9 th these Vatican Apostolic Archives will reopen for the consultation only for Scholars who have already obtained permission on the basis of the previous reservation. What secrets are in the Vatican Archives? Shop for VATICAN SECRET ARCHIVES at EWTNRC.com and support the ongoing mission of Mother Angelica. If Hitler had given the order to seize the Vatican and kidnap the pope, the task might have taken an hour to accomplish, notwithstanding the poorly armed papal gendarmes blocking the way. The Vatican Archives are often referred to as the Vatican Secret Archives, mostly due to a mistranslation of the Latin words secretum, which is actually closer in meaning to “personal” or “private” rather than “secret” or “confidential” as many think, but it could also have to do with the archive’s history of strict inaccessibility and reclusiveness from the outside world. Nothing. Did anyone there try to stop it? That he refused to condemn the Germans for the invasion was only the first of many similar moments about which the Vatican documents promise to provide insight. Given that the pope himself is a Jesuit—and, as bishop of Rome, has authority over the vicariate—some scholars assumed that these two archives would be opened at the same time as those of the Holy See. Yet those of us who have already spent decades plumbing what was already available—such as the frequent wartime reports from the Vatican sent home by the Italian, German, French, British, and American envoys to the Holy See, not to mention the copious reports written by Mussolini’s spies in the Vatican—may glean important new understanding of this much-contested history before too long. ‘Secretum’ in Latin does not mean ‘secret’ as some may suppose. Proof that Pope Pius XII Helped Hitler. Yet in presenting the archives to the public, Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archive (known until recently as the Vatican Secret Archive), underscored what he said would be revealed about the pope’s actions during the war. For this new work they had access to one of the most guarded institutions in the world - the Vatican Secret Archives.The authors tell of its turbulent history and its unique documents, familiarizing us with the real stories behind the most controversial events in the Church’s history including: the Knights Templar trial, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo Galilei trial, Pius XII's atti- tude towards the … Perhaps the most disappointing theory, and possibly, by far the most likely, is the idea that … The new text acknowledged different assessments of the pope’s position and Yad Vashem said it “look[ed] forward to the day when the Vatican archives will be open to researchers so that a clearer understanding of the events can be arrived at”. ecumenical councils. He did neither. Religious books, artwork and holy reminders. The mass murder of Europe’s Jews in mid-20th-century Europe, and the role played by the Christian churches in the demonization of the Jews, remains the inescapable exemplar. “Obviously the dramatic question of the Shoah and therefore of the Jews immediately appears,” he acknowledged. Its records are housed in Rome’s vicariate archives. The documents that are now available cover the entire papacy of Pius XII. It is more accurately translated to mean ‘personal’ or ‘private’. I guess they confused "Secret Archives" with "Restricted Archives". What might the Vatican archives tell us about the discussions within the Vatican leading to the pope’s decision not to intervene? New light will be shed on one of the most controversial periods of Vatican history on Monday when the archives on Pope Pius XII – accused by critics of being a Nazi sympathiser – are unsealed. “On the big question, it’s clear: Pius XII never publicly criticised the Nazis for the mass murder they were committing of the Jews of Europe – and he knew from the very beginning that mass murder was taking place. Bologna was then part of the Papal States, and someone had secretly baptized the child. compendium of the social doctrine of the church The Insurrectionists Would Like You to Know That They’re the Real Victims. © 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. In 1943, he wrote to the bishop of Berlin, arguing that the church could not publicly condemn the Holocaust for fear of causing “greater evils”. Yet in presenting the archives to the public, Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archive (known until recently as the Vatican Secret … Read: The Catholic Church’s battle between rhetoric and reality. But the postwar years are likely to provide their own surprises and insights. Scholars crowded into a Vatican workshop held the next day to explain how the mass of documents has been organized and how it can be accessed. VATICAN CITY – Speaking before a delegation of Jewish leaders at the Vatican on Thursday, Pope Francis revealed he has instructed the Vatican Secret Archives to unseal a set of ancient scrolls that have been kept hidden from public knowledge for centuries by the Church. The question most often posed, regarding the pope’s silence during the Holocaust, is itself part of a larger issue: the pope’s reluctance to publicly condemn Nazi Germany. He had clear views about what he saw as the threat of Soviet communism, and his view of Italian fascism was quite a bit softer. “Vatican: Over Six Thousand Jews in Rome Were Saved Thanks to the Action of Pius XII” was a January 28 headline in Rome’s major daily paper, Il Messaggero. catechism of the catholic church (version not updated) codes of canon law. But in 2014, Francis said no miracle – a prerequisite for beatification, the final step to canonisation – had been identified. Historians can now pore over secret files from the papacy of Pius XII, who has long faced accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser, Sun 1 Mar 2020 06.33 GMT He later conceded that Pius XII had “so little scope of action that it is impossible to judge the motives for his silence during the war”, although the pontiff had never explained his stance. I wrote a book more than two decades ago about a small Jewish boy, Edgardo Mortara, taken on orders of the Inquisition from his family in Bologna in 1858. He is venerated by others who have been promoting him for sainthood. The term fascism is much bandied about in reference to major parties and leaders in various parts of the world, not to mention its frequent use in characterizing America’s own would-be strongman. The archives were establish… Hopefully, what we’ll find from these archives is why he did what he did, and what discussions were going on behind the walls of the Vatican.”, Mary Vincent, professor of modern European history at Sheffield University, said that much of the criticism of Pius Xll lacked nuance. Transcripts from the Trials of the Knights Templar. The archives, which were founded in 1612, were completely closed to the public until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII began allowing Catholic scholars to … The Church played a crucial and well-known role in blocking the Communists. He was Hitler’s pawn. Holocaust denial might be dismissed as the delirium of a crackpot fringe, but denial of responsibility for the war and for the Holocaust remains widespread in Europe and in the Christian churches. Various clerics and others were pressing him to speak out, and he declined to do so. All rights reserved. Just the name of the vault invokes mystery of the Catholic Church. Of special interest is the drama of postwar Italy—its cities in ruins, its king disgraced, its society riven by acute tensions as former Fascist persecutors lived uneasily alongside those they had tormented. He could have sent a private message to Hitler, pleading on their behalf. Media interest in the opening of the archives has been intense. Still unclear is the status of various archives that are crucial for reconstructing the history of the wartime period, but that do not come directly under Vatican control. The Jews were put on a train that would take them to Auschwitz and to their deaths. He added that he was confident that “serious and objective historical research will allow the evaluation [of Pius] in the correct light,” including “appropriate criticism”. The truth behind the secret archives stems from a mistranslation of Latin. But how did it operate? A huge throng of journalists from all over the world packed the Vatican press room on February 20 for a briefing. Those of us who have written about the papacy and the war have been besieged with interview requests. Virtually all Roman Catholic conspiracy theories connect to the Vatican’s Secret Archives. But just how the pope conducted his behind-the-scenes campaign remains in good part unknown. What did the Vatican know about it? Yet the opening of the Vatican archives offers a timely opportunity to take a new look at the classic question of how fascism arises in democratic societies, as it did in Italy and Germany. For more than 700 years, the Knights Templar … The name itself is evocative of mystery, and many theories have naturally arisen about what might be held among the 53 miles of shelves and 12 centuries' worth of documents only available to a select few. In Vatican City, there is an archive containing more than 75,000 codices from throughout history and an estimated 1.1 million ancient printed books. A mistranslated Latin word may be responsible for the conspiracy theories about the Vatican Secret Archives. What an article such as this obscures are the cordial relations that the Vatican enjoyed with the German occupying forces. “The opening of the archives is decisive for the contemporary history of the church and the world,” said Cardinal José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, the Vatican’s archivist and librarian last week. The Vatican Archives are often referred to as the Vatican Secret Archives, mostly due to a mistranslation of the Latin word secretum, which is actually closer in meaning to “personal” or “private” rather than “secret” or “confidential” as many think, but it could also have to do with the archive’s history of strict inaccessibility and reclusiveness from the outside world. While it might sound like a stuff of a historical legend, the vault is absolutely real. But not all of the Church’s wartime archives are immediately accessible. The Communist Party was growing rapidly. Others are elsewhere in Rome. The issues are many. The Vatican’s Secret Archives houses one of the most iconic bastions of religion and culture ever. Public attention, naturally enough, is focused on the war years. There is also the question of Italy’s own merciless campaign against the Jews. Not … Pope Pius XII is commonly referred to as “Hitler’s Pope” for … Pius – whose birth name was Eugenio Pacelli – was Vatican secretary of state under his predecessor, Pope Pius XI, and a former papal nuncio, or envoy, to Germany. “Although there is a lot of testimony showing that the church did protect Jews in Rome, when more than 1,000 were rounded up on 16 October 1943 and held for two days adjacent to the Vatican [before deportation to the death camps], Pius decided not to publicly protest or even privately send a plea to Hitler not to send them to their deaths in Auschwitz. They were held for two days in a military complex close to the Vatican. vatican city state: liturgical year: liturgical celebrations . “We know the history of this persecuted people and of the Shoah, and therefore we very much understand that the Jews are expecting a great deal from these documents.”. These analogies are easily dismissed as polemical overreach. In fact, the actual contents can … If an uncomfortable 19th-century case can lead to such stonewalling, what might the attitude be toward the much more fraught case of the Church’s actions during the Nazi occupation? What secrets are in the Vatican Archives? Pope Francis announced on March 4, 2019 that the Vatican will open its secret archives on Pius XII. Pope Benedict, Francis’s predecessor, declared in 2009 that Pius XII had lived a life of “heroic” Christian virtue, a step towards possible sainthood. He was Hitler’s Pope.”. More than 150 people have applied to access the archives, although only 60 can be accommodated in the offices at one time. In 1933, he negotiated a concordat between the Catholic church and Germany. EXTRATERRESTRIALS. The archives are in fact made up of the private letters and historic records of past popes over the past four centuries. For those of us who have been trying for years to make our way past the thicket of polemics surrounding the pope—and to capture the role the Vatican played during the war—the sense of anticipation is great. The pope, as Sovereign of Vatican City, owns the material held in the archive until his death or resignation, with ownership passing to his successor. The pope had an interest in ensuring the integrity of Vatican City. The Germans, for their part, realized the public-relations value in trumpeting a respectful attitude toward the pope and the Holy See. When looking at the secrets held within Vatican City, perhaps the most logical place to start is the Vatican Secret Archives. Millions of pages of Vatican documents are now available. In Europe, this was a tense and eventful time. Yet another puff piece appeared in mid-February in Turin’s major newspaper, La Stampa, titled “Pius XII’s Secret Plan Against Hitler.” Newly available Vatican documents, the article claimed, reveal that Hitler wanted to invade the Vatican and kidnap the pope, but that the Vatican’s 200 gendarmes had secretly organized to foil the plot. The pope could have called publicly for their release. archive . As the confidential correspondence of popes, princes and potentates, the Vatican Secret Archives have been jealously guarded for centuries. A massive corpus of papers about relations between the Vatican and the Italian Fascist regime are lodged in the Jesuit archives. Most dramatic of all was the Nazi-military encirclement of Rome’s ancient ghetto on October 16, 1943, and the extraction from their homes of more than 1,000 of the city’s Jews, mainly women and children. The Vatican Secret Archives contain 53 MILES of shelf space and is highly private. 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