Pope Francis to Open Records of Pope Pius XII’s Papacy


The records of Pope Pius XII will be open to scholars next March. If you want to know why this is important check out David Kertzer‘s piece at The Atlantic: “The Secrets That Might Be Hiding in the Vatican’s Archives.”  Here is a taste:

On Monday, 80 years after Pius XII’s election to the papacy, Pope Francis announced that the archives of the controversial wartime pontiff would be opened to scholars next March. The decision follows more than half a century of pressure. Pius XII—a hero of Catholic conservatives, who eagerly await his canonization as a saint, while denounced by his detractors for failing to condemn the Nazis’ genocidal campaign against Europe’s Jews—might well be the most controversial pope in Church history.

Less noticed in initial accounts of the announcement is the fact that Francis’s opening of the Pius XII archives makes available not only the 17 million pages of documents in the central Vatican archives, but many other materials in other Church archives. Not least of these are the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition) and the central archives of the Jesuit order. They, too, are likely to have much that is new to tell us.

Read the rest here.

One thought on “Pope Francis to Open Records of Pope Pius XII’s Papacy

  1. I do believe that Pius XII did help save Jews from Nazis, and I always heard something like 800,000. This does not preclude him from holding Judeophobic views, by which I mean disdain for Judaism as a religion and ambivalent attitudes for its practitioners, but not necessarily Jewish people as an ethnic identity, which is a very old Catholic point of view. Nazi anti-Semitism is a racially defined hatred of Jews, racism which is opposed to Catholic theology, and intellectually incompatible with Catholic Judeophobia. A mixture of an older style Judeophobia and disdain towards the anti-Catholic Nazi Party would explain how he could both be silent on the issue of the Holocaust, but also quietly help Jews escape Nazis.

    Pius XII could well have had Fascist sympathies, but on this I am far from certain. However, Nazis did murder 4 million Catholics during the War, and it is hard to envision how he could have held a positive view of the Nazi Party, regardless of his views on Fascism. If Pius XII did hold Fascist views, this would go a way to explaining his attitudes towards the Ustasha in Croatia, Franco in Spain, banana republics in South America.


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