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News > Italy

Vatican to Unveil Secrets of WWII-Era 

  • Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

    Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 27 February 2020

These documents could show that the Vatican did work to save Jews from Nazism's atrocities. the Vatican claimed.

Next Monday, the Vatican will open secret archives concerning the papacy of Eugenio Pacelli, Pius XII (1939-1958), accused of not publicly condemning the fascist crimes during World War II.


Secret WWII Archives to be Released in 2020: Vatican

The date for making the documents public was not selected at random. This March 2, 2020 "marks the 81st anniversary of the election of Eugenio Pacelli to the throne of Peter," Pope Francis has explained.

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, the Vatican is hoping to show that the Pope did more to help the victims of Nazism.

In March 2019, when Pope Francis announced the Vatican's decision to place the secret archives of Pius XII in the public eye, he said that "the discreet attitude of Pius XII was intended not to endanger Catholics in Nazi-occupied parts of Europe as well."

While receiving workers from the Vatican Secret Archives, precisely on March 2nd, 2019, Jorge Mario Bergoglio also explained that "the opening of the documents shows that the Church is not afraid of history, but loves it."

 "And we want to love history more strongly. That is why I entrust researchers with this documentary heritage with the same confidence that my predecessors placed in them," the first and only Latin American Pope to date, declared in March 2019.

The opening of the secrets is a long-awaited moment in the Vatican since it will decide whether Pius XII can be proclaimed a saint, according to information released by the Holy See.

The Vatican had to unveil the secrets of Pius XII's papacy 80 years after the end of his pontificate when he regularly waits 70 years to do so because many of the victims of the Holocaust were still alive.


Pope Francis
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