September 19, 2006

Vatican Opens Pope Pius XI Archives

Documents to be opened to research are from Pope Pius XI's reign, from 1922-1939:
The Vatican has opened to scholars and historians part of its vast collection of archives.

The section being opened covers the rise of Mussolini and Hitler and the run-up to the World War II.

It dates from the reign of Pope Pius XI, who was pope from 1922 until just before the outbreak of war in 1939.

Details of the Vatican's relations with Germany's Adolf Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini are expected to be of great interest to scholars.
The documents should provide some insight into the Vatican's relationship with both regimes, and could offer more definitive historical reasoning that will either exonerate Pope Pius XII's troubled legacy, or implicate him further. Or, as is the state of historical discourse these days, the documents may do both.

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