«No Novelties» in Vatican Archives From War, Historian Says

Member of Judeo-Catholic Panel Talks About Pius XII Case

ROME, NOV. 2, 2000 (ZENIT.org).- Historian Father Gerald Fogarty, a member of the joint Judeo-Catholic commission analyzing Pius XII's role during World War II, said "there are no novelties" in the Vatican Archives on that period of history.

Father Fogarty, a University of Virginia professor and one of three Catholic members of the commission, told the Rome-based VID agency that the panel has still not succeeded in overcoming the widespread myth in Anglo-Saxon culture which believes that there are important unpublished documents in the Vatican Archives.

Father Fogarty said that, if such files existed, "other proofs of those documents would have been found in the studies I have carried out in archives all over Europe."

The historian gave an example.

"In the spring of 1940 there was an attempt to oust Hitler by a group of generals who later tried to surrender to the English," he said. "The negotiations took place with the Vatican's mediation and the knowledge of Pius XII. However, there are no documents on this case in the Vatican.

"This case helped the group of my Jewish and Catholic colleagues to understand that the opening of the Vatican Archives does not answer these questions definitively."

The commission gave Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, president of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, a preliminary 20-page document. The document was leaked to the press, a move that roiled the postulator for Pius XII's cause of beatification, Father Peter Gumpel.

Cardinal Cassidy has handed the document over to the Secretariat of State.

"Months will go by before there is an answer," and a decision on the way the work will continue, Father Fogarty said.

Zenit - The World Seen From Rome
2. november 2000

av Webmaster publisert 15.11.2000, sist endret 15.11.2000 - 22:19