Vatican Allows Access to Secret Archives

REUTERS, Sept. 19 — The Vatican has begun allowing access to a previously secret archive whose documents could throw new light on the Pope Pius XI’s response to the growing persecution of Jews in 1930s Europe, reported Reuters.

The information also could finally put to rest claims that Pope Pius XII did nothing in the face of the Holocaust. Researchers said it could take months or years to study the contents of 30,000 bundles of documentation from a period when fascism, Nazism, communism and nationalism gripped Europe. Archives officials said that by late morning around 50 researchers had shown their credentials to gain admittance.

Lutz Klinkhammer, a German researcher in Rome, said he didn’t expect any major discoveries concerning relations between the Vatican and Nazi Germany since the Vatican made available three years ago documents from the offices of the papal nuncios in Berlin and Munich during the Pius XI papacy.

Jesuit Father Giovanni Sale, a historian at the Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica, is confident the archives will also yield evidence to “correct” suspicions of anti-Semitism surrounding Pius XII. He told the Associated Press the archives will provide “a new beginning for a history without prejudice.”


Pope Benedict’s Visit to Go Ahead Despite Tension

TURKISH DAILY NEWS, Sept. 19 — There is no reason for the Pope to cancel or postpone his visit next month to Turkey, despite the tension caused by the misinterpretation of the Holy Father’s recent remarks on Islam, the Turkish newspaper reported.

“Our assertion that the visit should go ahead remains unchanged,” an unidentified diplomat said. “There is no reason for our side — by no means — to demand cancellation or postponement of such a visit.”

In February, Pope Benedict accepted an official invitation by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to visit Turkey between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1, coinciding with the Nov. 30 feast of St. Andrew.

George Marovic, spokesman for the Vatican in Turkey, said the trip was expected to be held as planned, the Associated Press reported. Marovic’s remarks came following a meeting of Catholic bishops during which Marovic said that they had discussed details of a religious ceremony the Pope is to lead in Istanbul.

Foreign Affairs Role for French Archbishop Posted

THE UNIVERSE, Sept. 19 — Pope Benedict named French Archbishop Dominique Mamberti the Vatican’s new foreign affairs minister, the British newspaper reported.

The Pope made the announcement at the end of a ceremony welcoming the new Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone Sept. 15.

Archbishop Mamberti, 54, was previously serving as apostolic nuncio to the neighboring East African countries of Eritrea and Sudan. Hours after his appointment, the Moroccan-born prelate commented about the Pope’s Regensburg lecture.

“It is abundantly clear from the lecture that the Pope had no intention of offending, rather he wanted to encourage and bring about ‘a true dialogue of cultures and religions.’”

He added that the Catholic Church’s option for dialogue, as formulated by the Second Vatican Council, was “definitive.”