ARCHBISHOP GALLAGHER: VATICAN ARCHIVES WILL SHOW GREATNESS OF PIUS XII

From the Holy See Press Office: “With regard to the activity of the Holy Father, the Holy See and Vatican City State in coming days, measures are being studied to avoid the spread of covid-19 to be implemented in coordination with those adopted by the Italian authorities.”

Also from the Vatican: The first Lenten sermon will be held tomorrow, March 6, 2020 at 9.00 am in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace by Father Marko Ivan Rupnik. It will be broadcast live on the Vatican News site player.

ARCHBISHOP GALLAGHER: VATICAN ARCHIVES WILL SHOW GREATNESS OF PIUS XII

I posted a lengthy Vatican News interview on March 2 with Archbishop Paul Gallagher on the opening that very day of Vatican archives relative to Pope Pius XII who reigned from 1939 to 1958, most notably during World War II. Archives that have become available to scholars and researchers come from the Vatican Apostolic Archives and those of the Secretariat of State and a number of Vatican Congregations.

That day I was unable to post the photo EWTN’s Daniel Ibanez took of the archives but I seem to have solved the issue of uploading photos and presenr them today

The Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, says the opening of the Vatican Archives between the years 1939 and 1958 will show the great works of Pope Pius XII, as well as his efforts to communicate with the Soviet Union.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Abp. Gallagher noted that, in terms of size, the archive is pretty big, “About 2 million documents! And if you put it all together – and it is together – it measures 323 linear meters of documents in boxes, cases, etc.”

He says the documents cover a vast area of activity: the actions of the Holy See during WW2, its diplomacy, Concordats negotiated, the humanitarian work of the Church, reports on particular religious and political issues, educational reports, and documents concerning Vatican City State.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ARCHBISHOP GALLAGHER: VATICAN ARCHIVES WILL SHOW GREATNESS OF PIUS XII

I saved 18 fascinating photos from our Daniel Ibanez for this column and, for some reason today, I cannot add media from my photo folder. I hope I can find a remedy.

ARCHBISHOP GALLAGHER: VATICAN ARCHIVES WILL SHOW GREATNESS OF PIUS XII

The Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, says the opening of the Vatican Archives between the years 1939 and 1958 will show the great works of Pope Pius XII, as well as his efforts to communicate with the Soviet Union.

By Vatican News
On 2 March, the Vatican Apostolic Library opens the Holy See’s archives on the pontificate of Pope Pius XII.

Scholars and researchers can dig into a wealth of material that spans the years 1939 to 1958, including dispatches sent during World War II.

Ahead of the opening, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, sat down with Andrea Tornielli, the Editorial Director of the Dicastery for Communication.

While highlighting the importance of the historical archive of the Secretary of State, Archbishop Gallagher shares his special insight into the part of the archive relating to the Section for Relations with States, which he says, “is important, above all, because of the insights in terms of historical continuity that if offers.”

He explains this particular archive has its origins in 1814 and it brings together the various archives of Councils and offices that eventually became the Section for Relations with States as it is today, with a continuity of documents that go back from the beginning of the 19th century, to the present day.

Unique insight
Gallagher notes that normally, these archives would be open up until 1939 – to the death of Pope Pius XI – but says that Pope Francis decided to open them up as quickly as possible, effectively making them accessible until the end of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII in 1958.

“1939 to 1948 is completely ready and will be made available on 2 March,” he says, whilst for the years that go from ’48 to ’58, the work is well advanced but is not yet complete and therefore is not yet available.

He says the material will give people a unique insight into the politics and the diplomacy of the Holy See throughout that entire period.

In particular, Archbishop Gallagher says, regarding the pontificate of Pius XII, the archives offer, “as never before, a comprehensive understanding of what was going on, the type of person he was, the type of policies that Pius XII was issuing in those very terrible years, especially during the Second World War, and of the period immediately afterwards.”

Size and content
In terms of size, Gallagher says the archive is pretty big: “About 2 million documents! And if you put it all together – and it is together – it measures 323 linear meters of documents in boxes, cases, etc.” (photos from EWTN/CNA Daniel Ibanez)

He says the documents cover a vast area of activity: the actions of the Holy See during WW2, its diplomacy, Concordats negotiated, the humanitarian work of the Church, reports on particular religious and political issues, educational reports, and documents concerning Vatican City State.

Gallagher notes the material also highlights the work of some of those who emerged as protagonists during that era, including Monsignor Montini, the future Pope Paul VI.

The Church and the Pope during WWII and the Cold War
Of course, many of the documents contained in the archives relate to the activities of the Pope and of the Holy See during the years of the Second World War.

The Archbishop says Pope Pius XII “emerges as a great champion of humanity, a man deeply concerned about the fate of humankind during those terrible years, somebody who was very sensitive and concerned about those who were being persecuted, somebody who was also the object of the hatred of Nazis and fascism.”

They also make quite clear how those attacks were directed not just at the Pope but at the Church in general, he says.

Another particularly interesting section of the archives shines a new light on the initial period of the ‘Cold War’.

Gallagher reveals that they document the role of Pope Pacelli and that of Cardinal Casaroli in those years after the war, and of the work of religious and priests “who were trying to make contact with local Soviet authorities in order to try and work out some difficult but necessary modus vivendi for the Church to create a space.

This, he says, is exactly what Casaroli went on to do later in Eastern Europe “to try and create a degree of understanding and a space in which the Church could operate.”

Digitalization
Archbishop Gallagher concludes explaining the advantages of having digitalized the Archives:

“One advantage is the possibility to preserve, to conserve the documents because through digitalization people are granted access but you don’t have to take the documents out of the place where they are being stored, they don’t have to be touched and exposed to the atmosphere,” he notes.

The second principle advantage, he says, is the facility with which they can be accessed because they include inventories and catalogues that make consultation easy.

Finally, he notes, “It also means that people can work on the same document at the same time, which is a great advantage for historians and students alike!

FOR VIDEO: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-03/archbishop-gallagher-vatican-archives-pius-xii.html

*** INFORMATION ABOUT DOCUMENTS:

1. «Das Schwarze Corps» July, 22 1937 – journal of S.S. Satirical cartoon showing Cardinal Pacelli embracing a woman, with Semitic features, representing France and Communism.
2. May, 1939. Sign posted on the route to Mühldorf by Cardinal Michael Faulhaber with the inscription “Fort mit Faulhaber, dem Judenfreund! Dem Handlanger Moskaus!” Stop it with Faulhaber, The Friend of the Jews, the long hand of Moscow.
3. January-April 1948. Letters of thanks from needy German children for the gifts sent to them by Pius XII on the occasion of their First Communion
4. April, 1939. Request for audience of Chief Rabbi of the Holy Land Yitzhak Herzog to Pius XII
5. July, 1944. Letter from Margarethe Bach, daughter of the Rabbi of Vienna, thanking Pius XII for the help received and saying that on the coming Jewish holidays she and her father will pray, together with her father, for the Pope.
6. March, 1944 – Ardeatine massacre. list of deaths at Fosse Ardeatine massacre.
7. June 29, 1943. Minutes or drafts of the Encyclical ‘Mystici Corporis’ on the mystical body of the Church, with corrections by Pius XII
8. December, 3 1944. Summary of the speech for the audience to the RAI staff, with autograph correction by Pius XII.
9. December 24, Summary of Pius XII’s Christmas radio message, with autograph correction autografe
10. December 15, 1948. Summary of the speech given by Pius XII to Luigi Einaudi, President of the Italian Republic, received in solemn audience for the first time. (in Latin, with autograph corrections)

IN HISTORIC MOVE, VATICAN TO OPEN ARCHIVES OF PIUS XII PAPACY ON MARCH 2 – THREE CARDINALS APPEAL FOR RELOCATION OF REFUGEES IN EUROPE

IN HISTORIC MOVE, VATICAN TO OPEN ARCHIVES OF PIUS XII PAPACY ON MARCH 2

On March 4, 2019, Pope Francis, speaking to officials and staff of the Vatican Secret Archives, announced that he would allow the Vatican archives relative to the papacy of Pius XII to be opened on March 2, 2020. The 2019 announcement was made two days after the 80th anniversary of the election of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli as Pius XII.

The Pope said at the time that Pius “guided the Barque of Peter in one of the saddest and darkest moments of the twentieth century.” He said his predecessor “has already been investigated and studied,” discussed and even criticized, often in a “prejudiced or exaggerated manner.” He added that today, “the pontificate of Pius XII is being re-evaluated, in the hopes that a more balanced historical judgement might emerge.”

Months later, on October 22, 2019, the Vatican issued Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter ‘Motu proprio’ L’esperienza storica” that changed the name of thE Vatican Secret Archives to the Vatican Apostolic Archives.

Today, a year after the archive announcement, journalists were invited to the press office where officials from the archives and other Vatican offices were made available to the media for interviews about the Pius XII archives. Among those present this morning were Cardinal José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church, Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archives, Prof. Paolo Vian, vice prefect of the Archives and Dr. Johan Ickx, of the Historic Archives of the Secretariat of State’s Section for Relations with States. (photos: Daniel Ibanez EWTN)

In brief remarks before the interview sessions, Cardinal Calaça de Mendonça said over 150 historians and researchers have signed up to study the papal archives. He noted there were millions of pages involved from the Vatican Apostolic Archives, the Secretariat of State, the Congregations for Oriental Churches and for Evangelization, the Fabbrica di San Pietro and the Apostolic Penitentiary and said the study and research process would take years, not weeks or months.

Pius XII has been accused over the decades of not doing enough to help or save Jews during World War II. Millions were in fact killed by Hitler during that war. Pope Benedict XVI, a German Pope, was the first to speed up the process to open the archives ahead of schedule.

Last March, Bishop Pagano, in an interview with Vatican news, spoke of the meaning of opening the archives. According to the prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archives, Pope Francis’ decision to open the archives on Pope Pius XII will allow a more profound evaluation of the figure of Eugenio Pacelli, who is often the subject of superficial criticisms. The documents tht will be open to the public date from his election on March 2, 1939 to his death on October 9, 1958.

In that interview, the prefect recalled that, in 2004, Pope Saint John Paul II made the extensive collection of the Vatican Office of Information for Prisoners of War (1939-1947) available to researchers. This is composed of “2,349 archival units, divided into 556 envelopes, 108 registers and 1,685 boxes of documentation, with an alphabetical file, which amounts to about 2 million and 100,000 records, relating to military and civilian prisoners, missing or interned, of whom information was being sought. A fund immediately investigated and still very much in demand today by private scholars or relatives of the deceased prisoners”, writes Bishop Pagano.

To read that entire interview: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-03/bishop-pagano-opening-vatican-archives-pope-pius-xii.html

THREE CARDINALS APPEAL FOR RELOCATION OF REFUGEES IN EUROPE

In a letter addressed to the Episcopal Conferences of the European Union, Cardinals Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE); Michael Czerny, SJ, Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; and Konrad Krajewski, the Almoner of His Holiness, call for refugees present on the island of Lesbos to be relocated to other European countries.
By Vatican News

Three leading Cardinals have called for European Episcopal Conferences to help relocate refugees stuck in Lesbos and other reception camps in Greece.

In a letter addressed to the presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) highlights Pope Francis concern for the more than 20,000 adults and over 1,100 unaccompanied minors living in precarious and overcrowded structures “in Europe, but outside of the European society”. The letter is also signed by Cardinals Michael Czerny, SJ, Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; and Konrad Krajewski, the Almoner of His Holiness.

The letter begins by recalling the Angelus of September 6, 2015, when Pope Francis made an appeal “to parishes, religious communities, monasteries and shrines throughout Europe, that they express the Gospel in a concrete way and host a refugee family”. At that time, the Holy Father also urged the support of all the European bishops for his appeal, recalling that, “Mercy is the second name of Love”.

“Encouraged by the Holy Father’s words, this path has become – as well as a Christian duty – a heartfelt invitation for the whole Church to awaken new, evangelical energies of welcome in each of the member countries of the European Union”, the Cardinals write. They suggest that the Bishops’ Conferences should “agree on a project for a humanitarian corridor from Lesbos and other first reception camps in Greece, in collaboration with their individual governments”.

They note the successful experience with the relocation and integration of refugee families in Vatican City and in the Archdiocese of Luxembourg, and invite the Church in European Union “not to remain indifferent” and to give back hope to these persons.

The letter is accompanied by the document “Guidelines on the procedure for the transfer of asylum seekers and refugees from Greece to a European country” – which provides the legal basis for a continent-wide project of relocation, and proposes a concrete manner to make it a reality. This document was prepared by the Community of Sant’Egidio and provides Bishops’ Conferences with technical information necessary to receive and integrate these persons and families.

POPE CHANGES ARCHIVES NAME TO VATICAN APOSTOLIC ARCHIVES – ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS: NO TO EUTHANASIA, ASSISTED SUICIDE, YES TO PALLIATIVE CARE

POPE CHANGES ARCHIVES NAME TO VATICAN APOSTOLIC ARCHIVES

With an Apostolic Letter motu proprio dated October 22, 2019 and released today by the Vatican, Pope Francis has changed the name of the Vatican Secret Archives to the Vatican Apostolic Archives.

The motu proprio starts: “Historical experience teaches that every human institution, even born with the greatest care and with vigorous and well-founded hopes of progress, fatally touched by time and yet, wanting to remain faithful to itself and to the aims of its nature, feels the need, not to change its proper appearance, but rather to bring its inspiring values into different eras and cultures and to make those updates that are convenient and sometimes necessary.”

The Apostolic Letter then outlines a history of the Vatican library, the archives, their mission and purpose and the priceless service both have given to the Church over the centuries:

“This long service rendered to the Church, to culture and to scholars all over the world has always earned the Vatican Secret Archives esteem and gratitude, growing all the more growing from Leo XIII to our day, and because of the progressive ‘openings’ of the documentation made available to the consultation (which from next March 2, 2020, at my disposal, will extend until the end of the pontificate of Pius XII), both because of the increase in researchers who are admitted to the Archive on a daily basis and helped in every way in their research.”

Pope Francis then writes: “However, there is one aspect that I think may still be useful to update, reaffirming the ecclesial and cultural goals of the Archive’s mission. This aspect concerns the very name of the institute: Vatican Secret Archives.

“Born, as mentioned, from the Bibliotheca secreta of the Roman Pontiff, or rather from the part of codes and scriptures more particularly owned and under the direct jurisdiction of the Pope, the Archive was first titled Archivum novum, then Archivum Apostolicum, then Archivum Secretum (the first attestations of the term date back to around 1646).

“The term Secretum, which came to form the proper denomination of the institution, prevailed in the last few centuries and was justified because it indicated that the new Archive, wanted by my predecessor Paul V around 1610-1612, was none other than the private archive, separate, reserved by the Pope. So this is how Popes wanted to define it and scholars today still call it, without any difficulty. This definition, moreover, was widespread, with a similar meaning, in the courts of the sovereigns and princes, whose archives were properly defined as secret.”

Thus, writes the Holy Father, “Solicited in recent years by some esteemed prelates, as well as by my closest collaborators, I also heard the opinion of the Superiors of the same Vatican Secret Archive, (and) with this my Motu Proprio, I decide that: from now on the current Vatican Secret Archives, while changing nothing in its identity, its structure and its mission, is called the Vatican Apostolic Archives.”

Francis closes the Apostolic Letter by noting that, “the new name highlights the close link of the Roman See with the Archive, an indispensable tool of the Petrine ministry, and at the same time underlines its immediate dependence on the Roman Pontiff, thus as already happens in parallel for the name of the Vatican Apostolic Library.”

ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS: NO TO EUTHANASIA, ASSISTED SUICIDE, YES TO PALLIATIVE CARE

Representatives of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions condemn euthanasia and assisted suicide, and encourage palliative care everywhere and for everyone.


By Robin Gomes (vatiannews)

“We oppose any form of euthanasia – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional act of taking life – as well as physician-assisted suicide – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional support of committing suicide -because they fundamentally contradict the inalienable value of human life, and therefore are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong, and should be forbidden without exceptions.”

Representatives of the Abrahamic religions made the statement in a position paper that they signed and released in the Vatican on Monday regarding end-of-life issues, such as euthanasia, assisted suicide and palliative care.

The term, Abrahamic monotheistic religions, derives from the Old Testament biblical figure Abraham who is recognized by Jews, Christians, Muslims and others.

Euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide – morally and religiously wrong
“Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide,” they declared, “are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong and should be forbidden with no exceptions.” As such, they categorically condemned any pressure upon dying patients to end their lives by active and deliberate actions.

They wrote, “Care for the dying, is both part of our stewardship of the Divine gift of life when a cure is no longer possible, as well as our human and ethical responsibility toward the dying (and often) suffering patient.”

“Holistic and respectful care of the person,” they said, “must recognize the uniquely human, spiritual and religious dimension of dying as a fundamental objective.”

The person behind the declaration is Rabbi Avraham Steinberg of Israel who proposed the idea to Pope Francis, who in turn entrusted it to the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Academy, involved and coordinated a mixed inter-faith group to draft the declaration.

After the release of the position paper, the 30 signatories were received in audience by Pope Francis in the Vatican. Among them were some cardinals, rabbis, including David Rosen and Syamsul Anwar of Indonesia’s second-largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah.

Palliative care for all
The Abrahamic religions encouraged and expressed support for qualified palliative care everywhere and for everyone. “Even when efforts to continue staving off death seems unreasonably burdensome,” they wrote, “we are morally and religiously duty-bound to provide comfort, effective pain and symptoms relief, companionship, care and spiritual assistance to the dying patient and to her/his family.”

While calling for laws and policies that protect the rights and the dignity of the dying patient to avoid euthanasia and promote palliative care, they committed themselves to involve other religions and all people of goodwill.

Archbishop Paglia stressed the importance of the ecumenical and interreligious dimension of the joint initiative. He said it allowed them to discover areas of convergence and bring fruits of communion in order to render a service to all people in whom “we all see sons and daughters of God”.