The Vatican's Secrets Revealed: The Unveiling of Centuries-Old Discoveries

The Vatican's long-kept secrets are finally being revealed by Archbishop Sergio Pagano, the longtime prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archive. In a new book titled 'Secretum,' Pagano discusses lesser-known details of well-known sagas of the Holy See and its relations with the outside world over the past 12 centuries. The book includes revelations about Napoleon's sacking of the archive, the Galileo affair, and the peculiar conclave of 1922. Pagano's insights shed light on the Vatican's past and challenge the silence of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust.


The Unveiling of Vatican's Secrets

For years, the Vatican has been trying to dispel the notion that its secret archives are truly secret. However, Archbishop Sergio Pagano, the prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archive, is now revealing some of the secrets he has uncovered in his 45 years of work. In his book 'Secretum,' Pagano discusses unknown details and behind-the-scenes stories of centuries-old events involving the Holy See. He addresses controversies such as Napoleon's sacking of the archive and sheds light on the peculiar conclave of 1922.

Pagano's revelations challenge the silence of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust. Despite the Vatican's defense of Pius' quiet diplomacy, Pagano questions why the pope continued to remain silent even after the war. He hypothesizes that Pius' reluctance to speak out may have been influenced by concerns about the creation of a Jewish state and the potential political interpretations of his words.

Writings That Hold Weight: The Importance of Archival Research

Pagano criticizes the incomplete research behind the sainthood cause of Pope Pius XII. The two Jesuit researchers who compiled Pius' dossier relied solely on a partial compilation of the papacy's documents. Pagano highlights the necessity of thorough archival research, stating that written documents should heavily inform the evaluation of a servant of God.

In line with his emphasis on archival research, Pagano shares the origins of the financial relationship between the U.S. church and the Vatican. He reveals that during the 1922 conclave, the Vatican was in dire need of funds. The papal treasury was empty, and the conclave was in danger of being delayed. Pagano discloses the telegram exchange between the Vatican secretary of state and the ambassador in Washington, which resulted in a generous donation from U.S. churches to support the conclave.

Preserving History: Unveiling Ancient Relics

Among the many treasures held within the Vatican Apostolic Archive, Pagano proudly reveals one prized possession: the original 1530 letter from British nobles urging Pope Clement VII to grant King Henry VIII an annulment. This historically significant letter marks the birth of the Anglican Church.

Pagano also shares the thrilling story of how the 1530 letter survived Napoleon Bonaparte's seizure of the Vatican archives in 1810. The letter was cleverly hidden in a secret drawer within a chair in the archive antechamber, and the French never discovered it. Pagano showcases the archivist's dedication to preserving history.