A wealth of historical information has been made digitally available by the Vatican: the official Acts of the Holy See from 1865 to 2007. That covers the papacies of Popes Pius IX, Leo XII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as well as the unification of Italy, two Vatican Councils, the challenge of modernism, the publication of the first Code of Canon Law, two world wars, the creation of the Vatican City State and the cold war. A lot of topics which directly affected the Vatican and the Catholic Church and which resulted in many hundreds of pages of documents.
Browsing is not really useful with this collection, since the PDF files take while to load, due to their size. And it requires a working knowledge of Italian, but all the same: it’s a treasure chest of information.
Now to learn Italian…
One thought on “The Official Acts of the Holy See, and lots of them”
Making the documents in the “Acts and Documents of the Holy See Relative to the Second World War” volumes widely available online is a good thing. However, it is important to point out that these documents had been available for decades and the commission established to elucidate the role of the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII during the Nazi Era based on these documents disbanded after it was unable to do just that with just those documents. The commission had requested further material from the Vatican Secret Archives but these were denied. Thus, no one should expect this material to make new revelations.
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