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Vatican archive opening gets more attention from media than scholars

The early opening of Vatican archival records related to Vatican-German relations immediately prior to World War II has attracted more media attention than scholarly interest, an official at the archives said.

Saturday's opening of records in the Vatican Secret Archives was announced a full year earlier, but as of Friday only two dozen scholars had requested access, said Marco Maiorino, secretary of the archive's prefecture.

He told Catholic News Service the scholars' requests to consult the material are staggered through May, so no lines are expected at the doors of the archives the first day.

"We expect to have a normal working day," Maiorino said. "Most scholars in this field have already seen similar material available elsewhere."

The material detailing diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Germany from 1922 to 1939 consists mostly of correspondence, not internal Vatican documents; scholars already have had access to many of the German governments' copies and originals.

Catholic News Service

Vatican: Part of Secret Archives on Pius XI-Third Reich opened (AGI)
Vatican opens archives in defence of Pius XII (
Vatican Opens Files From Start of Nazi Period (Deutsche Welle)
'Hitler's Pope' tried to help Jews, say documents (London Telegraph)
Vatican prepares release of confidential pre-World War II documents (11/2/03)
Vatican Library | Secret Archives

18 Feb 2003