A study on Papal reactions
Paper delivered at the International Conference
"Pius XII and the Second World War: Assumption and New Archival
Evidence" at the Universitá degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi, Rom, 2. Oktober
Thursday, April 23, 2015
What Pius XII learned from that Armenian Genocide (a look into the Holocaust)
One key to understand Pius XII reaction on the holocaust – his hesitation to name both, murderers and victims, and his dedication to save as many lives as possible – is the Vatican’s diplomacy during World War I, is Benedict XV (1914-22) unsuccessful attempt to save the Armenians during the genocide of 1915-18 by an open protest.
I came to this conclusion after studying about 2000 pages, entitled “persecuzioni contra gli Armeni”, in both, the Archives of the Apostolic Delegation in Constantinople and the Secretary of State in the Vatican Secret Archives for an upcoming book, many of them for the first time.
There is no doubt that Eugenio Pacelli was extremely well informed about this darkest chapter of World War I.Since 1914 he was Secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and became Undersecretary of State when Benedict XV. named Cardinal Gasparri as Secretary of State. In this position he had prime access to all information on the Armenian genocide and indeed we find his characteristic handwriting on several documents dealing with it. Being responsible for several Papal relief initiatives during the War, he was rather well-informed about it. In several cases, the Apostolic Delegate in Constantinople, Msgr. Angelo Dolci, addressed Pacelli directly in his letters and reports to the Holy See.Later, when Pope Benedict XV. appointed Pacelli as Nuncio to Bavaria, Pacelli was involved in a diplomatic intervention to prevent further massacres after the Russian retreat from Northeastern Turkey following the Brest-Litovsk treaty. Indeed, all biographers of Pius XII agree that the wartime diplomacy of Pope Benedict XV served as a model for Pius XII actions during WW2, when the “Pope of Peace”served as his role model, especially in his stress on the Vatican’s “impartiality”.
But what did Pius XII learn from his experience with the Armenian genocide?
Read the whole article HERE