HISTORICAL Vatican documents, including material regarding the role of the Church during the Second World War, are now available on the official Vatican website.
Thousands of official Vatican acts recorded between 1865 and 2007 have been scanned and uploaded. But the documents likely to arouse the most curiosity are contained in the volumes of the Second World War-era documents compiled by four Jesuit scholars beginning in the 1960s.
The volumes include material from the Vatican Secret Archives regarding wartime Pope Pius XII, accused by some historians and Jewish groups of not doing enough to save Jews from destruction by the Nazis. In 1965 Paul VI ordered the scholars to search the archives for evidence to rebut claims about his predecessor’s allegedly negligent conduct during the war. The claims were made by Rolf Hochhuth, author of a 1963 play called The Deputy.