Mgr Pagano’s announcement was made today during the presentation of the ‘Lux in arcane’ exhibition, which opens next February in Rome to show one of the world’s most important collection of papers, with documents from the 8th century to the 20th century. Lined-up, they would cover 85 kilometres.
The presentation gave Mgr Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, an opportunity to announce that within two or three years, the papers concerning World War Two and the pontificate of Pius XII will be ready. The current pope will then be able to decide whether to release them to the public, as many expect, or not.
With regards to the Armenian genocide, “when I read documents about the torture practices used by the Turks against the Armenians, I feel an irrepressible sense of pain and horror,” Mgr Pagano said.
According to the prefect, some of the papers describe how Turkish soldiers “bet and played dice to guess the sex of a child before stabbing him or her with a bayonet after extracting them out of the womb.”
The exhibition will also present less traumatic but equally relevant historic documents, including the Letter of the Peers of England to Clement VII on the matrimonial cause of Henry VIII (1530), the codex of the trial of Galileo Galilei (1616-1633), the Letter of Empress Helena of China on silk and the Letter of American Indians to Leo XIII on birch bark.