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  • The Vatican City.

  • It may be a small nationthe smallest in the world, in factbut what it lacks

  • in size, it more than makes up for in intrigue.

  • The setting for Angels and Demons, it's a country that has inspired countless conspiracy

  • theories, horror stories, and thrillers.

  • And right at its heart lie a collection of archives that are up to twelve centuries old

  • and contain some of history's best-kept secrets.

  • Along 50 miles of shelves, you can find letters from some of the most prominent historical

  • figures and texts that hold details of deep dark secrets, modern scandals, and ancient

  • mysteries.

  • Everything from the existence of aliens to the actions of the Illuminati is rumored to

  • be held inside these old, dusty files.

  • It's not hard to see why journalists, scholars, and even members of the public have been scrambling

  • to get their hands on the documents for centuriesand now, finally, they can.

  • As of the second of March 2020, the files have been released into the public domain.

  • So, what lies inside?

  • Let's turn to one of the most infamous scandals of all.

  • It's 1939 in Vatican City: you're in the midst of Mussolini's reign over Italy, a

  • fascist dictator consolidating his power by constructing a cult of personality and police

  • state whilst trying to rebuild Italy's empire and persecuting minorities.

  • But on the plus side, he's just signed a treaty to recognize the independence of Vatican

  • Cityyou win some, you lose some.

  • As if the drastic change in the political landscape within Italy wasn't enough, big

  • changes are happening all over the continent.

  • A man called Adolf Hitler has recently risen to power in Germany and began his own totalitarian

  • dictatorshiphe's said to be inspired by Mussolini in many ways due to the similarity

  • in their ideologies.

  • Hitler has now invaded Poland: a bold, aggressive move that leads to the persecution of Polish

  • Jews.

  • A few years later, the fascist dictator spreads his web of terror further and sets his sights

  • on closer to you, in Italy.

  • Jews are taken from homes in Rome itself and held close to the Vatican, doomed to be sent

  • to Auschwitz in the near future.

  • It's a desperately sad situation and many are fearful.

  • But you can't lose hope yet.

  • There's one man who might be able to solve the problem and save the Jews, at least within

  • Italy.

  • It's not a bird, or a plane: it's Pope Pius XII, the head of the Catholic Church

  • since 1939.

  • The Pope has always commanded a huge amount of respect and influence across the globe,

  • and he's also the head of a now-sovereign nation, the Vatican City.

  • If anyone could sway public opinion away from Hitler or even reason with the man, it would

  • be the Pope, and he should at least be able to save Jews within his own territory from

  • persecution.

  • The Vatican City has remained neutral in World War Twoafter all, with a population of

  • just a few hundred people, their involvement would have been marginal, and the bombing

  • of such a hugely historically important site as St Peter's Square and Basilica was too

  • much to risk.

  • But still, the Pope could have publicly condemned the actions of the Nazis, privately asked

  • Hitler to spare the people of Rome, or even made an order himself for the Jews held nearby

  • to be released.

  • Surely the leader of a religion preaching tolerance, forgiveness, and loving thy neighbor

  • would do everything in his power to protect those in danger?

  • Instead, he did and saidnothing.

  • It's a moment in history that has never been forgotten and which continues to divide

  • Catholics.

  • Some condemn Pope Pius XII for his actionsor lack of actionsand see him as

  • complicit in the persecution that took place in the hands of Mussolini and Hitler.

  • By saying nothing, he allowed many people to die.

  • Yet others believe he's innocent, carried out his duty effectively, and should be chosen

  • for sainthood.

  • How can we reconcile such contrasting opinions?

  • Well, it comes down to the fact that there's no cold, hard proof.

  • Nobody really knows what happened behind closed doors all those years ago.

  • Sure, we know that the Pope chose not to intervene or speak out against Mussolini or Hitler publicly

  • when, in retrospect, he probably, definitely, should have.

  • We could say that he was scared of causing more harm than good and saw it as his duty

  • to protect the sacred history of Vatican Citybut even once the war had finished, he

  • still didn't speak out against the treatment of the Jews.

  • He even went as far as helping Fascist war criminals to escape the country.

  • So, the case that Pope Pius XII was really a saint is a tricky one to make.

  • But we still don't know.

  • When it comes to the true motives of the Catholic Church and the extent to which the Pope conspired

  • with Mussolini and Hitler rather than simply tolerating them, the truth remains a mystery.

  • Does that mean there's no way we'll ever find out?

  • Of course not, don't be sillythe information is there, but guess where it is?

  • Locked and shut away in the infamous Vatican Secret Archives, now known as the Vatican

  • Apostolic Archives.

  • But you just said the archives have been made public now, I hear you protest.

  • Well, it's not quite that simple.

  • Remember, there are 50 miles of shelves down there and who knows how many pages.

  • It's going to take quite some getting through, even for the most prepared and knowledgeable

  • scholars.

  • Even though the information has only just become available to members of the riff-raff

  • like you and I, select researchers have had access since 1881.

  • Yes, that's right, 1881 – and we're still trying to work out what happened during

  • World War II.

  • This is because access wasn't made easy.

  • You can't just be any old history student claiming they need information for a thesis

  • about how the Pope reacted to Hitleronly the most serious of scholars are granted access.

  • Even for those who were given permission, only three documents per day could be requested.

  • You can't just browseyou need to know what you want.

  • Plus, everything is written in either Italian or Latinnot the most widely spoken languages.

  • We did manage to uncover some information in this period, though.

  • One historian found that the Pope and Mussolini made deals together to protect the church

  • in exchange for the Pope's silence regarding anti-Semitism.

  • However, the truth about the Nazis remains swept under the rug.

  • So, what's changed now?

  • Access is now available to anyone who wants it rather than a select few.

  • But there are still limits on how much you can read each day, as well as considerable

  • barriers of not understanding the language the texts are written in or not knowing where

  • on earth the information you need actually is.

  • There are many millions of texts, all categorized in a confusing waythere's no library

  • computer system telling you that 'letters between the Pope and Mussolini' are stored

  • in section B12.

  • And that's assuming that the information you want is actually in the Vatican Archives

  • in the first place, anyway.

  • Some of the most important texts may be stashed away in alternative archives, like the Jesuit

  • archives or vicariate archives.

  • Others seem to have mysteriously disappeared, never to see the light of day.

  • Basically, don't get your hopes up that a tell-all documentary is going to be in the

  • making by next month.

  • But the powers-that-be have already turned defensive.

  • The Italian press have started to cover more articles on the topic, seemingly rewriting

  • history.

  • These include claims that the Pope was so democratic that Mussolini tried to prevent

  • him gaining power, or that the Pope did in fact save Roman Jews and stop Hitler invading

  • the Vatican.

  • As you might expect, the stories are notably vague in their claims.

  • You might think it's all sounding a bit fishy, like something really big is being

  • covered up.

  • Surely the archives will reveal something slightly juicier than the Pope's efforts

  • to help.

  • Since when has any covered-up information about a government or authority figure ever

  • been positive?

  • It doesn't exactly help that the guy in charge of managing the archives is also acting

  • somewhat sheepishly.

  • Named Bishop Sergio Pegano, he's previously been reluctant to do a big reveal of the documents,

  • as has the Pope.

  • In the build-up to their release into the public, he's said he understands the expectations

  • of the documents from certain groups are high and that this is an important issue.

  • Well, duh.

  • For now, we'll just have to wait and see.

  • Of course, there's more to the Vatican Secret Archives than just Hitler, Mussolini, and

  • Pope Pius XII.

  • Their history spans 12 centuries, not just a few decades.

  • Some speculate they may contain magical texts.

  • I can hear you groaningyes, chances are this probably isn't real, but humor me anyway.

  • The Vatican Secret Archives are said to hold a book called the Grand Grimoire, which contains

  • instructions for summoning Satan.

  • You heard mefor summoning Satan.

  • A grimoire is a book used for all kinds of magic, including creating amulets and talismans,

  • casting spells, and summoning supernatural beings.

  • The Grand Grimoire, as you might expect, is believed to be the most powerful in existence,

  • as it contains information about making a pact with the devil himself.

  • Going from ultimate evil to divine good, the archives may also contain information about

  • the most important historical figure related to the Catholic Church: Jesus Christ himself.

  • Some believe the archives could contain top-secret information about whether the master miracle

  • maker himself genuinely exists and if he has descendants alive nowthere was said to

  • be correspondence between Saint Paul and Emperor Nero on this topic.

  • Even more scandalously, there could even be truth that Jesus doesn't actually exist.

  • Juicy.

  • If there is any proof that Jesus doesn't actually exist, it's unlikely it would be

  • made available to the public that easily, but you never know.

  • If this is all getting a bit too crazy for you, you definitely won't be ready for this

  • next one.

  • The archives may contain information about whether alien life forms exist.

  • Why would the Catholic Church know anything about that, you might be asking yourself?

  • Well, I'm not too sure either, but conspiracy theorists believe that the Catholics may be

  • hiding knowledge about extraterrestrial skulls or that the Pope is currently in communication

  • with aliens.

  • Well, that would certainly push any communication with Hitler to the sidelines.

  • Another secret that the contents of the archives could get to the bottom of is the Third Secret

  • of Fatima.

  • You may have heard the famous story before, which goes that three Portuguese children

  • received visions and prophecies from the Virgin Mary in 1917, and were each visited regularly

  • over the period of a few months.

  • The children were told three secrets, which they were instructed to pass on to a bishop,

  • but one of the children hesitated to tell the illusive third secret, believing God had

  • told her not to.

  • She instead sealed the secret away to be opened in 1960 – Pope John Paul II released the

  • secret to the public back in 2000, but many don't believe it's the actual or full

  • secret.

  • Instead, they suspect the secret could be something as drastic as the abandonment of

  • the papacy or an apocalypse.

  • No discussion about conspiracy theories would be complete without a mention of the Illuminati,

  • and sure enough, many believe that the Illuminati have had an influence on the archives.

  • They may even control the archives themselves.

  • Therefore, there are sure to be some documents inside verifying the role freemasons have

  • played in this ancient institution.

  • If that wasn't strange enough, some believe the archives contain information about a mysterious

  • machine called the Chronovisor which lets users view past and present events.

  • Kind of like a high-tech crystal ball.

  • Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti supposedly built the machine to record Christ's crucifixion.

  • However, no details or evidence have ever come out, funnily enough.

  • If you ask me, that's a little far-fetched, but there's no use keeping it real at this

  • point.

  • Also, porn.

  • The Copenhagen Museum of Erotica claims that the Vatican has the largest collection of

  • erotica in the world, which various others scholars have also claimed.

  • There are also some documents that you might have an easier time believing are inside the

  • archives.

  • A letter sent by none other than Michelangelo to Pope Julius II.

  • Documents to split territories between Spain and Portugal.

  • A petition sent from Henry VIII requesting his annulment of marriage from Catherine of

  • Aragon in 1530, leading to the creation of the Church of England.

  • Notes relating to the trial against Galileo in 1633.

  • A papal bull to excommunicate Martin Luther.

  • A letter from Mary Queen of Scots asking for help in stopping her execution.

  • And want to know the biggest secret of all?

  • The archives are only known as being secret because of a bad translation.

  • Although the archives are known as 'Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum' the secretum

  • part doesn't actually mean secret, it means personal or private.

  • Nonetheless, they clearly are quite secret if they've been out of the public eye for

  • this long, so it's all just semantics.

  • To find out more mysteries of the Pope and the Vatican, check out our videos about the

  • most evil pope in history or how much power the Vatican has.

The Vatican City.

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What's Hiding in the Vatican Secret Archives

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    Summer posted on 2020/07/31
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