She pleaded with Brun to show pity for a family that had been so recently torn apart. Read: Artificial intelligence is cracking open the Vatican’s secret archives. “The persecution of the Jews that the Holy See justly deplores is one thing,” Dell’Acqua advised the pope, “especially when it is carried out with certain methods, and quite another thing is to be wary of the Jews’ influence: this can be quite opportune.” Indeed, the Vatican-overseen Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica, had been repeatedly warning of the need for government laws to restrict the rights of the Jews in order to protect Christian society from their alleged depredations. The text he wrote, newly discovered in the archives and reprinted verbatim in translation at the end of this article, was titled “Verbal Note on the Jewish Situation in Italy.”, The thrust of the plea was far from pro-Jewish. While the danger to France’s Jews would soon pass, the horrors of the Holocaust were slow to move the Roman Catholic Church to consider its own history of anti-Semitism or the role it played in making the Nazis’ mass murder of European Jews possible. The Grand Grimoire consists of four parts, and is supposedly being kept in the Vatican Secret Archives. Although he had a dim view of Adolf Hitler, as I discuss in my book The Pope and Mussolini, he had also taken pains to avoid angering him and was eager to maintain cordial relations with the Germans who occupied Rome and whose goodwill helped keep Vatican City unharmed. The commitment of Pope Pius XII and the men of the curia to prevent the Finaly family from gaining custody of the children was tempered only by concerns about bad press, a worry constantly highlighted by Cardinal Gerlier in his increasingly urgent pleas to Rome. At the same time, concealing her knowledge of the existence of any Finaly relatives, Brun got a local judge to name her the provisional guardian of the boys, now 3 and 4 years old. For centuries, one of its functions had been to ensure that Jewish children who were baptized did not fall into the mortal sin of apostasy by returning to their Jewish faith. This is largely due to its incomparable long and interesting history. compendium of the social doctrine of the church “I wonder if it is not the case,” Dell’Acqua proposed, “to have an article prepared for La Civiltà Cattolica to unmask the Jews and accuse them of disloyalty.” (This document is included in the appendix.) The article, published on July 9, explained that any claim that the accord reached between Cardinal Gerlier and the Finaly family would permit taking the boys to Israel and becoming Jewish was erroneous. Had it not been for the persistence of his family, he and Gad would likely be living elsewhere—in France or Spain—and would, as Robert noted, remember their past very differently. Carter intends to publicly reveal all the information The U. David I. Kertzer: What the Vatican’s secret archives are about to reveal. Given the situation they now found themselves in, with the Church taking a beating in the press and an increasing number of Catholic clergy imprisoned, something had to be done, the cardinals advised, to bring the case to an end. What he suggested was presenting a brief to the German authorities—in the context of a private meeting, not issued as a public document—calling on them to put an end to their homicidal campaign against Italy’s Jews. Marguerite wrote to Brun to thank her for taking care of her nephews and to ask for her assistance in arranging for their travel. Auguste now traveled to Grenoble, and on the morning of October 25, 1946, she appeared at Brun’s doorstep. The Vatican was between nuncios in Paris at the time, as the pope had recently notified the previous nuncio, Angelo Roncalli—later to succeed him, as Pope John XXIII—that he was being appointed a cardinal and would become patriarch of Venice. Meanwhile, more than a thousand Jews—mainly women, children, and old men—were being held for two days in a building complex right next door to the Vatican, awaiting deportation. The team behind In Codice Ratio tried to solve this problem by developing a machine-learning software that could parse this handwriting. A few registers of earlier popes also survive, including John VIII (r. 872–882) and Gregory VII (r. What was not known at the time—and what, in fact, could not be known until the opening, earlier this year, of the Vatican archives covering the papacy of Pius XII—is the central role that the Vatican and the pope himself played in the kidnapping drama. On January 29, 1953, the court ordered Brun arrested for failing to produce the boys. They included the 1521 bull of excommunication of Martin Luther and a letter from Mary, Queen of Scots, written while awaiting her execution. Francis said that Pius's legacy had been "debated and even criticized (one might say with some prejudice or exaggeration)", that "The Church is not afraid of history", and that he anticipated "appropriate criticism". Anni and Fritz Finaly had made it to within months of the Allied liberation of France when the Gestapo seized them and sent them to their death. In 2017, a project based in Roma Tre University called In Codice Ratio began using artificial intelligence and optical character recognition to attempt to transcribe more documents from the archives. That there might have been a link between the centuries of Church demonization of the Jews and the ability of people who thought of themselves as Catholics to murder Jews seems never to have crossed his mind. The pope, too, was unhappy with the agreement that the negotiators had reached in France. In June 1945, the major French children’s relief organization estimated that in France alone some 1,200 Jewish children remained in non-Jewish families or institutions. In the eyes of both Montini and the pope, there was one man viewed as the Secretariat of State’s expert on all Jewish questions. The Finaly affair, Dell’Acqua advised, had stirred up a fierce press campaign against Church authorities in France, and so finding a way to bring it to an end was crucial. [7], Parts of the archive do, however, remain truly secret (or "classified" in a modern context). Montini reported that he had already spoken with the French foreign minister and sent the nuncio the instructions to agree to a settlement as long as it accorded with the Holy Office requirements. In an address to the Görres Society in February 1884, Pope Leo said: "Go to the sources. In February 1944, aware of the intensifying Gestapo roundups of Jews in their area, the Finalys placed their two small boys in a nursery in a nearby town. Herzog’s visit came as part of a mission to help locate the missing Jewish orphans of the Holocaust. Although the nuncio in Madrid met with Spain’s cardinal primate to let him know of the Vatican’s desire for the boys to be returned, it seemed that neither the Spanish clergy nor, for its own reasons, the Spanish government was in any rush to have them found. After pointing out the Holy See’s unhappiness over the lack of sufficient guarantees provided in the draft agreement, Montini added, “If, however, the cardinal, considering the circumstances, believes he is able to assume responsibility for the execution of the agreement, the Holy Office does not oppose it and will give promised support for finding the boys.”, At the same time, the head of the liberal branch of Judaism in France, Rabbi André Zaoui, came to Rome to plead on behalf of the Finaly family. Complete archives of letters written by the popes, known as the papal registers, are available beginning with the papacy of Innocent III (r. 1198–1216). After reporting the rabbi’s request, Dell’Acqua offered his advice on how the pope should respond to what he called this “rather delicate problem.” He began by ruling out any public statement by the pope or the Vatican. It would never disassociate itself from and publicly condemn those who, it must be supposed, acted out of the righteousness of conscience.”, The following days saw intense negotiations between the priest deputized to represent Cardinal Gerlier and the Church on one side and Rabbi Kaplan on the other. Meanwhile, in France, Mother Antonine, afraid that the upcoming court ruling would go against them, had her own sister take the Finaly boys to a Catholic boarding school more than 500 kilometers from Grenoble, in Bayonne, near the Spanish border, and register them under false names. Just as the acting nuncio received Montini’s instructions, he was visited by Israel’s ambassador to France. 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