Archives Vindicate Vatican on Hitler's Appointment, Says Review

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 19, 2003 ( The recent opening of documents on early 20th-century German history, kept in the Vatican Secret Archives, proves that the Holy See did not support Adolf Hitler’s appointment as chancellor.

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In the latest issue of the review Civiltà Cattolica, an article signed by Father Giovanni Sale reconstructs the relations between National Socialism and the Catholic Church.

The archives, opened early this year by order of John Paul II, dismantles some commonly held myths, including one that claims “the Holy See made possible, through the Catholic Zentrum party, Nazism’s advent to power in Germany,” the article states.

“On the contrary, the archive sources attest that the Vatican was not informed ahead of time of negotiations that took place between Hitler and leaders of the Zentrum party on the question of the law of full powers,” it adds.

“The latter, in fact, acted autonomously with the intention of preserving social and political peace and of saving the Constitution,” the article concludes.

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