VATICAN CITY—The Vatican will co-publish a book with documents and information about the Armenian genocide. The papers are from the Vatican Secret Archives, and, to quote Monsignor Sergio Pagano, the clergyman who runs the archives, “they make me feel ashamed to be a man. Without faith, they’d make me see only darkness.”
Pagano’s announcement was made during the presentation of the “Lux in Arcane” exhibition, which opens next February in Rome to show one of the world’s most important collections of papers, with documents from the 8th century to the 20th century. Lined-up, they would cover 85 kilometers.
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,” 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.”
During the presentation, Pagano, the prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, also announced that within two or three years, the papers concerning World War II 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.
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.