From ALAN McELWAIN AWHITE PAPER based on documents covering relations
between the Holy See and Adolf Hitler's Third Reich will be published shortly by the Vatican Secretariat of State, wellinformed Vatican sources said this week.
Meanwhile Rome's Prefect of Police has banned all performances of the Hochhuth play, The Representative after an attempt to stage it in a deconsecrated church led to near-riots.
The producer and actors, hoping to present the play in the church basement, finally gave the Italian "premiere" secretly in the workroom of a bookshop to about 100 people.
I understand that experts have been at work on the Pope Pius documents for some years. Originally, scholars, on the official Jesuit review, Civilta Cattolica, published in Rome, were preparing documentation on the Vatican's wartime relations under the late Pope Pius XII not only with Nazi Germany, but her allies, including satellite countries.
These researches were suspended, but under the impetus of the Hochhuth play, the Jesuits have now gathered together again much material governing VaticanGerman relations during the Second World War.
This will be published in a series of articles in Civilta CattoIica and. 1 understand, these articles may well form the basis of the Vatican's White Paper. Civilta Cattalica's experts have unlimited access to the Vatican archives and the forthcoming publications will provide one of the most remarkable backgrounds to and commentaries upon history in modern times.
It is likely that the Vatican documents will not be published as a whole, but in summarised form, with appropriate commentaries and other relevant information added.
One report says that the Vatican White Paper will be in two parts. One would deal with the Vatican and Nazi relations from July, 1933, when they signed a concordat to the start of the war. The second would deal with the period from September 1, 1939, to the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.
Much of the material deals with diplomatic notes exchanged between Germany and the Holy See, which are also preserved in the West German government's archives in Bonn.
In March this year, moreover, the History Section of the Catholic Academy of Bavaria will publish the entire series of notes exchanged between the then Cardinal Secretary of State Pacelli (later Pope Pius X11) and the German government from 1933 to 1939.
1 he editor of this publication will be Prof. Albrecht, who holds the Chair of Modern History at the University of Mainz. It will be a large volume. Cardinal Pacelli wrote, it seems, some 60 notes, some of them very long, to the German leaders.
Publication of the documents will naturally highlight the position of Pope Pius XII, castigated by Hochhuth in his play for not openly attacking Nazism and condemning outright the persecution of the Jews. ft is known that Pope Paul. who, as Mgr. Giovanni Battista Montini, substitute Secretary of State, was close to Pope Pius throughout the war years, is personally Continued on Back Page, Col. 3