Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

I "Fogli Di Udienza"del Cardinale Eugenio Pacelli Segretario Di Stato. Vol. I

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

I "Fogli Di Udienza"del Cardinale Eugenio Pacelli Segretario Di Stato. Vol. I

Article excerpt

I "Fogli di Udienza" del Cardinale Eugenio Pacelli Segretario di Stato. Vol. I (1930). Edited by Sergio Pagano, Marcel Chappin, and Giovanni Coco. [Collectanea Archivi Vaticani, 72.] (Vatican City: Archivio Segreto Vaticano, 2010. Pp.xxv, 590. euro45,00 paperback. ISBN 978-8-885-04266-7.)

The long-awaited publication of part of the notations made by then-cardinal Eugenio Pacelli following his meetings with Pope Pius XI in almost a decade of service as secretary of state (1930-39) sheds considerable light on the pope and his chief minister, particularly on their personal and political relationship. In an introductory preface to the volume (pp. vii-ix), the current secretary of state, Tarcisio Bertone, alludes to the wide range of subjects and issues raised in the 1956 authences that gave rise to the 2627 pages produced by Pacelli during his secretarial tenure. These documents are carefully edited and put into historical perspective by Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Secret Vatican Archive; the Jesuit Father Marcel Chappin; and the lay historian Giovanni Coco. Their role is crucial, for many of Pacelli 's reports and notations are short, sketchy, and provide little background, so that even the specialist would not necessarily be familiar with the issues raised without access to a broader range of documents. Fortunately, the editors have provided copious notes that in most cases are far longer than Pacelli's observations. Indeed, in a number of instances this editorial commentary is more interesting and informative than Pacelli's report.

Pagano's presentation of the volume (pp. xi-xxv) continues the introduction by focusing upon the nature of the fogli that did not take the form of a diary but rather served as a summation of a series of sometimes daily discussions. The talks summed up by Pacelli have been divided into two categories by the editors: pontifical discussions and private ones. The first were either Pacelli's personal talks with Pius XI or the pope's talks with various dignitaries in his presence. The private talks described were those Pacelli held with various political figures or church dignitaries. …

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