Conference on the Pius XII Archives and the ChrisTian-Jewish Relations

9 October 2023

Today marks the beginning of the international conference New Documents from the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII and Their Significance for Jewish-Christian Relations. Scholars will be sharing their initial discoveries from the recently opened collections of the Vatican archives. The conference features talks by leading historians in the field, such as David Kertzer and Gerald Steinacher, with the aim of fostering dialogue between Jews and Christians.

One of the main topics to be discussed is a recent headline-making discovery which was shared in international media just three weeks ago: a letter detailing Nazi atrocities in death camps in occupied Poland was found by one of the Vatican archivists, Giovanni Coco. It suggests that Pius XII might have been aware of the mass extermination of Jews and Poles as early as 1942 but chose to remain silent. Another recent discovery to be examined during the conference, which has garnered media attention, is the list of Jews sheltered in Catholic convents in Rome during the war. While widely shared in the media, this new documentation on sheltering Jews in Catholic institutions doesn't give any new insights on the role of Pius XII in this form of aid.

The conference is taking place in Rome, but you can tune in to the sessions live on The lectures will be conducted in both English and Italian, with simultaneous translation available. 

You can find full programme here. 

The event is organized by the Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem, and the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at the Saint Leo University.