Conference Announcement: International Symposium: Pius XII as the Nuncio in Germany

ACCH Quarterly Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2010

Conference Announcement: International Symposium: Pius XII as the Nuncio in Germany, March 24-26, 2010, Münster, Germany.

By Mark Edward Ruff

The most controversial pontiff of the 20th century is serving as the subject of an international symposium sponsored by the European research network, “Pio XI” and the Excellence-Cluster, “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster. Featuring nearly thirty speakers from a variety of nations including, Germany, the United States, Switzerland and Italy, the conference is intended to present the findings of researchers analyzing documents from the pontificate of Pius XI that were released in 2003 and 2006. According to the conference convener, Professor Hubert Wolf of the University of Münster, these documents provide a comprehensive picture of the Roman curie between 1922 and 1939 as well as new glimpses into the person and personality of Pacelli, who served as the Papal Nuncio in Germany and the Vatican Secretary of State before his appointment as Pope in 1939.  They provide the basis for a major online edition of more than 6500 documents that will be culled and edited by researchers in Münster over the next twelve years and funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

These documents shed new insights into the relations between the Roman curia and Catholic political parties across the European continent. One section of the conference will compare these relations between the Vatican and Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia and Austria. Another will compare Pacelli with other papal nuncios from the day in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, France and Austria.

Saul Friedländer, a historian at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of a book, Pius XII and the Third Reich from 1965, was to have served as the keynote speaker. Because of his recent illness, however, the keynote roles have been given to Mordechay Lewy, Israeli Ambassador to the Vatican, and Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy.

For more information, contact Mark Ruff at