New documents from the Pontificate of Pius XII / International Conference


In March 2020, Pope Francis opened millions of documents pertaining to the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII (1939-1958). It will take decades of scrutiny and analysis to ascertain the full significance of these archives estimated to be at least 16 million pages, but some important discoveries have been made and must be shared to the wider public in the international conference that will take place this autumn (9-11 October 2023) at the Aula Magna of the Pontifical Gregorian University. These documents can be approached from the point of view of a variety of historical and theological questions.

The New Documents from the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII and their Meaning for Jewish-Christian Relations: A Dialogue between Historians and Theologians conference will focus on how these archives shed light on historical and theological controversies over Pope Pius XII and the Vatican during the Holocaust, and on Jewish-Christian relations at multiple levels – from ordinary people to authority figures in Jewish and Catholic milieus, institutions and power structures.

In 1965, the Catholic Church issued a renewed teaching, Nostra Aetate, that rejected antisemitism and presented the Jewish people as blessed by God. What can the new documents tell us about the encounters that led up to this watershed moment in Church teaching? This conference will bring together historians and theologians, Christians and Jews, studying together to further both historical knowledge and Jewish-Christian relations.


The International Conference is organized by

  • CDEC – Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center Foundation (Milan, Italy)
  • Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies and Faculty of History and Cultural Heritage of the Church, Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome, Italy)
  • Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust, at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington DC, USA)
  • Institute for International Research Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center (Jerusalem, Israel)
  • Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, Saint Leo University (Saint Leo, Florida, USA)


The International Conference is sponsored by

  • UCEI – Union of Jewish Communities of Italy
  • The Holy See, Vatican Apostolic Archive
  • The Holy See, Dicastery for Culture and Education
  • The Holy See, Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity
  • U.S. Department of State, Office of the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues
  • U.S. Embassy to the Holy See
  • Israeli Embassy to the Holy See
  • FSCIRE – Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII
  • Resilience,
  • AJC – American Jewish Committee


  • Sezioni: Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies History and Cultural Heritage of the Church PUG