字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント The Vatican City. It may be a small nation – the smallest in the world, in fact – but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in intrigue. The setting for Angels and Demons, it's a country that has inspired countless conspiracy theories, horror stories, and thrillers. And right at its heart lie a collection of archives that are up to twelve centuries old and contain some of history's best-kept secrets. Along 50 miles of shelves, you can find letters from some of the most prominent historical figures and texts that hold details of deep dark secrets, modern scandals, and ancient mysteries. Everything from the existence of aliens to the actions of the Illuminati is rumored to be held inside these old, dusty files. It's not hard to see why journalists, scholars, and even members of the public have been scrambling to get their hands on the documents for centuries – and now, finally, they can. As of the second of March 2020, the files have been released into the public domain. So, what lies inside? Let's turn to one of the most infamous scandals of all. It's 1939 in Vatican City: you're in the midst of Mussolini's reign over Italy, a fascist dictator consolidating his power by constructing a cult of personality and police state whilst trying to rebuild Italy's empire and persecuting minorities. But on the plus side, he's just signed a treaty to recognize the independence of Vatican City – you win some, you lose some. As if the drastic change in the political landscape within Italy wasn't enough, big changes are happening all over the continent. A man called Adolf Hitler has recently risen to power in Germany and began his own totalitarian dictatorship – he's said to be inspired by Mussolini in many ways due to the similarity in their ideologies. Hitler has now invaded Poland: a bold, aggressive move that leads to the persecution of Polish Jews. A few years later, the fascist dictator spreads his web of terror further and sets his sights on closer to you, in Italy. Jews are taken from homes in Rome itself and held close to the Vatican, doomed to be sent to Auschwitz in the near future. It's a desperately sad situation and many are fearful. But you can't lose hope yet. There's one man who might be able to solve the problem and save the Jews, at least within Italy. It's not a bird, or a plane: it's Pope Pius XII, the head of the Catholic Church since 1939. The Pope has always commanded a huge amount of respect and influence across the globe, and he's also the head of a now-sovereign nation, the Vatican City. If anyone could sway public opinion away from Hitler or even reason with the man, it would be the Pope, and he should at least be able to save Jews within his own territory from persecution. The Vatican City has remained neutral in World War Two – after all, with a population of just a few hundred people, their involvement would have been marginal, and the bombing of such a hugely historically important site as St Peter's Square and Basilica was too much to risk. But still, the Pope could have publicly condemned the actions of the Nazis, privately asked Hitler to spare the people of Rome, or even made an order himself for the Jews held nearby to be released. Surely the leader of a religion preaching tolerance, forgiveness, and loving thy neighbor would do everything in his power to protect those in danger? Instead, he did and said … nothing. It's a moment in history that has never been forgotten and which continues to divide Catholics. Some condemn Pope Pius XII for his actions – or lack of actions – and see him as complicit in the persecution that took place in the hands of Mussolini and Hitler. By saying nothing, he allowed many people to die. Yet others believe he's innocent, carried out his duty effectively, and should be chosen for sainthood. How can we reconcile such contrasting opinions? Well, it comes down to the fact that there's no cold, hard proof. Nobody really knows what happened behind closed doors all those years ago. Sure, we know that the Pope chose not to intervene or speak out against Mussolini or Hitler publicly when, in retrospect, he probably, definitely, should have. We could say that he was scared of causing more harm than good and saw it as his duty to protect the sacred history of Vatican City – but even once the war had finished, he still didn't speak out against the treatment of the Jews. He even went as far as helping Fascist war criminals to escape the country. So, the case that Pope Pius XII was really a saint is a tricky one to make. But we still don't know. When it comes to the true motives of the Catholic Church and the extent to which the Pope conspired with Mussolini and Hitler rather than simply tolerating them, the truth remains a mystery. Does that mean there's no way we'll ever find out? Of course not, don't be silly – the information is there, but guess where it is? Locked and shut away in the infamous Vatican Secret Archives, now known as the Vatican Apostolic Archives. But you just said the archives have been made public now, I hear you protest. Well, it's not quite that simple. Remember, there are 50 miles of shelves down there and who knows how many pages. It's going to take quite some getting through, even for the most prepared and knowledgeable scholars. Even though the information has only just become available to members of the riff-raff like you and I, select researchers have had access since 1881. Yes, that's right, 1881 – and we're still trying to work out what happened during World War II. This is because access wasn't made easy. You can't just be any old history student claiming they need information for a thesis about how the Pope reacted to Hitler – only the most serious of scholars are granted access. Even for those who were given permission, only three documents per day could be requested. You can't just browse – you need to know what you want. Plus, everything is written in either Italian or Latin – not the most widely spoken languages. We did manage to uncover some information in this period, though. One historian found that the Pope and Mussolini made deals together to protect the church in exchange for the Pope's silence regarding anti-Semitism. However, the truth about the Nazis remains swept under the rug. So, what's changed now? Access is now available to anyone who wants it rather than a select few. But there are still limits on how much you can read each day, as well as considerable barriers of not understanding the language the texts are written in or not knowing where on earth the information you need actually is. There are many millions of texts, all categorized in a confusing way – there's no library computer system telling you that 'letters between the Pope and Mussolini' are stored in section B12. And that's assuming that the information you want is actually in the Vatican Archives in the first place, anyway. Some of the most important texts may be stashed away in alternative archives, like the Jesuit archives or vicariate archives. Others seem to have mysteriously disappeared, never to see the light of day. Basically, don't get your hopes up that a tell-all documentary is going to be in the making by next month. But the powers-that-be have already turned defensive. The Italian press have started to cover more articles on the topic, seemingly rewriting history. These include claims that the Pope was so democratic that Mussolini tried to prevent him gaining power, or that the Pope did in fact save Roman Jews and stop Hitler invading the Vatican. As you might expect, the stories are notably vague in their claims. You might think it's all sounding a bit fishy, like something really big is being covered up. Surely the archives will reveal something slightly juicier than the Pope's efforts to help. Since when has any covered-up information about a government or authority figure ever been positive? It doesn't exactly help that the guy in charge of managing the archives is also acting somewhat sheepishly. Named Bishop Sergio Pegano, he's previously been reluctant to do a big reveal of the documents, as has the Pope. In the build-up to their release into the public, he's said he understands the expectations of the documents from certain groups are high and that this is an important issue. Well, duh. For now, we'll just have to wait and see. Of course, there's more to the Vatican Secret Archives than just Hitler, Mussolini, and Pope Pius XII. Their history spans 12 centuries, not just a few decades. Some speculate they may contain magical texts. I can hear you groaning – yes, chances are this probably isn't real, but humor me anyway. The Vatican Secret Archives are said to hold a book called the Grand Grimoire, which contains instructions for summoning Satan. You heard me – for summoning Satan. A grimoire is a book used for all kinds of magic, including creating amulets and talismans, casting spells, and summoning supernatural beings. The Grand Grimoire, as you might expect, is believed to be the most powerful in existence, as it contains information about making a pact with the devil himself. Going from ultimate evil to divine good, the archives may also contain information about the most important historical figure related to the Catholic Church: Jesus Christ himself. Some believe the archives could contain top-secret information about whether the master miracle maker himself genuinely exists and if he has descendants alive now – there was said to be correspondence between Saint Paul and Emperor Nero on this topic. Even more scandalously, there could even be truth that Jesus doesn't actually exist. Juicy. If there is any proof that Jesus doesn't actually exist, it's unlikely it would be made available to the public that easily, but you never know. If this is all getting a bit too crazy for you, you definitely won't be ready for this next one. The archives may contain information about whether alien life forms exist. Why would the Catholic Church know anything about that, you might be asking yourself? Well, I'm not too sure either, but conspiracy theorists believe that the Catholics may be hiding knowledge about extraterrestrial skulls or that the Pope is currently in communication with aliens. Well, that would certainly push any communication with Hitler to the sidelines. Another secret that the contents of the archives could get to the bottom of is the Third Secret of Fatima. You may have heard the famous story before, which goes that three Portuguese children received visions and prophecies from the Virgin Mary in 1917, and were each visited regularly over the period of a few months. The children were told three secrets, which they were instructed to pass on to a bishop, but one of the children hesitated to tell the illusive third secret, believing God had told her not to. She instead sealed the secret away to be opened in 1960 – Pope John Paul II released the secret to the public back in 2000, but many don't believe it's the actual or full secret. Instead, they suspect the secret could be something as drastic as the abandonment of the papacy or an apocalypse. No discussion about conspiracy theories would be complete without a mention of the Illuminati, and sure enough, many believe that the Illuminati have had an influence on the archives. They may even control the archives themselves. Therefore, there are sure to be some documents inside verifying the role freemasons have played in this ancient institution. If that wasn't strange enough, some believe the archives contain information about a mysterious machine called the Chronovisor which lets users view past and present events. Kind of like a high-tech crystal ball. Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti supposedly built the machine to record Christ's crucifixion. However, no details or evidence have ever come out, funnily enough. If you ask me, that's a little far-fetched, but there's no use keeping it real at this point. Also, porn. The Copenhagen Museum of Erotica claims that the Vatican has the largest collection of erotica in the world, which various others scholars have also claimed. There are also some documents that you might have an easier time believing are inside the archives. A letter sent by none other than Michelangelo to Pope Julius II. Documents to split territories between Spain and Portugal. A petition sent from Henry VIII requesting his annulment of marriage from Catherine of Aragon in 1530, leading to the creation of the Church of England. Notes relating to the trial against Galileo in 1633. A papal bull to excommunicate Martin Luther. A letter from Mary Queen of Scots asking for help in stopping her execution. And want to know the biggest secret of all? The archives are only known as being secret because of a bad translation. Although the archives are known as 'Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum' the secretum part doesn't actually mean secret, it means personal or private. Nonetheless, they clearly are quite secret if they've been out of the public eye for this long, so it's all just semantics. To find out more mysteries of the Pope and the Vatican, check out our videos about the most evil pope in history or how much power the Vatican has.