Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lux in Arcana

Between February and September 2012, some one hundred never seen before documents from the Vatican archives will be on display in the Capitoline Museums. "Lux in Arcana - Secret Vatican Archives Revealed" (you can bet your bottom dollar they won't be for a long while yet), a thinly veiled attempt by the Vatican to proffer transparency in the public domain amidst ongoing debate about Pope Pius XII's unwillingness to help those who perished in the Holocaust and Final Solution, which raged unchecked in the early years of his 1939 - 1958 papacy, may be worth a look.

A parchment with red wax seals from the English Parliament dates back to 1530, imploring Pope Clement VII to annul Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Permission was not granted, and the Church of England came into being. Missives from the trial of Galileo Galilei's 'heresy' will also see the light of day. However, only a miniscule quantity of documents have been tagged for the exhibition on Campidoglio, which serves only to propagate the intrigue and mystery which surrounds the secretive Vatican state. No one can say exactly where the closely guarded collection is located within the towering walls of the Vatican city, but we do know that it has existed for well over 1,000 years, ergo it stands to reason that they must be hiding something. We'll never know what, or why. It seems that the mythos surrounding Dan Brown's Angels and Demons is set to stand the test of time, and may not have been too wide of the mark of truth after all. We'll be extending our Vatican tours to include the exhibition early next year.

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