VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Documents now available from the Vatican Secret Archives will allow scholars to rewrite history and erase claims the church was not a staunch opponent of Nazism, fascism and other forms of totalitarianism, said a Jesuit historian.

Jesuit Father Giovanni Sale, historian of the Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica, said documents relating to the 1922-1939 pontificate of Pope Pius XI will have an impact on political and religious history.

What emerges is an even clearer picture of the church as being “steadfast in the fight against totalitarianism, against fascism, against Nazism, but also against communism,” he said in a Sept. 18 interview with Vatican Radio.

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