( English Translation )
Nice to see that the Vatican Newspaper finally respond. Below is a translation I have gotten from this page.
History should not be mistreated
by Giovanni Maria Vian
The Vatican, finances and fascism, all of it wrapped in secrecy and intrigue - these were the lip-smacking ingredients of a supposed 'scoop' by The Guardian, the authoritative London daily, which published a story that has been taken up by some media outlets but which really deserved little attention.
It is a melange of inexact or unfounded reports put together awkwardly to give the impression that the Vatican built an international real estate empire from "Mussolini's millions", a fortune that was supposed to have been obtained in return for recognition of Mussolini's regime by the Holy See in 1929, and which has since then been hidden under layers of secrecy.
To round up the picture of Vatican duplicity depicted by the above, the article cites unspecified articles supposedly from British war archives attesting to Vatican activities against the Allies by a company controlled by the Vatican.
Even the most summary reading of the article would show its inconsistencies, but unfortunately, its resonance has damaged not only the perceptions of many readers but the most elementary historical truth.
It would have taken the writers (and editors) no effort to check out that the Lateran Pacts which in 1929 closed the so-called "Roman question' between post-unification Italy and the Papacy since 1870, included a financial agreement, according to which the Kingdom of Italy indemnified the Holy See with cash and property titles equivalent to 1.2 billion euro today. A sum which, according to the financial agreement itself, was 'much less' than what the State owed the Holy See [for all the Church properties confiscated in the former papal states which were absorbed by the unification of Italy in 1860-1870] as established by an Italian law passed in 1871, but which the Popes had rejected consistently.
The Lateran Pacts were far from a 'shameful' agreement between the Church and fascism, but a necessary and balanced solution [to the Roman question].
The content of the Lateran Pacts was largely incorporated into the Constitution of the Italian Republic in 1947. The Pacts themselves have been favorably judged by historians of various tendencies and overchanging times, as well as by all Italian governments since 1929, including postwar leaders Alcide De Gaspari [the exemplary Christian Democrat] and Palmiro Togliatti [head of the Italian Communist Party].
Finally, as to the alleged activities of the Holy See against the Allies in World War II, it is timely that in the December 2012 issue of the trimestral Historical Journal from Cambridge University, historian Patricia McGoldrick of London's Middlesex University has published a lengthy and detailed study of the Vatican's financial activities during World War II, about which Luca Possati writes on this page.
Based on a series of documents recently made accessible by the British National Archives, the article confirms what has been emerging in earlier historical research, and demonstrates the exact opposite of what the Guardian article claims with such superficial lightness. And that is, that through wartime investments made mostly in the United States, the Holy See under Pius XII directly supported the Allied cause against Nazism.