Non-Credit Mini Course | The Vatican 'Secret' Archives

Nov 14, 2023
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJLumen Christi Institute

Tuesdays, October 31-November 14
6:00pm: Dinner
6:30pm: Presentation


This event is in-person only. Intended for university students and the broader university community. Others interested in attending please contact

Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose. Sessions do not presuppose previous attendance or prior knowledge of the subject.

The Catholic Church has kept archives from the very beginning. They are a treasure trove for researchers seeking to cast light on controversies such as the Investiture Controversy, the Crusades, the Inquisition(s) & the trial of Galileo, and the alleged “silence” of Pope Pius XII vis-à-vis the Holocaust. This 3-class course will draw on documentation preserved in the Vatican “Secret” [i.e., “private”] Archives to clarify the historical record regarding these putative scandals.


October 31: Paradoxes of the Inquisition 

November 7: Shake Hands with the Devil: Modern Genocide from the French Revolution to Rwanda

November 14: The Silence of Pius XII: the Pope Accused


Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJ is scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute and Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology at Loyola University of Chicago, where he taught from 2010 to 2020. Before coming to Chicago he taught at Loyola University New Orleans from 1996 to 2010. Fr. Bernardi holds an Honors B.A. in Classical Languages from Xavier University (Cincinnati), an MA in Philosophy from the University of Detroit, a Master of Divinity from Regis College of the Toronto School of Theology, an STL from the Weston School of Theology with a thesis concerning soteriology, and a PhD in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.

His areas of interest include modern Christian thought; John Henry Newman, Maurice Blondel, and the Renewal of Catholic Theology; Theology of Vatican II; Christology & Soteriology. He is the author of Maurice Blondel, Social Catholicism and Action Française: The Clash over the Church’s Role in Society During the Modernist Era (CUA Press, 2009).  His most recent scholarly publications are "Blondel, Maurice (1861–1949)" in the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers (2020), "Louis Cardinal Billot, S.J. (1846–1931): Thomist, Anti-Modernist, Integralist" in the Journal of Jesuit Studies 8 (2021): 585-616, and "Maurice Blondel's diagnosis of extrinsicist 'Monophorism': An enduring critique of Christian Integralism," in Pesando-Revista de Filosofia. Vol 13, No 30 (2022) Dossie Maurice Blondel, 100-113.