Whether you're religious or not, it's intriguing to consider the numerous proven as well as rumored creepy artifacts contained within the secret Vatican archives. No one outside of the pope's inner circle is likely to ever see many of these historic items, although you can see a few strange things in the Vatican during your next trip to Rome. The pope could choose to clear up dozens of conspiracy theories, but in most situations, the Vatican appears to prefer ignoring many of the oddest rumors and merely denying others.
Of course, this doesn't mean that none of the theories would hold up to closer scrutiny. Perhaps that's exactly why the existence of most of the reputed weird Vatican objects has never been officially denied. Are the rumored items real or merely imaginative conspiracy theories? Either way, they just might provide a glimpse into the secret life of the Vatican. Read on to discover which ones actually exist - and which ones exist as rumors and mysteries.
Proof That Pope Pius XII Supported Anti-Semitic Activity
Conspiracy theories about the Catholic Church and the Third Reich aren't hard to find. What's more interesting than theories, though, is the work of historian David Kertzer. According to Kertzer, the Vatican contains documents that prove Pope Pius XII agreed to remain quiet about anti-Semitism in exchange for Mussolini's protection.
If Kertzer's analysis is correct, there's definitive proof at the Vatican that Pope Pius XII turned a blind eye to anti-Semitism. Furthermore, Kertzer requested access to other papers that may finally prove or disprove rumors about Pope Pius XII's connection to Adolf Hitler, but the Vatican said "no."
A Silver Hammer That Determines The Mortality Of Each Pope
It's not Maxwell's Silver Hammer that the Beatles talked about, but the Vatican does keep a silver hammer on hand at all times. Its purpose? The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church uses this hammer to help determine whether or not the pope has passed. As tradition dictates, if there's reason to believe the pope is gone, the Camerlengo calls him by name.
When there's no reply, the Carmerlengo taps the silver hammer on the pope's forehead. This happens a total of three times, if necessary. If there is no response by the end of this ritual, the pope is officially declared deceased.
The Face Of Jesus On The Image Of Edessa
The Vatican is home to several ancient cloths believed to showcase the face of holy figures. For example, the Holy Face of Genoa makes its home in Vatican City. The Image of Edessa, AKA the Mandylion of Edessa, is another piece of fabric rumored to showcase the real face of Jesus. Biblical accounts claim Jesus gifted this cloth to Edessa's King Abgar.
The king was suffering from a serious illness, but he was quickly cured after receiving the Image of Edessa. Is the cloth the real deal? Is it actually the Shroud of Turin? Visitors to the Vatican can attempt to find out.
The World's Largest Collection Of Inappropriate Child Imagery
Perhaps one of the most damaging conspiracies about the Vatican is that there's a massive, record-breaking collection of sexual images hidden from view. Not only does this seem at odds with the church's public views about fornication, but it's also quite creepy if you consider the potential implications. After all, the Catholic Church has experienced virtually countless scandals.
Many have speculated that the secret vault contains more than 100,000 depictions of children, especially in light of the amp in priest prosecution.