Film Holy Roman Spies
Genre history
Length 1x52'
Year 2004
Location Italia
Versions Italian
Production Road Television
Format Digital Betacam
Diffusion Rai Educational
NTV Channel
TG4 Ireland
New Atlantis
Radio TV Bosnia
Holy Roman Spies: the Vaticanís secret agents
Distributed by GA&A Productions


The Vatican is the only country in the world which still denies having an intelligence service.

But deep in the archives of the KGB lies the fascinating story of Russicum college, a school created in Rome in 1929 for the task of preparing Catholic priests following the Eastern Orthodox traditions to be sent to the Soviet Union - even undercover - in order to reconstitute the ecclesiastic hierarchy destroyed by years of religious persecutions.

This film pieces together the incredible odyssey of a group of priests who arrived in the Soviet Union during WWII. The priests were eventually arrested, and some were summarily executed, while others were deported to Gulags.

Shooted between Italy, Russia and Ukraine the film tells the stories of the protagonists and their parents. This film, rich with newly discovered documents and photographs, draws on the expertise of both Russian and Vatican historians to explore a forgotten page of history.