(Written by Raffaele Tassotti, taken from the journal “La voce del popolo”, No. 3402, March 13, 2012.)
The Culpable Stupidity of Croatian Pseudo-Historians
Already since 1987 – at this point I was mayor for about two years in Montalto, home of Sixtus V and the immemorial Peretti family, when Marijan Zugaj published the volume “Sisto V tra Oriente ed Occidente” – we became aware of the partisanship and arrogance of certain “historians” who, in order to prove a preconceived thesis, are prepared to commit all sorts of crimes against historical criticism. Zugaj pretended in his book to “prove” the Croatian origin of the Peretti, and therefore of Sixtus V, and claimed that his father Piergentile, called Peretto, was a Croatian immigrant.
The attempt, somewhat cunning, was totally demolished, brick by brick, in 1990 by Isidoro Gatti, OFM Conv., with a massive research volume of more than 600 pages, based on thorough investigations and capillaries in the archives of Montalto (where no Croatian “historians” ever went to verify), Venice, the Vatican and the College of St. Jerome. We thought that would be enough; we were wrong.
Zugaj, furious at having been proven wrong, revised his thesis regarding the arrival of Peretto (father of Felice/Sixtus V) in Marche from the Croatian coast; he admitted he was wrong, but raised the theory of Croatian origin again with a pamphlet entitled “Antenati di Sisto V a Montalto non documentate oltre quattro generazioni” (Rome, 1999), that is, he already admits that for at least four generations the Perettti were in Montalto.
We responded to Zugaj's virulent and offensive brochure with another work by a four-handed research team (Isidoro Gatti - Raffaele Tassotti, “Ancora su Sisto V papa piceno – commento a un recente opuscolo”, Acquaviva Picena, 1999). Once again we thought that documented history was sufficient to dispel the myth. Unfortunately not.
Today we read that a certain Ivan Golub claims to have “found secret documents in the Vatican archives that testify to the Croatian origin of Pope Sixtus V”, and that even his father Peretto was a Croat who immigrated to Piceno, thus reviving the thesis already denied by the same Zugaj. Faced with such stupidity, we no longer desire to be kind and polite.
It has been demonstrated incontrovertibly that the documents in the archives of St. Jerome of the Croats were falsified in the middle of the 17th century by the Croatian friar and swindler Jeronim Paštrić, who also constructed the false Sistine genealogy given to the naive Bartolomeo Piazza, author of the “Hierarchia Cardinalizia”, because they were published and were proven to be invented when compared to authentic documents in the notarial and historical archives of Montalto, documents covering several centuries, written by several scribes and notaries, unanimous in their witness to the truth.
Now Golub has found what? Other forgeries designed to prove the unprovable? He does not even cite them, but only announces them!
We are prepared to do something serious: both Fr. Isidoro Gatti (I believe I can speak on his behalf) and myself are ready to have a debate on this matter in a public conference in Rome, at St. Jerome, at the Vatican, or wherever. I repeat we are ready: we challenge them with the classic slap on the cheek. We await a response.