The archives of the Vatican are no longer ‘ secret ‘ — Francis
On Monday, Pope Francis declared a change in the naming of the renowned archives of the Vatican, stating that they would no longer be classified as “hsecret.” Currently known as the “Vatican Secret Archive,” Francis said in a decree entitled Motu Proprio.
He clarified that this was to avoid negative interpretations of the term “secret,” which was derived from a mistranslation of the original Latin terminology.
“Archivum Secretum” in Latin means private archive rather than secret. Pope Paul V created the one at the Vatican at the start of the 17th century.
Since 1881, the archive has been available to scholars.
The church said on its website that from the 8th to the 20th century, the archives held documents related to the state of the church, covering 85 kilometers of shelving, including some in an underground bunker.
Until the close of the papacy of Pope Pius XI in February 1939, scholars are currently able to access documents apart from a few cases for more recent papers.
Documents from the contentious papacy of Pope Pius XII 1939-1958 during the Second World War would also be made available for public inspection on March 2, 2020.
Earlier this year, Francis announced the decision hoping to help clear the name of Pius XII from decades-old accusations of failing to confront Nazi Germany about the Holocaust.