Pope Francis has announced the Vatican Secret Archive is not so secret after all.
Francis on Monday formally changed the title of this Holy See record to eliminate that which he said were the”negative” connotations of getting”key” in its title.
In the new legislation, Francis noted that the record has been available to scholars and he has decreed the writings of World War II-era Pope Pius XII, accused by some of not talking about the Holocaust, could open to researchers before schedule on March 2, 2020.
He explained the name change reflects the archive fact and”its support to the church and the area of culture.”
The archive includes the documentation on the life span of the worldwide Catholic Church dating in the eighth century into the present. It comprises 600 unique collections which are arranged across 85 km (50 miles) of shelving.
Situated within the Apostolic Palace, the record comprises a string of reading rooms plus a two-story”bunker” of cement.
The most valuable files, such as early gold-plated manuscripts along with also the functions of the Inquisition trial from Galileo Galilei — are stored in safe, climatized rooms in which humidity is controlled.
This was Pope Leo XIII who in 1881 opened the archive doors to investigators, and now an estimated 1,500 annually are permitted indoors.
The typical custom of the Holy See is to wait for 70 years before following the finish of papacy to start up the pontificate’s archives.
But that could have meant the writings of Pius XII, who reigned from 1939-1958, would not have been accessible to scholars before 2028 in the earliest.
Francis mentioned the Pius XIII opening in describing his rationale behind the title change while lamenting the way the first Latin title”Archivium Secretum” — intended solely to imply that the record was personal and private — had shot on nearly disastrous consequences the Holy See had keys to conceal.
“Due to a particular cultural emphasis in certain areas, the phrase’secretum’ with lost its real significance and is correlated with the contemporary notion of the phrase’key,’ supposed the prejudicial endorsement of being concealed, not disclosed and earmarked for some,” he wrote.
“This is contrary to what the Vatican Secret Archive was intended to be,” he explained.