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Vatican's 'secret archives' are no longer secret

By T.K. Randall
October 29, 2019 · Comment icon 19 comments

The archives contain a wealth of information. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Leinad-Z
A vast repository of manuscripts dating back over a thousand years has been officially renamed by the Pope.
Originally founded in 1612 after Pope Paul V ordered all church records to be stored in one place, the Vatican Secret Archive contains all the acts promulgated by the Holy See.

A gold mine for scholars, philosophers and historians alike, this vast collection of papers, documents and parchments contains a wealth of knowledge about the church and its long history.

Some of its most valuable documents, including gold-plated manuscripts and the acts of the Inquisition trial against Galileo Galilei, are kept securely in special climate-controlled rooms.

The oldest of the documents stored in the archives dates back to the end of the 8th Century.
Now in a renewed bid to shake any negative connotations associated with the word 'secret' in its name, Pope Francis has this week formally renamed the repository the Vatican Apostolic Archive.

The Latin term 'secretum' doesn't actually mean 'secret' at all and never did - it's actually a reference to the archives being private i.e. the Pope's personal property.

"Thanks to a certain cultural emphases in some places, the word 'secretum' having lost its true meaning and instinctively being associated with the modern concept of the word 'secret,' assumed the prejudicial acceptance of being hidden, not revealed and reserved for a few," the Pope wrote.

"That is completely contrary to what the Vatican Secret Archive always was and intended to be."

Source: Japan Times | Comments (19)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Orphalesion 5 years ago
They are pretty much just restricted to scholars, aren't they?
Comment icon #11 Posted by BorizBadinov 5 years ago
Access to archives is always subject to restriction based on how many people can occupy a given space and validity of research. If a reason such as needing to know how many popes chewed gum is given it will probably not be given the same consideration as a credited historical scholar unless no one else wants in that day. However the scholars that run the library are paid through an organization named The Monetary Affiliation For Internal Archive Control. The active members of which are also primary stockholders in the offshore company League of Villains LLC. (Google it and you will get a link ... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
It began well before that !
Comment icon #13 Posted by Twisted_Caulk 5 years ago
Religion is dumb. It was literally just the "science" at the time to explain why the sun rose every day and what the moon is.  In today's time where science has explained so many of the ancient world questions, religion is right along the conspiracy theories of ancient aliens, flat Earth, and that the moon landings didn't happen haha.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Festina Lente 5 years ago
Only if one qualifies after being fully vetted by the inquisitors of the church.    
Comment icon #15 Posted by Festina Lente 5 years ago
Full access?
Comment icon #16 Posted by jaylemurph 5 years ago
Well, “full access” makes it sound like there’s a sooper-dooper secret area only for supervillains to gloat in. Such things exist only in the minds of self-deluded conspiridiots.  That said, all research libraries have access-only areas where valuable texts are kept in controlled environments and you have to have certain credentials proving you know how to handle old books to get that access. —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #17 Posted by Festina Lente 5 years ago
Have you done any research on Apollonius of Tyana?   A first hand look at Eusebius’ Adversus Hierocles might provide some additional useful insight.      
Comment icon #18 Posted by Festina Lente 5 years ago
So you don’t believe they absconded with any of the so called “Lost” works but destroyed them all?  Ive been reading a book that lists many people who have been slandered, defamed, anathematized and murdered and who’s works have been interpolated and mutilated over the millennia by the church.   Further research states most of these individuals works were LOST I find it funny peculiar how the works of Eusebius  and Josephus are all extant.  Birds of a feather.             
Comment icon #19 Posted by jaylemurph 5 years ago
Well, I will say you don’t fund and build libraries to destroy texts. You do the opposite, so your proposition about destruction of books, out of the gate, has problems. I think you’re not stopping to consider the vast number of non-Christian texts the catholic church /did/ preserve, and the sheer number of texts in toto that didn’t survive anywhere.  I don’t know what specific book you’re reading or what further research you’ve conducted, so I can’t comment on those, other than to remark your mind seems fully made up on the alleged guilt of the catholic church. Determining th... [More]

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