The Pope Removes Word ‘Secret’ from Vatican Secret Archives

There has long been speculation about what the Catholic Church is hiding in the Vatican Secret Archives, and now Pope Francis wants to end this “negative” connotation of having “secret” in its name.

The ‘Vatican Secret Archives’ gets a new name

The official name of the “Vatican Secret Archives” is “Archivio Segcreto Vaticano.” But has now changed as of October 28, 2019.

Pope Francis realized having “secret” in the name is giving off a “negative” connotation that implies the Vatican is hiding something. The Pope wants to end this assumption.

The new name for the “Vatican Secret Archives” is “The Papal Archives.”

What are the Vatican archives?

The Vatican Secret Archives has served as a storehouse and a research center for numerous documents, relics and treasures have been stored for 400 years by the Holy See.

Many of these documents are rare and peerless. They are relics the Catholic Church has obtained and collected over the centuries.

The Vatican maintains specialized equipment and a team of specialists who work tirelessly, year-round to care for and preserve these rare artifacts.

Not so secret

The Vatican archives have been a place where scholars from all nationalities around the world can access millions of papers and parchments for research purposes.

Of course, many of these have now been digitized, and researchers have online access as well.

However, even though scholars today can access these documents, it wasn’t always that way. It wasn’t until 1881, that Pope Leo XIII granted researchers access to some of the contents in the archive.

Not just anyone can access these documents. Access is not granted to journalists, students or amateur historians.

To get access, one has to be a proven, serious scholar, and even then, credentials that are granted have to be renewed every six months.

Once approved, scholars are in the presence of the Vatican’s Swiss guards.

What are some of the known treasures in the archives?

  • The 197-foot-long scroll containing the minutes of the trials of the Knights Templar.
  • The 1521 papal bull of Pope Leo X excommunicating Martin Luther.
  • Notes relating to the 1633 trial against Galileo.
  • A letter from Michelangelo to Pope Julius II.
  • A letter to Pope Sixtus V from Mary, Queen of Scots begging the Church to intervene shortly before her execution
  • The 1530 petition Henry VIII sent to Pope Clement VII in order to request an annulment of the king’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which includes the signatures and seals of over 80 English lords and clergymen (to which the Pope refused).

And much more.

Is there still a “secret” part of the archives?

Changing the name of the archives alone will not end speculation that the Vatican still maintains a secret area where it is hiding things the Holy See doesn’t want the rest of the world to know about.

Here are some of the rumors and conspiracy theories about what people believe the Vatican may be hiding in secret in its archives.

  1. The true secret of Fatima

Even though the Vatican released the “third secret of Fatima” in 2000, because it had little shocking revelation, people believe the Vatican did not reveal the “true” third secret in that it remains hidden in the archives. Many people believe this secret has to do with the apocalypse.

  1. Extraterrestrials

People believe the Vatican is hiding proof that extraterrestrials exist, even alien skulls.

  1. Jesus Christ

Some people believe the Vatican is hiding documentation that lists biological descendants of Jesus. Dan Brown’s The da Vinci code only furthered the speculation.

Other rumors: The archives are controlled by the Illuminati, a missing machine that can view the past and future called a chronovisor, and even pornography.