Vatican Secret Archives

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The Vatican Secret Archives (Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum) is the central repository in the Vatican City for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope, as Sovereign of Vatican City and having primal incumbency, owns the archives until his death or resignation, with ownership passing to his successor. The archives also contain the state papers, correspondence, papal account books, and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries. In the 17th century, under the orders of Pope Paul V, the Secret Archives were separated from the Vatican Library, where scholars had some very limited access to them, and remained absolutely closed to outsiders until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, more than a thousand of whom now examine some of its documents each year.

The archives are currently overseen by Cardinal Sergio Bernadini and contained in the archives are, among many other things, the St Lazarus Documents.

Vatican Secret Archives

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