Vatican City, Mar 2, 2012 / 16:03 pm America/Denver (CNA).
A Holy See official says there is nothing mysterious about the Vatican Secret Archives that have recently gone on display, but that they normally remain private because of their incalculable value.
“The doors of the Vatican Secret Archives have essentially been open since 1881 to qualified researchers who wish to carry historical research that is generally drawn out and complicated,” Msgr. Sergio Pagano, the prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, told CNA.
The current “Lux in Arcana” exhibit at Rome’s Capitoline Museum was created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Vatican's Secret Archives and includes notable items such as the 1521 decree from Pope Leo X excommunicating German monk Martin Luther.
Msgr. Pagano noted that the expo that opened this week marks the first time in 400 years that the public at large has been granted extensive access to the Vatican Archives.
It includes some of the most treasured documents of the Archives as well as multimedia resources allowing visitors to learn about the work of the Popes throughout the centuries.
Among the documents on display is one of the last letters written by Queen Mary of Scots, who told Pope Sixtus V she was giving her life in defense of the Catholic faith.