Rome, Italy, Mar 16, 2021 / 12:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis on Tuesday said the Lateran Palace, the former centuries-long papal residence located in southeast Rome, should now be used as a museum.
In a letter to Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the vicar of Rome, published March 16, Pope Francis wrote that a desire to promote and protect the Church’s beauty and cultural heritage had inspired him to dedicate the Lateran Palace for “museum and cultural activities.”
As vicar of the Diocese of Rome, De Donatis was entrusted with the task of organizing these activities together with the Vatican City State.
What is now known as the Lateran Palace began during the Roman Empire as the Domus Laterani, the home of the Plautii Laterani family.
Emperor Constantine gave the property to the bishop of Rome in the 4th century, and it served as the papal residence until the Avignon Papacy and subsequent move to the Vatican in the 14th century.