Pope Francis renamed the Vatican Secret Archives to the Apostolic Archives, citing that “secret” has negative connotations today.

On Monday, Pope Francis promulgated an apostolic letter motu proprio in which he declared “from now on the present Vatican Secret Archive, without prejudice to its identity, its structure and its mission, should be called the Vatican Apostolic Archive.”

In the letter, Pope Francis said the change had been “requested in recent years by some esteemed prelates, as well as by my closest collaborators, having also listened to the opinion of the Superiors of the same Vatican Secret Archive.”

He cited that the modern word “secret” evokes negative connotations and has “assumed the prejudicial sense of being hidden, not to be revealed and to be reserved for a few, the complete opposite of what the Vatican Secret Archive has always been and intends to be.”

In Latin Secretum can be more accurately translated to mean private or personal, an understanding of which provides “no need to explain or even justify this title of Archivum Secretum.”

Despite this, Pope Francis said the change was necessary as the “true meaning of the term Secretum” was lost.

“With the progressive semantic changes that have occurred in modern languages and in the cultures and social sensitivities of different nations, to a greater or lesser extent, the term Secretum, linked to the Vatican Archive, began to be misunderstood, to be colored with ambiguous shades, even negative.”

Conspiracy theorists have long speculated that the Vatican Archives contains evidence of extraterrestrial life, or evidence disproving the historical existence of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. What really lies hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives? Click to find out…

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