Founded in 1611 by Pope Paul V, the Vatican Secret Archives are an ultra-secure repository for the Church’s oldest, most valuable documents. Access has always been limited; even today, only Vatican officials and qualified academics are allowed inside, and only then with a letter of recommendation. And since browsing isn’t permitted, they also need to list precisely which documents they need — even without knowing exactly what’s in there.
Naturally, anything this secretive is bound to give rise to rumors, especially when it involves the Vatican. And while the occasional exhibition has revealed some of the hidden material, most of it remains in the shadows.
That said, here are 10 diabolical theories as to what we might be missing.