Religion: New Light on Jewish Catacombs

St. Domitilla, St. Callistus, St. Sebastian—these are among the early Christians whose shrines attract thousands of pilgrims to the catacombs underneath Rome. The 1929 Concordat that established Vatican rule over these ancient burial grounds also gave the Roman Catholic Church control of two other catacombs in which it had little interest. These, several centuries older than the Christian sites, contained the graves of more than 100,000 of the Jews who had migrated to the ancient capital after the 1st century B.C. And so the crypts were sealed off and left in darkness.

Now, under a new Concordat being worked out by the...

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