VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The archives of the Vatican department once known as the Inquisition will be partially opened to historians, a Vatican source said on Saturday. The source said the announcement to open the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith until 1902 will be formally announced on January 22 by its prefect, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, during an adademic conference in Rome. The Congregation, which controls the orthodoxy of Catholic teaching by theologians, is the successor to the department once known as the Inquisition and the later the Holy Office. Historians will be able to consult documentation on such cases as that of Galileo, the astronomer condemned by the Inquisition in the 17th century for asserting that the earth revolved around the sun. The Vatican rehabilitated him in 1992, admitting after 359 years that it was wrong to have condemned him. Scholars and historians will have access to other cases that took place during the Inquisition. During the Inquisition, which reached its height in the 16th century to counter the Reformation, Christians considered heretics were tortured and subjected to secret trials. Penalties ranged from fines to flogging, imprisonment and death by burning.