Bishop Rolando Álvarez and the other clergy were jailed more than a year ago, in most cases, as part of a crackdown on the opposition and Catholic Church by President Daniel Ortega.
Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the first cardinal ever prosecuted by the Vatican criminal court, was convicted in a complicated financial trial that aired the Vatican's dirty laundry.
In the past, tours of the ancient burial site were generally only granted to approved academics, students and other specialists.
Roman Catholic leaders from around the world are gathering at the Vatican for a synod, or meeting, to address issues facing the church, including whether to allow women to become deacons.
In a letter to conservative cardinals, the pope suggested that such blessings for same-sex unions could be studied if they didn't confuse the blessing with sacramental marriage.
Catholic women's groups that have long criticized the Vatican for treating women as second-class citizens immediately praised the move as historic in the 2,000-year life of the church.
The doctrine, with origins in the 15th century, was invoked as a legal and religious standing by Europeans who "discovered" new lands and violently seized it from people who had been living there.
The leader of the world's 1.3 billion Catholics has steered his church leftward after more than two decades of conservative leadership. Opposition within the Vatican is fierce.
NPR's Leila Fadel speaks with Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay Chilean man who is a survivor of clergy sex abuse, about remarks by Pope Francis that criminalizing homosexuality is "unjust."
Pope Francis has revealed in an interview published Sunday that shortly after being elected pontiff in 2013 he wrote a resignation letter in case medical problems impede him from doing his duties.