Lateran Treaty

From the Italian unification and as Rome in 1871 became the capital of the new Kingdom of Italy, the Holy See lacked a territory, which it earlier had enjoyed ever since the early Middle Ages. This international-Catholic problem was finally solved through the 1929 Lateran Treaty.

The Lateran Treaty (Italian: Patti Lateranensi; Latin: Pacta Lateranensia) was one of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 or Lateran Accords, agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, settling the "Roman Question". They are named after the Lateran Palace, where they were signed on 11 February 1929. The Italian parliament ratified them on 7 June 1929. It recognized Vatican City as an independent state, with the Italian government, at the time led by Benito Mussolini as prime minister, agreeing to give the Roman Catholic Church financial compensation for the loss of the Papal States.[1] In 1947, the Lateran Treaty was recognized in the Constitution of Italy[2] as regulating the relations between the state and the Catholic Church.

Lateran Treaty
TypeBilateral treaty
DraftedEstablishment of papal state on the Apennine peninsula
Signed11 February 1929
LocationRome, Italy
ConditionRatification by the Kingdom of Italy and Vatican City
Signatories
  • Kingdom of Italy Italy
    Vatican City Vatican City

Content

The Lateran Pacts are often presented as three treaties: a 27-article treaty of conciliation, a three-article financial convention, and a 45-article concordat.[3][4][5][6][7][8] However, the website of the Holy See presents the pacts as two, making the financial convention an annex of the treaty of conciliation. In this presentation, the pacts consisted of two documents, the first of which had four annexes:[9]

  • A political treaty recognising the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established, a document accompanied by the annexes:
    • A plan of the territory of the Vatican City-State, with an area of 108.7 acres (44.0 ha)[10]
    • A list and plans of the buildings with extraterritorial privilege and exemption from expropriation and taxes
    • A financial convention agreed on as a definitive settlement of the claims of the Holy See following the loss in 1870 of its territories and property. (The Italian state agreed to pay 750 million lire immediately plus consolidated bearer bonds with a coupon rate of 5% and a nominal value of 1,000 million lire. It thus paid less than it would have paid, 3.25 million lire per annum, under the 1871 Law of Guarantees, which the Holy See had not accepted.)[11][12][13][14][15][16]
  • A concordat regulating relations between the Catholic Church and the Italian state

History

FrancescoPacelli1922
Francesco Pacelli was the right-hand man to Pietro Gasparri during the Lateran Treaty negotiations
Vatican City annex
Territory of Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Accords
Vatican City map EN
2013 map of Vatican City

During the unification of Italy in the mid-19th century, the Papal States resisted incorporation into the new nation, even as all the other Italian countries, except for San Marino, joined it; Camillo Cavour's dream of proclaiming the Kingdom of Italy from the steps of St. Peter's Basilica did not come to pass. The nascent Kingdom of Italy invaded and occupied Romagna (the eastern portion of the Papal States) in 1860, leaving only Latium in the Pope's domains. Latium, including Rome itself, was occupied and annexed in 1870. For the following sixty years, relations between the Papacy and the Italian government were hostile, and the status of the Pope became known as the "Roman Question".

The Popes knew that Rome was irrevocably the capital of Italy. There was nothing they wanted less than to govern it or be burdened with a papal kingdom. What they wished was independence, a foothold on the earth that belonged to no other sovereign.[17]

Negotiations for the settlement of the Roman Question began in 1926 between the government of Italy and the Holy See, and culminated in the agreements of the Lateran Pacts, signed—the Treaty says—for King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy by Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister and Head of Government, and for Pope Pius XI by Pietro Gasparri, Cardinal Secretary of State,[18] on 11 February 1929.[19] It was ratified on 7 June 1929.[20] The agreements were signed in the Lateran Palace, hence the name by which they are known.

The agreements included a political treaty which created the state of the Vatican City and guaranteed full and independent sovereignty to the Holy See. The Pope was pledged to perpetual neutrality in international relations and to abstention from mediation in a controversy unless specifically requested by all parties. In the first article of the treaty, Italy reaffirmed the principle established in the 4 March 1848 Statute of the Kingdom of Italy, that "the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Religion is the only religion of the State".[21] The attached financial agreement was accepted as settlement of all the claims of the Holy See against Italy arising from the loss of temporal power of the Papal States in 1870.

The sum thereby given to the Holy See was actually less than Italy declared it would pay under the terms of the Law of Guarantees of 1871, by which the Italian government guaranteed to Pope Pius IX and his successors the use of, but not sovereignty over, the Vatican and Lateran Palaces and a yearly income of 3,250,000 lire as indemnity for the loss of sovereignty and territory. The Holy See, on the grounds of the need for clearly manifested independence from any political power in its exercise of spiritual jurisdiction, had refused to accept the settlement offered in 1871, and the Popes thereafter until the signing of the Lateran Treaty considered themselves prisoners in the Vatican, a small, limited area inside Rome.

To commemorate the successful conclusion of the negotiations, Mussolini commissioned the Via della Conciliazione (Road of the Conciliation), which would symbolically link the Vatican City to the heart of Rome.

After 1946

The Constitution of the Italian Republic, adopted in 1947, states that relations between the State and the Catholic Church "are regulated by the Lateran Treaties".[22]

In 1984, an agreement was signed, revising the concordat. Among other things, both sides declared: "The principle of the Catholic religion as the sole religion of the Italian State, originally referred to by the Lateran Pacts, shall be considered to be no longer in force".[23] The Church's position as the sole state-supported religion of Italy was also ended, replacing the state financing with a personal income tax called the otto per mille, to which other religious groups, Christian and non-Christian, also have access. As of 2013, there are ten other religious groups with access. The revised concordat regulated the conditions under which civil effects are accorded by Italy to church marriages and to ecclesiastical declarations of nullity of marriages.[24] Abolished articles included those concerning state recognition of knighthoods and titles of nobility conferred by the Holy See,[25] the undertaking by the Holy See to confer ecclesiastical honours on those authorized to perform religious functions at the request of the State or the Royal Household,[26] and the obligation of the Holy See to enable the Italian government to present political objections to the proposed appointment of diocesan bishops.[27]

In 2008, it was announced that the Vatican would no longer immediately adopt all Italian laws, citing conflict over right-to-life issues following the trial and ruling of the Eluana Englaro case.[28]

Violations

Italy's anti-Jewish laws of 1938 prohibited marriages between Jews and non-Jews, including Catholics. The Vatican viewed this as a violation of the Concordat, which gave the church the sole right to regulate marriages involving Catholics.[29] Article 34 of the Concordat had also specified that marriages performed by the Catholic Church would always be considered valid by civil authorities.[30] The Holy See understood this to apply to all marriages in Italy celebrated by Roman Catholic clergy, regardless of the faiths of those being married.[30]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ A History of Western Society (Tenth ed.). Bedford/St. Martin's. p. 900.
  2. ^ Constitution of Italy, article 7.
  3. ^ "Text of the Lateran Treaty of 1929". www.aloha.net.
  4. ^ James Brown Scott, "The Treaty between Italy and the Vatican" in Proceedings of the American Society of International Law at Its Annual Meeting (1921–1969), volume 23, (24-27 April 1929), p. 13.
  5. ^ "Holy See (Vatican City) Government Profile 2017". www.indexmundi.com.
  6. ^ "CIA Factbook, "Holy See (Vatican City)"" (PDF).
  7. ^ "La Chiesa cattolica e il fascismo" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Scopri StoriaLive". www.pbmstoria.it.
  9. ^ Pacts between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy, 11 February 1929.
  10. ^ Rhodes, The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators, p. 45
  11. ^ "index.html". lactualite.tripod.com.
  12. ^ John F. Pollard, The Vatican and Italian Fascism, 1929–32: A Study in Conflict (Cambridge University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-52102366-5), p. 43.
  13. ^ John Whittam, Fascist Italy (Manchester University Press 1995 ISBN 978-0-71904004-7), p. 77.
  14. ^ Gerhard Robbers, Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (Infobase Publishing 2006 ISBN 978-0-81606078-8), p. 1007.
  15. ^ Law Library Journal, volume 99:3, p. 590.
  16. ^ "How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's millions", The Guardian, 21 January 2013.
  17. ^ Vatican Journal, p. 59 (entry dated June 14, 1931).
  18. ^ Kertzer, Prisoner of the Vatican, p. 292
  19. ^ Rhodes, The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators, p. 46
  20. ^ The National Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, p. 266
  21. ^ "Patti lateranensi, 11 febbraio 1929 - Segreteria di Stato, card. Pietro Gasparri". www.vatican.va.
  22. ^ "The Constitution of the Italian Republic, article 7".
  23. ^ The American Society of International Law, "Agreement between the Italian Republic and the Holy See" (English translation)
  24. ^ Article 8 of the revised concordat
  25. ^ Articles 41–42 of the 1929 concordat
  26. ^ Article 15 of the 1929 concordat
  27. ^ Article 19 of the 1929 concordat
  28. ^ Elgood, Giles (31 December 2008). "Vatican ends automatic adoption of Italian law". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January 2009. The Vatican will no longer automatically adopt new Italian laws as its own, a top Vatican official said, citing the vast number of laws Italy churns out, many of which are in odds with Catholic doctrine.
  29. ^ Zuccotti, 2000, p. 37.
  30. ^ a b Zuccotti, 2000, p. 48.

Bibliography

  • Kertzer, David I. (2004). Prisoner of the Vatican: The Popes' Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the New Italian State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company).
  • Kertzer, David I. (2014). The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. Oxford University Press.
  • Latourette, Kenneth Scott. Christianity in a Revolutionary Age: A History of Christianity in the 19th and 20th Century: Vol. 4 The 20th Century in Europe (1961) pp. 32–35, 153, 156, 371
  • McCormick, Anne O'Hare (1957). Vatican Journal: 1921-1954 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy)
  • Pollard, John F. (2005). The Vatican and Italian Fascism, 1929–32: A Study in Conflict. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521023665.
  • Pollard, Jonh F. (2014). The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914–1958. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199208562.
  • Rhodes, Anthony (1974), The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators, 1922-1945, New York, Chicago, San Francisco: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
  • Riccards, Michael (1998). Vicars of Christ: Popes, Power, and Politics in the Modern World. New York: Crossroad. ISBN 0-8245-1694-X.
  • Suzzallo, Henry, Ph.D., Sc.D., LL.D., Editor in Chief, The National Encyclopedia: Volume 10, (New York, P. F. Collier & Son Corporation, 1935)
  • Zuccotti, Susan (2002). Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09310-1.

External links

Black nobility

The black nobility or black aristocracy (Italian: nobiltà nera, aristocrazia nera) are Roman aristocratic families who sided with the Papacy under Pope Pius IX after the Savoy family-led army of the Kingdom of Italy entered Rome on 20 September 1870, overthrew the Pope and the Papal States, and took over the Quirinal Palace, and any nobles subsequently ennobled by the Pope prior to the 1929 Lateran Treaty.For the next 59 years, the Pope confined himself to Vatican City and claimed to be a prisoner in the Vatican to avoid the appearance of accepting the authority of the new Italian government and state. Aristocrats who had been ennobled by the Pope and were formerly subjects of the Papal states, including the senior members of the Papal Court, kept the doors of their palaces in Rome closed to mourn the Pope's confinement, which led to their being called the "black nobility".

Flag of Vatican City

The flag of Vatican City was adopted on June 7, 1929, the year Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Italy, creating a new independent state governed by the Holy See. The Vatican flag is modeled on the 1808 yellow and white flag of the earlier Papal States, to which a papal tiara and keys were later added. The Vatican (and the Holy See) also refer to it, interchangeably, as the flag of the Holy See.

Francesco Pacelli

Francesco Pacelli (February 1, 1872 – April 22, 1935) was an Italian lawyer and the elder brother of Eugenio Pacelli, who would later become Pope Pius XII. He acted as a legal advisor to Pope Pius XI; in this capacity, he assisted Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri in the negotiation of the Lateran Treaty, which established the independence of Vatican City.

Holy See

The Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes, pronounced [ˈsaŋkta ˈsedes]; Italian: Santa Sede), also called the See of Rome, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, and a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.

As a recognised sovereign subject of international law, headed by the Pope, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, and exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy. The Holy See maintains bilateral diplomatic relations with 172 sovereign states, signs concordats and treaties, and performs multilateral diplomacy with multiple intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies, the Council of Europe, the European Communities, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe the Organization of American States and the Organization for African Unity. The Holy See is administered by the Roman Curia (Latin for Roman Court), similar to a centralised government, with the Cardinal Secretary of State as its chief administrator, in addition to various dicasteries, comparable to ministries and executive departments. Papal elections are carried out by the College of Cardinals.

Although the Holy See is sometimes metonymically referred to as the "Vatican", the Vatican City State was distinctively established with the Lateran Treaty (1929) between the Holy See and Italy to ensure the temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence of the Papacy. As such, ambassadors are officially accredited to the Holy See and not the Vatican City State. Conversely, Papal nuncios to states and international organisations are recognised as representing the Holy See and the integrity of the Catholic Church along with its 1.3 billion members, not the Vatican City State, as prescribed also in the Canon law of the Catholic Church (1983). The "Holy See" thus refers to the See of Rome viewed as the central government of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, in turn, is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, while the diplomatic status of the Holy See facilitates the access of its vast international network of charities.

Katakombenschule

Katakombenschulen (catacomb schools) were established in Italian South Tyrol during the 1920s period of Fascist Italianization; teaching of and in the German language was banned (Lex Gentile, October 1923) by the authorities of Italy which had occupied the area in 1918. Approximately 30,000 students in 324 schools were affected, including the dissolution of German nursery schools and all higher German language based educational institutions.School teachers in the province were replaced by Italian-speaking subjects. German language based education went underground when private lessons were banned in November 1925. The main organizers were, among many others, priest Michael Gamper and lawyer Dr. Josef Noldin. School books were smuggled from farm to farm and lessons taught by the dismissed German teachers; they were augmented by approximately 500 young female volunteers. The Katakombenschulen focused on the teaching of writing and reading in German. The penalty for being found out was prison and repeatedly caught teachers were deported to South Italy. The 25-year-old teacher Angela Nikoletti died from tuberculosis during a prison term. Josef Noldin was deported to Lipari in 1927.After the signing of the Lateran treaty in 1929 German language religious lessons on Sunday were allowed.

Lateran

Lateran and Laterano are the shared names of several buildings in Rome. The properties were once owned by the Lateranus family of the Roman Empire. The Laterani lost their properties to Emperor Constantine who gave them to the Roman Catholic Church in 311.The most famous Lateran buildings are the Lateran Palace, once called the Palace of the Popes, and the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome, which although part of Italy is a property of the Holy See, which has extraterritorial privileges as a result of the 1929 Lateran Treaty. As the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope, St. John Lateran is the Papal cathedra. The Lateran is Christendom's earliest basilica.

Attached to the basilica is the Lateran Baptistery, one of the oldest in Christendom. Other constituent parts of the Lateran complex are the building of the Scala Sancta with the Sancta Sanctorum and the Triclinium of Pope Leo III.

The Pontifical Lateran University, or simply Lateranum, is one of the pontifical universities of Rome. An ecclesiastical college in the Philippines was named after the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, founded in 1620.

Lateran Palace

The Lateran Palace (Latin: Palatium Lateranense), formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran (Latin: Palatium Apostolicum Lateranense), is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main papal residence in southeast Rome.

Located on St. John's Square in Lateran on the Caelian Hill, the palace is adjacent to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral church of Rome. From the fourth century, the palace was the principal residence of the popes, and continued so for about a thousand years until the seat ultimately moved to the Vatican. The palace is now used by the Vatican Historical Museum, which illustrates the history of the Papal States. The palace also houses the offices of the Vicariate of Rome, as well as the residential apartments of the Cardinal Vicar, the pope's delegate for the daily administration of the diocese. Until 1970, the palace was also home to the important collections of the Lateran Museum, now dispersed among other parts of the Vatican Museums.

Following the Lateran Treaty of 1929, the palace and adjoining basilica are extraterritorial properties of the Holy See.

Law of Vatican City

The law of Vatican City State consists of many forms, the most important of which is the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State. The Code of Penal Procedure governs tribunals and the Lateran Treaty governs relations with the Republic of Italy.

Legal status of the Holy See

The legal status of the Holy See, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, both in state practice and according to the writing of modern legal scholars, is that of a full subject of public international law, with rights and duties analogous to those of States.

List of popes (graphical)

This is a graphical list of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church.

While the term pope (Latin: Papa, 'Father') is used in several churches to denote their high spiritual leaders, in English usage, this title generally refers to the supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Holy See. The title itself has been used officially by the head of the Church since the tenure of Pope Siricius.

There have been 266 popes, as listed by the Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook) under the heading 'I Sommi Pontefici Romani' (The Supreme Pontiffs of Rome). Some sources quote a number of 267, with the inclusion of Stephen II, who died four days after his election but before his episcopal consecration. However, only 264 (or 265) men have occupied the chair of Saint Peter, as Benedict IX held the office thrice on separate occasions in the mid–11th century.

The pope bears the titles

Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the Servants of Godand is officially styled 'His Holiness'.

Since the Lateran Treaty of 1929, the pope's temporal title has been Sovereign of the Vatican City State.

List of universities in Vatican City

This is a list of accredited institutes of higher education — e.g. universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, and institutes of technology — located in, or near, Vatican City. More specifically, the buildings are in Rome: there are no universities inside the official boundaries of Vatican City, due to restricted public access such as border checkpoints and security checkpoints run by the Pontifical Swiss Guard or the Italian police. According to the Lateran Treaty, these buildings enjoy the same status, recognized by international law, as embassies and foreign diplomatic missions abroad. The areas occupied by the buildings are commonly known as extraterritorial.There are about 65 educational institutions around Rome that address papal education and learning, including the most important ones concentrating on ecclesiastical faculties (Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law), which are known as Pontifical universities.

Major basilica

A major basilica (Latin: Basilica maior; plural: Basilicae maiores) is one of the four highest-ranking Roman Catholic church buildings, all of which are also papal basilicas: the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, St. Peter's Basilica, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. All of them are located within the diocese of Rome: St. Peter's Basilica is located in Vatican City and thus within the territory and sovereign jurisdiction of the Holy See. The other three are geographically located in Italian territory, but enjoy extraterritorial status under the Lateran Treaty. The Archbasilica of St. John in the Lateran is the seat of the Pope and the site of the Papal Cathedra, and is the oldest and first in rank of the major basilicas.

All other churches that have the title of basilica are minor basilicas (Latin: basilica minor).

Papal nobility

The Papal nobility is the nobility of the Holy See. Few Pontifical titles, other than personal nobility granted by individual entry into the several Pontifical equestrian orders, have been granted since the election of Pope John XXIII, though Pope John Paul II ennobled several distinguished individuals during his pontificate, as did Pope Benedict XVI, through the Vatican Secretariat of State. Those granted included prince, duke, marquis, count, and baron. The papal nobility are, as such, part of the Papal Court reformed via the 1968 apostolic letter Pontificalis Domus, which reorganized the Court into the Pontifical Household. Papal titles of nobility were specifically recognized by Italy in the 1929 Lateran Treaty establishing the Vatican City State and recognizing the sovereignty of the Holy See. In 1969 the Italian Council of State determined that the provision of the Lateran Treaty concerning the recognition of papal titles that was incorporated into the Italian Constitution was still valid and therefore that their use in Italy was still licit. No provision, however, has been made for their use in Italian passports, identity cards or civil state registries.

Prisoner in the Vatican

A prisoner in the Vatican or prisoner of the Vatican (Italian: Prigioniero del Vaticano; Latin: Captivus Vaticani) is how Pope Pius IX was described following the capture of Rome by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870. Part of the process of Italian unification, the city's capture ended the millennial temporal rule of the popes over central Italy and allowed Rome to be designated the capital of the new nation. The appellation is also applied to Pius's successors through Pope Pius XI.

As nationalism swept the Italian Peninsula in the 19th century, efforts to unify Italy were blocked in part by the Papal States, which ran through the middle of the peninsula and included the ancient capital of Rome. The Papal States were able to fend off efforts to conquer them largely through the pope's influence over the leaders of stronger European powers such as France and Austria. When Rome was eventually taken, the Italian government reportedly intended to let the pope keep the part of Rome west of the Tiber called the Leonine City as a small remaining Papal State, but Pius IX refused. One week after entering Rome, the Italian troops had taken the entire city save for the Apostolic Palace; the inhabitants of the city then voted to join Italy.For the next 59 years, the popes refused to leave the Vatican in order to avoid any appearance of accepting the authority wielded by the Italian government over Rome as a whole. During this period, popes also refused to appear at Saint Peter's Square or at the balcony of the Vatican Basilica facing it, as the square in front of the basilica was occupied by Italian troops. During this period, popes granted the Urbi et Orbi blessings from a balcony facing a courtyard, or from inside the basilica, and papal coronations were instead held at the Sistine Chapel. The period ended in 1929, when the Lateran Treaty created the modern state of Vatican City.

Properties of the Holy See

The properties of the Holy See are regulated by the 1929 Lateran Treaty signed with the Kingdom of Italy. Although part of Italian territory, some of them enjoy immunities, similar to those of foreign embassies.

Roman Question

The Roman Question (Italian: Questione romana; Latin: Quaestio Romana) was a dispute regarding the temporal power of the popes as rulers of a civil territory in the context of the Italian Risorgimento. It ended with the Lateran Pacts between King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Pope Pius XI in 1929.

Special Administration of the Holy See

The Special Administration of the Holy See (Italian: Amministrazione Speciale della Santa Sede, abbreviated ASSS) was a dicastery of the Roman Curia from 1929 to 1967. It was established by Pope Pius XI on 7 June 1929 to manage the ₤it. 750 million in cash and 1,000 million in Italian government bonds transferred to the Holy See in implementation of the Financial Convention attached to the Lateran Treaty of 1929.In 1967, Pope Paul VI combined the Special Administration of the Holy See and the Administration of the Property of the Holy See into one office, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, erected on 15 August 1967.

Vatican City

Vatican City ( (listen)), officially Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes). With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world by both area and population.The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.

The Holy See dates back to early Christianity, and is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholics around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy.

Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.

Visa policy of Vatican City

Although not a member of either the European Union or the European Economic Area, the Vatican City maintains an open border with Italy and is treated as part of the Schengen Area. Since the Vatican City is only accessible via Italy, entering the Vatican City is not possible without entering the Schengen Area first; hence Schengen visa rules apply de facto. Nevertheless, as the Vatican City has no tourist accommodations (hotels or rental apartments), it is therefore virtually impossible to stay overnight as a tourist.

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