Laws passed by the Commission must be approved by the pope through the Secretariat of State prior to being published and taking effect.
Judicial branch of the government of Vatican City
Absolute judicial authority: Pope, currently Pope Francis
Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione)
The Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura serves ex officio as the President of the Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione). The two other members of the Supreme Court are also Cardinals of the Apostolic Signatura and are chosen by the Cardinal Prefect on a yearly basis.
Under the terms of article 22 the Lateran Treaty, Italy will, at the request of the Holy See, punish individuals for crimes committed within Vatican City and will itself proceed against the person who committed the offence, if that person takes refuge in Italian territory. Persons accused of crimes recognized as such both in Italy and in Vatican City that are committed in Italian territory will be handed over to the Italian authorities if they take refuge in Vatican City or in buildings that under the treaty enjoy immunity.
On the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum is open to the public for free. This is extremely popular and it is common to wait in line for many hours. This image is a panoramic view of one small stretch of the entire queue in April 2007, which continues for some distance in both directions beyond view. In the background is the Vatican City's wall.
The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State (Italian: Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico) is responsible for issuing Vatican postal stamps and Vatican coins.
While Vatican stamps may only be used within the Vatican City State and the quantity of euro coins is limited by treaty with Italy (the total value of all coins minted in 2002 was restricted to €310,400), Vatican coins and stamps serve as an important sign of Vatican sovereignty, and their scarcity and design makes them popular with collectors.
Indeed, public interest in Vatican currency and stamps was considered sufficient to justify a Philatelic and Numismatic Museum (Il Museo Filatelico e Numismatico) which has been opened as part of the Vatican Museums in 2007. Two special stamps about the museum were issued at the museum opening.
Euro coins issued by the Vatican are minted by Italy's Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (Italian State Mint).
Vatican City, a quarter of a square mile (0.44 km2) in area, is a popular destination for tourists, especially Catholics wishing to see the Pope or to celebrate their faith. The main tourist attractions in Vatican City are focused in religious tourism and city tourism, including the visit to the Basilica of St. Peter, Saint Peter's Square, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Raphael Rooms.The largest numbers of pilgrims visit Vatican City at special moments in the liturgical year, such as Christmas or Easter, or during important periods such as the proclamation of a holy year or the funeral and election of a pope.
Tourism is one of the principal sources of revenue in the economy of Vatican City. In 2007 about 4.3 million tourists visited the Vatican Museums alone. Tourism is the main cause of the Vatican's unusually high crime rate: tourists are blamed for various minor thefts and incidents.
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 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, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the 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.
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