Vatican City

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vatican City State
Stato della Città del Vaticano
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: Inno e Marcia Pontificale  (Italian)
Pontifical Anthem and March
Location of  Vatican City  (green)in Europe  (dark grey)  –  [Legend]
Location of  Vatican City  (green)

in Europe  (dark grey)  –  [Legend]

Capital Vatican City (city state)
41°54.2′N 12°27.2′E / 41.9033°N 12.4533°E / 41.9033; 12.4533
Official languages Italian[note 1]
Religion Catholicism
Government Ecclesiastical;[1] sacerdotal-monarchical;[2]
absolute monarchy;[3] elective monarchy;[4] elective theocracy.[5]
 -  Pope (Sovereign) Francis
 -  Secretary of State Pietro Parolin
 -  President of
the Governorate

Giuseppe Bertello[6]
Legislature Pontifical Commission
Independence from the Kingdom of Italy
 -  Lateran Treaty 11 February 1929 
Area
 -  Total 44 ha (249th)
110 acres
Population
 -  July 2013 estimate 839[1] (240th)
 -  Density 1877/km2 (6th)
4,859/sq mi
Currency Euro (€) (EUR)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right[note 2]
Calling code +379[note 3]
ISO 3166 code VA
Internet TLD .va

Vatican City Listeni/ˈvætɨkən ˈsɪti/, officially Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano;[note 4] pronounced [ˈstaːto della t͡ʃitˈta (d)del vatiˈkaːno]), is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of around 840.[1] This makes Vatican City the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

Vatican City is an ecclesiastical[1] or sacerdotal-monarchical[2] state, ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various national origins. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace. The Popes have generally resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377, but have also at times resided in the Quirinal Palace in Rome and elsewhere.

In the city, there are 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 tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications.

The independent city-state was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of Pope Pius XI and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.[7][8][9] The treaty spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870) that had previously encompassed much of central Italy.

Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See,[note 5] which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports, whereas Vatican City State issues normal passports for its citizens.

Geography[edit]

Territory of Vatican City State according to the Lateran Treaty

The name "Vatican" predates Christianity and comes from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount.[10] The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields. It is in this territory that St. Peter's Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel, and museums were built, along with various other buildings. The area was part of the Roman rione of Borgo until 1929. Being separated from the city, on the west bank of the Tiber river, the area was an outcrop of the city that was protected by being included within the walls of Leo IV (847–55), and later expanded by the current fortification walls, built under Paul III (1534–49), Pius IV (1559–65) and Urban VIII (1623–44).

Map of Vatican City, highlighting notable buildings and the Vatican gardens

When the Lateran Treaty of 1929 that gave the state its form was being prepared, the boundaries of the proposed territory were influenced by the fact that much of it was all but enclosed by this loop. For some tracts of the frontier, there was no wall, but the line of certain buildings supplied part of the boundary, and for a small part of the frontier a modern wall was constructed.

The territory includes St. Peter's Square, distinguished from the territory of Italy only by a white line along the limit of the square, where it touches Piazza Pio XII. St. Peter's Square is reached through the Via della Conciliazione which runs from close to the Tiber River to St. Peter's. This grand approach was constructed by Benito Mussolini after the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty.

According to the Lateran Treaty, certain properties of the Holy See that are located in Italian territory, most notably the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo and the major basilicas, enjoy extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies.[11][12] These properties, scattered all over Rome and Italy, house essential offices and institutions necessary to the character and mission of the Holy See.[12]

Castel Gandolfo and the named basilicas are patrolled internally by police agents of Vatican City State and not by Italian police. According to the Lateran Treaty (Art. 3) St. Peter's Square, up to but not including the steps leading to the basilica, is normally patrolled by the Italian police.[11]

There are no passport controls for visitors entering Vatican City from the surrounding Italian territory. There is free public access to Saint Peter's Square and Basilica and, on the occasion of papal general audiences, to the hall in which they are held. For these audiences and for major ceremonies in Saint Peter's Basilica and Square, tickets free of charge must be obtained beforehand. The Vatican Museums, incorporating the Sistine Chapel, usually charge an entrance fee. There is no general public access to the gardens, but guided tours for small groups can be arranged to the gardens and excavations under the basilica. Other places are open only to individuals who have business to transact there.

St. Peter's Square, the basilica and obelisk, from Piazza Pio XII
St. Peter's Square, the basilica and obelisk, from Piazza Pio XII

Climate[edit]

Vatican City's climate is the same as Rome's: a temperate, Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters from September to mid-May and hot, dry summers from May to August. Some minor local features, principally mists and dews, are caused by the anomalous bulk of St Peter's Basilica, the elevation, the fountains and the size of the large paved square.

Climate data for Vatican City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11.9
(53.4)
13.0
(55.4)
15.2
(59.4)
17.7
(63.9)
22.8
(73)
26.9
(80.4)
30.3
(86.5)
30.6
(87.1)
26.5
(79.7)
21.4
(70.5)
15.9
(60.6)
12.6
(54.7)
20.4
(68.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.5
(45.5)
8.2
(46.8)
10.2
(50.4)
12.6
(54.7)
17.2
(63)
21.1
(70)
24.1
(75.4)
24.5
(76.1)
20.8
(69.4)
16.4
(61.5)
11.4
(52.5)
8.4
(47.1)
15.2
(59.4)
Average low °C (°F) 3.1
(37.6)
3.5
(38.3)
5.2
(41.4)
7.5
(45.5)
11.6
(52.9)
15.3
(59.5)
18.0
(64.4)
18.3
(64.9)
15.2
(59.4)
11.3
(52.3)
6.9
(44.4)
4.2
(39.6)
10.0
(50)
Precipitation mm (inches) 67
(2.64)
73
(2.87)
58
(2.28)
81
(3.19)
53
(2.09)
34
(1.34)
19
(0.75)
37
(1.46)
73
(2.87)
113
(4.45)
115
(4.53)
81
(3.19)
804
(31.65)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 7.0 7.6 7.6 9.2 6.2 4.3 2.1 3.3 6.2 8.2 9.7 8.0 79.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 120.9 132.8 167.4 201.0 263.5 285.0 331.7 297.6 237.0 195.3 129.0 111.6 2,472.8
Source: Servizio Meteorologico,[13] data of sunshine hours[14]

In July 2007, the Vatican agreed to become the first carbon neutral state. They plan to accomplish this by offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with the creation of a Vatican Climate Forest in Hungary,[15] although this was reported as being purely symbolic,[16] and a way to encourage Catholics to do more to safeguard the planet.[17] No trees have been planted under the project and the carbon offsets have not materialised.[18][19]

In a more effective move to combat global warming, in May 2007, the Vatican announced that the roof of the Paul VI Audience Hall would be covered with photovoltaic panels.[20] The installation was officially placed into service on November 26, 2008.[21]

Gardens[edit]

Within the territory of Vatican City are the Vatican Gardens (Italian: Giardini Vaticani),[22] which account for more than half of this territory. The gardens, established during the Renaissance and Baroque era, are decorated with fountains and sculptures.

The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 metres (200 ft) above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West.

The gardens date back to medieval times when orchards and vineyards extended to the north of the Papal Apostolic Palace.[23] In 1279 Pope Nicholas III (Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1277–1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace and enclosed this area with walls.[24] He planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a garden (viridarium).[24]

A panorama of gardens and several buildings from atop St. Peter's Basilica
A panorama of the gardens from atop St. Peter's Basilica

History[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Vatican City
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
View of St. Peter's Square from the top of Michelangelo's dome.
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv, vi
Reference 286
UNESCO region Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 1984 (8th Session)

Early history[edit]

The Vatican obelisk was originally taken from Egypt by Caligula.

The name "Vatican" was already in use in the time of the Roman Republic for a marshy area on the west bank of the Tiber across from the city of Rome. Under the Roman Empire, many villas were constructed there, after Agrippina the Elder (14 BC – 18 October AD 33) drained the area and laid out her gardens in the early 1st century AD. In AD 40, her son, Emperor Caligula (31 August AD 12–24 January AD 41; r. 37–41) built in her gardens a circus for charioteers (AD 40) that was later completed by Nero, the Circus Gaii et Neronis,[25] usually called, simply, the Circus of Nero.[26]

Even before the arrival of Christianity, it is supposed that this originally uninhabited part of Rome (the ager vaticanus) had long been considered sacred, or at least not available for habitation.[citation needed] A shrine dedicated to the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her consort Attis remained active long after the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter was built nearby.[27]

The particularly low quality of Vatican wine, even after the reclamation of the area, was commented on by the poet Martial (40 – between 102 and 104 AD).[28] In AD 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, when the northern army that brought Aulus Vitellius to power arrived in Rome, "a large proportion camped in the unhealthy districts of the Vatican, which resulted in many deaths among the common soldiery; and the Tiber being close by, the inability of the Gauls and Germans to bear the heat and the consequent greed with which they drank from the stream weakened their bodies, which were already an easy prey to disease".[29]

The Vatican Obelisk was originally taken by Caligula from Heliopolis, Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant.[30] This area became the site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. Ancient tradition holds that it was in this circus that Saint Peter was crucified upside-down.[31]

Opposite the circus was a cemetery separated by the Via Cornelia. Funeral monuments and mausoleums and small tombs as well as altars to pagan gods of all kinds of polytheistic religions were constructed lasting until before the construction of the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter's in the first half of the 4th century. Remains of this ancient necropolis were brought to light sporadically during renovations by various popes throughout the centuries increasing in frequency during the Renaissance until it was systematically excavated by orders of Pope Pius XII from 1939 to 1941. The Constantinian basilica was built in 326 over what was believed to be the tomb of Saint Peter, buried in that cemetery.[32]

From then on, the area became more populated in connection with activity at the basilica. A palace was constructed nearby as early as the 5th century during the pontificate of Pope Symmachus (reigned 498–514).[33]

Papal States[edit]

The Italian peninsula in 1796. The shaded yellow territory in central Italy is the Papal State.

Popes gradually came to have a secular role as governors of regions near Rome. They ruled the Papal States, which covered a large portion of the Italian peninsula, for more than a thousand years until the mid-19th century, when all the territory belonging to the papacy was seized by the newly created Kingdom of Italy.

For most of this time the popes did not live at the Vatican. The Lateran Palace, on the opposite side of Rome was their habitual residence for about a thousand years. From 1309 to 1377, they lived at Avignon in France. On their return to Rome they chose to live at the Vatican. They moved to the Quirinal Palace after work on it was completed under Pope Paul V (1605–1621), but on the capture of Rome in 1870 retired to the Vatican, and what had been their residence became that of the King of Italy.

Italian unification[edit]

In 1870, the Pope's holdings were left in an uncertain situation when Rome itself was annexed by the Piedmont-led forces which had united the rest of Italy, after a nominal resistance by the papal forces. Between 1861 and 1929 the status of the Pope was referred to as the "Roman Question".

Italy made no attempt to interfere with the Holy See within the Vatican walls. However, they confiscated church property in many places. In 1871, the Palazzo Quirinale, for centuries the Papal palace, was confiscated by the king of Italy and became the royal palace. Thereafter the popes resided undisturbed within the Vatican walls, and certain papal prerogatives were recognized by the Law of Guarantees, including the right to send and receive ambassadors. But the Popes did not recognise the Italian king's right to rule in Rome, and they refused to leave the Vatican compound until the dispute was resolved in 1929; Pope Pius IX (1846–78), the last ruler of the Papal States, was referred to as a "prisoner in the Vatican". Forced to give up secular power, the popes focused on spiritual issues.[34]

Lateran treaties[edit]

This situation was resolved on 11 February 1929, when the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy was signed by Prime Minister and Head of Government Benito Mussolini on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III and by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri for Pope Pius XI.[7] The treaty, which became effective on 7 June 1929, established the independent state of Vatican City and reaffirmed the special status of Catholicism in Italy.[35]

World War II[edit]

The band of the Irish Brigade plays in front of St Peter's Basilica, June 1944

The Holy See, which ruled Vatican City, pursued a policy of neutrality during World War II, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII. Although German troops occupied the city of Rome after the September 1943 Armistice of Cassibile and the Allies from 1944, they respected Vatican City as neutral territory.[36] One of the main diplomatic priorities of the bishop of Rome was to prevent the bombing of the city; so sensitive was the pontiff that he protested even the British air dropping of pamphlets over Rome, claiming that the few landing within the city-state violated the Vatican's neutrality.[37] The British policy, as expressed in the minutes of a Cabinet meeting was: "that we should on no account molest the Vatican City, but that our action as regards the rest of Rome would depend upon how far the Italian government observed the rules of war".[37]

After the American entry into the war, the US opposed such a bombing, fearful of offending Catholic members of its military forces, but said that "they could not stop the British from bombing Rome if the British so decided". The British uncompromisingly said "they would bomb Rome whenever the needs of the war demanded".[38] In December 1942, the British envoy suggested to the Holy See that Rome be declared an "open city", a suggestion that the Holy See took more seriously than was probably meant by the British, who did not want Rome to be an open city, but Mussolini rejected the suggestion when the Holy See put it to him. In connection with the Allied invasion of Sicily, 500 American aircraft bombed Rome on 19 July 1943, aiming particularly at the railway hub. Some 1,500 people were killed, and Pius XII himself, who had been described in the previous month as "worried sick" about the possible bombing, went to the scene of the tragedy. Another raid took placed on 13 August 1943, after Mussolini had been ousted from power.[39] On the following day the new government declared Rome an open city, after consulting the Holy See on the wording of the declaration, but the British had decided that they would never recognize Rome as an open city.[40]

1980s – present[edit]

In 1984, a new concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain provisions of the earlier treaty, including the position of Catholicism as the Italian state religion, a position given to it by a statute of 1848.[35]

Construction in 1995 of a new guest house, Domus Sanctae Marthae, adjacent to St Peter's Basilica was criticised by Italian environmental groups, backed by Italian politicians. They claimed the new building would block views of the Basilica from nearby Italian apartments. For a short while the plans strained the relations between the Vatican and the Italian government. The head of the Vatican's Department of Technical Services robustly rejected challenges to the Vatican State's right to build within its borders.[41]

Governance[edit]

Vatican City
Coat of arms of the Vatican City.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Vatican City

The politics of Vatican City takes place in an absolute elective monarchy, in which the head of the Roman Catholic Church takes power. The Pope exercises principal legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of Vatican City (an entity distinct from the Holy See), which is a rare case of a non-hereditary monarchy.[42]

Vatican City is currently the only widely recognized independent state that has not become a member of the United Nations. The Holy See, which is distinct from Vatican City State, has permanent observer status with all the rights of a full member except for a vote in the UN General Assembly.

Political system[edit]

The government of Vatican City has a unique structure. The Pope is the sovereign of the state. Legislative authority is vested in the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, a body of cardinals appointed by the Pope for five-year periods. Executive power is in the hands of the President of that commission, assisted by the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary. The state's foreign relations are entrusted to the Holy See's Secretariat of State and diplomatic service. Nevertheless, the pope has both absolute power in the executive, legislative and judicial branches over Vatican City. He is currently the only absolute monarch in Europe.

There are specific departments that deal with health, security, telecommunications, etc.[43]

The Cardinal Camerlengo presides over the Apostolic Camera to which is entrusted the administration of the property and the protection of the temporal rights of the Holy See during a papal vacancy. Those of the Vatican State remain under the control of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City. Acting with three other cardinals chosen by lot every three days, one from each order of cardinals (cardinal bishop, cardinal priest, and cardinal deacon), he in a sense performs during that period the functions of head of state of Vatican City.[citation needed] All the decisions these four cardinals take must be approved by the College of Cardinals as a whole.

The nobility that was closely associated with the Holy See at the time of the Papal States continued to be associated with the Papal Court after the loss of these territories, generally with merely nominal duties (see Papal Master of the Horse, Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, Hereditary officers of the Roman Curia, Black Nobility). They also formed the ceremonial Noble Guard. In the first decades of the existence of the Vatican City State, executive functions were entrusted to some of them, including that of Delegate for the State of Vatican City (now denominated President of the Commission for Vatican City). But with the motu proprio Pontificalis Domus of 28 March 1968,[44] Pope Paul VI abolished the honorary positions that had continued to exist until then, such as Quartermaster General and Master of the Horse.[45]

Vatican City State, created in 1929 by the Lateran Pacts, provides the Holy See with a temporal jurisdiction and independence within a small territory. It is distinct from the Holy See. The state can thus be deemed a significant but not essential instrument of the Holy See. The Holy See itself has existed continuously as a juridical entity since Roman Imperial times and has been internationally recognized as a powerful and independent sovereign entity since late antiquity to the present, without interruption even at times when it was deprived of territory (e.g. 1870 to 1929). The Holy See has the oldest active continuous diplomatic service in the world, dating back to at least AD 325 with its legation to the Council of Nicea.[46]

Head of state[edit]

The Apostolic Palace (Palazzo Apostolico), the official residence of the Pope. Here, Benedict XVI is at the window marked by a maroon banner hanging from the windowsill at centre.

The Pope is ex officio head of state[47] of Vatican City, functions dependent on his primordial function as bishop of the diocese of Rome. The term Holy See refers not to the Vatican state but to the Pope's spiritual and pastoral governance, largely exercised through the Roman Curia.[48] His official title with regard to Vatican City is Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City.

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected on 13 March 2013. Francis took the unusual decision to live in the Vatican's guest house, Domus Sanctae Marthae, rather than the Papal Apartments of the Apostolic Palace which is the official papal residence. He still carries out his business and meets foreign representatives in the Palace.

His principal subordinate government official for Vatican City is the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, who since 1952 exercises the functions previously belonging to the Governor of Vatican City. Since 2001, the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State also has the title of President of the Governorate of the State of Vatican City. The current President is Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, who was appointed on 1 October 2011.

Administration[edit]

Legislative functions are delegated to the unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, led by the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State. Its seven members are cardinals appointed by the pope for terms of five years. Acts of the commission must be approved by the pope, through the Holy See's Secretariat of State, and before taking effect must be published in a special appendix of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Most of the content of this appendix consists of routine executive decrees, such as approval for a new set of postage stamps.

Executive authority is delegated to the Governorate of Vatican City. The Governorate consists of the President of the Pontifical Commission—using the title "President of the Governorate of Vatican City"—a general secretary, and a Vice general secretary, each appointed by the pope for five-year terms. Important actions of the Governorate must be confirmed by the Pontifical Commission and by the Pope through the Secretariat of State.

The Governorate oversees the central governmental functions through several departments and offices. The directors and officials of these offices are appointed by the pope for five-year terms. These organs concentrate on material questions concerning the state's territory, including local security, records, transportation, and finances. The Governorate oversees a modern security & police corps, the Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano.

Judicial functions are delegated to a supreme court, an appellate court, a tribunal (Tribunal of Vatican City State), and a trial judge. At the Vatican's request, sentences imposed can be served in Italy (see the section on crime, below).

The international postal country code prefix is SCV, and the only postal code is 00120 – altogether SCV-00120.[49]

Military and police[edit]

Pontifical Swiss Guards in their traditional uniform
Gendarmerie Police car

The military defence of Vatican City is provided by Italy and its armed forces, given the fact that Vatican City is an enclave within Italy. Vatican City has no armed force of its own, the Swiss Guard being a corps of the Holy See responsible for the personal security of the Pope.

Though, like various European powers, earlier Popes recruited Swiss mercenaries as part of an army for the Papal States, the Pontifical Swiss Guard was founded by Pope Julius II on January 22, 1506 as the pope's personal bodyguard and continues to fulfill that function. It is listed in the Annuario Pontificio under "Holy See", not under "State of Vatican City". At the end of 2005, the Guard had 134 members. Recruitment is arranged by a special agreement between the Holy See and Switzerland. All recruits must be Catholic, unmarried males with Swiss citizenship who have completed their basic training with the Swiss Army with certificates of good conduct, be between the ages of 19 and 30, and be at least 174 cm (5 ft 9 in) in height. Members are equipped with small arms & the traditional halberd (also called the Swiss voulge), and trained in bodyguarding tactics.

The Palatine Guard and the Noble Guard were disbanded by Pope Paul VI in 1970.[50] While the first body was founded as a militia at the service of the Papal States, its functions within the Vatican state, like those of the Noble Guard, were merely ceremonial.

The Gendarmerie Corps (Corpo della Gendarmeria) is the gendarmerie, or police and security force, of Vatican City and the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See.[51] The corps is responsible for security, public order, border control, traffic control, criminal investigation, and other general police duties in Vatican City including providing security for the pope outside of Vatican City. The corps has 130 personnel and is a part of the Security and Civil Defense Services Department (which also includes the Vatican Fire Brigade), an organ of the Governorate of Vatican City.[52][53]

Foreign relations[edit]

Palace of the Governorate of Vatican City State
An entrance to Vatican City from Italy

Vatican City State is a recognized national territory under international law, but it is the Holy See that conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf, in addition to the Holy See's own diplomacy, entering into international agreements in its regard. Vatican City thus has no diplomatic service of its own.

Because of space limitations, Vatican City is one of the few countries in the world that is unable to host embassies. Foreign embassies to the Holy See are located in the city of Rome; only during the Second World War were the staff of some embassies accredited to the Holy See given what hospitality was possible within the narrow confines of Vatican City—embassies such as that of the United Kingdom while Rome was held by the Axis Powers and Germany's when the Allies controlled Rome.

The size of Vatican City is thus unrelated to the large global reach exercised by the Holy See as an entity quite distinct from the state.[54]

However, Vatican City State itself participates in some international organizations whose functions relate to the state as a geographical entity, distinct from the non-territorial legal persona of the Holy See. These organizations are much less numerous than those in which the Holy See participates either as a member or with observer status. They include the following eight, in each of which Vatican City State holds membership:[55][56]

It also participates in:[55]

Economy[edit]

The Vatican City State budget[note 6] includes the Vatican Museums and post office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins, medals and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by publications sales. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.[58] Other industries include printing, the production of mosaics, and the manufacture of staff uniforms.

The Institute for Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank, and with the acronym IOR (Istituto per le Opere di Religione), is a bank situated in the Vatican that conducts worldwide financial activities. It has an ATM with instructions in Latin, possibly the only such ATM in the world.[59]

Vatican City issues its own coins. It has used the euro as its currency since 1 January 1999, owing to a special agreement with the European Union (council decision 1999/98/CE). Euro coins and notes were introduced in 1 January 2002—the Vatican does not issue euro banknotes. Issuance of euro-denominated coins is strictly limited by treaty, though somewhat more than usual is allowed in a year in which there is a change in the papacy.[60] Because of their rarity, Vatican euro coins are highly sought by collectors.[61] Until the adoption of the Euro, Vatican coinage and stamps were denominated in their own Vatican lira currency, which was on par with the Italian lira.

Vatican City State, which employs nearly 2,000 people, had a surplus of 6.7 million euros in 2007 but ran a deficit in 2008 of over 15 million euros.[62]

In 2012, the U.S. State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report listed Vatican City for the first time among the nations of concern for money-laundering, placing it in the middle category, which includes countries such as Ireland, but not among the most vulnerable countries, which include the United States itself, Germany, Italy and Russia.[63]

On 24 February 2014 the Vatican announced it was establishing a secretariat for the economy which will be responsible for all economic, financial and administrative activities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. Cardinal George Pell is to head up the secretariat, the formation of which follows the charging last month of two senior clerics including a monsignor with money laundering. Pope Francis also appointed an auditor-general authorized to do random audits of any agency at any time, and engaged a US financial services company to review the Vatican's 19,000 accounts to ensure compliance with international money laundering practices. The pontiff also ordered that the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See will become the Vatican's central bank, with responsibilities similar to other central banks around the world.[64]

Demographics[edit]

Population and languages[edit]

The Seal of Vatican City. Note the use of the Italian language.

Almost all of Vatican City's 839 (2013 est.)[1] citizens either live inside the Vatican's walls or serve in the Holy See's diplomatic service in embassies (called "nunciatures"; a papal ambassador is a "nuncio") around the world. The Vatican citizenry consists almost entirely of two groups: clergy, most of whom work in the service of the Holy See, and a very few as officials of the state; and the Swiss Guard. Most of the 2,400 lay workers who comprise the majority of the Vatican workforce reside outside the Vatican and are citizens of Italy, while a few are citizens of other nations. As a result, all of the City's actual citizens are Catholic as are all the places of worship.

Vatican City has no formally enacted official language, but, unlike the Holy See which most often uses Latin for the authoritative version of its official documents, Vatican City uses only Italian in its legislation and official communications.[65] Italian is also the everyday language used by most of those who work in the state. In the Swiss Guard, German is the language used for giving commands, but the individual guards take their oath of loyalty in their own languages: German, French, Romansh or Italian. Vatican City's official website languages are Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish. (This site should not be confused with that of the Holy See, which uses all these languages, along with Portuguese, with Latin since 9 May 2008 and Chinese since 18 March 2009.)

Citizenship[edit]

Before 1 March 2011[edit]

Unlike citizenship of other states, which is based either on jus sanguinis (birth from a citizen, even outside the state's territory) or on jus soli (birth within the territory of the state), citizenship of Vatican City is granted jus officii, namely on the grounds of appointment to work in a certain capacity in the service of the Holy See. It usually ceases upon cessation of the appointment. Citizenship is extended also to the spouse, parents and descendants of a citizen, provided they are living with the person who is a citizen.[66][67]

Anyone who loses Vatican citizenship and does not possess other citizenship automatically becomes an Italian citizen as judged by Italian law.[11]

As of 31 December 2005, there were, apart from the Pope himself, 557 people with Vatican citizenship, while there were 246 residents in the state who did not have its citizenship.

Of the 557 citizens, 74% were clergy:

  • 58 cardinals, resident in Rome, mostly outside the Vatican;
  • 293 clergy, members of the Holy See's diplomatic missions, resident in other countries, and forming well over half the total of the citizens;
  • 62 other clergy, working but not necessarily living in the Vatican.

The 101 members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard constituted 18% of the total, and there were only 55 other lay persons with Vatican citizenship.[68]

After 1 March 2011[edit]

On 22 February 2011, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a new "Law concerning citizenship, residency and access" to Vatican City, which became effective on 1 March. It replaced the 1929 "Law concerning citizenship and residence".[69] There are 16 articles in the new law, whereas the old law had 33 articles.[70]

Vatican citizenship is now held by the pope, cardinals residing in Vatican City, active members of the Holy See's diplomatic service, and other directors of Vatican offices and services.[70]

The 2011 law created a new category, that of official Vatican "residents", i.e., people living in Vatican City; these are not necessarily Vatican citizens.[70]

On 1 March 2011, only 220 of the over 800 people living in Vatican City were citizens. There was a total of 572 Vatican citizens, of whom 352 were not residents, mainly apostolic nuncios and diplomatic staff.[70]

360-degree view from the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, looking over the Vatican's Saint Peter's Square (centre) and out into Rome, showing Vatican City in all directions.
360-degree view from the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, looking over the Vatican's Saint Peter's Square (centre) and out into Rome, showing Vatican City in all directions.

Culture[edit]

The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) display works from the extensive collection of the Catholic Church

Vatican City is home to some of the most famous art in the world. St. Peter's Basilica, whose successive architects include Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Maderno and Bernini, is a renowned work of Renaissance architecture. The Sistine Chapel is famous for its frescos, which include works by Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Botticelli as well as the ceiling and Last Judgment by Michelangelo. Artists who decorated the interiors of the Vatican include Raphael and Fra Angelico.

The Vatican Apostolic Library and the collections of the Vatican Museums are of the highest historical, scientific and cultural importance. In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites; it is the only one to consist of an entire state.[71] Furthermore, it is the only site to date registered with the UNESCO as a centre containing monuments in the "International Register of Cultural Property under Special Protection" according to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.[71]

Michelangelo's Pietà, in the Basilica, is one of the Vatican's best known artworks. 
Michelangelo's frescos on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, "an artistic vision without precedent".[72] 
The elaborately decorated Sistine Hall in the Vatican Library

Infrastructure[edit]

Transport[edit]

Vatican City has a reasonably well developed transport network considering its size (consisting mostly of a plaza and walkways). As a country that is 1.05 kilometres (0.6 mi) long and 0.85 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide,[73] it has a small transportation system with no airports or highways. The only aviation facility in Vatican City is the Vatican City Heliport. There is a standard gauge railway connected to Italy's network at Rome's Saint Peter's station by an 852-metre-long (932 yd) spur, 300 metres (330 yd) of which is within Vatican territory.[74]

Pope John XXIII was the first Pope to make use of this railway. Pope John Paul II rarely used it. The railway is mainly used to transport freight.[74] As Vatican City has no airports (it is one of the few independent states in the world without one, except for the aforementioned heliport), it is served by the airports that serve the city of Rome, namely: Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and to a lesser extent, Ciampino Airport, both of which serve as the departure gateway for the Pope's international visits.[74]

Communications[edit]

The stamp vending machine of the Vatican Postal Service

The City is served by an independent, modern telephone system,[75] the Vatican Pharmacy, and post office. The postal system was founded on 11 February 1929, and two days later became operational. On 1 August, the state started to release its own postal stamps, under the authority of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State.[76] The City's postal service is sometimes recognised as "the best in the world"[77] and mail has been noted to get to its target before the postal service in Rome.[77]

The Vatican also controls its own Internet TLD, which is registered as (.va). Broadband service is widely provided within Vatican City. Vatican City has also been given a radio ITU prefix, HV, and this is sometimes used by amateur radio operators.

Vatican Radio, which was organised by Guglielmo Marconi, broadcasts on short-wave, medium-wave and FM frequencies and on the Internet.[78] Its main transmission antennae are located in Italian territory. Television services are provided through another entity, the Vatican Television Center.[79]

L'Osservatore Romano is the multilingual semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. It is published by a private corporation under the direction of Roman Catholic laymen but reports on official information. However, the official texts of documents are in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official gazette of the Holy See, which has an appendix for documents of the Vatican City State.

Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, and L'Osservatore Romano are organs not of the Vatican State but of the Holy See, and are listed as such in the Annuario Pontificio, which places them in the section "Institutions linked with the Holy See", ahead of the sections on the Holy See's diplomatic service abroad and the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, after which is placed the section on the State of Vatican City.

Crime[edit]

Crime in the Vatican City consists largely of purse snatching, pickpocketing and shoplifting by outsiders.[80] The tourist foot-traffic in St. Peter's Square is one of the main locations for pickpockets in Vatican City.[81]

Under the terms of article 22 the Lateran Treaty,[82] 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.[82][83]

Vatican City has no prison system, apart from a few detention cells for pre-trial detention.[84] People convicted of committing crimes in the Vatican serve terms in Italian prisons (Polizia Penitenziaria), with costs covered by the Vatican.[85]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In accordance with paragraph 2 of the Legge sulle fonti del diritto of 7 June 1929, all laws and regulations of the state are published in the Italian-language Supplemento per le leggi e disposizioni dello Stato della Città del Vaticano attached to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. The text of the first seven items published in that supplement is given here. While the state itself uses only Italian, many other languages are used by institutions situated within the state, such as the Holy See, the Pontifical Swiss Guard, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
    The Holy See uses Latin as an official language and French as a diplomatic language; in addition, its Secretariat of State uses English, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The Swiss Guard, in which commands on parade are given in German, also uses French and Italian in all its official ceremonies.
  2. ^ Visitors and tourists are not permitted to drive inside the Vatican without specific permission, which is normally granted only to those who have business with some office in the Vatican.
  3. ^ ITU-T assigned code 379 to Vatican City. However, Vatican City is included in the Italian telephone numbering plan and uses the Italian country code 39, followed by 06 (for Rome) and 698.
  4. ^ "Stato della Città del Vaticano" is the name used in the text of the state's Fundamental Law and in the state's official website.
  5. ^ The Holy See is the central governing body of the Catholic Church and sovereign entity recognized by international law, consisting of the Pope and the Roman Curia. It is also commonly referred to as "the Vatican", especially when used as a metonym for the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
  6. ^ The Holy See's budget, which is distinct from that of Vatican City State, is supported financially by a variety of sources, including investments, real estate income, and donations from Catholic individuals, dioceses, and institutions; these help fund the Roman Curia (Vatican bureaucracy), diplomatic missions, and media outlets. Moreover, an annual collection taken up in dioceses and direct donations go to a non-budgetary fund known as Peter's Pence, which is used directly by the Pope for charity, disaster relief and aid to churches in developing nations.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Holy See (Vatican City)". CIA—The World Factbook. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Vatican City". Catholic-Pages.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Internet portal of Vatican City State". Vatican City State. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Gerhard Robbers, Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (Infobase Publishing 2006 ISBN 978-0-81606078-8), p. 1009
  5. ^ Nick Megoran, "Theocracy" in International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, vol. 11, Elsevier 2009 ISBN 978-0-08-044911-1, p.226| Quote:elective theocracy (although its representatives would be unlikely to accept that label)
  6. ^ "Governorate". Vaticanstate.va. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Preamble of the Lateran Treaty
  8. ^ Lateran Pacts of 1929
  9. ^ Trattato fra la Santa Sede e l'Italia
  10. ^ "Vatican (search)". Online Dictionary. Retrieved 28 November 2007. 
  11. ^ a b c "Patti Lateranensi". vatican.va. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Lateran Treaty of 1929, Articles 13–16
  13. ^ Tabelle climatiche 1971–2000 della stazione meteorologica di Roma-Ciampino Ponente dall'Atlante Climatico 1971–2000 – Servizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare
  14. ^ "Visualizzazione tabella CLINO della stazione / CLINO Averages Listed for the station Roma Ciampino". Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Vatican to go carbon neutral". United Press International. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2009. 
  16. ^ Vatican signs up for a carbon offset forest, Catholic News Service, published 2007-07-13, accessed 2007-08-03
  17. ^ Climate forest makes Vatican the first carbon-neutral state, Western Catholic Reporter, published 2007-07-23, accessed 2007-08-03
  18. ^ Carbon offsets: How a Vatican forest failed to reduce global warming The Christian Science Monitor
  19. ^ Dangers lurk in offset investments, Ethical Corporation published 2011-09-19, accessed 2012-08-25
  20. ^ Going green: Vatican expands mission to saving planet, not just souls, Catholic News Service, published 2007-05-25, accessed 2007-06-12
  21. ^ Vatican wins award for creating rooftop solar-power generator, Catholic News Service, published 2008-11-26, accessed 2009-12-22
  22. ^ "Map of Vatican City". www.saintpetersbasilica.org. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  23. ^ "Al Pellegrino Cattolico: The Vatican Gardens". 2008 Al Pellegrino Cattolico s.r.l. Via di Porta Angelica 81\83 (S.Pietro) I- 00193 Roma, Italy. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  24. ^ a b "Official Vatican City State Website: A Visit to the Vatican Gardens". 2007–08 Uffici di Presidenza S.C.V. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  25. ^ Lanciani, Rodolfo (1892). Pagan and Christian Rome Houghton, Mifflin.
  26. ^ Vatican City in the Past
  27. ^ "Altar dedicated to Cybele and Attis". Vatican Museums. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  28. ^ Damien Martin, "Wine and Drunkenness in Roman Society"
  29. ^ Tacitus, The Histories, II, 93, translation by Clifford H. Moore (The Loeb Classical Library, first printed 1925)
  30. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural History XVI.76.
  31. ^ "St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  32. ^ Fred S. Kleiner, Gardner's Art through the Ages (Cengage Learning 2012 ISBN 978-1-13395479-8), p. 126
  33. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia[dead link], Sixth Edition, 2001–2005
  34. ^ Wetterau, Bruce. World history. New York: Henry Holt & co. 1994.
  35. ^ a b Lateran Treaty, article 1: "L'Italia riconosce e riafferma il principio consacrato nell’articolo 1° dello Statuto del Regno 4 marzo 1848, pel quale la religione cattolica, apostolica e romana è la sola religione dello Stato." (Italy recognizes and re-affirms the principle consecrated in Article 1 of the Statute of the Kingdom 4 March 1848, by which the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Religion is the sole religion of the State.)
  36. ^ "Rome". Ushmm.org. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  37. ^ a b Chadwick, 1988, pp. 222–32
  38. ^ Chadwick, 1988, pp. 232–36
  39. ^ Chadwick, 1988, pp. 236–44
  40. ^ Chadwick, 1988, pp. 244–45
  41. ^ Thavis, John (2013). The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look atthe Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church. NY: Viking. pp. 121–2. ISBN 978-0-670-02671-5. 
  42. ^ "Vatican City (Politics, government, and taxation)". Nations Encyclopedia. Retrieved 28 November 2007. 
  43. ^ "Vatican City". Catholic-Pages.com. Retrieved 4 March 2007. 
  44. ^ Pontificalis Domus, 3
  45. ^ The site Hereditary Officers of the Papal Court continues to present these functions and titles as still in use, several decades after their abolition.
  46. ^ Vatican Diplomacy, Catholic-Pages.com. Retrieved 15 March 2007
  47. ^ One of the titles of the Pope listed in the Annuario Pontificio is "Sovereign of Vatican City State" (page 23* in recent editions).
  48. ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 361 and Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 48
  49. ^ "International postal code: SCV-00120." www.vatican.va Holy See Press Office – General Information. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  50. ^ "Vatican City Today". Vatican City Government. Retrieved 28 November 2007. 
  51. ^ Il personale del Corpo garantisce la sicurezza e l'ordine pubblico anche nelle zone extraterritoriali di proprietà della Santa Sede. (The Corps also guarantees the security and the public order within the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See). In: "Corpo della Gendarmeria" (in Italian). Stato della Città del Vaticano. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  52. ^ "Gendarme Corps". Office of the President of Vatican City State. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  53. ^ "Administrations and Central Offices". Office of the President of Vatican City State. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  54. ^ The Holy See and Diplomacy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  55. ^ a b Vatican City State: Participation in International Organizations
  56. ^ See also appendix at end of Bilateral Relations of the Holy See
  57. ^ "Membership Vatican City State". Interpol. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  58. ^ "Holy See (Vatican City): Economy". CIA – The World Factbook. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  59. ^ Seán P. O'Malley (28 September 2006). "A Glimpse Inside the Vatican & Msgr. Robert Deeley's Guest Post". Retrieved 30 January 2008. 
  60. ^ "Agreements on monetary relations (Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra)". Activities of the European Union: Summaries of legislation. Retrieved 23 February 2007. 
  61. ^ "Benedict Vatican euros set for release". Catholic News. 21 April 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2007. [dead link]
  62. ^ Christian Telegraph: Holy See's budget shortfall shrinks in 2008. The report quoted deals mainly with the revenues and expenses of the Holy See and mentions only briefly the finances of Vatican City.
  63. ^ Pullella, Philip. "U.S. adds Vatican to money-laundering 'concern' list." Reuters. 8 March 2012.
  64. ^ "Vatican financial system restructuring begins with new secretariat". The Italy News.Net. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  65. ^ Vatican City State appendix to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis is entirely in Italian.
  66. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (7 June 1992). "Law on Citizenship and Residence, 7 June 1992". Unhcr.org. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  67. ^ "Cittadinanza vaticana". Vatican.va. 31 December 2001. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  68. ^ "Vatican citizenship". Holy See Press Office. Retrieved 3 December 2006. 
  69. ^ "Law on Citizenship, Residency and Access to the Vatican". VIS – Vatican Information Service. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  70. ^ a b c d "Law Now Allows for Vatican Residents: 1929 Code Replaced". ZENIT. Innovative Media, Inc. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  71. ^ a b "Vatican City – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 10 October 2009. 
  72. ^ König, Gabriele Bartz, Eberhard (1998). Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564 (English ed.). Cologne: Könemann. ISBN 3-8290-0253-X. 
  73. ^ "Holy See – State of the Vatican City". Vatican Papal Conclave. Retrieved 28 November 2007. 
  74. ^ a b c Vatican City State Railway "Railways of the World". Sinfin.net. Retrieved 8 August 2006. 
  75. ^ On call 24/7: Vatican phone system directs thousands of call each day, 24 July 2006.
  76. ^ "The Early Definitives". Vatican Philatelic Society. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2007. 
  77. ^ a b Baker, Al (27 June 2004). "Hail Marys Not Needed: Vatican Mail Will Deliver". New York Times. Retrieved 28 November 2007. 
  78. ^ "Vatican Radio – Index". Vatican.va. 2 September 2005. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  79. ^ "Vatican Television Center – Index". Vatican.va. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  80. ^ "Vatican crime rate 'soars'". BBC. 8 January 2003. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  81. ^ "Vatican surpasses all nations... in pickpockets?", Rome Reports, 14 February, 2011.
  82. ^ a b "INTER SANCTAM SEDEM ET ITALIAE REGNUM CONVENTIONES* INITAE DIE 11 FEBRUARII 1929" (in Italian). Vatican.va. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  83. ^ Shea, Alison. "Researching the Law of the Vatican City State". Hauser Global Law School Program. New York University School of Law. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  84. ^ How Does Vatican City Deal With Criminals? Slate. 30 May 2012. Retrieved on 18 April 2013.
  85. ^ "Is the Vatican a Rogue State?" Spiegel Online. 19 January 2007. Retrieved on 25 August 2010.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Chadwick, Owen (1988). Britain and the Vatican During the Second World War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-36825-1. 
  • Kent, Peter C. (2002). The Lonely Cold War of Pope Pius XII: The Roman Catholic Church and the Division of Europe, 1943–1950. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-2326-X. 
  • Morley, John F. (1980). Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews During the Holocaust, 1939–1943. New York: Ktav Pub. House. ISBN 0-87068-701-8. 
  • Nichols, Fiona (2006). Rome and the Vatican. London: New Holland. pp. 85–96. ISBN 978-1-84537-500-3. 
  • Ricci, Corrado; Begni, Ernesto (2003) [1914]. The Vatican: Its History, Its Treasures. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0-7661-3941-7. 
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "The Vatican". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°54′14″N 12°27′11″E / 41.904°N 12.453°E / 41.904; 12.453