Portal:Vatican City

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Vatican City (/ˈvætɪkən/ (listen)), officially the Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is an independent city-state and enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy. Also known simply as the Vatican, the state became independent from Italy in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty, and it is a distinct territory under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity of international law, which maintains the city state's temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence. With an area of 49 hectares (121 acres) and a 2019 population of about 453, it is the smallest state in the world both by area and population. As governed by the Holy See, Vatican City State is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the pope who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. After the Avignon Papacy (1309–1377) the popes have mainly 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 principal episcopal see of the Catholic Church, which has approximately 1.329 billion baptized Catholics in the world in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent state of Vatican City, on the other hand, came into existence on 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. (Full article...)

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The Institute for Works of Religion (Italian: Istituto per le Opere di ReligioneIOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank, is a privately held institute[1] located inside Vatican City run by a professional bank CEO who reports directly to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope (or the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church during a sede vacante). Since its assets are not considered property of the Holy See, it is not overseen by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See,[2] and it is listed in the Annuario Pontificio together with foundations such as the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, which provides funds for training people to fight drought and desertification in nine African countries.[3] The current President is Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

The Institute was involved in a major political and financial scandal in the 1980s, concerning the 1982 $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which it was a major shareholder. The head of IOR from 1971 to 1989, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was under consideration for indictment in 1982 in Italy as an accessory of the bankruptcy; however, he was never brought to trial due to the Italian courts' ruling that the priest, being a high-ranking prelate of the Vatican, had diplomatic immunity from prosecution.[4]

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Ca' Rezzonico - Interno della basilica di San Pietro a Roma - Giampaolo Pannini.jpg
Credit: Giovanni Paolo Panini

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), officially known in Italian as Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City.

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Vatican Palace
Credit: Lalupa
Vatican Palace: the gardens from the museum.

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Sources

  1. ^ (in Italian) Cfr. art. 2 of the Chirograph signed by John Paul II
  2. ^ Pollard, 2005, p. 2
  3. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012, pp. 1796-1803
  4. ^ The New York Times: "U.S. prelate not indicted in Italy bank scandal" 30 April 1989
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